Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Teen Mom Domestic Violence...

This weeks episode of MTV's Teen Mom was extremely disturbing. The show in case you are not familiar is a follow up from the show 16 and Pregnant which followed several teenage girls through their pregnancies, labor and delivery and the first few weeks as a mom. Of the mom's who were followed MTV selected four to film the daily life of a teen mom with and so the TV hit Teen Mom was born. I watched 16 and pregnant as well as Teen Mom my entire pregnancy with the final show being aired while I was in the hospital after delivering Nicholas. I watched it on the DVR after coming home. I confess I am addicted.
One of the four mothers on the show however, Amber, really rubs my nerves raw. Over the past two seasons viewers have watched this young lady go from bad to worse with boyfriend and baby daddy Gary who at the start of season one was working and paying all the bills while Amber stayed home to care for their daughter Leah. Amber did nothing but complain and eventually left Gary and took Leah to a hotel. Gary of course chased after her and Amber decided to try and get a job and apply for welfare and moved into her own apartment. It appeared that was about as bad as it was going to get and at the end of the season on the two hours reunion special we find Amber and Gary once again back together and living under the same roof. The start of season two sees Amber and Gary still living together and obviously having sex since she had a "pregnancy scare" as she called it. Attention stunt is more like it but whatever. Thank the good lord that little test was negative!! Gary once again, really we've lost count of how many times this has happened, asked Amber to marry him and she once again said yes. The very next week she was at his throat and the week after that she had once again called off the wedding. Poor Gary. They have been fighting every since though Gary still lives with Amber.
This past week however crazy reached a whole new level as Amber loses her cool (again) and not only verbally assaults Gary but also physically assaults him as well..... TWICE. Gary to his credit stayed very calm and calming asked her to stop yelling and even suggested that child services needed to be called since this was so inappropriate for their daughter. Amber flips out and punches Gary in the face. Gary responds by picking up their daughter and walking out the door stating that he is keeping Leah forever. Amber continues to assert that Leah is HER daughter and in HER custody... I honestly don't think she understands how custody works. When Gary comes back to the house without Leah Amber is seen piling his personally belongings onto he stairs outside her front door and then assaults Gary again. She even kicks him in the back on his way down the stairs carrying a TV. Crazy. My husband is a tolerant man but no way in the world would he allow me to get away with that kind of treatment of him. Throughout the rest of the episode Amber complains to friends about how unfair it is for Gary to take Leah away. Unfair??? I don't think so. If you're willing to treat an adult the way she has treated Gary, sooner or later that aggression is going to be directed at the child. Leah is already treated like crap by Amber who is constantly yelling at her and trying to put her in her crib alone so she doesn't have to deal with her. I feel really bad for Leah.
I have to say though, that as disturbing as I found watching this episode what I find more disturbing is the apparent lack of reaction from the film crew. Shouldn't somebody step in, especially since there is a child involved, and stop an action that is criminal? Seriously? MTV is going to do nothing? If Gary is smart, and that remains to be seen, he would take that footage straight to a judge and have Leah taken from Amber and placed solely in his care. For all his many faults he at least obviously loves his daughter and steps up to be the only real parent she has known thus far. Why he didn't call the police is as much a mystery to me as why the film crew did not intervene. The most MTV did was to post a short add at the commercial break following that segment about a hot line for domestic violence. The situation that was caught on film is serious so why it wasn't treated appropriately I'll never know.

And a little advice for Amber; Sweetie, you "aint all that". You're not especially attractive, you don't have men banging down your door, and you could use a few lessons in anger management and parenting. GET HELP!! If you can't get help or simply don't want to how about making sure the next time you're going to assault somebody you don't do it in front millions of viewers on a nationally broadcast TV show... Have some common sense.

Diaper Addictions :)

Hello, my name is Leia and I am diaper addict....

It's true, even though I have not been in cloth full time I am already addicted. I LOVE THEM. I am always willing to show one of them off when somebody is curious. I am always willing to state the facts of what this generations cloth diapers are like when family or friends is freaked out by them. Lately I am finding myself shopping for the latest and greatest diapers, especially custom made ones. It's amazing to me how the addiction comes so quickly.
It starts with a couple of diapers. I'm gonna test the waters and see if I like this and feel like I can do it. Once you get that first big poo diaper and you take care of it on your own with no trouble you begin to realize "Hey, this is going to be easy". You set about to aquire a few more diapers so that you can use cloth every day or so until you can stash up enough to do cloth full time. Now here I think is where the addiction starts. You see there are SO many diapers out there on the market each one a little different. You decide to try more than one type. First I really loved the thirsties diaper, but then I tried a flips cover. The rumparoom is soooo darn cute with the little whale design on it and is great for overnight. You start to try and see about getting diapers most like the ones you like best (in this case the Flips and the Thirsties) for a price easier on the wallet than the name brands. Enter Kawaii diapers, which are on the way. Then you discover the velcro on your thirsties diaper is a little less than perfect and slips a bit when baby moves around. You begin to lust after more snaps and start saving up money for more flips covers and inserts. The inserts though with just the one cover that I have are a bit of a pain to change, not quite as easy as disposables. You decide a pocket is the way to go and wish Thirsties came with snaps b/c you don't have to remove the insert before washing like you do with other pockets. Then it happens.... you win a brand new Ragababe all in one diaper in a giveaway and you are IN LOVE. You now hate your thirsties which to begin with was your favorite and visit the ragababe site daily just to look at all the cute designs and wish you had a little extra cash on hand to stock up on those. Your birthday and Christmas are coming up you keep reminding yourself as you sigh and wish they would hurry up.I find myself on ebay now typing in searching for cloth diapers looking for a good deal or for something unique. I found something today that almost had me jumping up and down in excitement. A WAHM living right here in my area had a listing for custom made diapers one of which was an FSU fabric and the other was a mickey mouse print. OMG!! Now you are thinking you need to work more not so that you can help your husband with bills, though that is very important. but so you can afford more diapers. Your baby simply MUST have the cutest tushie in town or your life is practically over. Blocking ebay from your computer might be a good idea at this point. :) Yup I am officially addicted to cloth diapers and the concept that Nicholas must have the most adorable diapers ever. The latest and greatest -that's for him!

