Monday, August 30, 2010

Comedy of Errors

Just to note, I started writing this at 10:45am.  So far it's been a really long day...

7:30--wake up, get dressed, turn on baby monitor

7:40--work on picking up the living room/dining room/ that the dishes in the dishwasher are clean and there are dirty dishes stacked ALL OVER the kitchen from last night's dinner (despite my husband PROMISING he'd take care of the dishes after dinner last night)...half unload the dishwasher

8:00--my charge arrives, get the run down from his dad, say good bye, play for a few minutes

8:15--place charge in the jumperoo and finish cleaning the there is no Mt Dew and only 1 Cherry Coke (I do not drink coffee...Mt Dew is my coffee!)

8:30--notice the charge is falling asleep in jumperoo as I finish the kitchen...move charge to swing (his nap location)

8:45--hear rustling on the baby monitor and wonder if Squirmy is awake

8:50--hear a toy singing on the baby monitor and ascertain that Squirmy IS awake

8:50-9:10--discover that Squirmy's diaper has leaked (he and his bedding are SOAKED), give Squirmy a bath, bring him downstairs for a diaper and onesie

9:10--sit down to feed Squirmy only to discover he's woken my charge who now fusses from the swing as I feed and cuddle with Squirmy

9:20--put Squirmy on the floor to play, pick up charge, change his diaper, put him on the floor to play


9:30--warm a bottle for charge and let dog outside to do business

9:40-10:00--try to get charge to pay attention long enough to drink the bottle he clearly wants and wonder why Squirmy is making a strange noise (while he plays on the floor next to me)

10:00--try to burp charge as tries to get away from me to play, give up and see why Squirmy is making an odd noise

10:05--pick up Squirmy to discover my hands are now wet...and discover his diaper has leaked poo at both leg openings (though luckily not up the back)

10:06--take Squirmy's diaper off and suddenly remember telling DH that I didn't think Squirmy had pooped at all yesterday (he's a several time a day pooper)...the poor diaper didn't stand a chance...carefully try to figure out what to do to minimize poo spreading

10:08--carry Squirmy like a roped calf to the kitchen, spray off entire lower half of body, note to check charges head later since it's now bright red and he's screaming

10:10--back on the changing table, wipe the remaining poo off of him, curse myself for getting poo on the changing table cover, laugh as Squirmy pees on me

10:15--Squirmy is changed and clean and I've stripped to my nursing tank, put Squirmy down for a nap

10:20--Strip changing table, talk online while charge plays, wait for roommate to come down to keep an eye on charge while I change

10:30--run upstairs to change my clothes and put the diapers in the cat sleeping in the crib and that the dog has peed in the house, shoo cat, clean up pee, change clothes, put diapers in the dryer, pray that whatever is making charge cry ceases before he wakes Squirmy

10:40--return downstairs to learn charge has hit his head AGAIN, and note that charge looks sleepy...put charge back in swing and pray his obligatory nap protests don't wake Squirmy (who slept through the head banging screaming)

10:45--Charge is asleep, Squirmy is awake but not convincingly so, shake Squirmy's chair with foot, start blogging

10:55--decide Squirmy is not going back to sleep and pick him up before he wakes Charge, feed Squirmy again, continue blogging while Squirmy eats

11:05-11:20--play with Squirmy and pray his happy chatter doesn't wake Charge

11:20--get Charge out of swing, change his diaper, wonder if I'm going to get to go to the bathroom at all today

11:25-11:45--inhale far too many graham crackers without noticing because I'm trying to eat while I have a chance, defuse tug of war on clothing, supervise play, blog

There you have it.  It's nearly noon and if I hadn't just written it all down, I wouldn't have been able to tell you where those 3 hours had gone.  Now I can safely say the past 3 hours were filled with dishes, 4 diaper changes, 1.5 baths, 3 outfits for Squirmy, 2 outfits for me, 3 feedings, 3 entirely too short naps, a little bit of play, and a little bit of blogging.  *sigh*  Just one of those days :)

EDIT:  Apparently the comedy wasn't meant to end at 11:45... In the last 20 minutes we've had 2 fuss fits, 1 leaky diaper/diaper change, 1 outfit change...and I finally got to go to the bathroom.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

He wouldn't hurt me, he's my friend...

