Saturday, July 31, 2010

Holy SCREAMER Batman!

So our wonderful sleeper has decided to be a falling asleep nightmare.  It's gotten to the point where every nap and every night before bed he SCREAMS.  It sounds like someone is murdering him.  There's not a whole lot that I can do that will help him.

We've been swaddling since birth and he's still getting swaddled.  If we don't swaddle him, he flails hysterically.

I nurse him before this starts, usually.  He won't latch once he gets started anyway.

Rocking doesn't help, walking doesn't help, noise doesn't help, silence doesn't help...nothing helps....he just screams himself to sleep.  I hate that I can't put him down awake anymore and I refuse to put him down screaming.

I've tried giving him Tylenol just to see if it would help...it's hard to tell if it's setting in and helping or if he's just screamed enough to settle.

I just don't know what to do.  I tried putting him down sleepy, go to him after a few minutes of lower level fussing, pat him or stroke him until he settles, then walk away again.  Only each time he fusses it gets louder and more panicked until we're right back into the screaming.  I've tried just cuddling him until he falls asleep, but he'll eventually work into screaming.

It kills me that he's getting so worked up and I want so badly to teach him good sleeping patterns (I've battled with sleeping issues since infancy).  Once he's out, we're golden...it's just getting there :(

Please help!!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Slacker...

So I feel like I've been ignoring my blog lately.  I haven't been...or at least not on purpose.  Life's been picking up speed.  Hubby just finished 10 days of 10 hour shifts.  It was terrible.  He was grumpy and tired and I missed him like mad.

This week started my new career as a "pretend to have twins, stay at home mom."  A friend of a friend desperately needed someone to watch her 6 month old during the day.  I desperately needed to add to the family income.  Match made in heaven.  Her 6 month old and Squirmy are pretty well matched developmentally despite the 2 month gap.  Both can roll in both directions, both can sit up unassisted for a short bit, both can purposefully do just about the same amount, and both are the same height, lol.  It's been fun...and interesting.

I had already previously agreed to sit for a family I used to sit for this week.  The kids are at junior lifeguard camp and need to be picked up at 1.  So off I trudge every day, with 2 infants, to a park that's a solid 30-40 minutes from me, to pick up these other two kids.  The round trip takes me nearly 1.5 hours.  Good times.

So I've had my hands full this week.  I can handle 1 infant and the 2 older kids.  I can handle 2 infants and no older kids.  But 2 infants and 2 older kids and I'm POOPED!!

Hubby was home with me through the chaos today.  He'll be back to work tomorrow and then off for the weekend.  Thankfully he has the weekend off...a rarity around here.  Our anniversary is on Monday and we still haven't made any plans to celebrate.  We need to figure something out.  I need to get his present.  I've figured out what I want to get...just gotta get it.

Squirmy's 4m check up was Monday.  He's still barely on the chart for height earning him the nickname "too tall jones" and only about 50% for weight and head circumference.  He got his shots and had an awful night :( Worst meltdown he's had in his little life.

So there's why I haven't been around (if you even noticed, lol).  I'll leave you with a couple of shots of my boys :)

Day 1...fascination!

Day 3...just hanging out

Day 4...Baby races...it was a tie since the starting and finish line were the same

Saturday, July 24, 2010

4 months and 1 week :)

video
He did 2- 360 roll overs during nakey time (hence the waterproof pad on the floor--he was having nakey time because of the poopsplosion he had in his car seat while taking lunch to Daddy at work).  All that work made him hungry so I strapped a dipe on him so I could feed him....I'm not all about nursing a nakey boy!  I get peed on enough without taking foolish risks like that.  When he was done, he seemed to want to play some more...

I have to say...I'm pretty darn proud!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Free wedding photography!!

Yes, you read that correctly!  Free wedding photography!  My wonderfully talented and amazingly sweet friend, Kerri McConnell, has decided to pay it forward and offer one lucky couple FREE wedding photography!

Of course you'll assume I'm biased because she's my friend...but she really is an amazing photographer.  Just check out her blog if you don't believe me http://kmcconnellblog.com/

So here's the deal...She is offering to do an entire wedding for a couple.  She wants every couple (whether it's for you or submitting on behalf of a friend) to send her their story.  Then she'll pick one couple to get free photography.  This is an AMAZING savings!!  She is willing to travel, but if you live outside of the Tampa Bay area, she is asking you pay her travel expenses.  A plane ticket and a couples nights in a hotel is NOTHING compared to what a good photographer will charge for a wedding!  Go to her blog post to see all the details http://kmcconnellblog.com/?p=401.  Feel free to pass this information along to anyone you know :)

Even if you don't need a wedding shot, or you aren't the lucky winner, take a look at her blog and consider her for your next photos.  I promise you won't regret it!  We didn't!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Yes, I would like a little cheese with my whine.