.... I am also addicted to baby carriers.... don't get me started on wraps, ring slings, mei tais and more... :P

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Baby Food Wars III - New foods and Pureeing fun

In the world of homemade baby food there are tons of handy gadgets aimed at not only encouraging you to make your own food but also try to make it easier. Things like the baby cook which steams and then purees all in one container are great.... I don't have any of those. I have an oaster blender with a baby food setting and an electric steamer for cooking. I do ok usually though and making my own food is not only fairly easy but also rewarding as I see the Ziploc bags I baby food piling up in the freezer. Not to mention the fact that it is healthier since I can buy organic if I desire and it is cheaper than pre-made baby food. What more could you want?

Today was fruit day. I was out of peaches and needed to make more since Nicholas eats peaches quite a lot. I decided it might be smart to try and make my food out of a bag of frozen peaches from Walmart. Mistake I guess. For the price I could have gotten several fresh peaches so I thought maybe about the same amount would be in the bag. Nopers. I steamed 'em up and stuck them in the blender and hit the button. When I was done I looked down at the sad looking amount of bright orange goo and wondered if I needed to add more water. That can't be all the puree I'm gonna get out of the things... can it? It was. I poured it into the ice cube tray and it only filled up half. *Sigh* This did not bode well for the container of blueberries in the fridge that were also bagged and frozen and had been steamed the night before. I pureed them and only got 7 oz. Wellllll bummer. It filled up the rest of the tray which was good I guess but hardly worth freezing in a way. He could have easily eaten that amount in a couple of days before it went bad. Oh well I froze it anyway and I now have little peach and blueberry cubes. We offered Nicholas some of the blueberry mix before I froze it and he seemed to like it. I didn't really get to watch him eat it because I was stuck doing dishes and cleaning the kitchen (more on that later) so daddy got roped into feeding baby breakfast which he shovels in as fast as possible so he can go back to playing his computer games lol.

The next thing on the list to puree were the green beans I had also steamed last night. Yay for green beans, Nicholas loves those! Maybe because these were cold already though they didn't blend as nicely as they have in the past. I ended up adding more water that I think I had to add last time and there was still a couple of stubborn beans that insisted on floating around on top of the mix instead of getting pulled down to be pureed. So in true blond moment fashion I pulled off the lid of the blender and poked the swirling mix with a spoon to get the stubborn beans down near the blades. For about five seconds it seemed like that was going to work out for me and then the green bean mixture blew up in my face. I ducked, sort of and ended up with green sludge in my hair, on my face, my shirt, the counter, cabinets, wall.... you get the idea. Uh oh... that's not good! I said a couple of less than mommy approved words and shut the blender off. To my horror the same couple of green beans were STILL floating around on the top refusing to be pureed. I picked them out and fed them to the dog. Thank goodness for two standard poodles who will eat anything. After I finished cleaning green gremlin goo off the wall I poured the chunky puree into it's own ice cube tray and stuck both trays in the freezer. Will take them out in the morning and put the little cubes into bags and start the process over again with a different kind of food. I have a ton of new foods to get made up!

Speaking of new foods, did I mention Nicholas had blueberries today. I read up on blueberries and found that they are not related to strawberries and are relatively low on the allergen scale. So I went ahead and decided to try some. Nicholas seemed to like them and ate them up for his daddy with no problem. The one problem with blueberries is that blueberry juice (the leftover cooking liquid) stains. As in can stain everything. It took me forever to get little blue spots off my counter top after a couple of drips of the juice spilled. It would certainly make a good dye. Other new foods I have in the kitchen and ready to try include pumpkin, kiwi, pears, parsnips, corn, mango and apples. I can't wait to see what he thinks of some of the new fruits and pumpkin. I really hope he likes them and they don't cause any digestive messes. In cloth diapers cleaning those off is never fun :P Plus as messy as making baby food obviously can be extra poo is not a bright spot in the day lol.

Cheers! Happy Feeding!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The dangers of the internet - careful what you post

Recently a situation arose on a website I frequent where a trusted member of a very close knit online community turned out to be less than genuine. Several members were suspicious of her for quite some time. She would contradict herself often on how many children she had (living and dead) and it wasn't long before people began to notice that some of the photos she posted of her baby definitely appeared to be of different babies who just looked similar. Stories about her life and basic day to day situations also did not add up and raised red flags. At best this person has a problem telling the truth and at worst she was possibly a predator. Concern was raised about her stealing personal information as well as photos of babies from the message boards. Eventually tension built to a level where the suspicious members called out the fake mother and started a whole huge emotional mess on the board.

Some people failed to understand why this was such a big issue. Here is a link to help with that, it was posted by somebody to try and warn others to be careful what they put out there on the Internet because creeps like this might be watching you and even interacting with you. Careful what you post, and careful who you trust.

The aftermath of this discovery has been playing out and ripping apart this online community for several days now and I personally find it sad and more than a little immature. This board was reduced to the level of a bunch of drama loving mothers who wanted to drag out an issue for as long as possible maybe to give themselves something to do. I was horrified to read a post attacking a new member, who had joined shortly before all this came out, accusing her of also being fake and demanding her personal information. I was even more shocked that the new member actually willingly provided her info - come on!! Really?? I couldn't help but put my two cents in on that one with a big old SHAME ON YOU LADIES!! Gosh! Another thread was written to "the creep" and was one of the most hateful things I have ever read. While I understood the emotion behind the writing I couldn't help but be saddened by this posters need for name calling, borderline threats, and hateful put downs. What was worse was the response to such a post was almost without fail positive and supportive. What kind of place is this?? When a long time member climbed up on her high horse and called the poster on her poor behavior she was attacked by several other members. The very first reply after her post was "shut up Michelle" Really?? Again, I ask, what kind of place is this? Certainly not a very healthy environment.

