funny Rockinrolla and a rockin’ recipe

There’s this ad that came on television during American Idol last night: a long-armed, orange muppet creature, Hungry, tempts a dieter with trays of cupcakes, cookies, pizza, when she’s just trying to relax on the couch or whatever. As in, Hungry won’t leave you alone! The Hungry Monster offers the junk food with wagging eyebrows and a flourish, and the willful dieter ignores him disdainfully, and various painful-looking things befall Hungry.

Rockinrolla: Are you KIDDING me? I would LOVE that!! Having that thing follow me around and offer me pizza all the time! I’d be all, Why sure, thank you! And they’re all trying to crush it and kill it and stuff!! That’s crazy!

~~~~~

I concocted a super-tasty veggie-tastic dinner last night, if I do say so myself:

Jamz Pinto Beans and Polenta

1. Rinse 2 cups dried pinto beans well. Soak beans in 8 cups hot (I used scalding) water for 6-8 hours. Drain and rinse again.

2. Bring to a boil 5 cups of water, 3 cups’ worth of dried veggie boullion cubes, and 1 can of cilantro and lime Rotel. Simmer for 1 1/2 hours total, with lid tilted. Add a good slosh of olive oil, 2 tablespoons nutrional yeast, and 1 teaspoon kelp granules.

3. In last 15 minutes or so of beans cooking, chop one large onion. Reserve half to top dinners. Saute one entire package of vegan chorizo with other half of chopped onion until onion is soft.

4. Follow instructions on package to make yellow corn meal mush. My recipe was so easy, and I’d never done it before: You just bring water to a boil, whisk in the corn meal and salt, and cook until thick. I added a big hunk of smart balance margarine. I’m sure this would also be good over rice, pasta, or potatoes of some variety.

5. Serve: Layer polenta, beans, cheese (if desired), sausage, and a sprinkling of chopped onions. I added chopped sundried tomatoes to mine, and Daddy J added some hot sauce.

It was fabulous.

adoption update

We went down again to see the (potential) birthparents, and once again it was great. We really do have a good relationship with them; we genuinely like them a lot and they seem to like us a lot. F and J still seem very committed and sure of their choice. F is tired of being pregnant (been there, done that) and looking forward to some future events she’s planned after the birth.

We’ve had good talks about the kind of contact and updates they’d like after the birth, and have expressed to them emphatically that if they ever want more contact, to let us know. We ate again at a relaxed, pleasant restaurant on the water and hung out for awhile. We talked some more about why they had chosen us, our lifestyles, how excited we are, and our own labor and birth experiences.

So. Yes. Things could change, things could go awry in some way, but right now, F and Rainbow appear perfectly healthy and it looks like Rainbow will be coming home with us. His due date is March 3. He’s a good size and the OB said it wouldn’t be shocking if he came a little early, although he’ll probably come around his due date.

Daddy J and I are just bowled over with this whole thing, still. They are so pleasant and fun and conscientious, just caring and nice people, and it’s amazing to us that the plan is for us to parent their baby.

milky haze

The cold was our pride, the snow was our beauty. It fell and fell, lacing day and night together in a milky haze, making everything quieter as it fell, so that winter seemed to partake of religion in a way no other season did, hushed, solemn.

~~~~~Patricia Hampl, 1981

NOT that we’ve been getting any impressive amounts of snow around here.  We’d love a nice heavy snow around here, but I’m in a different sort of milky haze.

The pumping totally sucks.
(Sorry – I could NOT resist that.)

But, yeah, I HATE pumping. At this point, following Lenore’s protocol, I have stopped with the birth control pills and started with the pumping, continuing the Domperidone (don’t EVEN ASK what a drag it was ordering from an online pharmacy – cheaper, yes, but the meds were a week late and I had to scramble to find some for the interim days) and adding the herbs blessed thistle and foengreek.

And am getting a whopping 1/8 teaspoon or so with each pumping.

***smacks forehead loudly***

AND YET I will persevere. I ordered a supplemental nursing system from Medela. You poke the soft, thin tube into baby’s mouth while he’s nursing and then adjust the flow, so, as he nurses, he’s getting formula or whatever from the bottle. And, hopefully, your milk supply increases as you go.

Which leads me to this question:

What’s the best formula? Presuming no allergies or special dietary needs?

Our boys were nursed exclusively, except when they were babysat, when they got whatever formula was free or I had a coupon for. Taste or nipple confusion were never an issue, and I didn’t really research formula because they had it so rarely. But Rainbow will have a lot of formula, at least at the beginning. I bought some Dr. Brown’s bottles that claim they reduce colic, which sounded good.

childish thoughts

I read this on this blog, Missing Eliana, and loved it.  It was written as a eulogy by Linn Keller, who recently lost someone close to him.