I recently agreed to babysit for a Catholic prayer group that meets quarterly on Saturday mornings.  It's a paying gig that would help a friend of the family.  Because of all the abuse allegations and substantiated cases, our local Diocese is requiring all adults whom come in contact with children take a "Safe Environment" course.  The aim of this course is to educate and make us aware of how/when/where abuse can occur, and thus how to prevent it.  The materials they handed out were informative and accurate.  The instructor's interpretation of these materials was shameful, misguided, misinformed, and served to perpetuate the myths which have allowed and aided sexual abuse to continue.

Anecdotally, I would venture to guess that the rates of sexual abuse are much higher than statistics show.  RAINN says that 1 in 6 women will be sexually assaulted but that 60% are not reported to the police (1).  I can honestly say that I cannot think of a single (female) friend who has not been sexually abused in some manner, myself included.  It's all very hush-hush and shameful.  I didn't even recognize that I'd been abused for years.  I let myself change the story.  I ignored that he forced himself on me, ignored that I'd try to push him off of me, ignored that I cried after our sexual encounters, ignored that I was ashamed of my body (so much more so than before the abuse started), ignored so many tell-tale signs.  Why?  Because I didn't know you could be raped by your boyfriend.  I didn't know that I could think I loved someone who was raping me. I didn't know that rape wasn't necessarily something that happened in a dark alley by a creepy man in a trench coat.  I didn't know how to accept that my virginity was taken by force and not lovingly given.  I didn't know that rape was most often (73%) done by someone the victim ALREADY knows(1).

I was disappointed in the way the material was presented today.  I hated the way the instructor protected the church and perpetuated the myths with her rhetoric: "Sexual abuse didn't exist when I was a kid."  "This is a new problem."  "Sexting is a new thing."  "Abuse is not holy or Christian [thus implying that someone who is holy or Christian would/should be someone you can trust not to abuse]." "There are sick people out there [but surely none in here]."and one of my favorites "These kids bring their xboxes, cell phones, and iPods to school in their pockets and you don't even know." (still don't know how that last one has anything to do with abuse)

So here's my PSA.  One of the handouts was a list of Myths/Facts about Child Sexual Abuse (a handout that was not discussed, nor were any of the points made at any time during the training).  It sites the source to be Myths and Facts about Sexual Offenders, Center for Sex Offender Management (2).  Here are the points from the sheet:

  • Child Sexual Abuse is NOT a rare occurrence.
  • It is important for children to have information about sexual assault.
  • It is NOT damaging NOR dangerous to give children information about sexual assault.
  • A discussion about sexual assault will NOT scare children.
  • A discussion about sexual assault will NOT scare children from all touch.
  • Most children who are assaulted are attacked by someone they know.
  • Sex offenders are NOT dirty old men.
  • The majority of sexual offenders are not caught, convicted, nor imprisoned.
  • Sex offenders do NOT commit sexual crimes because they are under the influence of alcohol.
  • Incest does NOT occur only in poor, undedicated families.
  • Children do NOT do anything to cause the sexual abuse to occur.
  • Sexual abuse, including incest, is damaging to the child.
While I wholly appreciate what the church is trying to do, this instructor was not educated enough on the issue and did counter service to the cause.

We need to be talking about abuse, ways to prevent it, how it happens, where it happens, who it happens to, who's doing it, what to do if it does happen...  We need to be having open conversations about the topic.  We need kids to know that it's not okay and just because they know the person or s/he is their teacher/friend/pastor/priest/care giver does not give them the right to abuse them. Rates of abuse are going down (1) because people are standing up and talking about it.  If we keep the conversation going, the rates can continue to go down.