Most disturbing of all was the belief that the site admin was somehow responsible for not only taking care of this problem (the profile of the accused was deleted and banned?) but also responsible for safeguarding the privacy and safety of it's members which is the whole point of this posting. I sat at my computer astounded that somebody would voice such a ridiculous belief. How on earth can the admin protect you from what you yourself post? They cannot. They cannot control who see's the content you willing put out for public view. If you provide your e-mail address or other personal information either on the actual message board or via private message and that information is stolen or used in a way you don't approve of you've got nobody to blame but yourself. Same goes for photos. Posting photos is part of the fun of being a part of this community but you do so at your own risk. Once it's out there it's fair game. It was so interesting to me how very few of these moms wanted to step up and take responsibility not for what admin allowed to happen but for what they themselves allowed to happen. It is a startling clear reminder that we, especially as mothers, need to be very careful what we post online in regards to personal photos and information. Don't give somebody you've never met your full name. Have an e-mail address that cannot be connected to your home or business if you're going to give it out. Be careful what you allow to be viewable by the masses on social networking sites like myspace and facebook. Most of this stuff is common sense. If you took a nude photo and you didn't want everyone you went to high school to be able to view it nor did you want the creepy band geek to print out that photo and post it up on his bedroom wall then how about you don't post that mother on facebook? While we're at it unless you're a super model how about we not take nude photos, K? Being a mother comes with a set of challenges like no other and communities like this provide support and advise and are invaluable. As a first time mom I don't know what I would do without all my Feb Mommy friends that I have made. We went through pregnancy together, labor and delivery, and are now experiences our babies first year as one big happy family. Ahhh the bonds of sisterhood :) That said, while we discuss some very personal things on this board we still need to use caution and not post details about our day to day lives that can be used by a crazy person to track us or our children down. Photos should be limited and if possible make a graphic out of the photo, like a banner, so that it is harder for somebody to steal and claim as their own. Something with your username scrawled across it in such as way as to be very difficult to crop out would perhaps be helpful. Even if you grow to trust to members you are talking to daily, and so many of us did just that, you never know who might be watching from the shadows.

Privacy is a concern in this big new world made smaller by the Internet super highway. It is however OUR responsibility to maintain that privacy and not put personal info out. If a hacker gets into the site and steals info you input while making your profile, that is admins problem to deal with, but what we put out on our own viewable to the public we are responsible for. Never forget that out here in cyber space you may very well be being watched and you may not even know it. If you join a group and random members start demanding your personal info in order to verify who you are tell them to shove it! You don't need to put yourself at risk that way to make friends. We also need to understand that so far, as emotional as it has gotten, this has proved to be a non issue. Until somebody proves otherwise photos don't appear to have been stolen and no crime appears to have been committed. That is important to note really because some of these mothers just can't seem to let the issue go. It is a sign of just how emotionally connected to each other we have become that some people are so upset that they can't do anything but obsess over this non issue. I am annoyed and upset as well to be honest, but I am appalled that the behavior of certain members even though I would still count them as good friends. I'm just a little shocked.

The moral of the story here is simple and straight forward -  Be careful mommies!!

Oh and BTW, for my mommy friends/readers who are in the known and members of this community you may or may not agree with my post. That's OK, but remember - My blog, My opinion, thoughts, and feelings, and if you don't have something nice to say keep your lips zipped. I only allow positive comments so don't waste your time writing negative ones, they won't be read by me or anyone else so lighten up and chill with the voice of reason in your head.
-Cheers :)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Friday, September 17, 2010

Yay Ragababe Review (Coming soon!)

Our humble little blog has been selected to review Ragababe Diapers :) I'm so excited!! The Diapers will arrive soon, I'm not sure which style we'll get but I can't wait to share a review on them with everyone. I've been eyeballing these and drooling over them for a while now and I can tell you they look great. Stay tuned I will definitely let everyone know when they arrive! :)

We will also be hosting a ragababe giveaway where one reader can win the ragababe easy all in one diaper that I will be reviewing in your choice of color and size :) 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

First overnight in cloth diapers

Cloth diapering has been going well. We are still trying to burn through the last of our disposables but the the last box is full of pampers baby dry. I have never used these before and they started leaking and man they smell funky so I got brave and decided it was time to try a cloth diaper overnight. I selected the rumparoo for this application because I already had two inserts for it. I loaded them both into the diaper stuck the whole package on Nicholas and proceeded with out bedtime ritual. Nicholas sleeps on his tummy now so he didn't mind the extra fluffiness which was a good thing because with both the inserts he had a pretty bulky butt. :) He is SO cute in cloth, just have to put that out there because it's just crossed my mind. How I was every against cloth diapers I can't imagine. Back to the point though Nicholas went to bed and slept for 12 hours straight. When he got up in the morning I halfway expected a leak. It was after all dun dun duunnnnn a cloth diaper surely it leaked right? NOPE! He was pretty dry and everything was very well contained. I saw everything because he had a massive poo which is what woke him up lol. This was the first time he's had a big poo in cloth diaper so it was an experience getting it taken care of. No major deal though, we can do this! All in all I was very impressed with the whole overnight in the cloth and think it will be pretty easy to transition to doing cloth every night as soon as we are out of disposables. I can't wait !!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Nicholas Goes To Homecoming 2010

Nicholas and Aunt Kay after last weeks game
Today was Homecoming for the high school I went to. It's a big deal in this small town, but then what event isn't a big deal here in the south? We'll party for any reason we can find. There's of course a pep rally, a parade down mainstreet, a football game, which we hope to win, and a dance at the school. I was super excited to take Nicholas to the parade since he's never been to one before! We have a little po'dunk parade where the cheerleaders ride 4 wheelers, the band outshines the ROTC in marching skills, and various pee wee football teams/cheerleaders, business, local politicians, and of course the homecoming court ride down mainstreet in the back of trucks on floats or on the tops of convertible sports cars waving and tossing beads and candy out to the masses. What can I say, small town charm ;) It's fun. I remember riding more than a couple of times in the homecoming parade both as a young'in and as a highschooler. That was fun to. Now though fun has a whole new meaning and charm because we have a baby to show the world to and to show off to the world. Nicholas experienced his very first parade today and attended the homecoming football game as well. His Aunt Kay (my younger sister) just happens to be in the color guard with the band (The Big Red Machine, she's a riffle), and we had fun watching her on the field as well as marching in the parade.