It’s just so beautiful and tender, and is making me cry this morning.

(I’m a child, too.)

I am a child.img_3558-21
I stand alone on the playground in the gathering dusk.
I look around and I am sad, for my friend has been called home by a Wise and Loving Parent.
I know this — I know the Parent is both wise and loving, and I know my friend is safe and warm at home — and yes, I know I will see my friend again, in the dawning of the new day.
But I am a child.
A child understands one thing:
NOW!!
A child does not understand later, or perhaps, or tomorrow; a child exists in the moment, and I am a child.
I will see my friend again in the dawning of the new day, but to a child, tomorrow is forever, an eternity.
When one of our own is called in by that Wise and Loving Parent, we look around the playground and cry for them, for there is still light enough to play.  There is still light, there is time, but my friend is gone, and I must wait.

                                                             ~~~~Linn Keller

Saturday morning

The scene: Mama Jamz’s bedroom. Breastpump accessories are scattered about the bed, new accessory parts are still in plastic wrappers. Mama Jamz is on the bed with the laptop and a cup of coffee, flavored with coconut coffee mate. Enter Rockinrolla, stage left.

Rockinrolla: What is all this stuff?

Mama Jamz: Breastpump stuff.  I was going to start pumping this morning, but I don’t have all of the parts.

Rockinrolla: (grimaces in horror and disgust) Grody… If I was a girl, I would NOT like that.  I mean, a breast pump???

Mama Jamz: Yeah, tell me about it.

~~~~~~

We had a very lovely dinner last night with one of Daddy J’s friends from college, who married her then-boyfriend after we met them, like, fourteen years ago. It’s a funny thing how, in my case, you just spend an evening with people, let fourteen years pass, and then see them again, and they’re still really fun and easy to talk to.

They hadn’t known about Wardie, and it’s strange now to both introduce him and explain that he’s no longer alive in one breath. A weird summary. And it’s very hard to try to get across the whole journey that we’ve had; to try to explain how it’s been horrific, but also beautiful in ways, and that we know he’s fine, and that he’s still with us, and not just in a metaphorical sense, and that he’s doing his own thing, too, and that sometimes we do have doubts about all of that, but mostly we don’t.

~~~~~~

Rockinrolla has a basketball game here in a little bit, which translates to the fact that I need to haul my lazy ass into the shower and become presentable. He just came in and petitioned for an omelet, and I countered with a Toast youself a bagel and have a yogurt; Mama’s cozy.

funny exchanges

Fishmaster, to Rockinrolla: Do you know what chitlins are?

Rockinrolla: Um, aren’t they little dogs?

~~~~~~~

Rockinrolla, displeased with his falafel dinner: Mama, what are falafel made out of?

Mama Jamz: Chick peas.

Rockinrolla: You know, that explains a lot.

~~~~~~~

In other news, it appears that Meat Day may have resulted in the Fishmaster contracting a nasty case of food poisoning. We suspect the chitlins, or else the hog brains. We’ll see how this unfolds; every student in the middle school was required to take a bite of every dish…

***edited to add*** The Fishmaster made a full recovery. He skipped dinner entirely with a sour, crampy stomach, but had an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie before bedtime and slept all night, and had a normal breakfast and is all perky this morning. Maybe his body was just protesting the intestines and brains he ate. I think my body would object to that treatment.

nervous little ball of stress

***sigh***

Yes, everything is going fine. The boys are wonderful, the adoption is on target, with just a couple of minor-ish bumps, Daddy J and I are great.

There are no problems here, Mama.

But, yeah, there’s plenty to fret about. I woke up at 4am and was this close to getting up for the day, because I was wide awake and couldn’t get my brain to shut up, then listened to a meditation cd and was able to zone out again.

Rockinrolla and the Fishmaster are still being really fun and getting along together. It’s so much like the old days, when they were like a couple of playful little bear cubs, only now they’re cracking me up with Mom Jeans impersonations and challenging me with questions I can’t answer.

Why does stuff burn? Why only dry stuff?

Why does the United States have a national debt? Who are we borrowing money from? Why are we borrowing money and still lending it out?

What’s up with Seal’s face?

