Thursday, October 11, 2012

Meaning of life and what's important

So, I decided to start graduate school this fall. I'm not really sure why. It was kind of on a whim. One of those, hey, I've been thinking about doing, so why not now?!?! kind of whims! One of those whims where you kick yourself two minutes later and think "What the hell was I thinking?" kind of whims.

I was seriously ready to throw in the towel, take my losses, and continue merrily on down the road enjoying life, my family, and a job I rather enjoy. What did I do instead? Yup, talked to the professor on the phone and was given a little confidence boost and decided to at least finish out the semester. Now here I am three days later and I'm feeling queasy about the work I have to do. Swirling over the number of words I have to read, write, and process.

When I sat down and thought about my priorities, this thing called "edumacation" was dead LAST on my list. It honestly still is. My current top priorities are my family and culturing and nurturing those relationships, working hard and well at my job, and finding some time to do things on my own (or at least with just grown ups) that I truly enjoy. I don't know, maybe I'm just being a big baby, but I'm thinking that knowing what you want and don't want is extremely mature.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Summer Blog Challenge Day 28 - June 28--How do you do your laundry??Give your laundry tricks.

This post was submitted by Erin @ For Him and My Family

Wow, I've really fallen off this Summer Blog Challenge wagon!  It's been a rough couple of weeks! I haven't been feeling well or sleeping well, my husband went up to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to play in the woods with his man friends, and my job switched us all to 7:30 - 3:30 hours.  The time change is only an hour, but it always knocks me for a loop.  My body doesn't adjust to the difference in time and I just can't seem to make the rest of my schedule work an hour earlier!  This summer is the hardest since I've also got a little one who still wakes frequently in the night to nurse.  Thank goodness I've put away the pump though, that's one less thing to take up my time and energy!

Now on to the blog prompt!

How do I do my laundry? I throw it in the wash and wash it!

Well, that's not entirely true, I have a system that my dear husband likes to completely ignore.  Since my pregnancy that caused my skin to be super sensitive, I wash my and my baby's clothes together on delicate with a mild detergent.  It used to be Tide Free & Clear, but I've since started using Rockin Green.  I then usually wash my husband's clothes and my workout clothes together on a delicate cycle.  We throw a little of Rockin Green's Funk Rock in the pre-wash  compartment to get the smellies out.  Towels by themselves on a sanitary wash (it keeps the towels fresh and unstinky). Sheets and blankets by themselves. Rags separate and on sanitary. And finally the diapers and bathroom wipes on a special wash we programmed into the washer. Occasionally, this wash gets a quick wash as an extra pre-wash.

Now my husband often likes to throw everything together so that the rags, baby clothes, towels, other delicates are all in one wash. I wouldn't have a huge problem with all things washed on delicate mixed or towels and rags mixed, but when everything is mixed the towels and rags don't get that good sanitary scalding hot water wash. I love trying to be green, but I also want nasties KILLED on the things that I use to dry my clean body and wipe my counters with. I also don't want my clothes picking up the germs and cleaners that were on the rags. But wait, what I am complaining for? My husband actually does laundry!!! And lots of other cleaning around the house. I just wish he'd keep the rags separate from our clothes and towels. That's all. I'm sure he wishes I'd put my clothes away more often! ;-)

What about you?

Friday, June 22, 2012

Summer Blog Challenge Day 16 - June 16--Fitness guru or couch potato? Talk about your fitness habits.

I'm a fitness guru couch potato! Yup! I see myself as both. When I move, I MOVE! When I sit, I SIT!

For example, I once rode my bike 100 miles in one day. But I've also spent hours watching movies and TV.

What about you?

Click HERE to quickly find the rest of my Summer Blog Challenge posts.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Summer Blog Challenge Day 15 - June 15-- Post a photo you took thatyou're proud of.

Well, there are other pictures I'm proud about, but unfortunately they are not on my phone or in one of my facebook albums. So, I chose these two instead.

