Wednesday, October 31, 2007

National Last-Minute Pre-Writing Day

8:02AM--I begin brainstorming some new threads of plot while Tiny Face squirms on my lap and manages to drag furniture over a few feet... I have SO many things to nail down still! I CAN just write and see where things go, but last year's well-planned, plotted, character-developed novel was far better than the by-the-seat-of-my-pants plotless wonder of the previous year, so... we'll try to have at least a few days' worth of writing planned out! Or, I can always start out totally behind by the first writing weekend! Wheeee! Here we go!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Now THAT'S Scary

Happy Halloween! I don't like a lot of how this is celebrated these days, but I love me some cute costumes. I love make-believe! And for November I get to act like a kid again and make-believe my way through 50,000 words for National Novel Writing Month. Of course, I have to finish the outline for this novel...in this one last day... EEK!!!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Victory is Mine!

Now I have TWO computers that function! And away we go with NaNoWriMo! Hopefully I'll spend all my time on my computer actually writing my novel, but I bet I'll pop in here for a baby update or two.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Curses!

Or maybe my laptop jack IS broken, which is what I told Mr. Firedog two weeks ago. When he tested it and said no, it's the cord, and here's a shiny new one for $140 dollars. Then I found the cord I really needed for $70. Hmmm.... Damn you, Firedog! I'm so going to the Nerd Herd next time.

Hopefully I'll be back online again in a week or so.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Too much of my life is on my computer

Okay, not really, because I appreciate my lovely little cheapo laptop (it's all silver and purdy and so wide, kinda like me LOL), but when my powercord died on me over a week ago, I thought I was gonna die too. I finally got a replacement today (shopping around is hard without... you know, a computer to research parts, prices, etc.) and I'm trying to catch up. I missed Blog Action Day (wah!), so I just want to say I think my daughter's taking me on a journey of investing the time to discover what I can do better for the planet and her future. For instance, I now clean with pretty much just water and vinegar (I'm still working on toilets, floors--gotta new recipe to try!--and stained coated kitchen sinks--any suggestions there? Baking soda did zip). And I use ziploc bags and paper towels with a dose of guilt now! Just kidding; I am working on taking things step by step. Hopefully in a year we'll use far fewer disposable products and also have healthier food storage/container options. Then there's the whole sweatshop clothes issue... it's HARD to buy all secondhand or even pricey fair pay (and organic?) clothes when you are still wearing almost all of your pregnancy weight! And trying to scrimp money so you can keep being a stay at home mom as long as possible. But I shop at Target with a dose of guilt too. Although I lurve my new $10 shoes that I can slip on and off while wearing/holding Sophie, and the fancy Birkenstock etc shoe store had diddlysquat for me and I was getting desperate because it was raining in San Diego! ANYWAY... obviously there are a lot of things I'm going to be trying out, and hopefully I'll be sharing the successes here. Here's what I'm already doing...
--Cloth diapers. Easy, sooo luxurious I think for baby, and we use biodegradable laundry wash, too.
--Reusing whenever possible. Yes, I WILL take your old baby clothes! NO I don't care exactly what style of clothes they are because she's a baby and couldn't care less, but I bet she wants a planet to live on 40 years from now... Plus she gets plenty of new stylin' stuff as gifts :) Yes, I'll buy your used wrap or mei tai! Yes I will use my library instead of relocating an entire forest to my bookshelves (okay, ANOTHER forest because dang I've got a lot of books).
--Breastfeeding. It uses no extra resources of growing ingredients or tending the cows for the milk, etc, of creating, packaging, shipping, storing in stores with lights and workers and driving to the store--all as formula does. Nope, just me eating, which hey, I was gonna do anyway! Plus it way cuts down on my chances of breast cancer and Sophie's, too! (Just throwing that in there for October!)

All right, that's enough for now. Thank goodness my laptop is back, because I need to finish reading the novel I wrote last year before this year's NaNoWriMo...