Jazz showing her school spirit
Anyway we loaded up Nicholas, the stroller, and a spray painted (non toxic hair color of course!!) poodle and trucked ourselves off to down town Crestview to stand on mainstreet and watch the parade. It kicked off with a quarter of crestview;s finest (cops) driving their squad cars blaring their sirens and in general scaring little kids and waving like big goobers. I backed off and stood against the building with baby and dog and covered Nicholas' ears -just in case. He's not a fan of sirens after all and they ARE kind of loud and shrill. He didn't get upset so YAY, brave baby! :)  I was so proud. Jazz the poodle was almost as big a hit as Nicholas because of her colored ears and tail. Several people came over to pet her and love on her. She was a happy happy poodle and it didn't matter at all that she couldn't eat any of the yummy candy being thrown her way lol.
Nicholas hung over Aunt Donna's shoulder to watch the high school's band, The Big Red Machine, came marching up the street playing our fight song as well as several other pieces commonly heard at games through out the fall. We got lucky and Aunt Kay was marching on OUR side of the street so we were able to see her. Which really means we were able to yell her name and embarrass her, what is family for after all?? LoL. We did at least get a little wave and a smile so maybe she wasn't totally mortified. See for yourself in the video below :)

The only two downers to Nicholas' first parade experience was that he learned flying candy can be dangerous. His was leaning down over Big Daddy's shoulder and got beaned in the head with a sucker thrown by somebody on one of the floats. Awwwwwwwwwwww poor baby!!! He cried for a few minutes, VERY offended and then the middle school band marched up and caught his attention and he was instantly in awe again. Good thing babies are easily amused lol. (To the person who hit my baby with a lollie pop... BEWARE, I shall seek revenge!! Hell hath no furry like a pissed off MOTHER!) The second issue was the heat. Last week at the football game the weather was warm but not humid and there was a nice breeze. Today it was like 200 degrees in the shade and a billion % humidity. In other words, we live in Florida. LoL. It was a bit warm and sticky but we had shade and ice water to soak a rag in and give him a rub down so he didn't get to hot. He didn't seem terribly uncomfortable. Of course if he had we would have gone ahead and left. As it was it was just a bit sweaty. He really enjoyed himself on the whole and flashed his big baby grin to get tons of beads tossed his way which naturally, in true redneck hick fashion we immediately put on him and let him wear for the duration of the parade. All in all good family fun. 
Nicholas watching the parade with Big daddy

Nicholas showing off his beads with Aunt Donna


Falling asleep with Mommy
After the parade was over we waltzed back to our car grateful for the air conditioning that awaited and ran home to drop Jazz off so that we could meet the family at a local Mexican place for a bite to eat before the game. That was rushed b/c we were late due to the fact that mommies have to pump in order to keep making milk and then traffic was awful on our way back across town to eat. Still though the cold sweet tea was what I was really after and I had enough time to guzzle down three of those so it didn't matter to much. Good food and lots of laughing some cool pictures taken by somebody other than mommy, which is why they don't appear here, and yummy nachos. Nice! :)

snoozing in the stands
Yay, Mommy's Favorite! Just like last week he was in love with the band as and the cheerleaders. I'm not sure why he likes the cheerleaders so much but he watches and I just know he is learning all their moves and the words to the cheers. He cuddled with mommy, took a nap in the bleachers, and woke up to do a little dance with daddy before halftime arrived. I was surprised he wasn't more fussy than he was, he hadn't had more than a 15 or 20 minute nap all day and he was tired at one point. Somebody got the fantastic idea to lay a couple of kushie towels down so that he could nap on a little bed in the stands. Soooooooooo cute and soooooooo convenient. It was MUCH cooler for him and for me not to be cuddled up together. We pulled his little shirt up so he could catch more of a breeze on his skin and he was a happy content baby. He even slept through everyone doing the wave and never so much as moved. Then he woke up and was happy to cheer for the team and went back to watching the cheerleaders lol. The viedo below shows his team spirit dance :) Maybe it helped b/c our team won! Yay!
We wrapped up our evening with a trip to sonic for ice cream and a bottle of milk for Nicholas. We joked, we laughed, and we were all merry. Hubby got to shoot several people, including Aunt Kay and Aunt Donna with the new water cannon he installed on his car. That was really the highlight of the after game festivities and provided tons of laughs since it's a HUGE surprised to be soaked by a car :P All in all I think we had a pretty good day and night. Baby Nicholas got to experience a couple of firsts and see several family members and hubby got to experience homecoming in our town for the first time since moving here two years ago. He wasn't thrilled about the idea but I think he accidentally had fun anyway :) I know Nicholas and I did :) I sure can't wait to take him to the Christmas Parade!! :)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Baby's first highschool football game

Awwwww Another milestone met, Nicholas went to his first football game. He was so cute, and so well behaved. I couldn't believe it but he was awake for the whole game and he watched a good bit of it too. Well... he watched the cheerleaders a lot lol. We sat in the stands and cheered the team while eating boiled peanuts and tootsie pops lol. Nicholas got his first taste of a tootsie pop and he's all set to try and answer the age old question of how many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop. LoL. Honestly that was the cutest part of the whole night lol. I gave him a little taste of mine, which was cherry I guess, and his eyes got all big for a moment and then he lunged forward again mouth wide open for another good taste. ROFL. He is of course NOT allowed to have candy but it was a special occasion and I figured it was just sugar for the most part and wouldn't hurt him. He didn't get to taste any of the peanuts :P though he sure tried to get into the bag. He is such a little explorer! Nothing is safe!! He love love loved the marching band and watched Aunt Kay, who's in the color guard, out on the field. Now the race is on to try and get a school spirit onesie made up for him to wear to next week's homecoming pep rally, parade, and football game.

Speaking of football and milestones he also watched his first Alabama game on TV this weekend. Aunt Donna and Aunt Kay picked him up a Bama onesie and he was all set until it was time to eat his carrots. He had to take the onesie off for that just in case because carrots stain.