Just in case you're wondering... telling a room full of parents, educators, and child care givers that you were surprised to learn that children have rights is probably not the best way to win over the crowd.  Oh, and the reason you shouldn't use corporal punishment is NOT because you'll have to wonder if your kids will call the cops on you.  Just sayin'.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Mommy Wars

I'm over it.  Seriously ladies.  I'm over it.  Being a mom is hard enough without wondering who's judging us and if we're doing it right and all of that.  And it's not the childless folk or dads that we're worried's the other moms out there.

I spent a lot of time researching how to get pregnant, why I wasn't getting pregnant, and what to expect once it finally worked.  Then when it did work, I immediately launched into researching how to be pregnant, delivery, and the early days of mommyhood.  I made a lot of decisions about what I would and wouldn't do...some of which went by the wayside as I learned the truths of motherhood.

One of the biggest issues I see creep up in the Mommy Wars is feeding.  Yes, I breastfeed.  Yes, I think breastfeeding is best FOR ME.  Yes, I think we need to be more supportive of each other and educate each other on the benefits of breastfeeding.  Yes, I do think there are situations where breastfeeding isn't the best option.  Yes, I do think there are scenarios where formula might be best.  Yes, I do think moms who are breastfeeding and formula feeding should be supported.

I'm a part of a breastfeeding support group online. A mom came to the group to ask for help on behalf of her friend who gave birth 2 days ago.  She explained that the friend was trying to breastfeed but that she was in a lot of pain (despite being told her baby's latch was perfect) and ready to give up.  She asked a couple of specific questions and some of us gave her some advice to try out...specifically to talk to an LC about the latch.  Then she accused her friend of not caring about the baby's health because she never wanted to breastfeed in the first place and her husband was pushing her to do it.  She said the friend was becoming resentful of the baby and her husband because of the pain she was in.  She said that the friend's family was of the mindset that only poor people breastfeed (which is a whole other can of worms).  She also made it clear that she disapproved of her friend wanting to return to work and school rather soon.  This was my response to her:
If she's resentful breastfeeding, than perhaps breastfeeding isn't best for that family. Sure there are a lot of benefits, but if the mom is resentful, there's no my opinion. She needs to be spending time bonding and loving her child. If feeding the baby formula means they can bond and have a loving relationship, then that's what's better for the situation. Bonding is SOO SOOO important and part of the reason breastfeeding is so good...but if the bonding's not happening... Plus if she thinks breastfeeding is for poor people (which in all truth families of lower socio-economic status are FAR less likely to BF), she probably IS thinking about the health of her child. She probably thinks that formula IS better for her child. That's not her fault, that's the fault of the formula companies and their shady campaigns. While we should support and enable moms who want to breastfeed and educate those who are pregnant or TTC or might TTC in the future, I think we have to be careful about making sure we support those who do and not condemn those who don't. As much as I believe breastfeeding is the best choice, at the end of the day, formula is a "good enough" replacement. 

One thing I've ALWAYS had difficulty with in my life is expecting people to live up to the standards I set for myself. I do what I do because I think it's what's best...and it is what's best FOR ME. Some moms are better suited to get back out in the world and do their adult thing and only have the nights and weekends with their child. It's how our society was trained to think and behave. For me, it was best for me to quit my job and change our families living standards to fit our lowered income. But for other families there are very good reasons why that's not the best choice. I think a lot of it comes down to my diagnosis, as well. I knew at 16 years old that I might never have children. Therefore, having a child is SO much more special and such a blessing to me in a way that it might not be to other moms. I signed up for this lock, stock, and barrel...but not everyone goes in the same way.

I hope this doesn't sound too harsh. I certainly don't mean it to be. We all decide what's best for us based on this reason or that reason...and this reason may be just as valid as that reason. 