Bare with me as I whine a little.  If you don't like whiny blog posts, just stop reading and come back another day...no hard feelings. :)

It just feels like no one can catch a break lately.  I'm so sick and tired of hearing about my friends and loved ones going through hell because I'm sick and tired of them having to go through hell.  Maybe I'm just being negatively minded today.  True there are a million blessings that could be counted, perhaps you did tell me/us/them so, and maybe it could be worse.  But you know what?  None of that really makes hell any easier to deal with.

Listen here karma...it's time to turn on some positive vibes for my friends and family!  Or perhaps some prayers would shine some favor on them.  Or maybe just happy thoughts sent their way.  Whatever it is you believe in, whatever you do to ask the cosmos to quit crapping on good people, please take a moment to consider these situations for me. (in no particular order)


  • an amazing friend needs something to work out to keep her in the country...through no fault of her own (trust me, no fault at all) she now has to jump through a bajillion hoops to stay in the country she was raised in and has lived in 18 of her 24 years.  She needs school to work out more quickly than they claim it will or an amazing job (btw, any job that would qualify to keep her here would be considered amazing)
  • a truly loving man needs a break at work.  He needs a new job that pays well so he can quit working for the devil and actually spend time with his family...and have days off (you know, those things some people call the weekend...he's not fussy, he'll settle for 2 days off in a row no matter which 2 they are)
  • an unbelievably great man needs to be able to afford to finalize his divorce to a crazy wench so he can move on with his life and move out of his parent's house...bonus points if you include his defunct teenagers who can't keep themselves clean and/or out of trouble
  • a spectacularly sweet and loving couple needs a baby.  Don't care how...her own making, adoption, stork, whatever...just something needs to fall into place and let them be a happy family.  I truly don't know of anyone more deserving.
  • a couple of strong women who lost their husband/father who are trying to pick up the pieces and move forward with their lives, while under the cloud of potential lay offs just needs something positive and happy and secure to happen...maybe something to look forward to
So if you're not too busy...I'd really appreciate it.  If you want to leave a comment with something you want me to add to my list, I'll be sure to return the favor.  I'm off to find a soda and some crap to shove in my face...yes, I eat my emotions.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

(not really) Wordless Wednesday

When Hubby and I were engaged and planning our wedding, we lived in a part of town that was very restaurant friendly.  This worked since we had a terribly small galley kitchen, no dishwasher, and expendable income.  :)  We fell in love with Mangs, this family own hibachi place.  The owners were the server and chef.  Super sweet people that came to recognize us and ask about how things were going.  They heard about us planning our wedding, recap our honeymoon, and talk about our new house on the other side of town.  They hosted the dinner where we told our parents we were expecting.

They watched my belly grow (from the baby and their amazing food).  We were there just a night or two before Squirmy joined our little family.  They wished us luck and couldn't wait to meet our newest addition.


Then we took Squirmy to pay a visit for the first time! :)
The spoon was empty, just for show.  Clearly he got a taste of the soup anyway..and didn't like it.
Squirmy's new girlfriend :)
Playtime with Daddy

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

tisk tisk Johnny Rockets!

I was about to go to bed when I saw this post from Nursing Freedom.  This just kills me.  Why can't people leave well enough alone?!?

With blessings, I've stolen borrowed used some of the facts from the original post to write the following letter.  Seriously...I don't go telling bottle feeding moms to feed in the bathroom or pass judgement on them..why is this such a big deal?!  This will find its way into tomorrow's mail.


Cozette Phifer Koerber
Vice President of Brand Marketing and Corporate Communications 
The Johnny Rockets Group, Inc.
25550 Commercentre Drive,
Suite 200
Lake Forest, CA 92630 




Dear Ms. Phifer Koerber:

I am writing to express concern about a recent incident at your Newport on the Levee restaurant in Kentucky.  A mother was nursing her 6 month old and was asked to move to a bathroom to feed her child.  As a breastfeeding mother and human in general, I find this very upsetting.  Below you will find an explanation of why I am so upset about this.  No mother should have to be harassed for feeding her child, regardless of method.  No mother should be fearful to feed her child, regardless of method.  No mother should have to avoid establishments because they disagree with feeding a child and with local laws.  You can bet this will keep me from visiting Johnny Rockets.  If I'm allow to eat somewhere, my child should be as well (as is protected by law).

Breastmilk and breastfeeding are the standard for infant nutrition.