Next week is Homecoming though and he and Jazz are hopefully going to be decked out in red and white to attend the parade. I was trying to get a white diaper to put red lettering but no deal. Hubby didin't want to. He's such a spoil sport but oh well. He can sit home and we'll all have a good time next Friday! If I am able to get Jazz all colored up I will be sure to post pictures lol! Should be ADORABLE!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Real Moms Breastfeed

****disclaimer**** The Real Mother's series is not intended to be judgemental, if you're going to feel judged by not doing things the way I do them, close this page right now and we can still be friends. Go ahead there will be no hard feelings. These posts are intended to be a (sometimes humorous) look at my experiences and certain facts I have uncovered about the topics in the series. We are ALL real mothers no matter how we decide to do things. Please refer to this post "A Real Momma is..."  I made to explain some of my viewpoints.
****while I believe breastfeeding is best I also want to point out that I have nothing against moms who formula feed so don't go getting your knickers in a bunch ok. Real mom's do it THEIR way and it's up to them to decide what that way is. The following is just a take on how I see breastfeeding and how it's impacting my life. If you're still reading and not yet offended you have my blessing to carry and hopefully enjoy my point of view.
REAL MOM'S BREASTFEED! (unless they can't)

Yeah you read me right, I said real mom's breastfeed. Too many people in this world, especially where I happen to live, don't understand the real facts on breastfeeding and they don't understand just how difficult (and thus rewarding) it can be. By breastfeeding I don't mean just testing the waters for a couple of weeks though I do commend any mother who even tries at any point in her newborns life to make breastfeeding work. To me breastfeeding means longer than a week or two, at least six weeks with of course 6 or more months being ideal.

What I've learned about breastfeeding is pretty basic in nature. I'm not going to parrot back a lot of facts here, you can find those on your own I think. Do your homework and the numbers don't lie so to speak. I made a list of reasons for or against. The only reasons I could come up with for formula feeding related to my own convenience and not to the health of myself or my son. Looking at it that way I decided it would be selfish for me not to do everything I could to breastfeed for as long as I could. In spite of my difficulties I still feel that way about breastfeeding and I am still working hard to keep it going even though my son now has to eat from a bottle.  Studies have been done and they show that breast milk is best. My take on that is why would I intentionally give my son less than the very best if I could at all help it. That said I think there are a few other things that should be understood so as to understand my real mothers comment.

The first thing I learned, about five minutes into my first attempt with my son, was that breastfeeding is challenging. It doesn't always come naturally and getting started can be really really hard. Think about it and it's a no brainer really. What I mean is that in my case I was traumatized almost to the point of total shut down, I was drugged, and I was sooooooooooo tired and stressed not only from the actual delivery but also from the days leading up to the induction. I was terrified and in shock. Then about an hour after delivery the lactation consultant waltzed her perky self into the recovery room where I was parked awaiting the all clear she isn't going to die from her c-section order and proclaimed it was time to try and get Nicholas to nurse. I peered through shocked bleary eyes at her, "ummmm yay??" She helped me extract one of the girls from the gown I wasn't even aware I was wearing and place my tiny spawn in such a way so as to allow him to latch on. The next thing I remember was the almost overwhelming urge to throw up. I fought panic as I envisioned being the patient the nurses all talked about for years as the lady who puked on her hour old newborn the very first time she held him. The L.C. pulled him off and said we would try again later while my husband fanned me for a moment and the nurses went scrambling for a dose of the Zophram that was to go in my IV if I needed it. Awwww liquid Zofram spelled relief and I am somewhat certain that I was helped to try again but honestly cannot really remember. The next session I remember was sometime around midnight and the very nice nurse was trying desperately to get Nicholas to latch on and eat while I fought desperately to stay awake (and failed). We tried and failed and tried and failed and just kept right on trying while Nicholas was allowed to receive formula from a tube until we finally got it... kinda. Upon arriving home we kept trying and getting better and better at figuring out what to do. I could have given up, a lot of moms do at this point but giving up isn't in my nature. 

In my opinion whoever said breastfeeding was easy was smoking something...

My next lesson in nursing was how painful things were going to get. I began learning this in the hospital as well but it didn't fully sink in until I got home. I experienced pain when I let down and while I didn't get blistered like some women do I did get a little raw. One of my first night time feeding experiences at home was so painful I was ready to give in to a bottle. I was so severely affected with the baby blues and I was so shocked at how it felt to breastfeed that I was in tears and blaming everything from the president down to Adam and Eve for my troubles. Yet, I was also amazingly upset and in tears when my husband jumped up from the bed and declared he was getting a bottle! The look on his poor face when he came back with said bottle to find me curled around Nicholas like I was protecting him from the devil himself while nursing and still sniffling must have been priceless. Again breastfeeding takes dedication. The pain goes away you just have to wait it out. No pain no gain right?

I also leaned all about how annoying issue like leaking can be and how you really do need those little pads for your bra because you never know when the sprinklers might come on and soak your shirt leaving you to explain you are nursing and ummm apparently you were thinking about your baby. When my milk came in I leaked everywhere... all the time. I woke up in the morning SOAKED even though there were pads in my bra. It was crazy. Plus my laundry smelled like sour milk which surprised my husband I am sure and frankly was something I had never even thought about. Go figure. Milky laundry aside the bigger issue was soaking the bed with milk. You don't after all want to sleep in a sour milk bed, or at least I don't.
Related to leaking is one of the big perks of breastfeeding. Engorgement is both somewhat uncomfortable to painful and amazing at the same time. Painful because well you're girls are full of milk to the point that they just might explode. Amazing because they are so full of milk they they just might explode they are perky and standing at attention. I woke up to porn star boobs that morning and as I stood in the bathroom admiring them I wished they weren't so painful. I wanted to keep them and show hubby except that I knew it would hurt if he tried to do anything with them. The soreness didn't stop me though from trying to tease him a little and with comments like OMG baby feel how hard they get when they are full and then when he went to try and feel them I would remind him that they were really sore and to be careful as if they might suddenly pop lol. It was fun for the few days that it lasted but I was glad to be rid of the soreness. 

