• The world seems a little brighter when you have a heating pad.  You know, if your back had been hurting before and stuff.
  • Is one little COL increase so much to ask for?  (Apparently yes.)  ETA:  Two COLAs, please, one each for #1 and #2.
  • Please learn to use email.  Phone tag is not going to work.
  • I spoke truth to power at work the other day.  That was kind of weird.
  • I think we may have to buy new dishware and glassware soon.  DH and DC have had a bad week in that respect.
  • There’s a big name person in my field who introduces himself to me every time we meet.  This wouldn’t be so bad if I hadn’t spent a summer working for him.  At least he’s always impressed with my work when he introduces himself.  Not impressed enough to remember it the next time we meet though.
  • Health insurance out of pocket costs doubled this year.  I hate these real wage cuts.
  • DC’s favorite stuffed animal is the one we got for ~$1500.  Ze calls it, “bead bear” in honor of the event and cuddles with it every night.  Dog, bear, and little bear have all been set aside.
  • Wooeee we sure spent a lot on credit cards last month.  Thousands of dollars of conference fees, airfare etc. for the summer.  It’ll be reimbursed but man do we need that $$ cushion.  (Yes, we can use the university card, BUT new rule says we need permission for the trip before use and it takes a month or more to get permission, so by the time we get permission the airfare costs have skyrocketed.  So we go the pay and reimburse route instead.)
  • My eyelid is twitching uncontrollably.  I really hate when this happens.  Rrrrrr. (#1 says, me too).
  • If you enjoy exercising in 100 degree highly humid weather, well, bully for you.  That does not mean that everybody should or could do it.  There’s a reason the South didn’t grow much in population until the invention of air conditioning.
  • DC’s learning and growth is what DH calls a “punctuated equilibrium.”  All of a sudden we wake up (late) one morning and DC is an inch taller and can do money, time, and addition and subtraction with regrouping as if ze had never had any problem with it.  (Also potentially a new attitude problem of not listening to teachers.  We’re hoping it’s a phase.)  How did that happen?
  • Run DMC says, don’t be a hater.
  • A lot of my most stressful bad dreams take place in airports, where I am trying to catch a plane but being stymied by ongoing hurdles.  I wonder what this says about me.

Adventures in ending cosleeping

Small Town, Red State is very big into self-denial and pain when it comes to parenting.  If it isn’t difficult, you must be spoiling your kid with bad habits.  Especially when it comes to sleeping.  Of course, the bad habits for infants thing is just a myth from Western culture.  Our Babies Ourselves is an awesome book that explains these kinds of issues from an anthropological perspective and shows how sleep and other things happen in different cultures.  Modern western sleeping is very different than the rest of the world and the rest of time.

There’s also biochemical reasons new moms can’t bear to listen to their babies Cry It Out (CIO).  When the baby is is older the scream isn’t so painful, just annoying.  That’s kind of evolution’s way of letting you know that it’s ok to wait a bit.  (Sadly, moms who were CIO too young or neglected when they themselves were young infants can lose this biochemical connection with their own children.  PubMed can be depressing.  Note:  Experts recommend not doing CIO until the baby is at least 6 months old.)

At first I was terrified that my baby would die, so I would not allow cosleeping.  Hard surface with baby monitor (that had a lot of noisy false negatives) only.  Eventually baby fell asleep on dad’s tummy several times in a row and didn’t die, and I relented (also I read about SIDS and cosleeping from the Notre Dame sleep lab and found out we were ok).  We then coslept, which was awesome because I got to cuddle DC, and most importantly, I could nurse when ze got hungry without anybody waking up.  Ze would just grab for the breast and suck.  My sleep cycles matched hirs perfectly (except when routines changed like with growth spurts), and we all got nice amounts of sleep (absent growth spurts, tummy aches, teething etc.).  Eventually ze night weaned but we still coslept.

We transitioned from cosleeping to DC having hir own bed over the course of a week when DC was almost 3 (something like 2 years 9 months) and our bed got too small for the three of us.

