This week…down two guinea pigs, and it’s already better.

by Janelle Hanchett


  1. Do you ever get annoyed when you have to pee because it’s just ONE MORE THING YOU HAVE TO DO?
  2. Or…maybe that’s just me.
  3. Speaking of pee, I do it like 6 or 7 times a night. Literally. I think that’s weird. Is that weird? Maybe I should get on WebMD and diagnose myself. I think it’s my third kid’s fault. Ever since I had her I piddle on myself with startling regularity, particularly when I sneeze in an inopportune moment (you know, when I haven’t peed because it’s just ONE MORE THING TO DO) or I laugh too hard. And I pee a thousand times a night. Kegels? Yeah, I thought so.
  4. Forgive me for over-sharing. I guess once I realized I lost all coolness and most dignity, I figured I might as well just seal the deal by discussing my bladder online.
  5. We donated the guinea pigs to a 2nd/3rd grade classroom at my kids’ school. Ya know why? Because my kids – who were DYING FOR THEM last Christmas – never play with them at all, and each week an insane argument ensued over cleaning their cage. So for a few weeks I agonized, “I want to get rid of them but I don’t want to hurt their feelings. Plus I should make them stick with this commitment. Tenacity. Devotion. Etc.” But then I just got sick of the damn fighting and declared “Guys. If you don’t play with these small rodents at least ONCE in the next week, I’m giving them away.” I’m expecting some big emotional response. You know what the little bandits said…? “Why don’t you give them away now?”
  6. Done, offspring. DONE.
  7. That was probably bad parenting. But whatever. A woman can only take so much. And it wasn’t fair to those adorable little animals to never get any attention. In the classroom they get held daily and there are twenty children to clean the damn cage. SCORE.
  8. You guys should go read Calamity Jane at Apron Stringz. She lives in this super remote Alaskan town doing crazy home-steading awesomeness, and she’s funny and smart and doing some super intelligent things in the arena of “Reclaiming Housewifery.” Radical homemaking. “Cowgirl, Cookie Baker, Renegade.” Soul sisters? In her words she’s a “punk neo-feminist housewife.” Um, rad? Yes. Yes indeed.
  9. Yesterday we went on a mini-hike near Point Reyes in Marin County. We went with some gorgeous wonderful friends. It was lovely. The weather was fine, the company superb. And Point Reyes, well. It’s Point Reyes. There was a meadow involved – ‘nuff said, right?
  10. Have you ever noticed how flattering and wonderful it is when people take interest in your children, like real interest? Particularly when they don’t have kids? Like they play peek-a-boo with your toddler and wrestle with your boy and give piggy back rides and engage in deep conversations with your budding intellectual 10-year-old daughter? These people did that. And my heart swelled. A big, warm “thank you,” and a little burst of pride, maybe because people – at least some people – find my kids engaging, and interesting, and worth their time. There is no better compliment to a parent, I think, than engaging with their children, listening to them, and, dare I say it? Appearing to genuinely enjoy it.

Don’t have many pics, but here’s one of the meadow, and two of Georgie…taken by my super lovely talented friend Katie Stohlmann. You can find her here (in case you missed the first link). Follow her Tumblr blog. You won’t be sorry.


Have a great week, everybody.


9 Comments | Posted in weeks of mayhem | September 17, 2012
  • Michael Ann

    Great idea with the Guinea Pigs! It’s a win/win. Yep, the bladder thing is caused my having kids. I don’t pee at night though and I’m way older than you. You might want to get that checked out. Kegels do help but sometimes there is a “situation” with the bladder falling and they can do a little nip tuck and correct it. Point Reyes is awesome!

    • renegademama

      Oh dude, Michael Ann. I’m doing it. Going to go to the doc. It’s pretty annoying, to be honest. And it’s only at NIGHT. Weird.

  • Dawn

    Yep. Go, go, go to the Doc. I did and it has resulted in me getting weekly physical therapy for my girlies..seriously…and changing my diet. And voila! no more peed pants. I forgot how nice it was. And good job getting rid of the hairy pigs.

    • Marisa

      hairy pigs! lol!

  • anne

    I’m glad you said you were getting it checked out. I seem to recall you saying she was born direct OP. Ouch! Lots of things/slings a good MD can do to get you back to holding your pee and letting you live the good (dry) life.

  • carlisle

    We never got small rodents or reptiles or birds or anything, and my mum’s brilliant excuse was that the cat would eat them. Which we truly believed, and we’d rather have the cat then some new thing. So, when I found out I was pregnant, I got a kitten. Gonna get on that shit early.

    And I’m going to take a moment to talk about my pee! Because I’ve got no one to talk to about it! I’ve had a constant stream of UTIs for years due to excessive alcohol/caffeine/sex, and at eighteen years old sometimes I would sneeze and pee. SUCKAGE. So, I thought my whole pregnancy was going to be one big UTI and absolutely no bladder control. However, no UTI at all by 35 weeks, and I’m having pretty fabulous bladder control with only an occasional sneeze pee, and the baby dropped 3 weeks ago.

    You know, they say you can tell your midwife anything, but that one didn’t seem to go over well.

  • Claire

    Dude, check out what this lady says here:

    the excerpt I was most surprised by:
    “A kegel attempts to strengthen the PF, but it really only continues to pull the sacrum inward promoting even more weakness, and more PF gripping. The muscles that balance out the anterior pull on the sacrum are the glutes. A lack of glutes (having no butt) is what makes this group so much more susceptible to PFD. Zero lumbar curvature (missing the little curve at the small of the back) is the most telling sign that the PF is beginning to weaken. Deep, regular squats (pictured in hunter-gathering mama) create the posterior pull on the sacrum. Peeing like this in the shower is a great daily practice, as is relaxing the PF muscles to make sure that you’re not squeezing the bathroom muscle closers too tight. Just close them enough…An easier way to say this is: Weak glutes + too many Kegels = PFD [pelvic floor disorder] “

  • Claire

    Other people playing with the kids in a real way is what its all about – I think its more in line with what our species has evolved to do – we’re meant to support the growth and development of our tribe, not just our own young-ins. Awesome that you provide for these types of encounters!

  • Erica / Northwest Edible Life

    Apron Stringz is the shit. Glad you found her.