Archive for the ‘Chico the Man’ Category


The last week has been full of emotional ups and downs.  Maybe even the last month but definitely the last week.  I’m finding it hard to let go–I guess it’s a sort of wanting to go inward while taking everyone with me.  To be honest, it’s a return to feeling part of a community, which has been sorely missing in the past several years.  It’s going to take time to remember that the beauty of community is having people who are there when you come back out without having to drag them into your navel whilst you gaze.  And I do love me a good lintfest


I’m feeling a little like a belled cat because of all of this.  It’s  nice to not be sneaking around on the periphery all the time but it’s hard getting used to remembering to get out of my own head when I’m out and about.  I think this is a good thing, though.  I’ve spent a lot of years not being fully present and I think it’s kept me from feeling comfortable and happy.


Ok, if you got through all of that self-help crap, here’s your reward–the baby’s newest cuteness:

Every time he pees, he closes his eyes and yells out “HOAK!” (soak) as loud as he can. He also says “allo!” for hello and sings “bolo bolo bolo” when I play David Newman and likes to watch the Ankees pyay basheball on the tee with their hats and bats and guys.

As always, all pictures are on teh Facebook now, few that they are 🙂


Lucy finishes kindergarten in two weeks and I can’t even believe it.  Time with the flying and all.

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Yeah, the catharsis of telling my business on the internet has been surpassed by the catharsis of a good sleep.  I can’t lie.

The past few weeks have been a journey of getting to know myself, trying to look honestly at my strengths and weaknesses, and all sorts of other psychobabble-esque crap.  Also, I’ve discovered that sometimes talking to myself in my head is more helpful than talking to myself here.  Just sayin’.  It was interesting to realize that I do so much writing for my classes that I don’t so much need the blawg to get stuff out of my head.

So yes, the past few weeks…trying to get outside, walking with the baby, breathing in what passes for fresh air in the flight path of La Guardia.  Spent an excellent day with mizz Luce at the botanical garden learning an eentsy bit of foraging, how to make seed bombs and compost cookies and cleaning up at the flea market.  I discovered I not only love Jerusalem artichokes but they grow in containers so there’s that for an upcoming project.  Once I finish finals and fun-reading, that is.

The boy is tearing up the vocabulary these days, keeping us on our toes trying to figure out if he is saying ‘no’ (nose), ‘no’ (nurse) or ‘no’ (stop it).  He rolls his r’s when he says ‘draw’, says ‘coo’ instead of school, andwhen he gets into batting stance, he says ‘guy’ (looks like he’s a lefty).  If you’re watching tv, he asks to put on baseball (tee?  bayball?’) and not only does he have a batting stance complete with follow-through, he has a leg kick he uses when he (‘whoa’ a la Joey Lawrence) throws the ball.

The girl has taken to writing books and is better than her mom at use of adjectives.  She has created a Crusader’s Club (for the Earth) and a spy club.  The latter is a bit of a disappointment for her as I put the ixnay on hosting her entire class for a spy club meeting.  I think mostly she likes the idea of wearing a disguise.

For the end of the semester, I have 3 papers, 2 finals and 15 questions of varying complexity to answer in three different classes.  Oh, and 100 pages of a book to read before I can answer 6 of the questions and do one of the papers.  I am not a happy bee right about now but it will feel damn good when I am finished next week.  Wish me luck.  Or sanity.  Or both.

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This  morning my son woke himself up by clapping in his sleep.  Loudly.  He then sat straight up in bed and asked for the phone.  “Call? Call?”  As we began to get up, he leaned over to the nightstand and proclaimed, “Ball!”

This is how our days are going lately.  He has other words (in a grand nod to his Irish roots he calls all food “potay-toe”) but for the most part, he wants to talk on the phone or play ball.  All.the.time.    It’s cute, though.  For the first 7 hours at least.  Right now?  He’s dribbling a soccer ball around in the living room.  He’ll do this for hours, and honestly?  I expect his obsession with soccer to pay for C and I in our infirmity.  Either that or he will use his grand meowing skills to fulfill my childhood dream of becoming a cat.  You never know.

