Friday, December 30, 2011

Preschooler Logic

Last night I went to the depths of hell [Walmart] with my best friend and her little ones who just happen to be my godchildren. My god son is 7 and my goddaughter is 8 months younger than Side Salad so she just turned 3 last month. I have been trying to explain to her that I'm preggers but she doesn't seem to get or to care.  Case in point:

I took her to go to the restroom at our church's Christmas program. She looked up at me with her sweet doe eyes and said:
           "Your stomach is getting really big."
Wow, I thought. A teachable moment. A time for us to connect and for me to share the joy of a new life with her! I answered her. "Yes, sweetie! My stomach is getting bigger! That's because there is a baby inside! Isn't that cool?!"
My precious poppet looked at me and said:
           "I have to pee."
Clearly, she was less enthralled than I.

So last night, we're at the Wally and I say to her, "My tummy sure is getting big.  And look-it's moving! I wonder what's inside. What do you think?"
She turned slowly towards me, looked at my face, my belly, then my face again and said:
           "You have popcorn in your stomach. It's popping. You ate too much."
All this time, I've been thinking I was pregnant. Turns out, I'm just full of popcorn.

Take that, midwives.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Protecting babies from harm

First and foremost, I am a staunch lactavist.  Breastmilk is always better than formula.  Both are means of nutrition but breastmilk is a balanced diet and formula is a Happy Meal with a Flintstone's vitamin on the side.  There's really no comparison. But, unfortunately, the best isn't always possible, and so there is a substitute. I myself had to formula feed my daughters. I couldn't continue breastfeeding (for life reasons, not health) and they had to eat.  I understand that not every baby will be breastfed. Life isn't perfect.

I was inspired to write this post because a third baby has contracted the bacteria C. sakazakii. The first baby, a 10 day old little boy died. The second baby, a little girl from Illinois, also died.  This is a bacteria found in powdered milk based formula. I emphasize the powered part because that is very important to understand.  

Powdered formula is not a sterile product. It says so on the can.  The nature of it precludes sterilization. I don’t care how much you boil the water, the formula will never be sterile.  Concentrate and ready-to-feed, on the other hand are sterile.  For that reason, I urge any parent who uses infant formula to use the concentrate or ready-to-feed formula. Yes, it costs more, but for at least the first couple months, when baby’s immune system is so raw and immature, take that precaution.  That couple of dollars could save your baby’s life.

C. sakazakii is super scary. It can cause meningitis and necrotizing enterocolitis (Goggle 'em).  These are much worse in sick babies and preemies. They are much more likely to die. Furthermore, it can survive 2 years in infected formula.   We have known about this link for a very long time.  In fact, the FDA issued a warning about it in 2002.  Though, it's relatively rare, it is still a scary, scary thing.

Or, for as long as you can-even if it’s only for that six weeks you have off work, even if it’s only two weeks-breastfeed your baby.  Breastmilk provides antibodies that protect your baby from getting sick. I was able to breastfeed my daughters 4 and 7 months exclusively, so they had an opportunity to develop strong immune systems. Additionally, neither of them drank powdered, milk based formula (one was on Alimentum concentrate as there was no powdered form back then, and the other was on soy).  Plus, they were both full term, healthy babies that were not hospitalized.  My babies were fortunately never at risk.

Mama, protect those babies!

If you formula feed, what kind of formula do you use? Are you concerned about C. sakazakii bacteria?

Target Nurse-In, or my 5 minutes of fame

I haven't yet exactly decided I what direction I want this blog post to go in; I have so much to say.  Unless you've been living under a rock that isn't accessible by Wi-Fi, you've heard about Michelle Hickman, the TX mother who was hassled by Target employees.  I hesitate to use the word harassed because it didn't go that far, in my opinion.   They were more covertly disapproving than outright disrespectful.  This made national headlines because of the subsequent Target Nurse Ins, of which I was a participant.

We went to Target and we nursed our babies (actually I just rubbed my prego belly). We shopped and talked and laughed.  The kids played and drank Icees.  I saw an old friend and made some new ones.
Pssst!  I'm the brown one ;-)

We even made a couple of news outlets, like this and this and especially this last one-check me out!.

Target was fantastic about it. They are like my favoritest store EVER and I love them.  No issues with employees or with other customers at all. I honestly didn't expect any.  Target always rocks.