Breastmilk contains growth factors, hormones, enzymes, and other substances that are immune-protective and foster proper growth and nutrition.[1] Breastfeeding is associated with a reduction of the risk for children of contracting pneumonia, staphylococcal infections, influenza, ear infections, severe infections of the lower respiratory tract, asthma, obesity, type 1 and type 2 diabetes, childhood leukemia, certain types of cancer, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).[2]

Encouraging breastfeeding is an integral part of many governmental health and wellness initiatives, including programs created by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity, among others.[3] And breastfeeding is not just for infants. The American Academy of Family Physicians 2008 Position Paper on breastfeeding states that “breastfeeding at least until the second year of a child's life is not considered 'extended' breastfeeding. Rather, breastfeeding until the bare minimum age of 2 years is the norm and anything less brings about detrimental consequences.”[4]

Children should not nurse in a bathroom.

The thought of a mother taking her child to a public restroom to nurse is disgusting and dangerous. Every time you flush your toilet, an aerosol spray of water droplets – laden with bits of feces and urine – explodes into the bathroom. Significant quantities of microbes float around the bathroom for at least two hours after each flush. In a public bathroom, that means the air is continuously blasted by feces droplets. What’s more? Women’s public restrooms contain twice as much fecal matter as men’s, probably due to the fact that there is the added contamination of soiled tampons and pads, and women are more likely to be dragging in small children and babies in need of a change.[5]

The Law Protects the Right To Nurse in Public. 

Kentucky State Law KRS § 211.755 states that a mother may breastfeed her child in any location, public or private, where the mother is otherwise authorized to be.  Additionally, every US State in which Johnny Rockets currently operates has similar laws in place as does locations in Canada, Europe, and other countries in which Johnny Rockets operates.  As such it is the responsibility of your corporation and local managers to ensure that those working at your restaurants are aware of these laws and regulations. To not do so is truly a dramatic oversight that can lead to dangerous precedent and negligence.

Please work with me to normalize breastfeeding in our society. I am writing to ask you to take positive steps to help breastfeeding mothers.

  • First, if your organization has internal guidelines regarding breastfeeding mothers and how to handle complaints of patrons about a mother breastfeeding their child I encourage you toreview these guidelines on a state-by-state basis to ensure that your guidelines are not actually violating local laws. There are some very real business risk reasons to follow through on this particular item. 
  • Second, I would also encourage you to post your policy in an easily accessible location so that all mothers who may be nursing their child can read your policy and decide for themselves whether they are comfortable with your policy. 
  • Third, a public and sincere apology to the mother in question.  
  • And, fourth, please educate your employees and franchisees about the rights of breastfeeding pairs.

I hope you found this information informative and helpful.  Thank you for taking the time to review it.

Sincerely,
Tina


References:
[1] Hamosh, Margit, PhD, Breastfeeding: Unraveling the Mysteries of Mother’s Milk, http://www.asklenore.info/breastfeeding/additional_reading/mysteries.html
[2] Ip S, et al., Breastfeeding and maternal and infant health outcomes in developed countries, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17764214; see also Burby, Leslie, 101 Reasons to Breastfeed Your Child (and citations therein), http://www.promom.org/101/
[3] See http://www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/ ; http://www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/policy/hp2010.htm ; http://www.letsmove.gov/tfco_fullreport_may2010.pdf
[4] http://www.aafp.org/online/en/home/policy/policies/b/breastfeedingpositionpaper.html; The AAFP’s position is almost identical to that of the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF. Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding, http://www.who.int/nutrition/publications/infantfeeding/9241562218/en/index.html.
For similar positions from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and other medical organizations, see http://www.aap.org/breastfeeding/faqsBreastfeeding.html#10; see also http://www.liebertonline.com/doi/abs/10.1089/bfm.2008.9988?journalCode=bfm.
[5] Breastfeeding and Bathrooms Do Not Mix, http://codenamemama.com/2010/05/24/breastfeeding-and-bathrooms/

Coupon Clippin' Craziness

So I've been a bit lax about posting.  I have entirely too many blogs in my Google Reader and I keep reading those instead of posting.  That and twitter and facebook and email and 4 month old...

One of the big things I've been working on is saving money (aren't we all?!?).  Being a SAHM is wonderful for most things, except our finances.  My poor hubby is working so much overtime but he swears he's happier working overtime and having me home with Squirmy.

We started printing coupons from smartsource.com, coupons.com, and redplum.com.  We were saving some decent money with that, but it seemed like we could do better.  One weekend we bought a Sunday paper from one of those boxes just to see what we might save.  That weekend alone we saved something like $75 between sales and coupons.  CRAZY!  We decided it was more than worth it to subscribe to Sundays only.  The full price of a yearly subscription for our Sunday paper is $65.  I thought it'd be worth it.  Even better since we found a coupon IN the paper for the subscription for $32!