We lived through St. Pat’s and are down to a reasonable number of shamrock plants (15.)  I replaced 14 out of the 20 bought from those bastards but I think most of them were going to make it.  Thank goodness that the one I took in which was not-so-great looking had new buds and thank goodness the little girl who got that one was thrilled when I showed them to her because I felt really bad taking in a straggly plant.  Aside from that, it’s sprout city in here.  We’re planting some wheatgrass this weekend I think and then keeping the rest of the seeds until Lucy’s spring break.

What else?  Hmmmmm.  I’m using my time this Spring Break (still haven’t flashed the worms) to put away all of the crap that has collected in various ‘where the eff does this go’ bins.  I cleaned off my dresser and C’s dresser, have almost-completely-clean bookcases in the foyer and even cleaned out all of our old condiments from the fridge (you can’t imagine how many satay sauces and marinades we had crammed in there.  Seriously.)

And this brings us to right now, which involves much less cleaning out and much more writing.  Hey, any excuse to get out into the Real World–there’s a burger and cup of coffee with my name on it at the pub.

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We have officially entered the conversational phase of babyness.  There’s a lot of cobbling together sounds with arm gestures, actually, but we have been able to determine a few words that are used consistently.

There’s Mama and Dada, of course.  Ba for ball, buh for book.  Da for doll.  Appuh for apple, which seems to be used not only for apples proper but seemingly for any food.  There have been a few precursory attempts at saying both waffle (uffuh) and banana (this varies from time to time.)  Pickle is ‘Puhpuh’ and all animals are ‘Neenas’ and they all say ‘nee-yah’.   This last is my very favorite thing in the whole wide world, narrowly edging out the aforementioned ‘appuh’ and the first melt-your-heart communication, ‘Day-day-day’ accompanied by swaying/rocking/hurtling oneself back and forth which represents dancing.  That one is still incredibly cute actually, especially since he does it on command.

It is fantastically adorable and keeps me from losing my mind entirely when he hurls Cheerios on the floor or shrieks at the top of his lungs because I have set him down to go use the john.  Just to keep it real.

We have gotten to the age where every moment is accounted for by both the struggles and the joys of parenting and I find myself with little time or desire to plug myself into the computer, which is a nice development in and of itself.  It leaves me time for the reading of books, the making of crafts and the whole exercising thing I let slide for so long.  Despite the frustrations of missed naptimes and shrieks over the littlest frustration (the baby’s not mine, I swear) I am really enjoying my time with both of my kids.  It’s a really nice feeling and you can feel free to remind me of this when homework time rolls around and I’m trying to prepare food while keeping the older on task and the younger from rupturing our eardrums with his shrieking.

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He is completely transitioned to grown-up food and yesterday ate a great feast of falafel, Moroccan spiced carrots and beets, red cabbage, cucumber and pita with hummus and tahini.  Chico enjoys long crawls pushing his ‘ba’ from room to room, can throw overhand, stacks rings atop each other to the number of three, and will sit and flip through book after book as though he is really reading (without taking big bites like his sister did.)  He loves wooden puzzles, the cats, and big sister Lucy.  And, happiest of all for me, we are still nursing strong despite the two weeks of hospitalization back in January and my now-recurring plugged duct. I’m also particularly proud that he has not had a disposable diaper on his chickpea butt since last October.

A year goes by like lightning, doesn’t it?  I sure do love my little guy, big helper, companion, nursling and entertainer.  My biggest fear about having a second child was that I couldn’t possibly love anyone as much as I love my Lucy.  Thank you, Francis, for showing me how big my heart could grow.

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Sweet jesus let me stop sneezing.  I woke up at 5:45 making a terrible racket, which woke up the baby (horrors!) and now I’m with the eyes itching and snot evacuating and I find it all rather irritating.  C is full-on sick, Lucy had a fever yesterday afternoon but seemed to be recovering by the time I got back from my CSA shift, and thankfully, Chico seems to have escaped entirely (knock wood.)

This is all by means of explaining the disjointedness of this post.  Hold on!

My mom is coming tomorrow!  Hurrah Mom!  My Baby Brother conned her into driving him and his gear up for The Last HOPE. She’s heading out here for a visit with the grandkids whilst I take in a few talks myself (dirty hippie to the core, I’m planning on the enviro ones plus JELLO BIAFRA!!!!!!111!1!1leeven.)  Beside myself with excitement.  Full report next week.