 I fear, though, that the goal of the Nurse Ins is being lost. To me, that goal is breastfeeding is normal and not something that is shameful or that should be hidden. Conversely, it's just a normal thing that deserves absolutely no attention at all.

I don't understand is why there is such a controversy about nursing in public and that is the issue at the heart of the Nurse Ins. How hypocritical is it to say "Breast is best!" but only when out of sight?  In every store that sells underpinnings, I see pictures of bra-clad women; no one flinches. When I nurse, my shirt stays on. How can that be more obscene?  Girls walk through the mall with tube tops and low rise jeans; no one says a word. When I nurse, I don't even have cleavage showing (maybe a bit of side boob if I'm only wearing one shirt). It's such overt hypocrasy that people are calling mothers who are caring for babies "whores" for giving their babies the very best. It's sickening.  If nursing truly bothers you, simply look away. You are not obligated to stare at strangers in public (and make an appointment with your psychiatrist to discover why you have such unusual sexual hang ups).

We're not trying to force anyone to drink the Koolaid, just to respect hungry babies and the mothers attached to them.  

Did you participate in the Target Nurse Ins? How do you feel about nursing in public?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Stickin' it to the board!

This is a quickie post. I have some more pinning to do....

I finally got into Pintrest thanks to a friend of mine and I have been having so much fun with it today. I can't explain why it's fun; it just is. Looking at my board is like looking into my scattered brain.  So far, I have created/am creating two boards.  One is a women's apparel board, the "My Style" board and the other is a lifestyle board, my "Birth Board" . The birth board is like a representation of what I want my birth to be like-all five senses. I love the sharing aspect. I just pinned this hat literally 2 minutes ago and it has 4 repins already!
I'm a lister so here is a list of things I like about Pintrest:

  • I like that I can help spread WAHM and small businesses by showing off their cools stuff.
  • I like that I can get crafty ideas from others.
  • It's fun and gives me a valid reason to spend even more time online.

If you are on Pintrest, follow me: lilmami81
If you want an invite, just leave me your email.

Friday, December 9, 2011

The Decision to Cloth

I never thought about cloth diapering in a serious way until after the birth of my fourth child. I used disposable for all the rest. However, when he was a few months old, I decided to give it a go.  Part of it was financial-the hubs and I aren't rich people.  Part was the gradual greening of me.  Anyways, he was on board and we gave it a go.

And never looked back again. Side Salad was my most natural baby in terms of the products that touched and entered his body.  There's a lot more concerning this journey on my old blog, you know the one I can't use anymore SMH

As we prepare to welcome Cinco into our family, I find myself most excited about breastfeeding and cloth diapering. Breastfeeding is free but cloth can evolve into a full blown addiction. I'll admit it-I have a chocolate goodMama  and four custom ScuttleButts aka Orange Diaper Co dipes.  But there's nothing I love more than fresh cloth.  Plus aren't they beyond cute?!

Anywho, Kebbie's Diaper Bag is looking for bloggers to review cloth diapering products. If you are interested, here's the link!

Me Time

My life tends to be busy.  In the course of ten years, I completed my bachelors (cum laude), almost all of my masters (3 classes away), had 4 children, and got married-not necessarily in that order. People are always asking me how I do it, because apparently I make it look easy. When you work, you can take a sick day, AKA a mental health day.  When you are a part-time SAHM, it's a little harder.

The answer is that I carve out time for myself. I'm not rich by any means but I do make little splurges.  They are little in that the most expensive one is $25, the least expensive, free.  Here are a few of my Sanity Savers:

  • a pedicure-manicures are a waste of time for me. I work a lot with my hands and I also wash them a lot. The polish will chip by the end of the day.  I can't stand fake nails.  But a nice pedi will last weeks.
  • Movies!  I love, Love, LOVE going to the movies.  They always make me happy!  This year alone, I saw: The Immortals, Breaking Dawn, HP and the Deathly Hallows, Real Steel, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Super 8, Cars 2, The Hangover 2, Bridesmaids, Fast 5, X-Men: First Class, Bad Teacher, Transformers: The Dark Side of the Moon, Columbiana, and The Help. You'd think this movie habit costs me a lot but AMC near me has $5 matinees.   And the drive in is 2 moves for $7 for adults, $3 for kids AND you can bring a cooler.
  • Coldstone Creamery!!!  Can you say Like It, Love It, Gotta Have It?  Worth. Every. Penny.
  • Reality TV. There's nothing like watching Phaedra, Kandi, Cynthia, Kim, Nene and their friends cut up. That's what very rich people do.  Then there's Chrissy, Em,Somaya and nem, the ones who don't even pretend to be wives because they aren't.  I actually just watch Baseball Wives for the first time and whew those chicks are wild, too.  Clearly, Biggie was right. Mo' money, mo' problems.
  • And my favorite, early bedtimes.  My kids go to bed at 8, no later than 9. This is to ensure that I have some time to myself every single day.