So we've invested $32 to save money.  Might sound counter intuitive, but let me tell you...best $32 investment.  This week alone I saved $30 at Target and $20 at our local grocery store (Publix).  I paid $50 and $60 at each store respectively.

I've gotten a lot of "I don't have time for that" from people.  It seriously takes me about 10 minutes to go through the paper and cut out coupons and maybe another 10 to go through the online sites and print those off.  I just toss them into a coupon organizer (yeah, I'm hard core like that...I think it's the same kind my granny uses, fo realz).  I have the coupon organizer arranged by the aisles of the store.  I pull out coupons as I put the items in the cart and put them in the very front pocket.  At checkout they're all ready for me! :)

Some helpful hints I've picked up along the way:

  • subscribe to coupon blogs...there are a lot of them, but they're worth your time to peruse
  • stores will often honor manufacturers coupons AND store coupons for the same items (I had a BOGO coupon for cat treats and a store coupon for $1.50 off=2 packs of free cat treats)
  • some stores (Publix and Petco) will honor competitors coupons
  • our newspaper includes a ton of holiday papers for free with the Sunday only subscription (think black friday)
  • learn your stores sales cycles...our store does different BOGO specials each week.  I stock up on stuff when it's BOGO
  • if you have a store that does BOGO, they might accept 2 coupons for the 2 items you're purchasing (for example, if you have 2 coupons for spaghetti sauce and it's BOGO you're still technically buying 2 items and can use both coupons)
  • sign up for clubs at any stores that offer them...you'll get coupons and freebies and special sale items
I promise this whole coupon thing is WAY easier to get into than it seems.  I was intimidated by it at first but it's not so bad.  Next goal...figure out the money making deals at Walgreens and CVS!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Maybe one day...

So you don't know the story, but that's okay.  Suffice to say my dad and I haven't spoken in 11 years.  Though that's not to say I haven't reached out before.  On the heels of some pretty big life changes, news that my dad is having heart trouble, and a disturbing dream about his death and loads of regret I have decided to try to reach out to him once more.  This could end one of three ways: 1) no response (his typical M.O.), 2) a negative response (only happened once), or 3) he could reach back.  The first would disappoint but not surprise me.  The second would be hard but 11 years makes the skin tough.  The third would be the most surprising and most uncharted territory.  Now just the nerve to print and send this...

********************************
Dear Daddy,

It’s been awhile since we’ve chatted...too long, really.  I know things aren’t the way I’d like them to be between us.  For my part in that, I’m sorry.  I never meant to choose between you and my mom.  I never meant to hurt you.  I never meant for there to be this divide.  I am truly and whole heartedly sorry.

Life’s journey has taken me through some crazy adventures.  I graduated from high school and went on the the Honors College on a full and well padded scholarship for undergrad.  I graduated from the Honors College in 2006 with my BA in Liberal Arts, concentration in Latin American Studies, minors in Psychology and Spanish.  I went on to grad school and got my MA in Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling.  I worked for a year and a half as an in-home family therapist.  I loved my job and really felt I was making an impact.

In October 2005 I met a wonderful man.  He and I quickly started dating and fell in love.  About 2 years later we became engaged.  A year after that we got married on August 2, 2008.  He and I have grown up a lot together and taught each other a lot of wonderful qualities.  We really are very good for each other.

We both knew we wanted a family, so it wasn’t long before the discussions about kids started up.  I was diagnosed with a type of hormonal imbalance when I was 16 which spelled difficulties for having kids.  We knew our road might not be smooth so we saw a specialist to go over options.  Ten months later our journey had succeeded.

Your grandson was born March 19. 2010.  I hope you got the announcement.  He was 8lbs 1oz and is amazingly perfect.  He’s growing so fast.  Each new day brings a smile to my face and joy to my heart.  We hope to give him a sibling some day, but it’s hard to imagine loving another person as much as I love him.  After considering all our options, we finally decided that I would quit my job and stay home to raise him. I absolutely love being home with him each day. My degree and career will be waiting for me when I'm ready.

So that’s our story in a nutshell.  I know it’s been a good number of years since we’ve talked and there are a lot of emotions on both sides of this relationship.  But life is too short and moving too fast.  I know it won’t be easy, but maybe we could start emailing (cricketina@gmail.com) or talking?  Let me know...I’ll be here.

So, I hope this letter finds you well and not too hot out there in Arizona.  Hope to hear from you soon.

Love you,
Tina

Thursday, July 15, 2010

My Cloth Diapering System

There are lots of articles on washing cloth diapers, how different diapers work, and even how to make your own, but what about the nitty gritty details of getting a dirty diaper from bum to pail?