I chose them because they capture so much of the gigantic personality in my little guy and they are beautiful pictures. One day when I have more time to use a real computer, I'll post some of those.

Click HERE to quickly find the rest of my Summer Blog Challenge posts.

Summer Blog Challenge Day 14 - June 14-- Give your followers 15 tipstoget through life.

Today I'm supposed to give you 15 things to get through life.  I'm no expert, but here are some things that have worked for me:
  1. Breathe!  No matter what, stopping to breathe always helps. Yoga is great for helping to concentrate your mind on your breath.
  2. Take time for yourself. Recharging helps you help others.
  3. Do your homework. It really pays to research things beforehand so you can make better decisions in the moment. This includes everything from becoming a parent, to buying cars and houses, and almost everything else.
  4. Go with your gut. So, do your research, but listen to your instincts. They usually won't steer you wrong.
  5. Change your oil in your car regularly.  It will save you a lot of headache.  I know, I've been there!
  6. Don't care about what others think.  This is a hard one for me, but I've been improving.
  7. Moderation is a good thing, but don't forget to let loose every now and again.
  8. Follow the 80/20 rule for food.  80% of the time eat well and balanced meals, enjoy the other 20%.  Oh, and remember that we are NOT designed to eat 24/7.  The media and food companies have convinced us that we must eat every 2-3 hours, 6 times a day or our metabolisms will come to a screeching halt!  This is so not true.  Frequent eating is for babies, children, and (perhaps) pregnant and nursing women.  Our parents and grandparents ate 2-3 meals a day with maybe a light snack and they were far less overweight than we are.
  9. No one is perfect.  Yes, even me and you! Give ourselves a break and watch how everyone flourishes.  (I swear I try George!)
  10.  Don't judge.  You never know what the other person can handle, where they've been, what their values are, and exactly who they are on the inside. I try and try and try on this one.  Some days I'm better at this than other days.
  11. Loose the guilt.  If you did something you didn't like, take note and work to do differently the next time.  Guilt won't help you move ahead and will only keep you stuck.  And no self punishing!
  12. Love your body.  Love it exactly as it is.  Love what it can do and what it's done.  Stop looking for the flaws and admire the beauty and strength.  And move that body!  It was meant to MOVE!!! It will do wonders for you, your children, and your relationships if you can be comfortable in your own skin and love your body.
  13. Don't compare yourself to others.  Do improve yourself, but only compare yourself to yourself.  You are not your spouse/partner, mother, father, brother, sister, son, daughter, neighbor, coworker, enemy, etc.  You are you and if we were all the same it would be one boring place.
  14. Expand your horizons and push your limits.  Read a different kind of book, try a new food, travel to a new place, try a new exercise or activity, or anything else new and/or challenging.  You might just surprise yourself. ;-)
  15. Finally, laugh, play, and enjoy the little things!

Click HERE to quickly find the rest of my Summer Blog Challenge posts.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Summer Blog Challenge Day 13 - June 13-- How you see yourself by theend of the year.

I don't know quite how to answer this one. I do tend to plan ahead and have vague dreams for the future, but the older I get, the more I find it beneficial to take everything one day at a time. I'm trying to live in the now and not worry so much about what ifs and where I should or shouldn't be in 6 months, a year, ten years, etc.

I'm much less anxious this way and I find myself catching the magic of each day more. I'm not saying I want to blow all my money and not care about the security of my future. I just find that if I think too much about all the details, I miss the now. I do want to have started graduate school by the end of the year, but otherwise I'm enjoying the ups and downs of the journey too much to plan too much.

Click HERE to quickly find the rest of my Summer Blog Challenge posts.

What's in a Name?

Some of you may have noticed that I changed the title of my blog. I had named it on a whim and no longer liked the name. It was clunky, cumbersome, and frankly not all that unique. I had hemmed and hawed over what to change it to. I don't know why it didn't hit me earlier, but I had already chosen a name when I chose the domain name! So, without hesitation, I renamed it to Green Mama Katie.