What do you do to keep your sanity? 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

On the 2nd day of Giveaways, a blogger gave to me.....

Today I was perusing the page of my favorite custom diaper purveyor (Jen at Orange Diaper Co) and she mentioned a giveaway on the All About Cloth Diapers blog. This blogger mama is giving away stuff for 12 freakin' days!  I missed yesterday, but rest assured, I'll make the rest of the days.  Today's giveaway is HUGE!  It's too much to enumerate here.  Just go look for yourself.

I'm just kidding. The winner gets:

  • The Homestead Co diaper rash oil
  • Motherlove diaper and thrush cream
  • Fuzzi Bunz perfect fit
  • Bac-Out, a fluff destinkifier (my typing renders it a real word)
  • a Best Bottom dipe with a fleece topped, snap-in insert
  • and a surprise from Bee  AllNatural

So get your sweet patootie over there and try to win!

All About Cloth Diapers 125 button

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Monday, December 5, 2011

Looking Good, or how to birth a babe in style

So today I was sitting her ruminating about the whole birth experince and what I want it to be like.  This is my 5th baby so it's not my first ride on the merry-go-round.   I have had 4 vaginal births, two were induced-Prnicess and Squirrel, and two with epidurals-Astronaut and Squirrel.  The most medicated was Squirrel (my tiny baby)  and the least medicated was Side Salad (my mammoth baby).

Anywho, this is my first non-hospital birth.  Yep, that's right. I'm leaving the comfort of the sterile (hah!) medical fortress and going commando.  I'll be birthing at a lovely birth center with two fantastic midwives. 
[Sometime soon I will go into the mechanincs of how medical choices are impacted by finances and what that means to people like me, but suffice to say it's worth it.  I <3 my midwives and my visits are always so long. I haven't had some of the issues I suffered from with other pregnancies, such as hemmaroids and constipation.  It's different.  But I digress. I wanted to talk about my upcoming labor.]

At the ripe old age of almost thirty, I know what I want and what I don't want, and I am less afraid of labor.  By using the birth center, I can avoid things like invasive monitoring and epidurals.  I'm one  of those people Kim Zolciak refers to as a "dumb ass."  I prefer to think of myself as capable of rational thought and able to make decisions based on them. The research I have done and my prior birth experiences led me to this choice. I plan to labor in the tub but I don't know if I want to actual give birth in it. I think I'd rather use teh labor stool.  The idea of wallowing in a tub of poo kinda grosses me out. I want my daughters present, and Caeser Salad and my mommy.  Oh, and my BFF Stacy.  I want to be able to drink (Naked Orange Mango) and to eat if I'm hungry. I want to be able to get up if I feel like it. That's pretty much it.  There's a longer list of things I don't want than things I do!

Being unemployed gives me lots of time to read and drool over stuff I want and today, what I want is some labor apparal!  That's right, you can buy clothes for birthing and they are right cute, too! Binsi's stuff is pretty cool whethe you are hospital birthing, using a birth center, or birthing at home (maybe #6 will be HB. If there is a #6).  I am serious about possibly splurging on some if we can spare the moola. Why not just rock a bikini top and a sarong, you say?  Here's why:
  • I'm a bit...gifted up top.  38G, to be exact.  I have yet to meet the sports bra that can accomodate my cuppage while being tight enough on my ribs to work well. 
  • A bikini top *might* work, so I'm looking for one now. But it might also be a pain to put on, unlike the Binsi.
  • Sarongs are meant to look pretty, not get wet. The only one I have is a gorgeous sheer turqouse number edged with tiny cowrie shells. Fancy, indeed.  Not birth worthy at all. 
  • I like new and novel things and I love supporting small businesses. 
Since I'm planning on being sociable and chatty, I'd like to look presentable.  Therefore, the Thankiki and the Binis II Too would be great. The Thankini is long enough to cover up my midsection and the wrap is so versatile! I can use it for all kinds of stuff, like a sarong, a shawl, a BF cover, a light blankie, etc.