This is a link-up unique opportunity, hosted by The Cheap and ChoosyMy New Life as...MOM!, Trees Will Bend , and Home Grown Families, to share your system and to see a lot of other mom's ideas in one place! Please join in the fun and make this a link-up party that will help many new to cloth moms and be a fun experience for fluff addicts!

What's your diapering system and organization? Just post about it and link up! 

*************************************************

I love seeing everyone's systems.  I figured I'd post mine as one of the more simplistic systems.  Painfully simple, really.  We bought a beautiful changing table for Squirmy's room before he was born with visions of poopy diapers and love.  Well...truth be told, I could probably count on one hand the number of times he's used it in his 4 months.  We almost bought one for downstairs (we live in a 2 story townhome, all bedrooms upstairs, all living space down), but the PnP we bought had one attached.  I can probably count on one hand the number of times he was changed on that one, too.  We've gone for the minimalistic/convenience approach.  Squirmy gets changed in the living room.  Sometimes on the oversized ottoman from Ikea (which claims you can't wash the cover but TRUST me, you can...Squirmy has helped us prove this time and time again).  Sometimes on the couch.  Sometimes on the floor.  We just change him wherever is comfortable and easy.

Here's my set up of supplies.  A small wire basket that I believe was originally bought for me to use in the dorms in undergrad (at least that's the first purpose of it I can remember) holds the clean dipes.  We have far too few dipes so the small container works.  The cloth wipes hang out on the side of the basket.  The solution is on the floor in front of the basket.  There's a small plastic basket behind the diapers for diaper creams, barriers, and extra liners/doublers.  Behind that is the dry pail.  That is the same pail my mom used with me (albeit for disposables) that turned into my toy bin.  My mom actually had to empty out all my old toys I refused to get rid of in order for me to use it for Squirmy.  :)  Next to it is the froggy potty for our endeavors in EC.  Just ignore the printer and Wii Fit Balance Board in the shot.  Like I said, we do this in the living room so everything is tucked next to the end of the couch.



When Squirmy needs a change, I grab a wipe, the spray, and a clean dipe.  I lay him down and take his dipe off.  A couple of squirts, wipe, and put the new dipe on.  I might put him on the potty for a minute before I wipe him up and/or I might leave him on the floor for nakey time.  Then I throw the wipe and dipe into the pail.  Since he's still EBF, that's it!  Less than 36 hours later it will be in the wash!  I do laundry every 24-36 hours depending on how fast he goes through our stash.

At night I'll grab 2-3 dipes before we head up to bed.  We use disposable wipes at bedtime, partially because we still have some and partially because I don't want to try cloth wipes/spray in the middle of the night on the off chance he wakes and needs a change.

Our stash:
  • 12 BG AIO Organics
  • 5 GroBabys (shells, soakers, and doublers)
  • 1 GAD, size medium long
  • 12 Thirsties wipes (won from a Home Grown Families Giveaway)
  • 1 bottle of booty luster (won from a Home Grown Families Giveaway)
Can I just say I'm so jealous when I read other people's stash lists?!?

So that's our system.  I like the linky for this.  If any of the moms who started the idea are reading, I think you should do another linky for what happens from dirty in pail to clean and put away.

Wordless Wednesday a day late!

Squirmy riding in the cart for the first time :)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Nursing...feeling fake and bitter and ashamed and proud and confused

I wrote a post for the Carnival of Nursing in Public about how I've become more and more comfortable with nursing in public.  As I wrote the article, I felt a little fake.  I felt fake because I was careful to state that I didn't cover up IN PUBLIC.  That has been on my mind since then.

You see...I still do cover up around family.

My mother and mother-in-law both breastfed their children.  As I said in my other post, my mom was quick to give advice about the environment of breastfeeding.  She had no advice about the actual act of breastfeeding, but rather how to make sure I had the remote control and to have a comfortable set up in the bedroom for when company came over (assuming that I would relegate myself to the bedroom as she had).  She wasn't particularly comfortable with the idea that I had no plans to leave the room to feed.  But I knew she'd get over it...or at least I hoped.  My mother-in-law seemed more supportive.  She told tales of how she breastfed her 6 children.  She said that she, too, had hidden in a bedroom to feed her children...which ultimately led to her nurse for decreasingly less time each child.  Despite the fact that none of her 3 daughters breastfed, I hoped she'd be a good source of support for me.