I think it's short, sweet, to the point, and I didn't have to change my links! I hope you like it and I haven't confused you too much!

P.S. A blog description is useful to describe your blog without making your title long and weird. Yup, I said it before, I tend to be absent minded and miss the obvious!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Summer Blog Challenge Day 12 - June 12-- Worst injury you've had & how it happened.

Luckily I haven't had many injuries at all in my life.  I'm not the daredevil type and I tend to play it fairly safe.  Now, I do tend to be absent minded and clumsy, so I have had quite a few occasions where I've bumped into things.  Frequently, I have bruises that I cannot explain.  I think it's most likely that I've gotten so used to bumping into things that I pretty much forget I did by the time a bruise shows up.  I had such a hard time coming up with something, that I originally just thought, "Can I count my c-section as an injury?"  It truly was the most painful thing I've even had to recover from, but eventually I remembered two things that would count.

The first was a car accident right before Christmas of 2008.  It wasn't a major one, we just got side-swiped by a drunk driver, but we were in pain after it.  I've (knock on wood) never had a broken bone, but I sure can tell you that muscular injuries of the neck and back are horrible.  I was in so much pain after that accident, I couldn't type.  It literally almost brought me to tears.  And since there weren't any broken bones, you don't get any kind of brace, cast, etc.  It also meant many, many weeks of 3 days a week being in the chiropractor's office.  Not fun at all.

The next was way cooler!  I told you I'm not a daredevil, but I've been told I can be a beast when it comes to pursuing things.  In May of 2010 I took up riding a road bike.  I LOVE my road bike! I love going fast, I love riding through scenic areas, I love the wind in my hair, but I tend to be fairly cautious about it as well.  I also told you I'm absent minded and clumsy at times.  Well, it was late August or early September of that same year and I was riding the rail trail near me that is 26.2 miles round trip in preparation for the century (100 mile bike ride) I was riding in a couple of weeks.  I was doing the usual entire trail with my father.  We were probably 3-5 miles from the trail head (I start from the trail end) when I fell.  We were waiting to cross an intersection when some cars decided to stop for us.  I got back on, stood up to peddle, and then raised my hand to waive my appreciation.  Yeah...that last part was the bad idea.  See you either sit and raise your hand or you stand and keep you hands firmly on the handle bars. Before I knew it, I was skidding across the pavement (I managed to steer to the end of the intersection) and fell on the trail.  I scrapped my arm and my leg pretty bad, but I rinsed my wounds clean, took a few minutes to regain my composure, and continued to the rest of the way before turning back around.  Little did I know I bent my handle bars and rode a century with bent handle bars.  When the pain from riding wasn't going away from chiropractic adjustments, I decided to schedule a bike fit.  It turns out I actually discovered the handle bar damage two days before I found out I was pregnant.  I actually planned to ride, but took a test instead.

Here's some pictures from my bike accident.
 My scraped up arm.

 The leg wasn't as bad.  The worst part was where my hip and upper thigh hit, but it was just deeply bruised.

Click HERE to quickly find the rest of my Summer Blog Challenge posts.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Summer Blog Challenge Day 11 - June 11-- Best day of your life.

Hmmmm.... Best day of my life? I don't think I could pick just one. Honestly it's probably 3 or 4 best days of my life.

The first would have to be the day my husband asked me to go "steady" with him. No, we are not 60 years old. It was June 29th, 2000 and I was between my sophomore and junior years at college. We were supposed to go to the shore, but my husband had a terrible sinus infection. I went over to his place to take care of him. He was so touched, he asked me to "go steady" with him. Yes, he really did say that.

The next would have to be our wedding day. It was a gorgeous day in early May. I made him cry with my vows. It was so sweet. We had a splendid time celebrating with friends and family. We spent the night in a hotel far from our guests and talked about our dreams as newlyweds.