My most important two lessons of all though are related to each other. One is there are tons of people, including doctors, are ready to step up and give you less than accurate information and TWO there may be little to no support even within your own family or circle of friends for your choice to do what is best nutritionally for your baby. I have heard over and over again from my own mother that she wished I would give up on this breastfeeding nonsense, though she tries to be supportive, or pretends to. You may even be attacked for your choice or ridiculed, be prepared and stand by the facts that you are doing the very best thing you can do. You have to be your own advocate and tell people like it is with the real facts and remind them to zip it. Arm yourself with a good lactation consultant at best and at least visit the kellymom website for tons of good factual info that you will find useful on your journey into nursing. Never ever let a formula mommy tell you that formula is better or it's easier or it's whatever. You aren't taking the easy road, you're taking the one that is likely to have a few bumps along the way but ends up in a better place you hope. Speaking of formula mommies, (whom I have nothing against - remember the opening statements above), many of them tried to breastfeed and for whatever reason were not able to stick with it. They may not have had the needed support, may not have been well educated, or may just have found it to difficult. Whatever the reason many of them struggled with feelings of guilt or failure when they decided to wean and yet knowing how they felt during that time they will still be quick to tell you that using formula isn't the end of the world. "If you can't breastfeed you're still a good mommy". I often wonder if these ladies tell other mothers that to make themselves feel better about their choice to either not breastfeed at all or to stop breastfeeding. Interesting thought, but one I won't explore at the risk of sounding judgemental. I will say though that I find it interesting that on cans of infant formula there is a statement that reads "Breastfeeding is recommend ...." Even formula manufactures are forced to admit their product isn't the best thing for your baby. Amid all of the misinformation, pro formula pushers who want you to wean, and lack of support in general I say that a nursing mother is a warrior of sorts, a survivor and she should be celebrated. As a mother who is being forced closer and closer to weaning by the above mentioned factors I can say I will personally celebrate every one tuffs it out even one day longer than I will.

 Knowing all that I've learned on my breastfeeding journey I feel comfortable in my statement that real mom's breastfeed, (again formula mommies are real mom's too, and good ones at that, a breastfeeding mother though is just something special. People may get tired of hearing you talk about it and want to smack you upside the head. They may be annoyed at your needed to find someplace quiet for you to feed your little one, and they may be put out with the fact that you need to stop and pump at times but you know what they should respect you. It's a lot of work, there can be tears and tons of frustration as well as smiles and tons of joy. The people around you should support and be proud that you are real determined mommy. A nursing mother goes through a lot and has to stick to her guns, how can she be anything but respected for doing so? A lot of the time respect isn't what is given to a nursing mother though and that is sad. I doubt I am respected really by my family, friends, or maybe even my doctor for my determination to breastfeed but I do demand that they at least be respectful to me in person. I don't have an issue telling one of them to zip their poorly informed lips from time to time if I need to. I'm a lot less polite about the issue with friends.

I eventually got over my urge to vomit every time my little one latched on, I eventually got over the pain I felt when I let down, and I cried and I laughed and I got on with life one way or another. My husband forgave my raging hormones and my obsession with my breast pump and we're working on raising our son to the best of our abilities. Considering somebody with my slightly warped mind and viewpoints on the world probably shouldn't have been allowed to have children I think we are doing pretty well. I made a choice and I am going to stick with it because IT IS BEST FOR MY BABY for as long as I possibly can. If at some point it becomes impossible or it is no longer in my son's best interest then I will be forced to stop and I at least will know that I did everything I could to provide the best nutrition on earth for him. I think as long as you can say that to yourself, that you provided the best you could with what you had, you are a real momma.

Links I hope you'll find useful if you're breastfeeding/thinking about breastfeeding and haven't already discovered them or if you're an unsupportive formula mommy who wants to tell me formula is just as good or better or easier or whatever.. here are the facts on that.
Kelly Mom website - almost everything you need to know
La Leche League International

Friday, September 3, 2010

7 months old today :)

Yay, baby Nicholas has survived 7 whole months with me as his mommy. Well I guess that's really 14 1/2 months if you want to count pregnancy. Anyway he's growing by leaps and bounds and loving life. So long as he gets to eat and gets a clean booty every so often and gets worn around all day he's a happy clam. He's crawling - sort of. He has the army style belly crawl down pat and ends up scooting across the floor that way most of the time. He also rolls over and over to get where he is going too which is very funny to watch. He can get up on his hands and knees but hasn't quite gotten the whole crawling on his knees thing worked out yet. Watch out world when he does. It's definitely about time to really get serious about baby proofing. He is a curious little guy and wants to touch everything, then of course everything needs to go in his mouth too. Yay, slobbers EVERYWHERE, (gross). He's eating solids twice a day now and getting four bottles a day. No nursing anymore, just pumping milk for the bottles. I think we need to take him to the park or something to celebrate being another month older. One of my friends on FB took her kid and let them swing on the swings so I think Nicholas would perhaps enjoy that. We'll see what daddy feels like doing when he gets home from work tonight. The park might have to wait until tomorrow.

HAPPY 7 MONTHS TO NICHOLAS (and all his Feb 3rd Birthday Buddies on WTE too!!)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

What on earth?? Nursery Rhymes

Of all things to bother me about parenting and babies a children's CD of nursery rhymes was a source of confusion on my part yesterday evening. I received the CD as a gift for Nicholas and it states it is for ages 1 and up sooo technically he's a little young but it keeps him happy in the car and keeps me from having to listen to the ultra annoying musical mirror we have in the backseat so we listened to it on the way to meet with family. Most of the songs are pretty old school with a little drama added with better than average instrumentals and various children's choirs who are pretty good on most songs. My favorite happens to be Fuzzy Wuzzy which I didn't know had additional verses or for that matter was even a song. As I drove along listening to the basics of Mary had a little lamb and ba ba black sheep a few of the songs got me thinking.

