Monday, February 28, 2011

My 2 cents. Because I can.

We watched the Oscars last night at my in-laws' house. Miles & I had planned to make it an early evening, but then we just got sucked in by the tube. I gotta say, I really enjoyed it.

A few thoughts, in no particular order:

  • Clearly, Anne Hathaway was having a marvelous time, and who could blame her? She got to wear 8 fabulous dresses and schmooze with all them famous folks. Girl's got great pipes, too; I didn't know that.
  • Doesn't Scarlett Johansson own a comb? Her dress was lovely, her makeup tasteful, but her hair was a gawd-awful mess. ("Honey. That's not a "hair-do; that's a hair-don't"!) Could she honestly have thought that looked pretty?
  • Russell Brand should eat some high-calorie meals and wash his hair, the scary-looking grease ball.
  • Ain't Colin Firth classy? I'm sure Her Majesty will let him come home. 
  • Did Sandra Bullock look sad, or was it just me? She had the great red "I Will Survive" dress, but her beautifully done face looked just a bit sorrowful. 
  • Can we please never, ever see James Franco in drag again? Please? 'Cause that was more painful than listening to Vogon poetry. Ditto regarding Gweneth Paltrow's singing. 
  • Dame Helen Mirren looked positively lovely. As usual. Ditto Halle Berry, Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Hudson.
  • Did anyone know Christian Bale was a Brit? And who glued the dead squirrel to his chin? 
  • Keith Urban is an Aussie? Huh. I heard he was a country singer and just assumed he was from Texas.
  •  I read an article this morning about how it was too early to tell if Melissa Leo's F-bomb during her acceptance speech would hurt her career. Gimme a break. The lady was excited, she had just won an Oscar, fer christssakes.  The broadcast wonks bleeped it out for TV, so what's the problem? I'm pretty sure that every single person in the Kodak Theater has heard the word before. In fact, I'd bet every single person in the Kodak Theater has used the word before. Even that sweet young thing from "True Grit" in the pretty pink dress. 
  • Speaking of things that should have been bleeped; didya see the Best MakeUp award?!? Of course, a clip of the film "The Wolfman" was screened and obviously, those guys seriously deserved that award. The very realistic, incredibly gross, and exceedingly frightening effects scared the snot out of my little girls, who ran screaming from the room. 
OK. I think I got all the snark outta my system. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Only the best for my Clairezie

The scene: A little girl, freshly washed and in her jammies, settles down in her parent's bed to read books before bedtime.

Claire choses a book from Mama's collection, "The Ship of Dreams". (Charming story, gorgeous illustrations) She snuggles into her pillow, opens the book, but then quickly looks at the front cover.

"It didn't win the Calldecott Medal." she comments casually. "That's OK. I'll still read it."

Good thing she's got standards.

Morning Exchange

Me: "I dreamed that Jan Brewer's opponent for re-election for governor of Arizona was the Prince of Wales."

Him: "Gonna be a tight race."

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Attack of the Ignorant Bimbos

OK, first, some disclosure: I think the Tea Party folks are off their rockers. Oh, and my contempt for Sarah Palin is reinforced every time she opens her uninformed mouth. And then, would you look at that! Sarah is being upstaged by a elected cutie just as birdbrained as Ms. Palin herself.

This morning, right after my first slurp of coffee, I read this article in the Wall Street Journal. Rep. Michele Bachmann, (R., Minn.) came out against a statement by the First Lady which encouraged mothers to breastfeed, as this practice can reduce the incident of obesity later in life.  Rep. Bachmann complained that encouragement by the government like this will surely give rise to a "nanny state".  (Mrs Obama's comments were made in the context of her Let's Move initiative.)  Ms. Palin, never one to miss an opportunity to display her shallowness, promptly chimed in with a crack about the high price of milk.  Yeah, that's Michelle Obama's doing, right there.....

Look, I'm not one of those New Millennium, back-to-what's-natural, nutty-crunchy California mothers who insist on organic foods and "breast is best!" Yes, breastfeeding has some distinct advantages. To feed your infant, just whip out a breast; you always have them with you! No mixing, no stirring, no paying for pricey formula! Breastfeeding also conveys immunities from mother to child. It's a perfect food, designed by Mother Nature specifically for a human infant. But! (and this is a big but) some women aren't able to breastfeed. Like me.

My twins were born 6 weeks early, by C-section. I was in a hospital bed, and my babies were in the NICU. The day after, I was visited by a lactation advisor, given a breast pump and some instruction, then advised to get crackin'. I followed orders and got busy with my breast pump. I had photos of my girls taped to the side rails of my bed, provided by one of the saintly maternity nurses, on the theory it would assist in the let-down reflex. Didn't help.

I managed to produce some colostrum and a very small amount of milk, all of which were given to the babies. Then, I was sent home, and my girls stayed in the NICU. I saw a lactation specialist, who gently encouraged me and even organized a group of her clients who were mothers to multiples, all of whom with having difficulties breastfeeding.

After my babies came home, I would bottle feed them, change 'em and then get them back to sleep, which took about a hour and a half.  Next I would get with the breast pump for another 45 minutes to an hour, with very little in the way of results. Which gave me about a half an hour to rest before the girls needed feeding again. All while recovering from major surgery and awash in hormones and feelings of abject failure.

After 3 weeks of this routine, my lactation specialist took me by the hand and told me that I hadn't failed, any breast milk is better than no breast milk. She also told me she was looking at a woman who was exhausted and not taking care of her own urgent need to rest and heal. This lovely lady told me formula was just fine. After all, we all were fed formula, and today's formulas were much better than those of generations past.

What a relief that was! It didn't alleviate all the guilt, but I was able to get past it and get little more sleep. Still, I would have much preferred to breastfeed my girls. I felt guilty that I was secretly relieved that, as I wasn't breastfeeding, anyone could feed a baby, any time. The pressure had been enormous.

All that said, for Rep. Bachmann and Ms. Palin to criticize the First Lady for encouraging healthy behavior, for political reasons, is ludicrous. That's not to say we should buy into the dogma of the breastfeeding nazis that only breast milk is appropriate food for an infant. But if you can breast feed, you probably should breast feed. Do your best to give your child a good start for a healthy life.

And ignore uninformed and self-serving politicians who try to convince you otherwise.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Break like the Wind

One of the hardest things about being a parent is not laughing at behaviors that are undesirable. Like farting.

On the face of it, farting is NOT funny. But, honestly, sometimes, it so is. Just last night I was attempting to do a dramatic recitation of Dooce, and could not finish, due to hysterical laughter and tears running down my face. (In my opinion, no one, but no one, writes about personal humiliation like Heather Armstrong. But I digress...)

But you aren't supposed to laugh when your kid, say, sitting at the candlelit dinner table of friends on New Year's Eve, just as everyone joins hands to say grace, starts emitting an emphatic, rapid-fire fusillade of  toots from her tiny backside.

In the shocked silence that followed, every adult clamped their mouth shut, doing their darnedest to keep from bursting into uncontrolled laughter. I was beyond speech, but Miles, bless him, was able to hold it together and admonish the child.

"Aeron, my goodness! What a rude noise!  What do you say?!?"

"'Excuse me, " said the offender, smirkingly.

"That's not OK!" her father said, sternly.

 Sheepishly, this time. "Sorry, Daddy."