The third, by far, was the day I found out I was pregnant. We had tried for so long with no luck. We were both adamant about not wanting to pursue IVF, but had just started to consult with a fertility doctor for testing and minimal assistance. Turned out we didn't need any. I got pregnant while we were being evaluated. I found out on a Thursday. It was Veterans Day and we were off from work. My husband took the car to the dealer and I slept in. I only tested because I was off and I had realized the day before that blue cheese tasted rotten (I LOVE blue cheeses!) and I had NO symptoms unlike every other cycle. I took the test and walked away as I just expected it to be negative. Imagine my shock when I walked back in and saw a very faint pink line!!! I immediately grabbed the test, drove to Target to get something that said daddy (it was some baby towels), wrapping stuff, and headed to the car dealer. My husband was definitely confused when I showed up there. When he finally came out to the car and opened the present, all he could say was, "Are you sure?" After buying and taking three more kinds of tests, including a digital one, it finally sunk in for him and he was just as thrilled!

The fourth day for me was the day I finally met my son. It was such an awesome feeling to see his tiny little face and hold him in my arms after the many months of him growing inside me. He really did look so much like his ultrasound pictures from about 20 weeks before. Hearing him cry for the first time was just amazing. Holding him and inspecting his tiny fingers and toes was just so very awesome. Realizing that he was our son was the best feeling in the world.

I look forward to many more best days with both my husband, son, and any future children (most likely just one more even though my husband jokes about twins!).

Click HERE to quickly find the rest of my Summer Blog Challenge posts.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Summer Blog Challenge Day 10 - June 10-- Cost aside, famous artpieceyou would have in your home.

I was so excited to write about this as soon as I read the prompt. I love art, I've always loved art and I was lucky enough to meet and marry a man who loves art as much as I do. One of our early Valentine's Day dates was to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. I had never been since I had grown up outside D.C., but he had been many times since he is a South Jersey boy. It was at this museum that I discovered and fell in love with the art of Jasper Johns. Don't know who he is? Here is a wonderful article that I think truly captures what his work is about. I'll let you "Google" him if you want to know the usual age, birth place, etc.

This is the piece of his that I would love to own if cost were not an issue. It's called CATENARY (I call to the grave).

I know, it looks like mostly a bunch of gray, but it's not. There is so much more to this painting than can be seen in a picture of it. I literally stood and stared at this for at least 15 minutes when I saw it. It called to me and I could not stop analyzing it.

If you ever get to the Philly area, I recommend you stop at the art museum and check out this masterpiece. There's so much great art at that museum. Plus, you can stand on the top of the steps and pretend you're Rocky.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Summer Blog Challenge Day 9 - June 9-- Your worst cooking disaster.

Let me preface this by letting you know that I am an excellent cook and baker. I take a lot of pride in my cooking and delight in providing friends and family with tasty dishes. I have a knack for knowing just what flavors to combine and how to combine them. I rarely use recipes unless I'm cooking something new and even then I'm often tweaking things. My husband loves my creations and jokes about a couple of my cooking disasters that I've had with boxed food.

I don't remember all of the details, but I know for sure it involved a boxed product that is supposed to be idiot proof. You know, follow the directions and you have yummy food. Well, no one ever said idiot proof isn't smarty pants, dyslexic proof. (My husband also likes to kid with me about the fact that I can do calculus, but can barely add, subtract, multiply, and divide without a calculator!) I believe it was a box of Zataran's (sp? Oh yes, I struggle with that too!) or some other rice dish. I set about prepping and setting up to make this dish. I read the directions, measure out my water (I'm anal about this kind of stuff. Did I tell you I spent half my college career as a chemistry major before switching back to computer science?), put everything in the pot, and start cooking it. About half way through I start to realize something is wrong. There's just too much water. I'm not talking just a little extra, but a massive amount extra! I pick the box up and reread the directions. I'm stunned to discover the amount of water is drastically less than what I added. I can't remember now, but I'm pretty sure it was either I doubled the water or I misread the unit of measurement! It wasn't the first time I've done this, I used to take tests in school and swear that the test said one thing only to discover it was a completely different word after I got the test back. I know we laughed then and still laugh about it! I'm not sure any longer whether we ate it or scrapped it.