You see I have to much brain power on my hands apparently and one or two of the lyrics jumped out at me in an OH MY GOSH what are we teaching our children to sing??? I'm not talking about the type of thing like ring around the rosie was written about the plague that's not super obvious and a child wouldn't get it anyway. What I mean are the types of lyrics that are openly morbid or can be taken in a way other than perhaps the way it was intended. This is probably a sign of the times. Weren't most nursery rhymes written in the stone ages or something and now here it is 2010 and we have different view points.

K here is an example of what I mean. The song about the three little piggies. "There once was a sow with three little piggies, three little piggies has she..." do you know that one. Basically the story laid out in the song is the three little piggies went wee wee wee instead of oink oink oink and one day they decided to change that so they could be like their momma I guess. Know what happens to them in the song?? They DIE!!! Omg! So what's the deal with this song?? First of all why are we singing about piggies dying anyway? Isn't that a little sad for a nursery rhyme? The last part of the song basically says you should never try and "go oink oink oink, when you aught to go wee wee wee". Now you could say it's saying not to try and be something you're not, not a bad lesson perhaps. On the flip side maybe it's saying you have to just accept your lot in life and you can never move up to be an oinker. Hey I saw the secret ingredient on Iron Chef last weekend was suckling pig... maybe these little piggies were trying to avoid that fate by looking or sounding more grown up? What am I suppose to say when Nicholas is old enough to ask me "Mommy why did the piggies die?" Ummmmm I dunno son, maybe because the person who wrote the song wasn't a PETA member? Speaking of PETA how come they are chiming in on some of these killing animals children songs. The three little piggies isn't the only one. There is a song about going to an animal fair. A monkey gets crushed by an elephant... Is that a pretty picture? Over here on the right kids we can see where boomer the chimp USED to live before elephant squashed him and he became a little flat chimp spot on the ground.... Now that would be a hell of a trip to the zoo... Anyway aren't elephants and chimps dangerous animals? Why were they in the same enclosure? Obviously the elephant won the fight but still... What kind of message does that send? The third song that jumped out is called "Daddy wouldn't buy me a bow wow" which has been stuck in my head for a week now. The kid in the song says " I've got a little cat, and I'm very found of that, but I'd rather have a bow wow wow..." Welllllllll probably at some point this kid pestered his daddy for a kitty (or would that be meow meow) and daddy gave in. Now the little boy doesn't like his cat as much because the novelty has worn off and the litter box stinks and maybe the cat scratched him so he's decided he'll get a dog instead. I hope daddy doesn't give in to the cute song b/c that's awfully irresponsible as far as pet ownership goes.

I could keep going... some of these songs make you stop and say hummmm. Five little monkeys comes to mind here, man do I hate that song. What was the mother monkey doing while her little heathens were pushing each other off the bed and why didn't she beat them senseless for jumping on the bed in the first place? Would have totally negated the rest of the song b/c no more monkeys would have jumped on the bed after the first time the doctor said to stop. Anyone ever notice how nowhere in the song does it say the momma monkey ever wanted the kiddos to knock it off?? Maybe she was just hoping they would kill each other? *shrugs*

It seems to me that maybe I should stick to twinkle twinkle little star for a while until I can stop over thinking pop goes the weasel .... :P I think my kid might be better off learning the little made up songs that I sing him rather than the old school nursery rhymes of the past. I'm totally in love with Diaper on the ground, This is the way we eat our *insert item here*, The peaches song, Rub a dub baby Nicholas in the tub, and Born to Eat Peas (sung to the tune of born to be wild). Much more creative and they talk about things baby Nicholas is doing or should be doing :) Maybe they are better teaching tools lol.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Logan's Roadhouse -A GREAT meal deal

Ok so I just have to share a great deal we got today. We have a Logan's here in our area and have for several weeks now driven by and noticed outside a large advertisement for two full complete dinners for 14.99. No so bad huh. So hubby's mom gave him some cash when we visited and viola we decided maybe we could go to dinner for once and then perhaps go to the produce market afterwards to buy stuff to make into baby food for Nicholas. So we get in and get seated and can't find on the menu anything about the special advertised outside (though they DO have it btw). What we found instead was so much better. For four dollars and some change more we got their 2 for $20.00 deal. Now other places have this 2 for $20.00 thing but Logan's REALLY does it right! You get SOOOOO MUCH!! Most of mine came home in a to go box. First you get to pick a full sized appetizers, we got the onion petals and they arrived almost to hot to eat in one of the buckets that normally you see on the table full of peanuts. They don't skimp on ya! Oh and yeah we had a bucket of peanuts too lol! Then you pick one of 6 steaks and that comes with two sides, we both got salads and potatoes. I got a sweet potato that I couldn't even finish. I saw on the menu that while you can load a regular baked potato with cheese and bacon now you can also order a loaded sweet potato which has the butter and cinnamon AND marshmallows and caramel... WOW. I just got butter on mine. After your main course you get a "shareable" desert which at other places it pretty small. Not at Logan's. A monster brownie with a fudge layer and chocolate sauce and two scoops of ice cream rolls out and it fills up the big plat it's on. I wish I had taken a picture. I hated to waste even one bite of it but even though I hadn't finished my meal and neither had hubby we couldn't finish off this brownie either. All in all WOW! It was great, inexpensive except hubby was stressed out and ordered a big easy (if you've never had one of those do make sure to try one, just have somebody handy to drive you home! There is by the way a limit of two per customer according to one waiter haha). Still it was easy on the wallet and I have lunch for tomorrow! Yay!! Good deal! Plus we had plenty left over to go shopping for baby food and didn't even spend the rest of what we had. City Produce in FWB is also a GREAT deal lol!

A Real Momma is...

Because my series of Real Mom posts can be offensive to some who do things differently, though that is not the intent, and because I am getting ready to post more of them, I decided I should write up what I feel a real mom is so as to make my viewpoints on the subject clear and my Real Momma posts won't be taken the wrong way. :) If you're likely to get offended because somebody says real mommas do something a certain way and you don't do it that way I would suggest a stiff drink and a good smack up side the head. It's my blog, I'm allowed to write whatever I'd like, you're reading my opinion. Don't read it if you don't like it. I don't edit my thoughts after all and I write exactly what is running around in my head. Scary in a way lol. Part of my charm maybe, maybe not. Anyway the point here is this is me, this my MY journey, and my life plus baby :) So these are my thoughts, feeling, and experiences. 

