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Showing posts from May, 2011

Think of teh Children's!

I am already starting to worry about my child seeing, hearing, and repeating bad language.


I'm not talking about swear words. Mr. G and the Baked Chef are pretty much incapable of forming a sentence without a few bombs in it, especially after a long day at work. I do my best, but I've given up on trying to keep my daughter's ears pure from profanity.

No, by "bad language" I mean a shameful misuse of the English language. I am seeing spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors everywhere lately, from restaurant menus to business signs to online news articles. Weird spacing, apostrophes in plurals, random hyphens inside words, abuse of commas and semicolons, quotation marks that are sometimes inside and sometimes outside of periods or even floating away after an odd space, incorrect word usage, the "alot," and other textual wrongdoings abound.

Last week, I saw a flyer for an expensive Montessori school in the area. I noticed that the flyer had a couple of t…

Sweet Buns and Olive Oil: An Ancient Diaper Rash Remedy

To battle the dreaded Mommy Brain and the feeling of being a factory farm dairy cow, I have stocked my breast pump bag with research for my stalled work in progress. In 15-minute pumping sessions, I'm reading a biography of Charlemagne, Beowulf, and the Nibelungenlied.

Reading ancient texts really puts life in perspective. Sometimes I think, "Wow, I'm sure glad I live in modern times!" when I read about things like the life expectancy of 25--yeah, 25 years--in the time and place of Charlemagne's birth. People got married at age 12, had as many kids as possible, then quickly died in childbirth, in battle, or of disease.

Yikes. At other times, I think to myself, "The Romans (who had a much better expected lifespan, especially in times of peace) seemed to get by fine without Desitin and Johnson and Johnson products a couple millennia ago. Do I really need to make another trip to Babies 'R Us?"


Last week, Nux Gallica started to get a little diaper rash…

Cinderella Nights

Jeannie Miernik, also known as the Genie of the Shell, commands the power to grant her own wishes. This comes in handy now that I have a baby and still no fairy godmother.


One of the difficult things about nursing is that I can't be away from the baby or a breast pump for more than three or four hours. If I want to go to the ball and I manage to get the chores done and dress myself, there is still the threat that when the clock strikes that magical hour, my breasts will turn into pumpkins. Prince Charming might be enchanted by nature's boob job, but there is nothing more uncomfortable than leakage, engorgement, and the fear of a mastitis infection.


Going on a fancy date is still possible, but it takes some careful planning and creativity. Last month, my Prince Charming and I went on our roughly-annual opera date to see The Magic Flute.


Though I don't have a fairy godmother, I do have a wonderful human mother who loves to babysit. I applied a little makeup while pumping mil…

Happy Mothers' Day!

It's my first Mothers' Day as a mom! Technically, Nux Gallica existed last Mothers' Day--but I didn't know for sure yet. Mr. G will be making berry and ricotta pancakes for me and my mother today, and we've sent his mother in Florida a large package of pictures of her new granddaughter.


Here's wishing a blissful, relaxing Sunday to all the moms out there. Check out my Muses and Sages blogrolls on the right, which include lots of awesome mom bloggers.

Productivity in the Nutshell, Part III

At the end of March, I gave some practical advice based on how I am most productive. I wrote about priorities, opportunities, and inspiration. All good stuff. But there is more to my personal recipe for productivity that isn't common sense. It might not even be sensible at all. But it works for me.

Being productive under pressure requires some different tools than being productive in ideal conditions. Having a baby and working (especially if you can't stomach the idea of placing your child in daycare) is totally insane. But I have survived it for a month, in fairly good condition. Here are a few of my nuttier secrets:


1. I consult my horoscope.

Or the Tarot cards. Or a magic 8 ball. Or my cookie fortune. Whatever. I don't do it because I believe in occult powers. I do it because I don't. A horoscope is completely unconnected to my real life, and it's vague enough that I can fill in the blanks and start reflecting upon my situation, drawing upon my own intuitions. Wh…

Productivity in the Nutshell, Part II

Happy May! My April blogging break has come and gone, and I can feel the maternal superpowers starting to work. Today, I'll list some of my accomplishments of the last 30 days, and tomorrow I'll reveal some tips on how I did it... and trust me, they aren't bullet points that you're going to see in any self-help book or PowerPoint at your next staff meeting. We do things a little differently here in the Nutshell.

Today's installment is a summary of my proudest achievements. They may not seem extraordinary to the child-free, but it feels glorious to the mother of a newborn to do anything at all besides eat, sleep, change diapers, and maybe occasionally shower. I think I am finally getting the hang of this motherhood thing, and I'm pleased with how much I managed to do in April. Time to brag!


First, I have continued to rear a monster child who consistently gains three pounds a month since birth. This is no small feat, and it's my proudest accomplishment of the…