I'm pretty sure I have a few other disasters. I know the first time I made bread I didn't check the temperature of the water and ended up with something more like a pretzel than challah bread. On that note, I'm going to leave you with a picture of the SECOND loaf of challah bread I made.

It was as good as it looks!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Summer Blog Challenge Day 8 - June 8-- Not including blogging ;) yourfavorite guilty pleasure.

I want to start off by saying that I don't think of blogging as a guilty pleasure. I feel absolutely no guilt in blogging to express myself and stretch my creative muscle. I would hope most bloggers don't see it as a guilty pleasure, but s worthwhile one. So, on to my favorite guilty pleasure.

My favorite guilty pleasure would have to be either playing games on my phone or vegging out to TV. I classify these as guilty pleasures because I do feel a little guilty doing them. I feel guilty in that I should be doing something worthwhile and that they tend to suck me in and make me disconnect from my friends and family. I don't feel guilty for eating things I like or going to the gym (although sometimes a little since I now have a baby) or other things like that.  I feel those are necessary to allow one to feel like a whole person and not just a mom. I guess disconnecting is also important, but I always feel guilty.

What about you? What's your guilty pleasure?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

I'm so over this...

I'm sitting here attached to a machine, plastic parts held up with a hands free device, the pump whirring away sounding like it's saying "le pump, le pump" over and over to my ears, and I just can't stop thinking about how OVER this I am!  I'm so tired of toting the bag, having my husband clean the supplies, being locked away for 30-60 minutes a day, not having lunch with my co-workers, and the whole deal with pumping.  It is one of the most unnatural and isolating things I've ever done and I'm ready to be done with it.  Continuing to nurse my son is very, very important to me, but as I draw closer to his birthday, my time at the pump is becoming more and more of a hated activity.  I think it's time to wean, after all, the pump has no feelings!

In the beginning I didn't love pumping, but I loved knowing that I was continuing to provide that magical food that is breast milk to my son while I was away at work.  I happily strapped myself to it and played games and caught up on Facebook on my phone while the machine thoughtlessly and coldly did it's thing.  The pump and I actually had a very successful relationship in the beginning.  I actually came home with more milk at the end of the week than at the beginning of the week.  Often 2-3 oz more!  But it quickly became a love-hate relationship as I soon discovered this abundance of milk was causing upset for my dude-y pie.  When I cut back on pumping, I started getting plugs! Oh so fun! There was no easy way for me to taper off since I only ever pumped twice while I was at work.  The best I could do was pump until I hit a certain amount between my two sessions and cut them early.  Thankfully after 6 months, my hormones calmed down and the plugs were mostly a thing of the past.

But now, with less than 2 months to my dear baby's first birthday, I'm contemplating when to throw in the towel on pumping.  Once a day is my current practice unless things seem to be dipping too much.  I know I can go a whole work day without pumping.  I often do on Fridays when I'm busy and/or don't feel like it. My freezer stash is almost gone now.  I think there are 4 bags in my mom's freezer and that's it.  I can build it back up in a heartbeat if need be.  The other thing is my dear son just isn't taking milk during the day as much.  He loves his food and lets you know when he wants food and not milk! He left at least 3 oz of the 7 oz I sent yesterday. He prefers his milk from mom when I return home, through the night, and during the weekends at nap time.  As much as I hate the pump, I am conflicted and want to make sure I'm providing properly for him.  Formula during the day just isn't an option with his sensitivity to milk products and I probably won't be introducing cow's milk after his first birthday.  What's a girl to do?!?!

Anyone else have some BTDT experience? If you did pump, when did you stop pumping while at work?

Summer Blog Challenge Day 7 - June 7-- Picture of something that makesyou happy.

This is so obvious, but of course my picture is my son. Just his presence makes me happy! I chose this picture because I love his expressions (he's quite the ham!) and what's better than a messy faced baby!