 So if you are feeling generous, you should buy me one.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I'm Close Minded because I NIP (this is a long one!)

Yep, that's what one of my friends said to me on Monday.  Let me explain.  

Tris will be one in a few weeks.  Over the weekend, my SO and I were discussing his continuing to BF and SO is staunchly on my side.  This is surprising, given his family's opinion and I am so proud of him.
So my friend calls me Monday.  Here is the basic gist of the conversation:

Her: Tris is about to be one.  Are you going to wean him?
Me:  Naw.  Me and Romaine just finished talking about that and we are gonna keep going. The kid is teething anyways.  Why make him more miserable.
Her:  They say breastmilk doesn't have any nutritional value past a year or two.
Me:  It's good for at least two years (2).  Kids need it.  That's why WIC gives 1 year olds full fat milk.  They need it for their brain growth. But Tris is fine. He's happy, his mama is happy, his daddy is happy.  We've decided that we won't be making any changes.
Her:  Well, I just heard about that woman in Walmart (3). They are making laws about it because it really bothers some people.
Me: Actually, you have it backwards-the laws protect the babies and the moms from being harassed (4).  They don't limit babies and mothers rights.
Her: I don't know why. Nobody wants to see that.  People need to use blankets. They should be discreet.
Me: I don't use blankets but I am still discreet.  Tris doesn't like.  He'll pull it off.  People rarely notice unless they are staring right at your breasts.  And most people are intellegent enough to respect a child eating.
Her: I saw a woman use a blanket. Her baby was about 6 months old and didn't pull the blanket off.
Me: Well, my kids never liked blankets and all that fumbling around is aggravating.
Her: You have to teach them to use the blanket. Who is the parent and who is the child.
[at this point, i'm like wtf?]
Me: [speaking slowly] We are talking about small babies. All they know is that they are hungry
Her: That's why you should just use a bottle.
Me: Naw, I'm good. I will just feed my child when he's hungry.  If people don't like it, they can eat in the bathrooom or put blankets over their heads.
Her: That's not fair to other people. Why should they be disturbed?
Me:  They dont' have to look at my breasts. It's not like I stand on the table, do a strip tease and shake my boobs at peoples husbands and teenaged sons.  We are not talking about sex. We are talking about babies eating.  I will not put my child's needs aside for someone's comfort.  A grown person should act accordingly.
This conversation went on for nearly an hour.  i made several requests that she just drop it because we obviously felt different about this issue.

Her main contentions were that:

* Others might be offended.  I don't care. 
* Some one might say something to me.  I don't care.
* People will talk about me. I don't care.

She could not understand why I wouldn't cater to a bunch of strangers that I'll never see again.  She asked me if I would BF in front of my BFF Stacy (ssnelson26)'s hubby. I said that I had already, all four kids.  She asked if I'd be offended if Stacy breastfed in front of my SO.  She has.  My SO and Stacy's hubby are not pedophiles so they are not aroused by babies eating. 
She also said that she worked in restaurants and she knew how people talked.  Ironically, I've worked in more restaurants than she had, and breastfed my kids in every single one. 
She said what if someone came up to me and said "Excuse me, my hubby and I are on a date.  Could you please cover up?"  I told her that I don't breastfeed topless so I am not uncovered, but I would say "Sure, as soon as my child finishes eating."  She seems to think that this will be the beginning of WWIII.  Um, I guess so. 
She asked what I'd do if an employee told me I couldn't breastfeed.  I told her I'd ask for the manager and pray they said the same because I love litigation.  That's when she called me close minded. 

Her: So all you care  about is your child? You don't care about how other people feel?
Me: Exactly. 
Her: You are being very close minded.
Me: It's close minded to raise my child according to what I feel is best for them, and respecting the rights of others to do the same? 

Keep in mind, she breastfed her child.  But she was ashamed, hiding in back rooms and what not.  She only lasted a couple of months.  Her family didn't support her and she stopped. The converastion finally reached a boiling point when I brought up a situation in which a stranger questioned her mothering in public.  She was using foul and profane language and somebody told her she should have more respect for herself and her child than that.  She was offended [I think, embarassed] that someone would say something to her.  I told her that some people found cursing to be disgusting and that they don't want their children exposed to that. 
I must have hit a nerve.  People don't like having their parenting criticized or questioned. 
She got all mad saying no one found bottles disgusting and breastfeeding mothers should use them.  I finally gave up being nice and slipped into extreme lactavist and told her I found formula disgusting and it made me sick to my stomach that people would give their helpless babies the milk of another species that was pumped full of sugar and chemically modified in an attempt to be more like breastmilk instead of being unselfish.