I don't mean to come off as judging the mom who sought help for her friend.  As much as the formula companies try to brainwash moms into thinking formula is best (as is the case with her friend), the counter movement can be just as strong sometimes.  It's easy to get swept up in the "you MUST do it this way" current on any topic.  I'm certainly not without fault in that category.  Rather I wanted to use this example to show how the Mommy Wars can get the best of all of us.

I may get blasted for this from the pro-BFing world...but that's exactly what I'm talking about.  We need to quit tearing each other down for our decisions.  We need support...we all need support.  At the end of the day, I'm going to be a better mommy and have a better adjusted child if I have support rather than if I made this decision to go with the popular option at the time.  Educate the masses on what you believe is right, then support those who agree with your opinion.  But support those who agree doesn't have to be at the exclusion of those who don't.  We're all human, we're all trying, and we all want what's best for our children.

Answering Cloth Diaper Questions

Lauren over at How Great is your Faithfulness asked about cloth diapering.  I tried to write her a response, but blogger said my comment was too long.  So, I posted it here instead (plus I can do links here).

1. What brand cloth diapers do you use, and why did you pick that brand?  We use bumGenius 3.0s and the organic All-in-Ones.  They're super easy and tried and true.  We also use Charlie Banana (a new brand) because I got them for free...and love them.

2. What were your start up costs and what did that give you?  Originally I spent $300 on 12 bumGenius AIOS and 5 GroBaby diapers.  These were a combo of sales and ebay purchases.  I have since added 6 3.0s, 1 Green Acres Design and 2 Charlie Banana diapers.  My grand total investment was $400 for 26 diapers.

3. How many diapers do you have?  12 bumGenius AIOS5 GroBaby diapers (considered all-in-two or hybrid), 6 3.0s (pocket diapers),  1 Green Acres Design (pocket),  2 Charlie Banana diapers (pockets, 1 one size, and 1 sized).  Grand total of 26.

4. How often do you do laundry?  At first I was doing laundry every 24 hrs (only 12 diapers on a 2-3-4 month old).  Now I wash every 2-3 days with 26 diapers on a 5 month old.  I was afraid the extra laundry would make me give up on cloth, but it's really not that big of a deal at all.  I'd MUCH rather do an extra load of laundry than throw out all those diapers.

5. Has there been any costs in up keep? The only cost of upkeep is detergent.  We use Rockin' Green detergent but have switched to using it for our clothes as well.  We go through about a bag a month for 3 adults, 1 infant, and the infants diapers.

6. Why do you cloth diaper?  Originally it was to save money with strong environmental influences.  Now it's that and because it's better for his skin, less chemicals, cuter, easier (no running to the store), and just makes me happy.

7. What is your estimated savings by cloth diapering? I've never done the math, but a few sites have. this is a good site for comparing costs.

Here are a couple of links to posts I've written about cloth diapering.

P.S. For what it's worth...those running newborn poops are SOOO much easier to clean up in cloth than disposables since the cloth absorbs the runny part.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Nifty Nappy Giveaway!!

No, I'm not hosting a Nifty Nappy Giveaway (sad face).  Nifty Nappy owner Vilate is starting a new blog just to keep reviewing other products and needs our help to get it off the ground.  I don't normally do this, but I love Vilate.  She's a great person and a hard working WAHM.  Please head over to 6 and STILL sane and check it out.  Who knows, you just might win yourself $50 in Nifty Nappies!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Life in the Modern House

So here's a glimpse into my world.  This is an actual conversation I just had.

Hubby: Do you remember that weird heart pinch thing I told you about? (referencing a previous complaint about his heart/chest)

Me: Yeah

Hubby: It really hurts.  It's like a muscle is pinched or something.  Ow!

Me: Do you need to go to the Dr?!

Hubby: No, I feel fine.  If I suddenly don't feel fine you might want to call 911.

Me: Oh that would be awesome. (laden with sarcasm)

Hubby: That would be awful....

