Category Archives: Life, the Universe, and Everything

For everything that doesn’t fit elsewhere.

Dear RMB

Dear Raising My Boychick,

I’ve been cheating on you.

It’s not you, though, it’s me, really. I’m too tired, too time poor, too unable to write long pieces in short bursts in the five minutes at a time I have most days.

(OK, it’s a little bit you, too: you’re just too good. I’ve built you up over the years into something beautiful — if I may say so — something hard to live up to, and some days hard to live with.)

So I started playing around. Just a bit, at first, just for fun, very nearly on a dare, almost just to see what would happen. And, well, I didn’t mean it to, but things got a little serious.

Not a lot, though. One of the things I love about this, let’s say “side project”, is I don’t have to be too serious. There are a lot of quickies.

And, not that I don’t still love you, but this “side project” really gets me, and doesn’t mind that my interests are a bit different, what with the baby around. I keep wanting to talk about food, and you, well, you’ve never given me the feeling that’s something you’re into. Sure, I can bring it up every once in a while, and you’ll let me natter on, but, I get the feeling that you’re sitting there thinking “I hope she doesn’t expect me to be like one of those blogs.”

I don’t want to leave you, though! You’re still my first love, my one true blog, but I hardly have time to sit down with you these days, and, don’t hate me, but your phone interface is… a little clunky. I’d rather just sit and think by myself than bother, sorry to say.

I really think that if you’ll spend some time with the “side project”, you’ll see how much you have in common, really, and how you two can fit together in my life. We all care about gender and social justice, about bodies and parenting, about finding our way out of kyriarchy. You and I, we’re just about all that through the lens of raising the kids, of surviving as a queer fat crazy woman with children. So let’s keep doing that.

But I’ll also be spending time thinking and talking and caring about food and surviving in a rather more daily-need sort of way with Feeding My Boychick. She’s made me so happy in our brief time together.

I hope you’ll forgive me, and that we can grow stronger together through this. I’m sure when we get a chance to sit down and think it through, we can figure out how all three of us can live together in joy.

Your blogger,
Arwyn

Six reasons I haven’t been blogging

I know, you’re not supposed to blog about why you haven’t been blogging. (Of course, you know how fond of blogging rules I am.) But I have been so. very. busy. in a not-online-for-blogging kind of way, and I thought you might like to know why.

Reasons 1-4

(Please forgive my horrid photography, though the disco pink is a product of the heat lamp.)

One week old

Allow me to introduce the Timechooks. Fore-left is Perpugillium Brown (Peri), and nearly hidden behind her is Melanie Bush (Mel). To the right fore is Leela of the Sevateem, and right aft, the yellow fluffball, is Nyssa of Traken.1

Yes, they are all named after companions of the Doctor. Yes, I am unrepentantly geeky. Yes, I really am ok with this.

For context, because to some people this seems sudden — first I did not have chickens, and then I started talking about getting chickens, and a week later, Timechooks! — but in truth I have known I wanted chickens for longer than I knew I wanted children. And a mere 8 years, 2,500 miles, 4 houses, 1 mortgage, and 2 children later: chickens!

I am more than a little excited. Allow me to show you an interpretive dance of how excited I have been the last month:

Excited like Leela with the Doctor's permission to cut someone

But that is not all! Oh no! That box Leela is doing her Dance of Joy in, under Nyssa’s calm and watchful eye? That would be during an early stage of…

Reasons 5-6

Gardens galore

Veggie beds! And portable strawberry beds2! And no dog poop!3 A month and a half ago, this corner of our yard was grass and shit and sun. Because for once Portland in Springtime has been cooperative (yay sunny weekends!), and because I Was Determined, there are now two fully installed up and running vegetable beds (and strawberry beds!). Although obviously I hope we are able to harvest food from here, at this point I almost don’t care4 because I am so very proud of how much I have been able to do.