That is Oreo cookie on his face. Don't judge! I try to be green and healthly, but you gotta live and enjoy life too!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Summer Blog Challenge Day 6 - June 6-- Nicknames you have & why you have them.

Whew! Finally caught up! I like this challenge. I have a few nicknames, so this will be fun.

My name that I go by is actually a nickname. My mom named me Kathryn, but did not want me to be called Kathy. Because of this, I have always been called Katie. I like it. It fits and it certainly was the beginning of me being different. My mom also called me pumpkin as a baby, but thankfully doesn't anymore. My sorority nickname is Fidget. Reasoning? Yup, you guessed it! I fidget! My husband calls me K Wifey.

That's all, I think.

On a completely unrelated topic, I can hear my husband watching Chips. Such a terrible show, but he loves it. I can't talk though, I secretly love Gilmore Girls and Even Stevens!

Summer Blog Challenge Day 5 - June 5-- Short term goals for this monthand why those goals.

Ugh! Goals! I am downright terrible at making goals. I guess. That's not really true though. I made a goal to ride a century (100 mile bike ride) and did it. It's the making plans for hitting goals and then sticking to them if I actually make plans.

So for this month, my goals are to get invites out for my son's first birthday party, plan a graduation party for my husband, and get to the gym three days a week each week. They are my goals because I have to. Yes, I'm a big baby like that. Well, the last I don't have to, but I want to win that contest (or at least place) so I have to do the workouts. Anything else is just icing on the cake.

Summer Blog Challenge Day 4 - June 4-- Meaning behind your blog name.

I chose my blog name because I wanted to convey the sense of adventure and lack of ability to know what each day brings as a parent. I also wanted to emphasize the fact that I try to parent in a very green/natural way as well as in an attachment parenting style. However, lately I've been feeling that the name is cumbersome and uninspired. It speaks nothing of my uniqueness or quirkiness. It doesn't even touch on my very multi faceted personality or interests.

Please any feedback on this would be greatly appreciated. If you know me in real life, feel free to make suggestions.

Summer Blog Challenge Day 3 - June 3-- 15 interesting facts about yourself.

Hmm...this could take a while.

1. I love to ride my road bike. I rode 100 miles in one day back in 2010.

2. I can touch my nose with my tongue and my son has a freakishly long tongue as well and will most likely be able to do the same.

3. I am a sucker for anything with chocolate and raspberries. If it has dark chocolate, I'm powerless!

4. I am a terrible, terrible speller.

5. I am a total nerd. I work on computers and geek out about science books and shows.

6. I love Star Trek so much, my son is named after a character from the show.

7. I have a tattoo of a tree frog and plan on getting more tattoos after I have my babies.

8. I love to read. One of the last books I read was about genetics.

9. I am currently doing a weight lifting program and signed up for a tranformation challenge. I want to be buff.

10. I am terrified of spiders and insects, but LOVE snakes!

11. I dabbled in Tarot reading. I still have my deck.

12. I took French in high school and still occasionally dream in what seems to be French.

13. My family thinks I'm a hippy. I admittedly am, but know I'm definitely not the crunchiest out there.

14. I love frogs because I often feel comfortable in many different environments, but at the same time am sensitive to my environment.

15. My favorite flower is the tulip. Both because I was born in Holland and I love their simple elegance. My wedding flowers were tulips.

Summer Blog Challenge Day 2 - June 2--Post a picture of you smiling.

This is an easy one! I love doing things in pictures instead of words. I've taken a couple of photography classes in my day, back before digital really took off.

This was from this weekend when my son and I played in his new kiddie pool.

Summer Blog Challenge Day 1 - June 1-- Why are you doing this challenge?

I've signed up to be part of this blog challenge. I signed up late, so I'll be doing days 1-6 all on the same day. That is assuming I can finish all six in one night!

I signed up to do this challenge for a few reasons. First, it just sounded like fun. Second, I do like challenges. I rode 100 miles in a day on my bicycle. So why not nearly 90 days of writing everyday. Third, I need ideas. I started a blog, but lately I've had a bit of writer's and a lack of inspiration. Fourth and finally, I'm hoping it gets my blog some traffic and followers. I want this thing to grow and the sooner I make it happen, the more likely I'll continue to see it through.

