Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Testing my Gumption

The universe is testing my gumption. It might win. We'll see.

Last Friday night, I rented a car and we went to Roseville. I had a rare opportunity to listen to Lisa Marasco and Diane Wiessinger speak about breastfeeding: latch, safe sleep, how birth affects breastfeeding, etc. And I got to see some friends I haven't seen in a while.

Then we came home Saturday night. That was fine. In fact, coming home was twice as fast as getting there (darn 3-day weekend traffic!). The car was scheduled to be returned an hour after church on Sunday so we wouldn't have to get a Zipcar for church. I really need to get the bike's e-assist set up.

So an hour after church, I take the car back. Well, first, I remember that I need to fill up the gas. Then I take the car back. And unfortunately the clock in the car was slow and I ended up getting to the rental place just minutes after it closed. MINUTES. If only I hadn't filled it up! Stupid gas. I feel really sheepish, though, for not getting it in on time. Very embarrassed.

So I call the national phone line for the car place and the location we used doesn't have after hours drop off. The lady tells me that it'll cost me $200 more to return it on Tuesday afternoon since the location is going to be closed on Monday.

"What about Tuesday morning when they open?" That'll still be more than $100 more.

"That can't be right. Isn't there a way for me to return it sooner? Are no places open on Memorial Day?"

"Is there an airport near you?"

"Yes! Oakland airport! I can get it there within the hour!"

So we settle on that and it'll cost $25 more for not returning it to the same location (whatever, it's not $200) and the lady on the phone has some sort of confusion and seems to think Oakland is in Canada (wha?) but I get home.

Now the plan: find someone to watch the kids while McKay and I get the rental car and a Zipcar to the airport. The neighbor takes the kids to the park (thanks, Scott!) and I happily drop the car off and we drive home in a Zipcar and everything is ok. Except for the extra cost of the rental and the Zipcar.

So... Sunday night I had my class. Did I say I was taking a class? I was taking improv. Sunday was the last class and after the class was done, another improv class was going to do a performance. McKay likes improv and I know the kids like to laugh, so the plan was that he'd bike the megabike to the show after my class and we'd bike home.

The plan was.

My class ends, I see that I have a messages and a voicemail from McKay.

About a mile away, he got a flat on the back wheel. After some discussion we decide this: I biked to meet him. Luckily, he was half a mile from a coworker who is a bicycling enthusiast. A fellow improv student put my bike and baby and self in his SUV and McKay and Margaret walked the megabike to the coworker's house. He had a patch kit for our flat, but unfortunately, this flat was pretty spectacular and we needed to "borrow" the neighbor's inner tube. Even after replacing the tube, the tire bulged a bit, but it got us home. We biked home Sunday night and slept in Monday morning.

Our poor inner tube, found folded up on itself by 5 inches.

Monday we bought a new inner tube and tire. They are now on the bike. Also, we got a patch kit, extra tube, and small pump to keep with the bike for the future.

Sounds happy, yes?

Ready for a trip to the post office, blowing dandelions.
Well, today I went to take the new tire and inner tube on a trip to the park (with the kids, of course). We made a stop at the post office to pick up a package we missed while being out of town. Then, about half a mile later, my foot missed the pedal, but my leg didn't. And a nice chunk of skin was ripped off the back of my foot. Also, bruises. I pedaled home (less than a mile) with blood dripping down the back of my foot and a cloth wipe/washcloth poorly soaking up the blood.

Stopped on the side of the road, back of left calf and foot.

Another angle:

Wrapped up to ride home:

Back of foot when we got home:

I decided after that to just stay home. But I did stop and show the kids basic first aid: "First we wash the blood away with water. Then we'll put some pressure on it to stop the bleeding..."

Conclusion: the universe wants me to be a homebody. And I probably could have gone to the park once my foot was bandaged, but I was just too lazy. I think I'll get a ride to knitting group tonight if I decide to go.

Baby cheek!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Can you take a joke, Facebook?

So... we've been dealing with the "Facebook nursing pictures thing" for a long time. There have been 2 nurse-ins and many many many pictures removed. Because you know: offensive.

For a similarly long time, groups that encourage violence against women are deemed "not offensive" because they are "jokes."

Salon.com had a new article this week titled Facebook's Hate Speech Problem. As a response, activists are asking companies to boycott Facebook.

Companies boycotting will do more for this cause than individuals will, so I think that's great. It's needed. Facebook needs to get straight what is offensive and what is not. Harming women? OFFENSIVE. Nursing a baby? NOT.

But Facebook's seems to be, "People seriously involved in protecting little humans? Offensive. People "joking" about hurting women. FUNNY!"

So conclusion, all you need to turn something "offensive" into "acceptable" is to say, "Haha! It's just a joke!"

We've been doing it wrong all along! I think we lactivists need to jump on the bandwagon.

Let me introduce you to my new tandem nursing Facebook profile pic.

See? It's not offensive at all! It's just a joke! Even Isaac's in on it!

Can you take a joke, Facebook?

ETA: At 3:40 pm PST, I was told that it was "reported" but not taken down. I have confirmation from FB employees that pictures with the child actively nursing are fine, so long as no nipple is showing (and areola is fine). Since 2 children are actively nursing, this ought to be double plus fine. No nipple- and not even any areola is showing. I'm not even skirting the edge, people! Stop being jerkfaces and learn the policies before you report stuff!

