August 27, 2012

Goal makin' Monday: Jumping on the goal making bandwagon!

I have now been a stay at home mom for about 4 months now, and you would think that by now I would have a handle on things. Um... wrong! I am feeling so disorganized these days! The first reason being that I am only now getting to some normalcy! I spent the first couple weeks caring for Jameson after having surgery, and a few weeks after that my morning sickness started. I am only now starting to get to more of a situation where I can get a sense of routine or feeling like I am accomplishing anything. And now that I am here I am so ready!

I was thinking about it, and I feel like one of the things that is holding me back is that I am very much living day to day and don't really have a plan. I have tried to develop a sort of routine to our day, and it works some, but living out of town means that any time I have to run into town for anything it takes an entire morning or afternoon, which makes strict, day to day routines very difficult. This is why I thought that goal making would be more productive for me. I tried goal making awhile before I started staying at home but I found that I wasn't making accomplishing my goals a priority. My favorite blog, Money Saving Mom, posts her goals every week as well as an update to keep herself accountable. I love this idea but felt a little weary about posting all my goals for the world to see when I might not achieve them. But then I realized, that is kind of the point! If I let a goal fall behind, I will be much more likely to make sure it is for good reason if I know that I have to answer to somebody eventually! You will probably notice that some of these "goals" are a little lame, but that is how badly I am needing to have a list of things to accomplish- I am not even accomplishing these little things! Yikes!

So without further ado, my goals for the week:

1. Make final organizations to Sunday School curriculum and get delivered to the education building
2. Take kids to a play group/organized activity
3. Keep up with daily cleaning list. (Side note: if you are like me and need a LOT of direction on cleaning to do each day, I highly recommend the site I linked to. You do have to pay for the list but it is worth it! I feel so much less overwhelmed and organized- when I actually follow it! Right now it is $4 since it is only for the end of 2012, so it would be a good time to try it out if you are interested!) 
4. Do at least 2 "school work" times with kids (Worksheets, etc. They actually really enjoy this but I have to give the idea!)
5. Use cups at meals to get Jameson accustomed to using cups for preschool (bad, I know, but Jameson hates using anything but a sippy and I never really pushed it since I enjoy the lack of mess!)
6. Start reading "I love you Rituals" recommended by Lona, the development specialist helping Delaney with her speech
7. Do at least 1 craft with kids
8. Get packed/prepared for Daniel's wedding this weekend!
9. Buy Daniel and Ashley's wedding gift
10. Head to Burlington on Friday and pretty much be at Miss Ashley's disposal for the weekend! :)

Do any of you make goals for the week? If so, do you have any suggestions for me!?!?!

August 20, 2012

A little boob rant

Anyone who knows me even a little knows that I am very passionate about breastfeeding. I had wonderful experiences nursing both of my children and very much look forward to nursing this next little guy/gal. I firmly believe that anyone who wants to breastfeed should be given full support and every opportunity to be successful.

I think most people (reasonable people anyway) support a woman's choice to breastfeed whether or not they choose it for themselves. However, there is this weird phenomenon in our culture where we fully support it going on... as long as we never have to actually KNOW that it goes on.

What is it with our aversion to public breastfeeding? I just don't get it. Just to be clear- I understand why it can give you the squirmies as that is how you were probably conditioned. We are just leaving a time when it was actually considered superior to give formula since it was scientifically designed for babies (since apparently nature failed at that??) and where it was considered something done by women who couldn't afford formula. I have even found myself to feel a little unease in the presence of a mother breastfeeding in certain situations. The line you cross when you officially are added to my "list" is when you do something that makes that mom feel uncomfortable whether it be complaining, staring, a rude comment, etc. Even though breastfeeding in public is something that is protected by law in most states, these moms aren't protected from the cruelty of those around them. She is doing the most natural thing for her baby so why should she be made to feel that she is doing anything wrong?