Me: Uh, YEAH

Hubby: ....I could never eat fast food again!

Me: Yeah, that would be the awful part.

He's happily playing with his computer.  I assume he's fine.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Hissy Fit Alert

****This is a rant.  If you're looking for happiness and rainbows, please check back another day :)  I really hesitated to post this for fear of airing my dirty laundry and/or someone IRL seeing it.  But I'm upset and hurt and frustrated and this blog is a place where I can turn to let it all out and be supported by other women who know what I'm going through.  I've said my piece and can honestly say I would not regret it getting back to the people mentioned below.

So the other night we were having a party. Before everyone got here I tried to have Squirmy fed and rested so he'd be pleasant and so that I could host/cook without being interrupted. He was a champ getting passed around for awhile. My SIL brought a case of Mike's Hard and I was excited that I actually had a bottle's worth of milk in the freezer. After awhile I tried to put him down because he was overstimulated and tired. I nursed him for a few minutes since I'd barely started my first drink. He went down for a little bit but one niece was ridiculously loud and kept waking him up. Finally I brought him back out to the party. Things were dwindling down but he was quite fussy. I kept trying to excuse his talking and explaining that he was tired. MIL INSISTED he wasn't tired and kept playing with him and bouncing him and stimulating him with every flashy musical toy she could find...seriously we only have like 2 that play music with lights and she kept shoving them in his face. Somehow I ended up with him in my lap, overtired and over it. I couldn't calm him down. This is not to say that he was screaming or throwing a fit...just talking and fussing and I know my child and he was not happy and couldn't be made happy. 

I passed him off to my SIL so I could fix him a bottle...something he's only had a handful of times. He started fussing really good for her and I hurried. I mentioned to my MIL that I was fixing him a bottle so she could feed him. She was over the moon! Then she nastily told her daughter that she was in HER seat and had HER baby (UM, he's MY baby). I gave her the breastflow bottle we've always used. He just screamed. I was worried that he was too hungry to put up with figuring the bottle out (it's always taken him longer with a bottle than breast) and got out a regular bottle I'd gotten for free at some point. I figured if it was easier to get out, he might go for it. More screaming. I tried to take him to see if he'd start the bottle with me, since sometimes he won't take it unless I start it and then hand him off... he knows only I give milk. He was screaming his bloody head off by this point. I decided to trust the things I've read that say you can have 1 drink without it really affecting the baby. I'd had ONE Mike's Hard over the course of the past 2 hours. I crossed my fingers and began to nurse him.

My MIL had already stormed off to leave me with a screaming child. At this point she began CRYING, yes CRYING, and went off on my husband/her son about how she's so hurt and upset that this is the only grandchild (out of 10) that she's never been able to feed...or hold without him crying. She threw in that last part a few beats after the feeding thing. EFF YOU lady!! She supposedly breast fed 6 children and has made me feel so unbelievably uncomfortable feeding my child around her. She is literally the ONLY person I hesitate to feed around because she makes such a scene of avoiding me while feeding. Now she has the gall to complain that she's never gotten to feed him. I can LITERALLY count on one hand the number of times Squirmy has gotten a bottle. 

She acts as though has hasn't spent entire afternoons and days over here just holding him and playing with him. As soon as he starts talking, she freaks out and asks him what's wrong. Then he gets upset because she's upset. She constantly complains that he's always sleeping, eating, or fussing when she's around. HE'S AN EFFING BABY!!! Mind you I have a generally good/happy baby.  I simply CANNOT believe she's offended that she hasn't gotten to feed him. Wait until she finds out we're doing Baby Led Weaning and she'll never spoon him pureed peas!