It hit me last night how starved for adult conversation I am, coupled with how nervous I get talking to people I don’t know.  I walked home with another mother and went into full-on expository yak yak yak mode.  My husband assures me that people like me even though I do that, but I still am hoping I didn’t come off as too needy/crazy.  Because I’m really a pretty reasonable person most of the time.  Or some of it at least.

I’ve been doing a lot of ruminating on philosophy lately.  Reading After the Ecstasy, The Laundry when I have a few minutes to rub together and thinking about who I am and what I believe.  It’s sort of nice to try to let go of everything I use to define myself or know others use to define me and really reflect on the self that I am, to paraphrase Kierkegaard.  I keep little index cards that I letter and color with quotes and reminders of things that strike me as important to this journey, which is a nice little meditation on the idea contained within.   I’m feeling much more steady than I have in a while, which is such a wonderful gift.

It’s making things around the house much easier as well.  I’m not as daunted by the day-to-day tasks I have to do when I stop thinking about what I need to do next.

Meanwhile, Lucy is teaching a yoga class to her brother.  I get such a thrill out of that.

I still haven’t decided what class I’m going to take.  On one hand, I’m really excited about the idea of learning Mandarin, especially since C is taking it next semester (he went to college as a Chinese major back when he was young and impressionable) and I’ll be able to keep up with him at home.  On the other, it hit me that when I was in the hospital in the throes of the meningitis fever, I tried desperately to focus my eyes enough on the wall beside my bed because I wanted to write down what I was dreaming.  Which, I think, means I’m probably needing to get back into the habit of writing regularly because hello, I was rolling around with a fever of 104 trying to write.  The answer will come to me.

In Chico news, he got his first tooth and is crawling, only instead of getting up on his knees, he sort of throws himself forward while using his arms to determine directionality.  It looks ridiculous but is a deceptively speedy method of propulsion.

And with that I’m off to take down laundry.

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I totted up my numbers for the Riot so far this month and overall they aren’t so bad.  Except for consumer spending, but that’s getting ready for summer and, of course, making sure I have a pair of shoes I can live in until I can cram my toe into a toed shoe.  You know, important stuff.  Ok, so that is a huge excuse, but we needed a few more things to complete projects from our Recycled Crafts book, which will significantly reduce our trash numbers.  Already has, I should say, as we have saved every last plastic bottle, bottle cap, glass jar, and aluminum take-out tray.

I’m a bit concerned about our electric numbers.  I have to keep reminding myself that electric balances out over the year, so even though it looks like we’re way over, we really aren’t.  Still, I’m looking forward to losing the daily trips to school for Lucy and doing more around home.  We should end up cutting down from 20-25 kWh/week transit to closer to 6.  This week will tell us how we’re apt to look for a while.  It’ll be tough again when Lucy’s summer classes start, but it’s only twice a week instead of five times at least.

Food is, well, terrible.  Despite the start of CSA season, we’re coming in at just over 30% local, 12% bulk, 56% wet.  Our first meat/egg/dairy delivery will be on the 24th so that week should tell us if it’s going to make a significant dent in our wet totals.  I also need desperately to start hitting the Greenmarket again, and working in a biweekly trip to the bulk store.  I just don’t want food shopping to turn into a full-time job, you know?  I’m shooting for getting local to 50% for this next week, and I’m hoping the rest will naturally fall into place after that.

Trash and recycling, interestingly enough, are both really good for this past week.  Much lower than they have been, and I do think it’s in large part due to saving stuff for projects.  I’ve been cleaning out old files, though, and I fear our recycling will be high this week coming up, but it’s worth it to get more clutter cleared out.   I came across some old photos of the apartment from when we moved in, and it was marked how much less stuff we had then than we do now.  Everything out!  I wanna get back to a reasonable level of crap.

And incomp0letely unrelated to reductions or crap or anything else eco, my son has begun pushing himself up onto his knees and rocking back and forth.  It is thrilling and terrifying in that way only parenting can be.

And the other night?  C was walking him around the apartment while I scarfed down food, and he pushed himself back from C’s shoulder, looked for and made eye contact with me, and said…


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