Coming up in about 10 minutes...the post for day 2!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Birthdays, Bike Ride, and More!

It was a busy, busy weekend for us! My husband's birthday was on Friday and we went out to celebrate Friday night and Saturday night. Friday was just the two of us (belated anniversary celebration as well) and Saturday was with some friends.

Happy Birthday Dear!

Saturday was a crazy, busy day all around. We got up early and rode our bikes on a metric half century (50 K or 32 miles) through some of the more scenic parts of our county. It was beautiful. It was the most miles I've ridden since I had dude-y and the first time my husband and I actually rode an organized ride together. I rode a century (100 miles) back in 2010 without him since he broke his toe walking down the stairs! Then he attempted the same century this past fall, but due to frigid temperatures and nasty rain, was only able to complete 82 miles. I know some of you reading this must think we're crazy and are thinking ONLY 82 miles!!! Don't worry, I think marathon runners are crazy! The first 13 miles of our ride were grueling! We were stiff, hungry, thirsty, and cold.  But after a lengthy rest and plenty of food and water, we finished the rest rather easily. After finishing up, we grabbed some food and then headed to a first birthday party for one of my friend's kids!  A quick showing at the party and then we finally went home to shower and get ready to go out again for birthday celebrations. Whew! I'm exhausted recounting this!  It was a good relaxing time though.  We went to a German restaurant and ate outside in the beer garden.  Great food, a little beer, music, and just a wonderful relaxing atmosphere with  friends was perfect.

We all slept most of Sunday! Even dude-y.  We planned on not doing much of anything till my brother called and invited us to go to a movie.  So my gracious and wonderful mother (who watches him all week) agreed to watch dude-y yet again for us and we enjoyed an evening out.  It was the first movie I'd seen in a theater since July 2011.  Yup, right before dude-y came.  I enjoyed going out, but now I'm still drained from the weekend and need some rest.  Alas, it's near impossible to rest when you have a super active 10 month old!  Speaking of, he's 10 months old today!  I still can't believe it's almost been a year! Time to get moving on planning his birthday party.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Walking for ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease)

My friend's mother was diagnosed with this terrible disease some time in the last year or two. Our friend's mother now only has about a month left. My husband and I have decided to join our friend on this walk to honor her mother and support others with the disease. Please help me raise money for this wonderful cause.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Breastfeeding - What No One Tells You

What could be more loving and nurturing than the image of a breastfeeding mama? Not much.

What did everyone forget to tell you? That about 60-75% of the time breastfeeding will NOT be that lovely, soft focused image of mother gently gazing at baby while he contentedly and gently suckles at his mother's breast!

Don't get me wrong, I love breastfeeding my son. It's often warm and loving and fills me with pride, joy, and wonderment at the fact that I can feed, nurture, and comfort my child in such a unique and intimate way. We are bonded! But so much of our journey has been up and down. I am one of the lucky ones who has enough (too much at times) milk and a babe that has nursed like a champ from day one. While our journey has been relatively easy, it's still been gruelingly hard at times.

My milk didn't come in till day 5 and at that point he had lost more than 10% and was jaundiced, so the doctors prescribed formula. I bawled my eyes out! Thankfully I had a nurse who was extremely experienced with nursing and setup a makeshift supplemental nursing system with a syringe and a long, thin tube so my son could get formula while continuing to nurse. My milk came in 4-5 hours after returning home the next day, but not before another sob fest.

Breastfeeding is also physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausting and draining. "What? You want to nurse again? It's only been 15 minutes." "It's 3 am! Why oh why can't you just go to sleep?!?!" I remember many a night crying from sheer exhaustion and vowing that I was going to quit. Beyond stubbornness, a cheap streak, an inability for my son to digest dairy protein without wailing, nursing, sleeping, and repeating every two hours or less, and god knows what, I'm not sure what kept me going. But I stayed the course and do not see an end in our near future.