The thing that really gets to me, 2 days later, is that I have bent over backwards to help her and her whole family.  I have done so much for all of them.  I have never asked for or wanted anything in return except respect and kindness.  I have invited her into our home on days I really didn't want company.  I have smiled and been a gracious hostess when I was dog dead tired and not interested in entertaining.  I have never once said "no" to her coming over, even when it was inconvenient.  But, she doesn't know that.  I've always been gracious and welcoming and tried my hardest to make her comfortable.  What she doesn't realize is all of this will now be going away.  I have bent over backwards and been kicked (HARD) while doing so.  No, our door will no longer be open and I just might not be as willing to have company...

House Party Sponsored by Boboli

(I wish I could remember who blogged about House Party.  :(  If you're reading this and it was you, please let me know so I can give you credit!)

I found out about House Party on someone's blog.  It looked like so much fun, so I signed up for the website and applied for the next party that sounded fun.  I was picked to host a Boboli Beat the Boredom Barbecue.  We had a LOT of fun!!  Our grill is small so we cooked half on the grill and half in the oven.  We made 2 cheese, 1 sausage and peppers, 2 bbq chicken, 1 white, and 1 ham and pineapple!  So yummy!  I can't wait to host my next House Party!
Getting ready!

Enjoying dinner


Having fun!

Yummy options!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Bitterant Sucks!

I'm sure you've all heard about kids huffing anything they can get their hands on, including cans of air.  They've put in safe guards to keep kids from getting their hands on cans of air by requiring ID to buy a can of air and an age minimum.  Apparently this was not enough to deter kids (really, has this ever been that effective for kids who want to get their hands on something??), so they decided to create "Bitterant Technology."  Bitterant technology is an additive to cans of air that, in theory, tastes so bitter when huffed that kids won't be tempted.  I don't know much about huffing or any drug use for that matter, but I have known plenty of addicts (when I was a therapist) and there's not a whole lot of anything that would prevent someone from getting high.

Let me tell you what Bitterant DOES do...  It makes this cloud of bitter tasting air around your keyboard as you try to clean it.  Then..just when you think you've gotten the awful taste and scratchiness out of the back of your discover that your fingers are now striking the keys that you just cleaned with this awful substance.  And THEN you discover just how often you touch your mouth AND how many things you touch make their way into your mouth.  The latter is truly remarkable, at least it was to me.

After spending the better part of yesterday tasting bitterant and being unable to get the taste off my lips, I woke up to discover/remember the taste all over again.  I've tried to wash anything I touched yesterday and wiped down my laptop.  I'm HOPING this will take care of it.

So what have I learned from Bitterant Technology??  Not to buy it!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Reusable Shopping Bags

I started writing a response to Dirty Diaper Laundry's rant post about attitudes towards reusable shopping bags, but I had enough to say to do an entire I wanted to share my experiences with my readers as well.

We started using reusable bags for grocery shopping back when it wasn't quite so posh.  We're easily going on 3 years of reusable grocery bags.  We've only thrown out one of our reusable bags when it mysteriously got a cut straight down the side (looked like from scissors or something).  They say each reusable bag=4 plastic bags per visit.  We usually use 4-5 reusable bags for a full shopping trip, each week.  So let's do some math... 4 plastic bags per reusable *4 reusable bags per trip *52 trips a year *3 years = 2496 bags!!  Throw in a few extra for trips that required 5 bags and smaller runs...we've saved over 2,500 plastic bags!!  *pats self on back* lol  I didn't realize how many we'd skipped bringing home over time.

Our local grocery stores have been really good about using our reusable shopping bags without batting an eye.  They often have designs on their bags to promote buying them.  My favorite is from a couple of springs ago...a pretty blue with a couple of green vines and not-too-girly flowers.  Here's our method of using them:

