25 March 2009

More Miscellany

I can't believe it has been literally months since I posted. Lots have happened. I have become addicted to Twitter... a really good time waster but sometimes you do find things you would never have known...

I am a bit of a balletomane... So this came across my line of sight...

If the girls were a bit bigger and I was a little closer, they would be dragged to the free classes...even though they are Feld... (sorry - just not a big fan)

The Gap Launches Ballet Concept Store

Posted using ShareThis

Another thing I found today was Shel Silverstein narrating a cartoon of the Giving Tree... very sweet.


23 October 2008

Miscellany I found in the news today

First an article about crib deaths due to faulty equipment

Next an article about Anthropologist Louise Lamphere's landmark legal case against Brown University and how she now is giving back to Brown... My only question is where did a college professor get that kind of money????


A hilarious website that uses Sarah Palin's voice against her...

And just one more about my alma mater, a video for recruiting to Penn

15 October 2008

Bottled water has contaminants too, study finds (AP)

Here in Pound Ridge everyone has well water. One of the challenges of living here besides chronically dry skin is the fact that the water is undrinkable. We had it tested and discovered that it contains high levels of calcium and magnesium - a hardness of 11!!!!!! So we always drink bottled water because drinking tap water around here is like drinking milk of magnesia (at least I don't have to worry about my bone density!) Now, with this article, we have to buy the expensive stuff - We had been buying the Acadia because it was a full 50 cents a gallon cheaper but I guess you get what you pay for. Good old NYC water - I miss water that didn't turn my hair to orange frizz, age my skin 30 years with each shower (even my daughters need moisturizing and they are only 17 mos old), and that I could drink without getting disentary!!!!

read more | digg story

06 October 2008

Talking Hands Question Answered

Just to let all of you know that the sign spaceship belongs to the vehicle category - NOT airplane category of signs...
See http://commtechlab.msu.edu/sites/aslweb/browser.htm

The 3 handshape with the middle and index fingers pressed together is moved above the head from one side of the body to the other side. The handshape represents a vehicle and in this sign the vehicle is a spacecraft.

Good Read....

Well - I have finally been doing it! I have read four books in the past two months. Now this may sound like a lot or a little depending on who you are and your reading style. Before triplets, I used to "eat" books - a 3/4 books a week kind of person. One of the biggest downsides of motherhood for me has been the "Mommy brain". I don't know if this has to do with hormone levels or sleep deprivation or the need to be ever vigilant and notice details about your babies to keep them alive and safe but for the longest time (well over a year) I couldn't read more than the directions on a baby Tylenol box. I knew this was a serious problem when we got two cars when we moved here (a Honda Oddessey and a used Mercedes ) and I did not read the manuals before driving them. This was one of the things that I used to do - the result was that it took me over 15 minutes to figure out how to turn on the lights the first time I had to pick Steve up at the train station after dark.

Anyway, back to the point of this post - I just read Talking Hands by Margalit Fox. (http://www.talkinghandsbook.com/) It is a wonderful wonderful book. In my pre-Mommie days, I was a linguistic anthropologist but I was never overly interested in sign language. Yes, I knew that a lot of data about human language ability came from such studies but it just never really interested me. I wish I had this book when I was teaching intro to Linguistics. Fox, a journalist with degrees in Linguistics, tells a story of her visit to a Bedouin town in Israel where everyone - both deaf and hearing - signs a local sign language that is 70? years old. She tags along with a team of researchers who are documenting and studying this langauge. The book's chapters alternate between the story of her visit and the context of why what is being studied is significant. It covers all the major points of an introductory linguistics class - not in detail but at a high enough level that the reader can understand why such things are studied. If I ever teach that again, I have to remember to use this book. The main did-you-know-s I got out of this are:
1- There was a local signing community on Martha's Vineyard through the early part of the 20th century
2- Deaf people can get Broca's or Wernicke's aphasia in the same way that hearing people do save it is with their signs
3- I have to research this - in ASL, there are two categories of transportation, one for airplanes and one for everything else. So, is the Space Shuttle a kind of airplane? Or is it something else?

It was a great read. I felt like my brain was working again and all the topics that I used to love came back to me.

16 September 2008

11 September 2008

Is this my tiny baby?

Over the weekend we went to Wellesley, MA for a family lifecycle event. Steve's twin second cousins, Drew and Zach were making bar mitzvah. The whole clan came together for the occasion. It was good to see them. The speech made by Beth, the mother of the boys had me in happy tears. There she was watching them become "men" - in the sense of responsible to themselves and she did not know how it happened. I looked down at my three little dark curly heads and lost it. I am not ready for them to be independent big people. I do not know if I ever will be. Yes, it is annoying to have to carry Syd around all day long when she doesn't feel well. I do call her a "Diva". I already look at them and ask, "where are my babies?" They are all toddling - ready for shoes. I am not ready for them to get so big. While I marvel and enjoy every stride they make, after all they were two months premature and were not supposed to be so healthy. Do not get me wrong - I am grateful that they are so healthy, happy and developing at a normal pace. I am just not ready to send them out to explore the world. Yet, I know I have to.