ETA: I woke up Thursday morning with my profile picture removed. I put it back up because the poor FB employee screening these has to see tons of child porn and other disgusting things and probably just clicked away without really looking. This picture conforms to their "rules" so I put it up to give them a second chance.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Another Week

So I seem to be doing only week updates. I havent been into blogging much because I have been stretched elsewhere: The Exponent, JABAK, knitting.

Isaac picked flowers for me on Mother's Day.

Linda turned 4 months on Sunday. Here is a baby with 17 pounds of glorious chunk!

We went to the De Young Museum in San Francisco this week to see Rembrandt's Girl with a Pearl Earring. We couldn't take pictures inside, so we took them outside.

Checking out West Oakland from the BART train:

Margaret is going to the Wrap Party today for Monster's University. I made her dress (this has taken some of my blogging and knitting time) which you can see here.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Water water everywhere

I have increased my biking efforts. This month I'm participating in the Team Bike Challenge here in the Bay Area, so I'm even choosing to bike to places I used to always bus to, like Albany Bowl. It was either a 30 minute bike ride or a 20 minute bus ride.

The kids at Albany Bowl:

I've noticed that with the regular demands of living, breastfeeding, and now biking, I drink a small pond every day. I drink so much water it amazes me. I'm always drinking, drinking, drinking.

What I wonder, though, is why. Why do we need so much water? Some animals get enough water from the things they eat, or absorb it from their surroundings. Why haven't we figured out how to do that?

I know civilizations cropped up in places where there is accessible water. That's obviously required. But did these places and civilizations allow for everyone to get 8 cups of fresh water every day?

I remember playing Oregon Trail as a kid and coming across water in the game and fording rivers. I imagined people needing to drink lots of water in between the river fordings. I assume they found small streams and creeks of water. But when it was a person's turn to get water for the day, was s/he thinking, "Ok. We have 6 people in our family. So that's 3 gallons of drinking water and some extra for cleaning and cooking today. Glad it's Nathan's turn to do this tomorrow?"

Were the people in Mesopotamia getting 8 cups of water every day? Were the hunter/gatherers? Somebody along the line must have, otherwise we'd have developed different water needs than what we have today. Or has all of humankind been perpetually dehydrated? And if so, why haven't we figured that out evolutionarily?

Any anthropologists in the house? Do we know much about the water-drinking habits of our ancestors? Can we?

These are the questions that run through my head when I down yet another water bottle. I also wonder about the many many people in the world lacking in adequate water and need to remind myself to pass on the water love.

Anyone want to tackle these questions? I'm sure there's a book out there, yes? Or a dissertation?

Monday, May 06, 2013

Screen-free Week Review

I fell off the Internet last week for Screen-free Week. I still allowed email because of work reasons, but no FB, blogging, feed readers, etc.

This is where I pretend my screen-free week looked like this heaven. I think this lasted only 2 minutes.

While it was nice to actually finish some books, I missed being able to share our ups and downs  and congratulate a couple of friends on babies.

So, here are our ups and downs and other linkage that I couldn't share on FB this week.

On Monday and Tuesday, we were not allowed to flush the toilet, wash dishes, wash laundry, or otherwise use the sewer system from 9-5 because of work being done.  We lived. We could use water- so long as it didn't go down the drain. So we had water to drink, but if we washed our hands, we had to catch the dirty water. Fun times.

Also, when the local ant colony's happiness was disturbed by the sewer work, they decided to come inside. These ants are hardcore. Do you see the trail they made THROUGH CAYENNE PEPPER?! They are like the honey badgers of ants.

I got a call from the charter school we applied for Margaret. They got our application and we should expect an acceptance letter later this month and teacher assignments in the summer. This is the school that has an independent study program and gives you money to spend on classes, curriculum, and materials so long as you let a teacher come in and check on progress monthly. Some other homeschoolers we know do it. A portion of the unschoolers prefer more freedom. We'll see how it goes. It's just kindergarten- school's not compulsory yet.

Linda rolled over for the first time last week. Tuesday night, I think. Here she is with a baby friend. Baby friend was "due" 2 weeks before Linda. Due to early and late birthdays, they are more than a month and a half apart.

Saturday was Free Comic Book Day! Our local libraries, along with the local comic book stores, gave away free comics. The kids have had fun with them.

For my Mother's Day gift, I am taking a month's worth of improv classes. Last night was the first night and it was really fun.

Also, there were many parties. Or just two. A baby shower at homeschool park day and then a birthday party.

Face paint!

Happy Isaac.

Purple-handed Isaac. Margaret wrote the "TB" on the paper and then smeared it with red handprints. I don't know what "TB" means to her, but I'm pretty sure she's a child-version of Edgar Allan Poe.


I can't get away from having an online presence even when I'm not online, and so here I was:

The Feminist Mormon Housewives Podcast, episode 54, The Male Gaze. I was invited on because they said I have a good podcasting voice. Yay for my podcasting voice! Now I feel less concern about subjecting the Internet to a podcast of my own. The FMH episode was recorded before my Internet break, for the record.

Ooh! The FMH episode 56 just posted today and I'm on that, too. It's feminist Mormon podcast week for me!

Also, I still had to write my monthly post for the Exponent.

Other Linkage:

We had this snap pea recipe with dinner on Saturday.

Bike to Work Day is this Thursday!

Knitting robot.

That is all. Until further notice.