It was super easy.  We used Super Nanny technique #2.  We explained to hir about hir own bed, did our bedtime routine (snack, bath, book, ze gets to stay in bed with book).  Night one, one of us laid next to hir.  Night two, one of us sat on the bed.  Night three, one of us sat in a chair next to the bed.  Night four, we moved the chair closer to the door.  Then each consecutive night we got closer to the door until the chair was out.  If ze got fussy, we moved a bit closer– always as far away as hir comfort level would let us.  And that was it.  No more cosleeping.

[Ed:  Update:  DH reminds me that he did one of the nights crouching over DC cuddling and that was moderately painful for him.  I did not have any contortionary problems during my night turns.]

Now ze is about to start kindergarten and does not want to sleep in our bed, does not want us to sleep in hir bed.  It’s funny how possessive ze is.  Occasionally ze comes in for cuddles on Saturday morning but that’s really it.  Even if one of us is traveling and the bed is free, ze just prefers hir own.

We do let hir fall asleep at night whenever ze wants to (sometimes with encouragement from us to turn the light out).  Ze can stay up and read in hir room as late as ze wants, so we don’t have the problem of bedtime delaying tactics.  Sometimes ze even turns hir own light out.

I think the folks with the 10 and 12 year old cosleepers (if they actually exist) are ones for whom cosleeping was always a forbidden treat.  We got lots of warnings about that in the delivery room.  DC is always welcome in our bed for cuddles, ze just prefers hir own.

So that’s the grumpy rumblings how-to on how to get your older cosleeper sleeping in hir own bed.  Totally stolen from Supernanny.   Just one more installment in the Grumpy Rumblings series, “We did everything they say you’re not supposed to do as a parent, mostly from laziness, and yet DC still turned out perfect.”  (See also:  baby food, guilt, potty training, daycare, etc.)

Were there any things you did as a parent that people told you would cause bad habits, but in the end didn’t?

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I blame the patriarchy (more and more)

Since starting this blog I’ve become a lot more aware of the patriarchy.  I don’t have any formal feminist training, and not much previous exposure except through #2.  (#2 keeps sending links and rants, though.)

However, working on this blog has put me in contact with a lot of fantastic bloggers who have, through discussions and explanations, opened my eyes.

The problem with being aware of the patriarchy is that it makes me angry.  In the past, when I would come across someone being an -ist asshat, but not an overt -ist asshat, I’d feel that something was wrong and not be able to put my finger on it.  I’d counter any empirical claims that were untrue, but didn’t really understand the structure of why the asshat was making those claims and how even making obviously untrue claims is supporting the patriarchy.

I get a lot more angry these days. I see how the patriarchy is causing guilt, inequality, inferiority and keeping people down.  If I point it out, sometimes I’m silenced, and that makes me angry and sad.

But, at the same time, I wouldn’t ask my eyes to be closed again.  Although I burn more frequently with righteous anger, and complain more to #2 and to my partner… I don’t feel half as insecure about things the patriarchy keeps people insecure about as I used to.  More and more I’m recognizing the cues that are supposed to make me feel bad or guilty and from achieving and I’m rejecting them.  The senior professor for whom I keep quiet about my research because it makes him feel bad that he’s no longer doing research… saving his feelings doesn’t help me, and comes back to bite me when he tells me I’m not living up to my earlier promise.  Nor do I need to let him have the only good RA year after year just because he’s a senior professor and an old white male to boot (especially when the most junior is supposed to get hir first pick…  Update:  he got the good RA anyway.  Asshat.).  That’s just the latest realizations.  It’s not my job to save people’s feelings by denigrating or denying myself.  I don’t have to feel guilty for my work/family/etc. situation.

I conclude with a recent exchange with #2.

me: most of all, you know what I hate?
#2: patriarchy?
me : summer heat
that too
#2: oh, that too
hate hate hate
me: if only we could make the patriarchy stay outside in the heat
“you be useful and mow the lawn”
“that’s a manly thing to do”
#2: ha
me: I will allow the patriarchy to mow my lawn.
#2: fair enough. Since that’s what makes you have to have it instead of xeriscaping like a sane being.
me: exactly

Have you had an eye opening experience like this one?