  • unload groceries
  • stuff all bags into one (always pick the prettiest bag as the one that gets stuffed)
  • place pretty, stuffed bag on door handle...the one I have to touch to go out to the car
  • take bags to car the next time I go out
  • bags chill in car until next shopping trip
  • grab bags at store (handy "don't forget me" signs at our store helped at first)
  • put bags at the front of the cart
  • *TRY* not to bury bags while grocery shopping
  • place bags on conveyor belt first...before unloading any groceries (this step has eliminated them asking "paper or plastic" and/or creates a laugh/smile when they ask out of habit while holding the reusable bags)
  • take bags home and unload.....
So far most places have been very receptive to using the bags.  Our grocery store, Publix, really encourages the use and we've heard rumors that they're going to start charging for plastic bags.  Target offers $0.05 for each reusable bag you use :)  Most cashier's are liberal with that, too.  We bought a plastic bin (for storage) and just had the cashier load it up instead of using bags and she scanned the reusable bag coupon a bunch of times.  I won an Envirosax from Sacred Bee and took it to Target.  The cashier and I laughed as she stuffed it with $90 worth of stuff (I only paid $60...YAY coupons!).  She took a few bags worth off for us, too.

The one negative experience we've had came at Wal-mart a couple of years ago.  One disgruntled employee went on a rant about how the reusable bag thing would never catch on and it was stupid and just like some movement in the 70s that never took off and...seriously??  Just bag our stuff and shut up!  You don't get paid to insult your customers!!  But that was one ridiculous bad experience in 3 years.

I'm trying to be better about taking bags to the mall or other shopping places (aside from Target and Publix).  I'd say it's getting closer to 75% success rate of taking bags to other stores.  I keep them all in the car...various sizes and shapes.  I usually state I have a bag when they're ringing me up, or say I don't need a bag if I'm going to toss it in the diaper bag or stroller or whatever.  If they look at me like I have 3 heads I make a joke.  I usually make fun of myself, "yeah, I'm trying to be green" and kind of roll my eyes at myself.  That usually gets them to laugh and turns the conversation to a positive light even if they weren't positive about it before.

So that's my story...  Apparently we're in a forward area that is more accepting of reusable bags.  What's your story?  Don't forget to head over to Dirty Diaper Laundry and give Kim some love :)

Monday, August 9, 2010

This good mood brought to you by Pandora

So this morning I put on Pandora.  Tired of the same old channels I figured I'd see what the "Baby Got Back" channel would have in store.  The best hip hop from my Elementary, Middle and High School days.  Seriously the best channel yet.  HYSTERICAL!!  In case you don't believe me, here's Squirmy's opinion :)

Breastfeeding Hotline

Not gonna lie...I straight up stole this (with permission) from Zealand's Mom over at There's no Snakes in New Zealand.  :)

A National Breastfeeding Helpline open Monday through Friday from 9-6 EST

Talk with a trained breastfeeding peer counselor in English or Spanish.

Call 800-994-9662 for support!

The whole page is loaded with information and success stories from the US Department of Health and human Services!

Pumping, nursing in public, learning to breastfeed and more!

Way to go to our government!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Appealing to Oprah

Today I saw a tweet by Mama Pear Designs asking for people to join her effort to petition Oprah to do an episode on breastfeeding.  On her Breastfeeding Blitz page, she has examples of the letters she has sent to Oprah, including one you can copy and paste.  I wanted to help her out because I believe Oprah is very influential, regardless of your opinion of her or her show.  I wrote my own letter to Oprah and submitted it here.  I chose to use my own words and experience.  It was difficult figuring out what I wanted to say in only 2000 characters.  Below is my submission.  Please take the time to visit Mama Pear Designs, take a look at her inventory, read her Breastfeeding Blitz, and consider writing to Oprah yourself.

When you speak, the nation listens.  You have inspired so many to get healthy, continue reading, and helped women talk about sexual abuse.  You have the power to normalize and encourage.  That is why I feel doing a show on breastfeeding would not only be appropriate but an amazing support to mothers, women, fathers, and families everywhere.