How proud? This proud:

A boy and his (garden) bed

So very proud. And hammy.

BUT THAT’S NOT ALL!

Reasons the next

Having acquired chickens and installed a vegetable garden, the next several weeks will be spent building a coop to house the chickens and a fence to keep the two apart. And somewhere in there I have to finish painting my office (friends are staying with us in a couple months and would probably appreciate having some place other than the cupboard under the stairs5 to do it in), cook, clean, parent, and, y’know, not go crazy.

And I want to tell you about why these things are/are not amazingly good for my mental health, the joy in finally putting in to action desires I’ve had for nearly a decade, the satisfaction and pride of completing a project I’ve set out to do, the humility in realizing I cannot do it all (at least not at once), the sheer fun (and feminist implications) of working with power tools, and so much more –

But if you’ll excuse me, I have to go buy lumber.

  1. Their breeds, respectively, are Ameraucana, Speckled Sussex, Welsummer, and Buff Orpington. Now you know.
  2. Made out of old PAX drawers from IKEA we hadn’t yet gotten around to tossing out, which yes I do believe was exceptionally clever of me.
  3. Note: There is probably still dog poop.
  4. Note: I care very much.
  5. No really! We have a cupboard under the stairs! It is, I swear unto you, for reasons indiscernible but please someone become a multibillionaire writing a story why, pink!

BEARS. IN. SPACE!

Ok, so not actually bears, but rather teeny tiny extremophiles — nicknamed water bears, properly called tardigrades — but I still think this video, and this phylum, is pretty much the best thing ever.

Yes, it includes a Doctor Who reference. But really, that’s almost superfluous to the awesome. (Almost.)

Watch:

(I’m typing this one-fingered, stretching to reach the keyboard, so I’m not doing a transcript, but if anyone does or finds one, please share!)

Happy birthday to meeeee

I swear to gods I was going to do a not-complaining, holy-shit-this-is-surreal, goodbye-20s-hello-30s, by-the-way-kyiarchy-sucks post. But y’know that probable-cellulitis I had? Turns out was an abscess (possibly with secondary cellulitis). And the antibiotics I took for it? Turns out I’m allergic (or sensitive. or whatever.). So today, when I am 30 for the first time, and home alone for the first time with the Vulva Baby whilst The Man1 is at work and the Boychick is at school? I’m completely covered, scalp to soles2, with an unfuckingbelievably itchy rash. Really, it’s almost comical.

Almost.

Give it 10 years.

  1. Whose birthday it also is, poor dude.
  2. SOLES! Two things should never itch, and they are PALMS and SOLES and ALL MINE DO.

How to make a Boychick and his sibling: two birth equations

First birth
+March 15
+41 weeks 2 days
+waited until “ok, you can come now”
+10lb 6oz
+born in the caul
+2 hours pushing
+waterbirth
+vertex
+apprentice made it
+midwife showed up 5 minutes later
+3 skidmarks
+didn’t nurse for 24 hours
+placenta came after 2 hours, after cutting cord
+penis
= Boychick

Second birth
+Sept 1
+12:20am
+40 weeks 2 days
+came 5 days before we’d hoped
+8lb 6oz
+water broke before labor
+30 minutes active labor
+20 minutes pushing
+waterbirth
+surprise breech
+surprise unassisted
+midwife & apprentice arrived 30 minutes after
+1 skidmark
+latched on within 5 minutes
+placenta came after 15 minutes
+vulva
= Sibling1

=

Three hours old.

(I hope to have a full birth story up within the week, but we also got the keys to the new house today and want to sleep there by Monday night, so I’m, y’know, a bit busy. I’d planned to ask some of my favorite bloggers for guest posts during my babymoon, and have a couple lined up already, but if you have or could offer anything, please email me at arwyn at raisingmyboychick dot com. Thank you!)

(PS BABY!)

The Boychick took this photo -- 18 hours old

  1. Blog moniker TBD.