Prom memorie$

Here’s an interesting article on the cost of prom for kids these days.  The article quotes a Visa survey that finds the average family with a high schooler spends $807 on the whole Prom kit and kaboodle.  They say 1/4 of students don’t go because the cost is too high.  One thing I don’t understand is why some couples think the limo etc. part is so necessary that they eschew the entire prom experience if they can’t get the car and all the other accessories.  The ticket prices they quote in the article are $65-$150, which is not cheap, but a lot smaller than $807.

IIRC, prom was $85/ticket when we were in high school.  So I’m not really seeing prices going up all that awful much for the tickets.

I didn’t go.  I couldn’t afford it (though several years later my parents paid for my sister to go to a cotillion, complete with wedding dress and misogyny, but I digress).  My partner’s family probably had money for it and no doubt would have paid for my ticket (and I did have a dress I could have worn).  But to be honest, the money issue was only tiny.  One of my anxieties that I haven’t gotten treatment for is ocholophobia which manifests itself for me in feelings of extreme claustrophobia in situations in which I am in the middle of a large crowd of closely packed people who are standing.  I assume I was trampled to death in a previous life.  I’m fine in opera houses and at plays where folks are seated and orderly.   Can’t do rock concerts, definitely cannot do dances.  It hasn’t bothered me since high school, as in most of life one is not being forced to go to crowded dances or concerts.

So instead my boyfriend and I had a lovely weekend together doing low key things like hitting up the ice cream parlor.  I think I may have had a rasmetazberry fudge sundae.  I miss that ice cream shop!  Why don’t they have turtle sundaes outside the midwest?  I know I could make them, but it’s a pain to salt and toast pecans… and if we had the ingredients on hand I would gain lots of weight.

Back when I was a freshman taking Algebra II, I learned a lot about what goes on at the pre-parties and after-parties.  Very interesting.  If I were a parent of one of those kids, I would be worried.

#2, who I am sure will correct me if I misremember, went to prom twice, and had a magical evening both times.  Though the first time she went with a jerk (the first in a series of, shall we say, imperfect guys), the second time she went with the perfect guy (for her, which is what matters), who I totally approve(d) of.  I’m also vaguely remembering a gorgeous madrigal dress, but that may be something separate.

Did you go to prom?  How much did it cost?  How did you pay for it?  Was it everything you dreamed of?  If you didn’t go, then what did you do instead?

Book movies

Almost always the book is better than the movie, even when the movie is pretty good.

Princess Bride.  Fantastic movie.  Even better book.

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh.  Book = awesome.  Movie = suck.

The list here is pretty well endless…

Sometimes the movie is better than the book… this is especially true with messed up children’s classics.

Peter Pan.  Messed up book.  Seriously messed up.  And the opposite of feminist.  Blech.  Always with an underlying creepiness.  The movie isn’t much better in terms of feminism, but the creepiness is mostly gone.  Peter Pan isn’t so thoughtless… he doesn’t almost lose the children on the way to Neverland in the movie.  Tink doesn’t almost kill Wendy in the movie.

Pinocchio.  Similarly messed up and creepy.  The movie doesn’t bank you over the head quite so much.

Mary Poppins.  (I wouldn’t say the movie is better, but it is certainly different!)  No way could sweet Julie Andrews play the Mary Poppins from the book.  They’re very different stories… somehow the movie omits the lady whose fingers turn into candy when she breaks them off her hands.  Among many other things.

The 39 Steps.  (Not a children’s book!)  What can I say, I’m a sucker for romance.  And you know, the existence of female characters (of which the movie has several, swapping genders of book characters).  Also, the movie keeps what is charming about the British colonial period (Cricket…) and jettisons what is not (antisemitism, etc.)

Rebecca.  You may disagree, but the book is so dark and so depressing.  The movie is all that, but adds some hope!  Some reason to actually care about the main characters.  I like that.

Can you think of any books that were made into movies where the movie was better?  Or where the book was crazy better?  Or where you loved the movie and were then blown away by the book?

These… are the Links of our lives.

Farm subsidies are not only a huge waste of money and a distortion of the economy, but they’re also making us fat.  Conservative or liberal, we should be against them.