Real Mommas suck it up and say "Let's do this" no matter the situation. Parenting is full of challenges some are bigger than others. Real mommas deal with the challenge. Sometimes they cry and sometimes they ran and sometimes they do bodily harm to people who dare to criticize them. They "Get R Done" and you'd do well to help out or get out.

Real mommas put diapers on their kids (unless they are doing some extreme potty training). Does it matter what kind? Yes, yes it does, however I could be wrong but I haven't read about or seen anyone who died from a leaky diaper or a disposable diaper. Either way they have to be changed - see comment above. So if you're fine with contributing to a landfill with a diaper that doesn't biodegrade and you're fine with the chemicals in said diaper being in contact with your babies skin then so be it. *Shrugs* it's your choice and nobody should judge you for such a minor thing as what you cover a butt with. :p

Real mommas feed their kids. If they are real super mommas they breastfeed them. It's nice to make your own baby food and even nicer to grow the produce yourself before you make it (I can't do that one b/c I didn't get a garden this year) but canned baby food is Ok too. The good folks at Gerber know what they are doing and while it isn't quite as good as fresh maybe (like formula isn't as good as breastmilk) it'll do and it is healthy.

Real mommas make sure their kids sleep... somewhere. Hopefully somewhere safe. Crib, bed, floor... *shrugs* I use a crib now but we did co-sleep for a short while. I don't like the idea of co-sleeping myself b/c I don't even like sharing a bed with my husband but I tolerated and then learned to love it when Nicholas was very very young. I couldn't do it safely though, hence the crib. Maybe next baby will be different.

Real mommas get to know their kids. Nobody knows baby better than mom. If they pay attention they can decode body language, differences in crying, and can usually tell when there is something wrong. New mom's have to work a little harder at this one but they do it and they get the hang of it. Mom's who lean more towards attachment style parenting, even if they mix and match styles tend to be better at this one. Even the ones that don't still if they pay any sort of attention at all will know their children better than anyone else. It's just hardwired that way.

Real moms research - EVERYTHING. They do not blindly follow anyone's advice on parenting. They look at the information out there and make an educated choice. They do listen to the advice of others and hopefully they keep and open mind but real mommas do it there way and they decide what that way is. They also do not bow to pressure from family, friends, co-workers, or even their spouse to do it a different way. They stick to their guns even to the point of rudeness if they have to. If they don't want their baby left to cry it better not be left to cry by family or friend. They also do not blindly follow their child's doctor's advice. They question everything and they find out why so that they can be educated and make an informed decision.

Real mom's love their children unconditionally. We all choose to express this in different way but the fact remains that regardless of how YOU feel observing a mother and her child that mother, unless she is just an awful person, loves her baby and is doing the best she can. Maybe she chooses to let her baby cry it out at nap time, or maybe she decides not to put her baby in a stroller preferring to wear him either one can be argued against but nobody should dare suggest that mother's devotion to doing what she thinks is best and in the best interests of baby.

Real mom's DO THE BEST THEY CAN! We all make mistakes and there are things that a mom would, looking back, change but we all are doing the best we can. Don't judge and don't criticise. If you see something you don't like you better zip it or help me do it another way (if I'm open to doing it another way).

So there we have it. A real mom can be defined a lot of different ways. I am doing things my way and will identify and be likely to have more respect for other mothers who agree with my logic and do things similar to the way I do them or share some of my beliefs. I can't help that. It doesn't mean I am judging and painting a negative

Cloth Diapering part 2 - experimenting

So my experiment in cloth diapering has begun and we are doing well. I am happy to say I handled my very first real big poo in a cloth diaper yesterday. It was pretty gross but if I can handle that then I think I'm set. It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be though I will admit that it might be easier with the addition of a diaper sprayer. In case you aren't aware of what a diaper sprayer is basically it hooks on your toilet and hooks into the water line and is a little mini shower head type deal that you can use to spray any poo residue off your diaper or insert and into the toilet. I don't have one of those but I also don't have the dedication to swirl my diaper or inserts around in the toilet by hand. No dunking here! What I do have though, being a pet groomer, is a waist high tub with a spray nozzle on a hose that I use for bathing critters. That worked wonderfully on the jet setting. Not one little bit of poo remained. Of course I did manage to shoot myself getting the nozzle adjusted *sigh* thank goodness I didn't get anything nasty on me, just water. All in all easy as pie. I dumped all of my diapers, (all three of them plus inserts), in the wash last night and then set them out over one of the wire kennels in the garage to dry overnight. I probably won't do that again. I'll run them through a 30 minute dry cycle first. They weren't dry this morning. Oh well, the diapers and the cover WERE dry but none of the inserts were. So we didn't get to go any cloth today. Just as well though because we were away from home all day and I was expecting a poo (that never came btw so tomorrow is going to be bad...) and wasn't brave enough to take my dipes out for the day with us. Not that it mattered b/c I also washed my wetbag last night and it wasn't dry this morning either lol.

So the run down on the diapers is that it's going well. So far the thirsties duo diaper and the Flip diaper with inserts are my favorites with my rumparoo in third place. It is SOOOO cute though, I am glad I got it anyway, even if it is a bit bulky. No leaks yet either, even though he wore the thirsties duo during naptime Tuesday. YAY!! That was btw the one that got the poo treatment :-p

I'm on the lookout for more diapers that I can afford to add to my stash! Going to definitely have to get more flips at the very least as well as more inserts to go in them. I think I want more pocket diapers like the rumparoo or the thirsties for out of the house though, seems easier to me than having to stuff a new insert in. You have to take the diaper off anyway to do that so why not just change the whole thing and save your self a step :) Tomorrow I am going to try to do all cloth all day. We'll see how that works out. I have three inserts for the flips so that's three changes and then the two pocket diapers which make five so I can make it most of the day in cloth. He'll still wear a pampers in the morning and to bed.