The pattern of my comfort began in the hospital.  My husband still jokes that not a person entered our suite without checking out my boobs, my nipples, and Squirmy's latch...every nurse, aid, LC, doctor, EVERYONE.  Somehow, that was okay.  I didn't know these people and they were trying to help.  But the moment it was time to feed Squirmy with visitors in the room...I'd ask our visitors to clear out.  Between my own modesty for my body and my insecurity over breastfeeding, I just couldn't chance the audience.

Once home I was not about to hike my happy, recovering arse up the stairs to hide away and nurse.  Quite frankly, it was a week or two before I could even carry Squirmy up the stairs myself.  No, no...I was going to keep myself plopped on the couch.  So the covering up started.  At first it was no big deal...it made me comfortable.  The first signs of trouble began fairly quickly.  My mom refused to listen when I asked her for the baby back to feed him.  She insisted she knew better and he didn't need to eat nearly as often as I thought he did.  That's her, though.  When I did feed him, she politely gave me space...She'd take care of some chore, get me a snack or drink, and sit and talk to me.  I was surprised she was okay with it all.  Several weeks later my grandparents came to town and she sat them down to explain this "bizarre" behavior to them.  I was shocked, hurt, and offended by her little sit down.  You might say she was trying to be helpful, given my VERY proper grandmother whom bottle fed all 6 of her children...but you'd have to know her.  That was her way of telling me she was awkwardly uncomfortable with what I was doing.  :(

And what of my perceived ally?  My mother-in-law?  She expressed and early and overwhelmingly painful discomfort with me feeding around her.  After leaving the hospital, I've never once asked her to leave the room or turn her back or avert her eyes.  She offered to bring us dinner one night shortly after we came home.  My brother-in-law came over, as well.  She ran out to pick up our order and got back just as Squirmy was settling in to eat.  I choked back tears as she turned her back on me and refused to talk to me when she realized I was feeding.  My BIL followed suit.  They made themselves comfortable at the kitchen table as my loving husband fixed my plate and brought it to me.  Confused, he looked to me to tell him where to eat dinner.  I told him to join his mom and brother at the table.  I ate my dinner alone (well, with my sweet baby hidden on my lap), in silence, abandoned and ashamed.

I can ignore my mom.  She's my mom...I've spent 26 years dealing with her.  Screw her if she thinks I should hide in a bedroom like she did.  I owe my son more than that.  I owe this and the next generation more than that.  Through my husband's insistence and speeches, my brothers- and sisters-in-law have gotten over themselves and used to me feeding around them...still covered.  My MIL...she's still painfully awkward and avoids contact with me at all costs when I'm feeding.  It's gotten to the point where I want to cry because she acts so uncomfortable and put out when I start to feed.  I know it's bad, but often I find myself letting Squirmy get enough to calm him for a little while until she leaves.  Doesn't help that she constantly asks why he always wants to eat or sleep when she's over and why he always fusses when she holds him.  Um, he's not even 4 months old...if you hold him for more than 10 minutes he'll fuss...we're not talking crying, just your general talking/fussing/making noise.  Oh and he's A BABY...eat, sleep, shit...that's ALL they do.  She had 6 of her own and this is her 10th grandchild.

So last night we were out to dinner with our housemate when Squirmy did his "I'm a baby and I wanna eat" thing.  In the middle of eating, in the middle of Macaroni Grill, I discreetly freed my boob from my nursing tank and pulled my shirt up just enough for him to sneak his head in and latch.  No one would ever have known what I was doing.  I thought about how I can be completely comfortable taking care of business in such a setting, yet cannot manage to feel comfortable in my own home WITH a cover :(

I'm not sure what I hoped to accomplish with this post.  I wanted to admit my "failings" with nursing comfort, vent my frustrations, perhaps get some understanding/support, and hopefully get some ideas on how to deal with this.  So...what do you think?!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Cloth Diapering Cheat Sheet

When I started out with cloth diapers, I felt like I was fuddling through a world of all these special words and phrases.  I figured out most okay, but each day I learn something new.  As the adage goes, I wish I knew then what I knew now.  I couldn't figure out why someone would choose one type over others.  Hopefully this will make it a bit easier to figure out what you want and need.

Types of Diapers
Pockets--These are diapers that look similar to disposables.  They have a pocket inside that you stuff with inserts to create different levels of absorbency (less for newborns or during the day, more for toddlers or overnight).  They don't need a cover.  These seem to be one of the most popular styles.

AIO (all in ones)--They are one piece, no stuffing, no liners, just put on and go.  These are great for starting out, caregivers, dads, etc.  With an older baby they're not super for overnights because you can't increase absorbency levels.  They don't need a cover.  

