mothering bodies ~ adoption ~ alt.gender ~ parenting ~ work/life balance

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


So: I'm two years post-hysterectomy and I get diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). What that means is that all of my comfort foods are making me sick.

As is eating too much.

Or too little.

Or waiting too long to eat.

And if obsessing about eating or not eating isn't enough, stress also makes me sick such that by "sick" I mean that I either have looks-four-months-pregnant bloat with gas pains, constipation, or diarrhea.

Oh, womanhood is so glamorous!

So this summer I gave up the following:

1. chocolate
2. caffeine
3. dairy
4. white bread
5. baked goods

Then I went on vacation for two weeks and was A Very Good Girl on week #1. By week 2, I had fallen so far off the wagon that it ran me over.


More stomach issues ensued and so I have now dragged my sorry, bloated carcass back onto the wagon. The wagon of salad and probiotics. And decaf soy lattes. The wagon kind of sucks sometimes.

It would be easier to give up all of these goodies, I think, if all of them made me sick EVERY time I ate or drank them. But sometimes they treat me right.

See? It's like reverse Pavlov.

Or something.

Right? Oh, who cares? I'm tired and bitchy from caffeine withdrawal.

Gimme a baby carrot.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Happy New Year!

The beginning of the academic year brings a mix of emotions to us university professors: sadness at the ending of summer; joy at reconnecting with students and faculty; and the anticipation of holidays. 

And, yet, we academics look at holidays differently than the rest of the family--hell, differently than the rest of the country. 

For those of you with an academic in your life, I offer the following primer as insight into why our eyes glaze over in horror in reaction to holiday dinner invitations or the conversation opener: “What are you doing over the holidays?” 

I’ll start at the beginning of the year, which for academics is the end of summer.

Mid to late August means for academics: Happy New Year! For everyone else: end of summer

Labor Day: Final syllabus cram!  ... BBQ!

Columbus Day: Midterms! ... Sales!

Thanksgiving: Grading Catchup!  ... Family Turkey Time!

December 22:  Start holiday shopping!  ... Ready for the holidays!

Christmas/Hannukah: Sleep! ... Turkey Family time!

January 1: Spring syllabus planning! ... Happy New Year!

Easter: Midterms! ... Easter!

Mid-May: Summer! ... Rainy season.

So the next time you invite an academic over for Thanksgiving dinner and he or she asks if you have wifi, just remember: s/he’s trying to figure out how to balance enjoying that dinner with you, but s/he’ll be working on a laptop during the big game.

Happy holidays!