Speaking of utter paranoia (have crimes against children increased?), here is some high-quality rage going on in a fascinating rant and comments thread. To be clear, we here at Grumpy Rumblings support safety for kids and are 100% against child abuse. But sometimes a misguided focus drains resources away from real ways to solve real problems.  (#2 points out:  Maybe abuse etc. is down because kids are never left alone anymore: if crime is down that doesn’t mean people are paranoid, even if they are paranoid.  Still #2 wishes there were still roaming bands of neighborhood kids that she could send her DC out to play with when ze is bouncing off the walls.)  Related:  link stolen from a Ianqui in the village.  Don’t read it if you have kids and are liable to care about whether or not you’re destroying them based on other people’s opinions.

We at Grumpy Rumblings suggest that Historiann take a small break from posting excellent posts and post some cruddy stuff instead so we can leave her off next week’s link love.  In the mean time, pop over there and see what she’s written.  Start with this one on female physicians opting out.  Related:  Wandering scientist comments on the same article, as does Dr. Isis.  This last response from a physician on motherlode is pitch perfect.  This one on scientopia has the best comments of all.  I think I agree more with Dr. Isis about the experience thing than I do with Historiann (in her comments, not in the main piece), especially since according to an NPR story I heard the other year, women able to cut back to part-time are cutting back by cutting out paperwork and red-tape working for HMOs and large group practices rather than cutting down face time with patients.  I’m not really sure that a few years down a few hours a week is really such a big deal for patient outcomes, especially as Wandering Scientist points out that many of these doctors are probably working too much to be safe or efficient.  (Atul Gawande has some horror stories in that respect!  Nurses with checklists!)  Obviously the experience/outcome profile for doctors varies by profession and is an empirical question, but I tend to doubt we’re seeing that much of a reduction in quality.  Especially given that much of the job of these GPs and so on for complicated cases in the US system is to refer patients to specialists, not to make difficult diagnoses themselves.  (And, as a commenter pointed out, much of this work is done nowadays by NPs in any case.)

Boxcarkids blog is back from hiatus and they’re buying a new trailer!  I hope she gets a job soon.  Also:  Molly on Money finally got health insurance.  Read about her saga here.

I’ve often wondered when one should use an ETF vs. an index fund.  Here’s a cnn post on that.

FeMomhist with graphs and charts asking where are the women in the history profession?  My discipline used to put out these charts every year showing the pipeline dwindling, “The status of women in X” but for some reason they’ve stopped.   Which is a shame because just eyeballing, we are doing a lot better than we had been, and the norm now seems to be one pre-tenure baby which was unheard of when I did it.

Question:  Should people who don’t need help with personal finance be allowed to read and comment on personal finance blogs, such as Get Rich Slowly?  In any case, we think we’ll take a bit of a break from personal finance blogs (though not from ET, SMRM, FGA, etc. etc.) as perhaps our insightful summative comments make other people feel insecure.  We’re still going to bring baked goods to private functions, whether that makes folks feel insecure or not.  The nice thing about the internet is that, unlike most of real life, if something annoys you, you can leave.

I’ve had this song stuck in my head all week!

We always love it when there’s a new Simon’s Cat video.  They’re funny because they’re true:


I can’t believe it has been 11 years of marriage.  We’re getting old!  And this year marks the year that we’ve spent more than half our lives together. We’ve got a beautiful small child, and two adorable kitties.  And a wonderful future ahead of all of us.

We’ve checked off the standard list of accomplishments and accouterments together:  education, jobs, cars, house, steady retirement savings.  We’ve got dreams for the future. But even without any of those life would still be wonderful because together we can accomplish anything.

We’ve been poor, we’ve been stressed, we’ve been through heart-break and celebration.  You’ve been my rock and help-meet and partner through it all.

We can finish each other’s sentences, but even still surprise each other with new ideas, new thoughts, new ways to grow.  Even terrible new puns.  You calm me when I’m irritated and feed me when I’m hypoglycemic.  You help me find rational solutions to any kind of problem.  I’m never afraid when you’re there to help me.  I trust you with anything and know that you will always take care of me, just like I will always take care of you. You make me a better person.  And more than that, you make me happy.

Every single day I think about how blessed I am to have found you. Happy Anniversary!

Related posts:  The proposalThe wedding. Now please join #2 in wishing #1 and her husband many more happy years together!