Saturday, September 29, 2012

Green Chile Stew (recipe link!), Croup, and Times to Avoid Reading Anything by Suzanne Collins

//Check out my recipe for Green Chile Stew here. Approved by 100% of New Mexicans that have tried it (that is, just Ian).//

Ian was born and raised in New Mexico, the only state that has its own question: "Red or Green?" Yes, those from The Land of Enchantment are a little fanatical about their chiles.

I'll come back to the chiles, I promise.

Ten days ago, Felicity and I both fell ill on the same evening. I developed some sort of horrible flu, despite having recently obtained my annual flu shot, which involved a terrible sore throat, throbbing headache, body aches, shivering, and a highish fever. As a note, if you're coming down with the flu, for the sweet love of god, stay away from The Hunger Games series and pick up some Jane Austen. Seriously, worst and possibly the most terrifying night of sleep I've ever had.

My symptoms improved the next day, although I've had some sort of lingering cold since. It's the kind of cold that seems to have new symptoms every day; every morning I wake up, and it feels like the first day of a cold. So strange.

But Felicity fared even worse. Overnight, her poor little body decided to attack itself, and she developed croup. I hadn't heard of anyone getting croup. When I hear 'croup,' I think about Anne of Green Gables and ipecac,* no lie. But yes, Felicity sounded like a dying seal, was diagnosed with croup by a kindly working pediatrican on a Saturday morning, and was promptly treated with a course of steroids to try to avoid death.

Poor Felicity also still has a cold.

Any good New Mexican will tell you to stuff your face with green chile stew before flu season, during flu season, and if you feel a twinge in your throat or nose. I am married to such a New Mexican, and my mother-in-law is such a New Mexican. She, in her goodness, mailed us a care package with a good five pounds of green chiles, with some red and green chile powder in addition. (I must take a moment to brag: I seriously have the best mother-in-law; she skypes with Felicity and me almost every day, is always encouraging and thoughtful, raised one really fine son that treats his two ladies like gold, and she knows when it's time for some chile love).

Ian and I roasted the chiles in the oven yesterday morning. Ian took the time to peel and chop about half of them, and we froze the other half. And I made my very first green chile stew. And then we stuffed our faces with it.

*I can't remember if Anne used ipecac to save Diana's little sister from death of croup; it's been a good 15+ years since I've read the books (do I sniff a literary trip down memory lane approaching?), and even my memories of the movies are vague, but my brain has tied these two things together. So no badgering if ipecac doesn't treat croup; it seems like it might actually make it worse?

"The Myth of the Male Decline"

Check out this interesting article in today's New York Times regarding the recent buzz about "the male decline." It's a great article, and well worth your time. Here is one particularly discouraging quote that discusses the motherhood penalty as part of the larger sexist hegemony:
Once they have children, wives usually fall further behind their husbands in earnings, partly because they are more likely to temporarily quit work or cut back when workplace policies make it hard for both parents to work full time and still meet family obligations.But this also reflects prejudice against working mothers. A few years ago, researchers at Cornell constructed fake résumés, identical in all respects except parental status. They asked college students to evaluate the fitness of candidates for employment or promotion. Mothers were much less likely to be hired. If hired, they were offered, on average, $11,000 less in starting salary and were much less likely to be deemed deserving of promotion. The researchers also submitted similar résumés in response to more than 600 actual job advertisements. Applicants identified as childless received twice as many callbacks as the supposed mothers.
This infographic was found alongside the article linked to above, and can be found here.

The article wraps up discussing the "male mystique," that is, how men are bound within their sex to particular roles and expectations:
Just as women who display “masculine” ambitions or behaviors on the job are often penalized, so are men who engage in traditionally female behaviors, like prioritizing family involvement. Men who take an active role in child care and housework at home are more likely than other men to be harassed at work. Men who request family leave are often viewed as weak or uncompetitive and face a greater risk of being demoted or downsized. And men who have ever quit work for family reasons end up earning significantly less than other male employees, even when controlling for the effects of age, race, education, occupation, seniority and work hours. Now men need to liberate themselves from the pressure to prove their masculinity. Contrary to the fears of some pundits, the ascent of women does not portend the end of men. It offers a new beginning for both. But women’s progress by itself is not a panacea for America’s inequities. The closer we get to achieving equality of opportunity between the sexes, the more clearly we can see that the next major obstacle to improving the well-being of most men and women is the growing socioeconomic inequality within each sex.
What do you think?

Friday, September 14, 2012

Review: The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

People have been telling me for years to read The Hunger Games, and I seriously should have listened much earlier. I was finally able to get a copy at the library two days ago, and of course stayed up until almost 3:00 am reading last night. The last time I remember staying up late because I couldn't put a book down? College.

YA literature is always going to have a certain feel to it, especially sci-fi, but this was possibly the most enjoyable book I've read all year. I think it helped that I went into the book fairly blind. For once, my disinterest in the general media and inability to find time to listen to NPR have served me well!

View all my reviews

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Maternal Thinking vs. Maternal Instinct

I read through Motherhood and Feminism by Amber E. Kinser two weeks ago. I was reviewing my notes this afternoon and came across this quote, which I absolutely love:

Understanding women’s mothering knowledge to be grounded in ‘maternal thinking’ rather than maternal instinct positions us to consider the concentrated effort that women put into mothering, rather than to assume that it comes to them as quickly and effortlessly as, say, as instinctive ‘fight or flight’ response to danger. The concept of maternal thinking also suggests that ‘motherly’ behavior and knowledge of children’s best interests are not merely grounded in biology. Rather than emerging naturally and exclusively between mothers and biological children, such behavior and knowledge emerge from purposeful thought and the engaged practice of caring for children… Mothering is not, then, the exclusive domain of biological mothers; it is a product one’s disciplined, focused, and persistent effort.
Next to the copied quote, I wrote "Yes!" I think that sums up my feelings nicely.

Monday, September 3, 2012


I know I've been quiet lately. I've been busy changing what seems like millions of sticky, poopy diapers, cooking, and reading.

I haven't officially written about my updated thesis topic, but here's what's on my reading list right now:

Is Breast Best?: Taking on the Breastfeeding Experts and the New High Stakes of Motherhood by Joan B. Wolf

The Time Use of Mothers in the United States at the Beginning of the 21st Century by Rachel Connelly and Jean Kimmel

Feminist Mothering edited by Andrea O'Reilly

Motherhood and Feminism by Amber E. Kinser

The Paradox of Natural Mothering by Chris Bobel

Anyone want to guess at what I'm writing about and what my hypothesis might be? I'll mail you cookies if you're right!