At this same convocation of the Mann Clann, I spent some time speaking with the boys' aunt who has two children of her own - Emma and Izzie - two lovely, loving little girls. Like me, she thought she was going to go back to work as soon as the 3 months were up and then she couldn't bring herself to leave them. We had a long talk about how the two of - well-educated, feminist, professional women who do not know what to do with themselves because they NEED to be available for their babies.
In Liz's case, her girls are in the first and third grades. I have a long way to go till my role changes that much (thank goodness!) but I am still in that track.

I have full time help so leaving them would not be hard on them. It would be heart wrenching for me. While I sometimes toodle on the computer and pretend to ignore them for my own sanity (although I do not accomplish much), there isn't a meal that I do not know what they ate, a complaint that they have that I do not know about and a new accomplishment that I do not share. Just now, this writing was interrupted by Molly biting Gim and Mommie being called into service to kiss the boo-boo. I do not know how I could miss out on this...but that means I miss out on an outside life.

So what is a smart, independent, well-educated, professional woman to do?

I always said tongue-in-cheek that being pregnant and having a baby doesn't take all day. I was wrong. It is a primal, visceral thing that takes over your whole being the moment that those little unfocused eyes look into yours. The instant that little hot body is held next to you - you are done FOREVER. I didn't think it would be that way. I was never a "baby" person but having one or three changes EVERYTHING,

02 September 2008

Republicans and Women: the Sarah Palin Nomination

Well since everyone is talking about her and I am thinking about it, I decided to muse aloud to my audience. Having my daughters has changed a whole lot of how I think.

First off, I must publicly announce that I used to be a Republican. I was a Reagan Republican until about 9-10 years ago. Yes, my leaving the Republican party coincided with my marriage but it also coincided with the impeachment of President William Jefferson Clinton. I was a Republican because they represented the class (the self-made and parentally-made wealthy) to which I aspired. I enjoyed Nancy Reagan's Galanos gowns and classic suits. I enjoyed the gentility and self-reliance that being Republican embodied. Then came the Monica Lewinsky brou-ha-ha. I was and am still appalled. How anyone could call themselves gentlepersons and publicly probe into an indiscretion such as that is beyond me? The men who called themselves Republicans were no gentlemen. They were abusive to women. Their probe did not hurt President Clinton - it hurt the women around him - his wife, his underage daughter and that foolish young woman who let herself be seduced by a handsome, powerful man. When this happened, I could not longer associate with people that had such poor manners and morals. I resigned from the party.
Now we have the Republicans bringing up a woman as an equal - part of the party- ready to serve with the same good ole boys that humiliated those other innocent women. Yes, she is tough - she hunts moose and handles firearms well - but the other thing about her is that she is a wife and mother with strong ties to her children and husband. I think to myself - how could she be part of them? Those who have no respect for family privacy. Her life has already been torn open for all to see - the deficits of her youngest child - the foibles of her eldest. It is one thing to risk yourself in the political arena but to risk your children is not acceptable to me. I am in agreement with Sen. Obama in saying that one's children were off limits in the political arena. One's children should always be off limits to outsiders. We are there to protect them in every possible way no matter what it means to our own hopes, dreams and safety.

Now this is why the Sarah Palin nomination confuses me. On one hand, she waves the pro-life flag pointing to her youngest as a gift from G-d that others would have aborted. On the other, she volunteers to leave him at the tender age of 5 months to go on the campaign trail. My daughters are now almost 16 months old and I have been away from them for exactly one night and I could not wait to get back to them.
As Gov. Palin is being set up as the poster mom for the Pro-life movement, I should be set up right next to her on the opposite side. I did not marry until late in life when my fertility was already waning. It isn't that I didn't want to marry - it just did not happen. From practically the moment we agreed to marry, my husband and I tried to conceive. We tried on our own for a year and then went to the doctor... and went to the doctor...and went to the doctor. We spent literally thousands of dollars trying to have a baby with multiple miscarriages and heartache. On our final try, we hit the jackpot - I had three thriving embryos. All the medical personnel tried to convince me that I should reduce the pregnancy to two or one. (this is dr-speak for partially aborting a multiple pregnancy). I refused. I refused not because I do not believe in abortion but because I knew I would not be able to live with myself if I had ended one of their lives. To think of who might be missing now is horrifying. It was my job to bring them into this world - healthy. I went though almost 5 months of bedrest to bring them here and it was worth it. I understand how others might have made different choices along the decision tree- some women would have quit trying with the first HSG test - others when they had to give themselves shots every night - others when they had to have anesthesia for retrieval - others on the first failure ... I also understand how someone might not want triplets and would reduce - both for her own health and for the health of the baby/ies as well as for the ability to care for the children once they are born. It isn't easy taking care of triplets. It is a very PERSONAL decision and no woman or man should or can tell another what it right - it is from inside the mother and it is among her, her children and her G-d. You cannot legislate that feeling nor should you. That is where the my choice in Pro-choice comes from - you have to listen to your heart tell you what is right. A law is not going to tell you that. In the case of Mrs. Palin, she seems very gung ho about bringing life into this world - and that is to be applauded. In my opinion she does not treat that life once it gets here as preciously as I would. If so, she would not allow her children be the subject of public speculation - she would not/could not leave her youngest to be on the campaign trail or even risk her milk supply by volunteering for such physical hardship as campaigning. How am I supposed to entrust my country to her when she isn't even protecting her own babies ? I just can't...