I am a new mother and wanted to breastfeed.  There was so much more to learn than just put him to my breast and go.  The lactation consultant at the hospital gave him an unrealistic schedule to follow and told me that she needed to spend her time with patients with "real problems" since my son was latching.  I was scared and nervous and worried about doing right by my child.  I can't tell you how many times family offered to buy me bottles or insisted I pick up some formula "just in case."  I had the support of my husband, but the media and society at large seemed to be against me.  I was able to find a group of women online who were supportive and could answer my questions.  I credit them with a lot of my breastfeeding success.

There has been no lack of negative press for breastfeeding lately.  From women getting harassed in public arenas to celebrities tweeting their disgust for breastfeed to journalists writing about the "negative" aspects of breastfeeding.  It would be incredible for someone to give some positive press to the subject.

Please consider doing an episode to highlight women and breastfeeding.  The more women see breastfeeding as natural, acceptable, and positive, the more likely they are to breastfeed.  Breastfeeding has been shown to be mutually beneficial.  I did not laden this message with facts and stats and figures.  That can all be found easily enough.  I instead chose to write from the heart and appeal to you as a new mother and a woman who would have benefited from more support.  We need to change our culture to accept women breastfeeding as much as we accept a woman bottle feeding.

***I was not encouraged, paid, or otherwise compensated to write this post. The opinions expressed are completely my own, it was my own desire to write to Oprah, and my choice to post about it.

Edit--Here's another letter I wrote to Oprah!

Dear Oprah, 

I am writing to respectfully beg you to do a show on breastfeeding. Our country lags behind the world average for breastfeeding for a number of reasons. At the forefront is a lack of support. It seems like each day brings a new celebrity bashing breastfeeding and a new study showing how immeasurably beneficial it is. New moms don't get the support they need from friends, family, and employers because of the cultural barriers. Our country NEEDS to do something about our weight epidemic and the first step is to encourage breastfeeding. There's no doubt about your ability to persuade the masses. Please, please, please do a show to normalize and encourage breastfeeding.  

As a new mom, I can't tell you the extent to which I was and am discouraged from breastfeeding. Wouldn't it be a wonderful thing if I was the last mom to be discouraged, insulted, and belittled for using my body as it was/is intended? You have that power. Please consider doing a show about breastfeeding.  

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Why am I here...

So I've been pulled away from blogging by my extra duties lately.  I realized how much I'd been absorbed by entering contests, reading the never ending additions to my google reader, twitter, and commenting on other people's blogs.  A tremendous amount of time, really.  I have to share my time with Squirmy during the day now that I have another child to watch.  I'm just wondering how much time I want to devote to keeping up with something that takes my attention away from my sweet boy.

Then there's the whole competition thing.  I fell victim to the game at first.  I wanted more followers, wanted to host product reviews, wanted to be liked and popular.  I never did well with the popularity game...I couldn't play the game right, spoke my mind, didn't pay attention to the rules, did my own thing and pissed people off along the way.  Ya see, I don't care about what's popular or trendy or fashionable...I care about what works for me.  I'm over the "how many followers can I get" game.  I'll never be a "top mommy blog" and really don't need the rank to validate me.

Every time I pick up blogging there's a reason.  There's some reason I'm reaching out into the wild world of the internet to find people to talk to.  Sometimes it was my way of fighting off depression, sometimes it was my way of talking to people who were somewhere else in life, and sometimes, like now, to connect with people who are going through similar things.

So why am I here?  Can I keep this up for my own benefit rather than as some member of the mommy wars or mommy popularity contest?  Will anyone read if I don't plaster my page with product reviews or sell out by posting links just for a few bucks?  Am I doing this for myself or to participate in some popularity contest I openly scorn but in which secretly wish I could rank?  Am I gaining more from keeping this up than I would from spending those extra few moments cuddling with my all too quickly growing boy?  Is this where I choose to spend my "mommy time" rather than going out (which I'm way too lame to do)?

Or maybe I've got too many postpartum hormones...or maybe I can't keep up with going to bed so late...or maybe I'm just nuts!  Regardless I'm me :)