I’m about to go solicit for the Habitat for Humanity auction, which… shudder… I DREAD doing in this economy. But, okay, I’ll soldier on. I have donation requests to hand to shopkeepers so I don’t have to deliver a long sales pitch. Gughhh. Wish me luck.

~~~~~~~

It would now be Thursday morning. I survived soliciting the town merchants with only a few cold pricklies. A couple of the shops are closing, so I skipped them entirely, although I was disappointed that my favorite shop, also closing, had a big huge sale advertised, yet was locked up.

Today is Meat Day at the Fishmaster’s school. His many efforts to bring in squirrel filets = BITTER FAILURE. Poor boy. But, go me!, I threw together a sack of exotic meat-treats in, like, fifteen minutes this morning. Homemade crab cracker spread, a can of sardines, and a can of smoked oysters, with a brand new box of fancy crackers. Great job, pantry!

I’m about to go get my hair cut. I was going to do the bob I’ve had before where it’s longer in the front than the back, but Daddy J professed his love of long hair (sigh) which for now is winning out over my burning hatred of drying it and dealing with it. I was able to get an appointment yesterday with my very favorite hairdresser, Linda, and am getting another helix cut. I’m not entirely sure it’s all that different than a regular old layered cut, but Linda is a big fan, and believes it “cuts curls in.” So, we’ll be keeping the length (a little past my shoulders) and going for shaggy waves.

Also, I have to solicit donations in the town Linda’s salon is in (yucky, yuck, yuck) and try to breezily deal with that one shop owner who JUST WON”T let you leave her shop without buying some ridiculously overpriced item. (Oh, justlookatmy great sale stuff! These $250 jeans are marked down to ONLY 90 BUXX!) Last time I ended up buying tights just to get out of there. Also, I’m going out to lunch with my mom, so, Bonus.

Prime Directives

Um, guess who got a little testy after a snow day when the boys “forgot” again that they can’t just have media whenever they feel like it…

Jamz House Boy Rules

1. NO MEDIA WITHOUT ASKING MAMA OR DADDY FIRST. This includes weekend mornings, after school, when friends are over, whenever. Media = anything that involves a screen: television, video games, computer use, videos on i-Pods.
2. NO LOADING OF PELLET GUN IN THE HOUSE. Mama is tired of finding pellets in furniture and all over the floor. Do it outside.
3. NERF WEAPONS MAY NOT BE DISCHARGED DOWNSTAIRS. You may not shoot an unarmed person, with either nerf weapons or water guns.
4. YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR TIDYING YOUR ROOM, BATHROOM, and PLAYROOM before bedtime. No clothes on the floor, drawers shut, books put away, towels hung up, trash thrown away. You may ask a friend to help you tidy up before he leaves, but if he leaves a mess, it is your responsibility to clean it up.
5. YOU MAY NOT ASK ONE PARENT, HEAR A “NO”, THEN ASK THE OTHER PARENT.
6. NO BULLYING, GANGING UP ON, TEASING, or NAME-CALLING. USE GOOD MANNERS AT ALL TIMES. BE NICE.

Violations of these or any parent directives will result in taking away of privileges or item in question for a parent-determined amount of time.

Signed: ___________________________________

___________________________________

MLK day

It’s easy to get all emotional about the country right now, even though we certainly still have a lot of things to work through. Whew – it’s a big, exciting, wonderful week.

I just looked up and printed out the text of the “I have a dream” speech for the boys and me to read this morning. I don’t think I’ve ever read the whole thing. This is from the U.S. Constitution site, transcribed from recordings in Washington, DC on August 28, 1963.

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.
But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

In a sense we have come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked “insufficient funds.” But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation.

So we have come to cash this check — a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quick sands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.

We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. They have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.

As we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, “When will you be satisfied?” We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied, as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating “For Whites Only”. We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.

Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.

I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.
This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with a new meaning, “My country, ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring.”
And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!

Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!

But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

co-sleeping paraphenalia

The boys all slept in our bed when they were little bitty, moving into a crib in our bedroom at about six months and then into their own bedrooms at about a year. We never had any problems, but I’m, um, feeling like I might want to exercise a little more caution with Rainbow, especially after the sometimes-scary co-sleeping reports I sometimes hear.

But – we will hopefully/probably be nursing frequently during the night, and I don’t want to do the zombie dance back and forth between his crib and my bed when he’s a wee fellow.

SO – does anyone have any opinions about cosleeping devices? What about this Trestria bed bump type thing? I like the sound of it, but a lot of my concern is covers and pillows from our big bed flopping over on top of him, and this doesn’t seem to address that. Yet, there’s the snuggle factor. Hm.

Or is this type of bassinet deal the ticket?

This one covers a lot of bases, but, um, I wouldn’t be able to touch Daddy J for, like, six months, if we put it between us. Can you put that item on the side of the bed, or do I also need that TresTria item to keep him from falling out?

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