I felt bad for saying but you have to fight fire with fire, ya know?

1. This was originally posted on CafeMom on 18 Feb 2009.
2. WHO webpage on Breastfeeding>>Nutrition
4. SC Law on Breastfeeding, passed in 2005

My Breastfeeding Experiences

I am a lactavist. I staunchly belive that breast milk is to formula like diamonds are to cubic zirconia, a cheap imitation.  If you can't get diamonds, wear CZ, but if you had a choice why would you want something less?  This is especially true when you consider that the diamonds in this case are free.

I breastfed all four of my children. Each time, I had a different life situation but somehow I managed to make it work.  With my the Astronaut, I was an 18 year old single parent, four months out of high school.  I waited a year to go to college, but worked from the time he was 2 months old. Maybe one bottle of formula passed that child's lips.  It didn't make it down his throat because he spit it out.  He has quite a discerning palate.  My mom brought him to my job to nurse. I was waiting tables intially, and worked a semi-slow shift.  I left the state and went to college full time when he was nine months old and still breastfeeding. I expressed milk for him and he began whole milk at age one.  We made it 13 months, at which point he self-weaned.  Two months later, I was pregnant.

When I had the Princess, my son had just turned two and I was back home. I worked two jobs in her infancy, begin when she was 5 weeks old.  It was a much more difficult situation.  I was having problems with my then-boyfriend and with my family. I only made it 4 months with my sweet girl.  Then we fell into a vicious cycle of eczema, ear infections, and colds that actually cost me my job.  I didn't qualify for FMLA and my job wasn't very sympathetic to the plight of single mothers with sick children.

The Squirrel was up next. I was determined to make it with her. I returned to work when she was 6 weeks old. She was a fussy little girl, my smallest baby.  Caesar wasn't working then so he stayed with her. I began pumping and freezing as soon as she was born.We began bottles of pumped milk at 2 weeks to try to avoid nipple confusion and my Avent Isis and I spent lunch together in the lacation room at work. My precious girl girl was EBF for 7 months, then hit a huge growth spurt and depleted my stored supply.  She was BF/FF for two months and then FF after 9 months. She couldn't tolerate cow milk based formula and was switch to soy with moderate success. She developed severe eczema which she still suffers from. She's allergic to all nuts (peanut/tree nut), dogs, dairy, and dust. 

Three days after I was laid off from my job, I found out I was pregnant with Side Salad. My little chunky monkey (the biggest of teh babes) was born so fast we shared our first meal together less than 30 minutes after arriving at the hospital, he from the boob and me from the hospital cafeteria.  SS was the lucky one. He was born when I was at the ripe old age of 26, much wiser and more confident as a mother than I had ever been. Formula never graced the palate of my precious papoose. Before the big kids, my mom and I went on a cruise, I stocked up the deep freezer with the help of my Avent Isis iQ Uno.   This kid was EBF until he was 21 months old.  That's right; he was walking, talking, eating from a plate, drinking from a real cup, using the potty, and all.  It was a mutual decision. He just nursed less and less until one day, I realized it'd been about a week since he nursed. I offered and he refused.

You'd assume people who had known me for a long time would be used to my breastfeeding. 

You assume too much, dear reader.  In my next blog, I will outline the infamous "NIP makes you close minded" incident of 2009.

It's a hoot.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Welcome Back!

Well, it has been about 18 months since I last blogged and I've mangaged to not only lock myself out of my account, forget my password, and forget the account that I used to create it. So I made a new blog. It'll be similar to the first.

Let me get you up to speed.  Salad and I are man and wife.  Yay for us!

The kids have gotten big.  The Astronaut is 11, the Princess is almost 9, the Squirrel is 6, and the Side Salad is 3 1/2.

I graduated and I'm nearly done with my M. Ed.  I taught last year but my position wasn't in this year's budget so now I am a SAHM and a sub.

We got a kitten, Curious.

And we have another litttle one on the way.  19 weeks from now, I'll be a grand multipara.