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Simpsons are AP! ....kinda

Did you see this week's The Simpsons? Yeah we DVR it. I had one of those moments (you know what I'm talking about!) where you realize a show is going to touch on a close-to-home issue, and you're either going to love your little show more than ever, or scream at the TV and never feel quite the same way about it again.

Okay, so not the part where Homer strangles his son... that's not very gentle discipline of him, and I'm sure Alfie Kohn would have a few things to say about that. And certainly not the extended bit about Homer looking for milk (MILK? Not even formula?) Too bad Marge doesn't seem to breastfeed... we've seen Maggie with bottles while being babysat, along with her adopted cousin, but now I guess we're supposed to think it's not expressed human milk. Granted, Maggie's been a baby for a long time but as she's not even speaking it seems cow's milk should not be on her menu.

Okay, yes, I'm laughing at this; no need to overanalyze! But I did think the part about CRIE was a very clever critique of the whole movement to get babies to be independent.

Yeah, let's parse that sentence. Babies should be independent? Wha...? Seems silly but so may parents seem in a hurry to get their kids to sleep alone, to not rely on parents for comfort during the day or night, or to rely on mom for nourishment, or for holding a bottle... And it's all validated by a refrain saying babies need to be taught to be independent. (Again, where did this idea come from? They are BABIES! Humans throughout history have held them close 24-7 for thousands of years... it's what babies are designed for, in fact. Anyway.)

So The Simpsons takes that idea of babies needing to be made independent, and pushes it to a ridiculous extreme. After a very funny bit about how kids can handle computers far better than adults (sorry Mom, but we've SO played that scene!), Marge looks up a program with the acronym CRIE (ha-ha), something like creative responses for independent edu-love or whatever (I was watching this show after a full day of mothering my baby and she was sleeping cuddled next to me and I probably was latching her on at the time!). And Lisa notes that the experts at CRIE can help you anytime because they don't have any families of their own. Slam! Just like Suppernanny and Ezzo (evil author of the idiotic Babywise) and others who have no degrees even in child development or infant biology or anything, let alone actually HAVING KIDS OF THEIR OWN (okay, Ezzo has kids but apparently they have cut him out of their lives). Nice!

So this woman comes to the house and forces Marge to leave Maggie alone on the floor, pointing at Maggie before they leave and saying forcefully, "Actualize!" The woman (who inexplicably looks sorta like a hippie-- did the show artists get mixed up? The hippies are attachment parents! This is like when the preppy mom on ER who match their kids' clothes to their own were also all into traditional babywearing... huh?) physically restrains Marge from returning to Maggie when she starts crying (ah, mama hormones kicking in! Yes, we are built to have a gut-wrenching response to baby's cries... I got upset just hearing what was probably an adult actor making Maggie's cry sound.. but then again I still have to struggle not to let down when someone is leaving their newborn screaming in the stroller at the toy store...). But then Maggie turns out okay (too bad Cry It Out doesn't work in 30 seconds like that, in real life!) and starts doing everything for herself, making herself breakfast (again--- a whole banana for this baby? but now we are in the realm of satire), and even riding the dog to Guidoville to save Homer from an evil tow truck driver. Obviously the show is taking the idea of babies being independent and blowing it up, so hopefully people will see how ridiculous that idea is. And those of us who get it, that of course babies aren't meant to be independent, but that it's our job to foster a strong foundation of secure attachment, which will in turn allow them to freely explore and become very independent (but not TOO unattached-- we want them to have strong bonds to future wives and husbands and kids and US down the line too!).

And Maggie punching out the sack of potatoes that Marge had taken to cuddling in her absence, and sticking her pacifier in Marge's mouth when her mom tried to repeat the expert's advice that "hugs are drugs" to which Maggie was addicted, and Maggie ending the show in her mother's embrace... that was a nice cap to this cute satire. I think ultimately it was saying, don't mind the "experts" (who probably have no credentials like relevant degrees or kids of their own), because you are the expert on your baby, and just following your instincts (unadulterated by the chatter of expert advice through the media) won't take you astray.