Let’s Play… Spot the Irony!

June 21, 2008 at 10:25 pm | Posted in Linky Love, M'ijo, The Sweet Life | 3 Comments


From my local parenting magazine. Heh.

And because I’ve been told that I have been delinquent in the photo department.


Many thanks to Val for a) saving my life with that extra bottle of novolog and b) taking us to her town pool! And for all you curious DOCers out there, her castle is truly reeediculously awesome.

A Quick Cry for Help to my Book-Lovin’ Friends

June 17, 2008 at 11:27 am | Posted in M'ijo | 19 Comments

Are there any toddler books in the genre of “Hands are not for Hitting” except focusing on FOOD IS NOT FOR THROWING! Especially not when the house is being invaded by ants?!?

I have searched on amazon and come up dry.

(No it doesn’t mean he’s done eating. It doesn’t even always mean he doesn’t like the food in question. Yes, we try taking him out of the chair. He just loves to THROW.)

Recommendations for “how-to-keep-your-toddler-from-driving-you-nuts” books would also be greatly appreciated.

Vote Mother? Vote, Mother!

June 13, 2008 at 12:44 am | Posted in Raves & Rants | 4 Comments

Since P’ito came home, I’ve gotten pickier about my reading material. I have to – it’s a matter of fitting my blog reading in survival in between work, chores, friends and family.  The measure of a really good book for me is when I turn to Pili and poke her and say, YOU, YOU HAVE GOT TO READ THIS RIGHT NOW and I do not care what vital activity of yours I am interrupting.  Even sleep.

I encountered quite a few of those “must read” moments in paging through Shari Macdonald Strong’s collection of essays, The Maternal is Political.  The forty-four short essays in the book cover a lot of ground, from Kathy Bricetti’s moving account of how personal and political intersected when they came “to court for a rare event in 1993: a woman adopting a baby boy in order to up his number of legal mothers to two,” to Jennifer Graf Groneberg’s breath-taking account of being moved to political action in order to protect her right to home-school her son with Down syndrome.  Okay, you have to read this.  She writes:

I’m not a political person by nature. I’m a peacemaker, a smoother-over, a find-the-middle- ground kind of woman.  But reading the language of SB291, particularly section 8, part 3, which stated that any child with developmental delays must be educated in a classroom, caused something within me to shift.  I recalled the Constitution, which until now seemed like nothing more than a dusty old document I’d read in a history book, and it’s guarantees in the preamble to “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.”  The words came alive for me: I was a citizen; I had rights – and if I didn’t exercise them, my sons would pay for my apathy.

The idea that holds all these diverse essays together is, as Macdonald Strong writes in her introduction, that “there is no more politically powerful act than mothering.”  Our children motivate us to make differences in the world, small and large.  I was fascinated by the range of ideas on exactly how mothering makes a difference in the world, by authors from Cindy Sheehan and Benazir Bhutto to Anne Lamott and Susie Bright.

Other reviewers have already written about my main quibble with the book, which is the lack of political diversity in the essays.  Macdonald Strong envisions a world “when the most active political groups in the world are not those obsessed with winning a war, but those determined to win the peace.”  She assumes that this will occur when “the driving force behind politics in my country [and elsewhere, I presume?] is not power or money, but maternal love.”  I am sure that maternal love motivates some of the people who believe that we are fighting a just war in Iraq.  I am sure that maternal love motivates people who believe we should abolish reproductive choice.  I’m not so sure that a mothers’ movement = a progressive political movement, as much as I’d like to believe that.  A few of the essays cross over the line of political and verge into preachy self-rightousness.

But then, just as I turn that pessimistic corner, I reread the closing essay, Valerie Weaver-Zercher’s fabulous “Peace March Sans Children,” and recognize myself.  “I’m also learning, she writes,

That social movements will go on, even if nursing mothers or parents of toddlers have to drop out for awhile. We will be back, someday, maybe when the youngest turns two or whenever we can afford to dream like activists rather than work like dogs… And when we do rejoin the movement, it is possible that we will agitate and march and advocate from a deeper place within ourselves than we had known existed.  It is possible that we will act from that cavity our children have hollowed out of us, that place where breath begins.

I can’t finish without mentioning the essays that first stopped me in my tracks, and made me wake Pili up to read them.  One was Barbara Kingsolver’s essay, “A Letter to My Daughter at Thirteen,” which described my experience of new motherhood so exactly, precisely perfectly, that it gave me goosebumps.  And I can’t leave out fellow adoptive mom Violeta Garcia-Mendoza’s beautiful discussion of the complexities of international adoption.  I can’t choose one section to quote so instead, I poke you.  Hey you – you there reading this blog – go read it. NOW.

I. Hate. Hot. Weather.

June 10, 2008 at 2:54 am | Posted in Blogging about Blogging | 5 Comments

It is 4 am and I am awake looking at consumer reports for air conditioners because it is hot and I cannot sleep.  

That’s all. And why isn’t anyone playing scrabulous at 4 am? 

In which our narrator beats the evil health insurance bastards

June 9, 2008 at 1:05 pm | Posted in Raves & Rants, The Other D (Better Living Through Chemistry) | 9 Comments

So I recently refilled my mail order pharmacy supply of happy pills… I get the name brand b/c the generic is uncoated and sticks in my throat every single time.  It’s a slightly higher copay, but it’s worth it.

My previous copay for this was $80 for a 90 day supply.

I get my credit card bill and realize I’ve been charged $492!!!

I call and am told that on 4/3/08 (huh? random date?) a MAC penalty was added to that drug, meaning that if you take the name brand instead of the generic, you get penalized big time.  I was never notified of this – obviously, I’d have refilled the script before 4/3 if I knew that was going to happen!

MAC PENALTY? Do I get a happy meal with that?

A few forceful “I was not notifieds” and “may I speak to your supervisor PLEASE”s and I’m put on hold for 10 minutes.  When the woman comes back, she says that she has been authorized to give me a one-time exception, and I will be getting a refund for the amount I was overcharged.  In the future, I can have my doctor’s office fill out an “exception request form” if I need the name brand drug.

Thing I always wonder after encounters like this.  What if I wasn’t…

– educated & literate enough to read my insurance plan documents
– a native speaker of English
– privileged enough to believe I deserve better treatment
– privileged enough to have a job where I can make personal phone calls during work hours (because these folks are 9-5, baby)

I’d be screwed out of $400.  And more.

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