I have heard a whole host of "valid reasons" for why women breastfeeding in public is inappropriate. At the risk of offending people, here is a list of these reasons... and why I think they are ridiculous:

1. It is indecent to be exposing so much in public.
     Unless you feel it necessary to walk into Victoria's Secret and complain about their billboards of half naked women then you have nothing to complain about. And even then, those women are almost naked for the purpose of selling underwear- a nursing mother is nourishing her child. I personally was always more comfortable with using a cover in public- that is just me, and I was also very lucky to have babies who were willing to stay under that cover. This is simply not the case for many babies, and some mothers just don't want to use a cover due to one reason or another. Are there women who are a bit brazen about their nursing and trying to make a statement? Maybe a few, but this is the exception, not the rule. And I guarantee you that in most cases that momma sitting on the bench is showing less skin than that teenager across the park wearing the skimpy tank top and daisy dukes.

And at the risk of moving too far off topic, let me take this opportunity to reiterate something- breastfeeding in public is not only natural, it IS a right protected by law most states. This means that even if it bothers you- TOUGH. And if you are an employee at a public place (restaurant, store, etc) it is NEVER within your rights to ask the woman to cover up or leave as long as that woman and child are in a place where they would otherwise be allowed to be. I am so tired of hearing and reading stories where a mother is asked to cover up or leave due to customer complaints and the employees claim ignorance of the law. Why is this not something covered in the training of these employees? I know that I never knew of this law until I started nursing so, sadly, it isn't common knowledge, so why aren't employers educating about this if for no reason other than to protect themselves from a lawsuit? I get that employers have a lot to teach new employees, but the law simply isn't that complicated: If someone complains about a nursing mother, tell them that they are protected by the law. Simple.

2. I don't want my children to see that.
     For this I just have to ask why? We were once at a public playroom when a mom starting nursing her infant. Jameson never noticed and Delaney just kept pointing and saying "bayee!" (baby), but had Jameson noticed it and started asking questions it wouldn't have bothered me in the slightest. If your child does notice a baby nursing, what exactly is so uncomfortable about explaining that the baby is getting milk from his mom? And if you are concerned about them seeing body parts that you don't think they need to see, then kindly refer to number 1. :)

3. Urinating/defecating is natural but that isn't considered appropriate to do in public so why should breastfeeding just because it is natural?
     This is the one where I have to really take a deep breath before I answer because you just compared the nourishment and need fulfillment of an infant to the release of bodily waste. You know what would make a good comparison to relieving yourself in the middle of a restaurant? A mother changing her child's diaper on the table during the appetizer and then leaving the diaper next to her fork. You know what? That is gross and offensive. Go ahead, complain about that action. It presents health concerns that could potentially affect all those around them. But please, please explain to me how the a child eating the dinner that his mom produced is putting you at risk?

4. If you need to breastfeed when you are in a public place you should just go to the bathroom/nursing room.
     Eat in a bathroom?... gross much??? I don't know about all of you, but I personally don't enjoy eating in the bathroom, especially a public one, so what makes you think that a baby would want to do that? Not to mention that it would be very difficult to do in a sanitary way! And even on the rare occasion that the establishment has provided a nursing room, why should the mother have to leave what she is doing because you might feel uncomfortable about what is going on? Really, really think about it, and then tell me how that makes any sense.

5. Nursing is an intimate time for the mother and child and should be done in private
     I can see where a person could feel this way- if they have never actually nursed long term. Don't get me wrong- I loved nursing. It creates a special bond with your child comparable to nothing else- but that doesn't mean each session is a Hallmark moment. Infants nurse every 2-3 hours-sometimes more often. While some nursing sessions are an amazing experience in bonding with your child, some are just about feeding the kid!

6. Just pump milk and bring bottles to feed your child!
     All I have to say to this is- WHY??? Let's say you are going to party where they will have your favorite beer on tap for free. Do you go through the hassle of packing your own cooler of bottles, pack it with ice, and lug it along? Of course not! That would be ridiculous! So why would you expect a baby to do this? Sure, pumped milk is a perfectly wonderful food for a baby, but fresh is the best! Not to mention the amount of inconvenience that you are suggesting to the mother so that you do not have to endure that squirmy feeling.