AI2 (all in two) or Hybrids--These are diapers that have a waterproof outer shell and interchangeable liners.  These are good for reducing laundry and drying time.  My experience so far is that they're not as absorbent (though adding an extra liner does help).  They are called hybrids because they have an option for a disposable liner that is more eco friendly than regular disposable diapers.

Fitteds--These diapers are a more shapely alternative to prefolds.  They need a diaper cover, though, either wool or plastic.

Prefolds--These are your standard, previous generations diapers.  They need a diaper cover.  Cheapest way to use cloth.  Great for dust rags when they're retired (as anyone from previous generations will tell you).

Materials
Organic Cotton--average absorbency, average speed on absorbing (takes a LONG time to prep but works well)
Microfiber--fast but less absorbency, CANNOT be put directly against baby's skin
Hemp--absorbs a LOT but not terribly quickly
Fleece--often used as a soft barrier between baby and absorbent layers
Wool--used as a cover, doesn't have to be washed very often, waterproof but breathable

Other Terms
One Size--a diaper designed to fit from birth/small infancy to potty training.  They might not work well for a newborn or a bigger potty trainer.  Downside--more bulky
Sized--a diaper that has a specific size (S,M,L) based on weight.  Slimmer/better fitting, but less versatility. 
Snappi--basically this is the modern diaper pin (reminds me of an Ace Bandage clip)
Aplix/Velcro--brand names for hook and loop closures, good for getting a better fit and easy changes but can wear out more quickly and can be problematic when toddlers figure it out (as opposed to snaps)
PUL--waterproof (though soft) outer layer...technically polyurethane laminated fabric

I'm sure there is much more information out there, so much I've missed.  With all the options out there, it can be very overwhelming.  If you decide which options are most important to you right now, you can get started with any type.  Once you've been doing it a bit, you'll find what you like and what you want.  Our stash started with all AIOs for convenience.  Then we added a handful of hybrids for extended outings.  From here out, we'll get pockets to polish off our collection for variable absorbency as our little boy grows.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Nursing in Public: From trepidation to comfort

Welcome to the July 2010 Carnival of Nursing in Public

This post was written for inclusion in the Carnival of Nursing in Public hosted by Dionna and Paige at NursingFreedom.org. All week, July 5-9, we will be featuring articles and posts about nursing in public ("NIP"). See the bottom of this post for more information.

***

As my due date approached, I became more and more certain I wanted to breastfeed. Along with my determination also came some trepidation. I was terrified I wouldn’t produce enough to feed my sweet little boy. I couldn’t even think about where and when I’d be comfortable feeding. My mom breastfed me and gave me pointers of what kind of bed pillows to buy and how to entertain myself when I was stuck in the bedroom feeding with company over. I told her I appreciated her advice, but I wasn’t interested in hiding away just because people would be around. But then I didn’t really know what I would do...

Then that beautiful day arrived and I saw the most precious child I’d ever laid eyes on. I’d had a c-section, so after I got to see my boy, my husband took him to the nursery as they finished my surgery. When they came to me in recovery, an LC came with them. She explained that they hadn’t bathed him in order to help us bond and get breastfeeding off to a good start. She said some other things about latch and who knows what else. I was trying to listen, I swear...but I had the most beautiful eyes staring up at me. She helped me position him so he’d latch when he was ready...and he was ready. I’d always been a modest girl, but here I sat with my husband, my baby boy, and a stranger with my boobs hanging out...and I’ve never been happier than in that moment.

From there my modesty began to swirl downhill. I don’t think there was a nurse, doctor, LC, or anyone else who entered our mother/baby suite who didn’t see my chest, check his latch, or otherwise inspect my “assets.” Though I did ask family to leave the room while I fed. I didn’t exactly know what I was doing and I wasn’t prepared to show everyone just that.

Once home, I used an Udder Cover when people were around. I felt so uncomfortable using the Udder Cover. I felt like I was screaming, “Hey look at me! I”m breastfeeding and I’m not confident!” Though that was the truth.

It took a trip to Target to change my confidence. We had our 11 year old niece with us and Squirmy wasn’t about to sleep...just scream. Of course I’d left my trusty Udder Cover at home. All I had in the diaper bag was a blanket...then there was the trouble of where?!? A screaming infant distracted all my thoughts. I grabbed the blanket in the middle of the soda aisle and took care of business. Our niece didn’t skip a beat (she’d seen her mom feed her younger siblings for a couple of weeks each), but my husband looked surprised. “Now what?” he asked. “Just go!” I said hurriedly. I was so nervous walking around the store with an infant attached to my breast under a blanket thrown over my shoulder. No one in the store even seemed to notice.

My confidence was boosted to say the least. My best friend was staying with us for an extended period and I was OVER covering up! She’s a forward thinker and I took it upon it myself to just stop with the cover-ups. I always wear a nursing tank under my shirts, so it’s not like I was flashing nip.