Bottom line? Breastfeeding makes you uncomfortable? No problem! Your opinion is in line with the culture in which you were raised. But that is your problem to deal with, not the problem of the mother!

I would love to hear what you all think on this topic. I realize it is somewhat controversial, but please realize that I am not really sway-able on this topic nor am I really interested in hearing disrespectful comments and will deny posting them. If you have something nasty to say about breastfeeding, feel free to share it with your buddy and have a good laugh. But if you have something respectful and constructive to say or would like to share your positive/negative experiences with me I would love to hear it!

August 5, 2012

Happy 2nd birthday, Miss Delaney!

I can't believe that today we are celebrating Delaney's 2nd birthday! I would say that I can't believe that the little girl born two years ago today is now the crazy little blond running circles around the living room, but really, it is pretty easy to believe. That little girl was absolutely wild in my belly- she would constantly keep me awake at night and cause me all sorts of pains because she just wouldn't chill! And unlike her brother, when I would push against her in my belly she would aggressively push me back! She waited until the last possible second to flip down into the correct birthing position on her own, and decided that it would be funniest to do it when I was preparing for my doctor to have her turned. My labor with her wasn't moving on it's own so I had to have pitocin started, but when she decided to come out, she was coming out! No doctor there yet to catch me? Ah well, someone will probably catch me, right? And when she nursed the first time, she just gazed at me in the most wonderful way like she was thinking "Oh. This is mommy. I could learn to like this lady." She hasn't changed!

Laney is our wild girl! She is absolutely unpredictable. You can constantly see the little wheels turning just trying to plan out her next adventure.

She does not take anything easily. If she is wanting something and you won't get it for her, or just aren't prompt enough, she will figure out on her own how to get it. And if you tell her "no" to something, she will plead her case in her best "Laney-ese" babble and fervently attempt to get her way.

She still does things on her own time. Planning to head out the door to go anywhere requires planning at least an extra five minutes because it is just unacceptable for anyone else to put her shoes on- it must be done by her. While most of her development has been on time or ahead (pretty far ahead on motor skills), her speech has been delayed for awhile. Then suddenly, a few months ago, she decided that she could really start talking. Her speech development person is amazed each week by how many new words she is saying. I am pretty sure that those words have been sitting there this whole time, but since she wasn't ready to use them, she just didn't see the need.

And her total dis concern with doing things the "safe" or sensible way? Hah! I have absolutely no idea how this girl has not landed herself in a cast or cat scan yet. While most kids are adventurous and have limited understanding of the danger of a situation, it is like she knows but just isn't concerned. If something seems like a fun idea to her, she decides that the potential of getting hurt just isn't a big enough deal to make her avoid the activity. Even when she does end up in tears from doing something, a kiss from momma is all she needs and she is back to her fun!

And this little girl is just as loving as the day she was born. She gets upset when people leave without giving her a hug and a kiss. And it must be both. And if it was too long after the hug and kiss before that person leaves they must give her a second of both. Laney just loves people in general. And she loves her mommy and daddy and grandparents. She lights up when we walk in the door, even if we were just gone for a minute or two. And she thinks that her brother is the best thing EVER. If brother does something she MUST follow. And even though she lights up when Shaun or I walk in the door, on the rare occasion that she is separated from Jameson for even a short time, it is like everything is right with the world again she has him back. Their bond has me so excited to watch her become a big sister. Though she is a jealous little thing, I think she is going to love getting to have a "bay-ee" around and getting to help.

Before she was born I couldn't imagine what it would be like to add another person to our family. Now I truly can't imagine life without her. I am so blessed to have this crazy, stubborn, loving little ball of energy for my baby girl. Happy birthday, Laney bug! I am so honored to be your mommy and, though I would love to keep you little, I can't wait to see what your future has in store for you!