A day at Disney proved to be the breaking point for me covering up in public. There’s nothing like the FL heat, a sweaty body, and a sweaty infant to make you shun a cover-up.

The final straw for NIP came recently when I was nursing in the food court of a local mall when a family saw me, gave me the thumbs up, cheered, and clapped at me nursing.

I’m DONE with cover ups in public. I’ll still be discreet, using tanks and over shirts to remain covered, but I can no longer hide behind an obnoxious and hot cloth. Besides, I owe it to the younger generation to show them breastfeeding is normal and okay and wonderful!

Art by Erika Hastings at http://mudspice.wordpress.com/

Welcome to the Carnival of Nursing in Public

Please join us all week, July 5-9, as we celebrate and support breastfeeding mothers. And visit NursingFreedom.org any time to connect with other breastfeeding supporters, learn more about your legal right to nurse in public, and read (and contribute!) articles about breastfeeding and N.I.P.

Do you support breastfeeding in public? Grab this badge for your blog or website to show your support and encourage others to educate themselves about the benefits of breastfeeding and the rights of breastfeeding mothers and children.


This post is just one of many being featured as part of the Carnival of Nursing in Public. Please visit our other writers each day of the Carnival. Click on the links below to see each day’s posts - new articles will be posted on the following days:
July 5 - Making Breastfeeding the Norm: Creating a Culture of Breastfeeding in a Hyper-Sexualized World
July 6 – Supporting Breastfeeding Mothers: the New, the Experienced, and the Mothers of More Than One Nursing Child
July 7 – Creating a Supportive Network: Your Stories and Celebrations of N.I.P.
July 8 – Breastfeeding: International and Religious Perspectives
July 9 – Your Legal Right to Nurse in Public, and How to Respond to Anyone Who Questions It

Monday, July 5, 2010

Lazy Post

Squirmy and I were both sick yesterday :(  We're both still sleepy today.  Here's a lazy, albeit festive, post.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

A case of the Mondays....

So I know this is the first day of a holiday weekend for most, but it's Monday here in our household.  Hubby's days off aren't usually Saturday and Sunday.  This week they were Thursday and Friday.  So today I have a case of the Mondays...  I'm more tired than normal from doing more that I usually do, plus I sleep less when he's home (trying to soak up all the time we have together).  Today we're just going to sit back and relax and recoup from a fun "weekend."

Thursday we ran some errands and did some more research into the store idea.  We found an AMAZING location for it, but the rent is a bit daunting.  The more we thought about it, the more intimidated we were by the whole idea.  Throw on top some personal financial faux pas and a complete and utter Squirmy melt down and we decided to quit thinking about it for the day.

Friday we awoke with a renewed hope.  Perhaps a B&M store isn't in our immediate future, though we really wish it were.  We decided to get out of the house/area for the day and check out some possible competition.  We met up with The Eco Chic and Zealand's Mom over at Peace Love Play where East Coast Cloth was hanging out for the day.  Squirmy was amazed by all the colors and the sounds of kids playing.  He even sat up in a chair all by himself for the first time!

I had a great time talking diapers and actually getting my hands on a bunch of different brands/styles/colors/etc.  I picked up my first Green Acres Design sized diaper (my first pocket and my first sized dipe).  Hubby and our roommate were both a little overwhelmed by all the new information.  They'd heard me talk about it somewhat before but suddenly there were snaps and velcro and double gussets and one size and sized and fitteds and covers and pockets and all-in-ones and fleece and microfiber and hemp and.....  We headed for a late lunch and Hubby asked which diaper made dinner for you.

So...we're thinking of taking a new spin on the store idea.  Right now we can't fathom taking on such a big gamble :(  We're thinking of trying to get an online store up and running while hitting the local farmers markets as a "store front" for right now.  I'm worried about stepping on toes with East Coast Cloth, but they're an hour and 2 counties away.  Surely there's enough territory for both of us....

So today I'm tired and missing Hubby and watching the rain fall.  The lines of Dr. Seuss keep running through my head:
The sun did not shine. 
It was too wet to play.
So we sat in the house
All that cold, cold, wet day.

I sat there with Squirmy.
We sat there, we two.
And I said, "How I wish
We had something to do!"

Too wet to go out
And too cold to play ball.
So we sat in the house.
We did nothing at all.

So all we could do was to
Sit!
Sit!
Sit!

Sadly (or not) I did type that from memory, albeit verified it online.  Though it's not cold and I don't wish we had something to do...it's just a sleepy, rainy, curl up and cuddle, case of the Mondays kind of day.