Which brings me to the next point; allergy and other intolerance! Apparently many babies have trouble digesting milk proteins at first. Guess what? Yup, mine was one of them! This was not a problem with lactose, but with the proteins! If it was my baby would have been unable to digest my milk as human milk also contains lactose. Let me repeat, this is a problem with the PROTEINS in milk and NOT the lactose. Thus began my journey into dairy free eating. What a nightmare!!! Do you know that milk is EVERYWHERE? Yes, it is. I've been a label reader for a long time, but this was a whole new level!!! Eating out was fraught with terror and danger since trying to get straight, knowledgeable answers was near impossible. I scoured the web for chains that disclosed their ingredients and mainly ate out at a handful of places. It became worse when he started reacting to soy (I was grateful as my intestines were none too pleased with the so called wonder bean either) and began bleeding. Not much is scarier than a bloody diaper. Thankfully as he grew, he became better able to handle dairy in my diet and can eat some now. Not too much, though and certain things are worse than others.

Remember how I mentioned having a lot of milk? Yeah...that causes problems too. The obvious ones like leaking, engorged breasts, and becoming soaked every time baby feeds since he can't handle the flow and either letting the milk dribble or popping off and letting the milk spray. The not so obvious ones like plugged ducts (OUCH!) and so much foremilk that baby is even gassier and spits up more.

Now that he's older, I get to deal with what some refer to as gym-nurse-tics. As the name implies, it means that baby decides that he wants to nurse in any position imaginable (and some that could never be fathomed without having witnessed them)! Downward dog, sitting, sitting bent over, standing, upside down, side ways, backwards, in the shower or tub, off and on and off and on again, up and down and up again, etc.  Plus, since this is gym-nurse-tics, the frequent changing of positions is mandatory! I secretly think this is the bigger reason most women don't nurse their older babies and toddlers in public. It's just too damn hard to keep from flashing everyone your nip (because once most babies have control of their arms, they will NOT accept having a blanket or cover over their heads) and it's frustrating wrestling your increasingly bigger and bigger baby!

This list doesn't even cover ALL of the issues a mother may have with breastfeeding, but just the bumps I've encountered. There are bleeding nipples, mastitis, and thrush. There are women who no matter what they do, can't make enough milk. There are women who are survivors of abuse and can't tolerate this level of intimacy. There are breast cancer survivors who lost their breasts. There are also babies who are tongue tied or have facial deformities. There are babies who bite a lot. There are so many reasons breastfeeding may be difficult for someone, but no one ever seems to discuss them.

I often wonder if some of my friends who had trouble had known some of these things may have had a longer breastfeeding relationship. I wonder if they got bad advice from ill informed doctors. I wonder if it's just that they didn't have the support in place to work through the tough spots and continue on. I don't know. I would be happy if this post helped just one mom reach her breastfeeding goals or help just one mom realize that she is a wonderful mom even if she had difficulty breastfeeding and had to feed her baby another way.

Please let me know your experiences with this. Let me know something you wish someone had shared with you before you had your baby.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Mother I Am

On Mothers Day, I want to spend a little time explaining why I mother the way I do. For starters see this?

That sweet angelic face is the reason I do what I do. That precious, tiny human being is why I chose to mother attachment style. I feel it is my duty in life to respect, nurture, comfort, and love that baby boy in a manner that makes him feel safe, secure, protected, and loved. I feel it is important that his early life is as happy, warm, and nurturing as possible so that he grows up believing life is good and people and relationships are important.

The world can be scary and hard, but family shouldn't be. Family should be your safe haven. The calm in the storm. The oasis in the desert. I want to always be that to my son and any future children. I want to be that to my husband as well. This doesn't mean there won't be limits, but it means I will try hard to remember the person he is and the stage of development he is in. I'm not here to scold, cajole, and punish him into behaving. I'm here to love, nurture, and guide him towards being the best human being HE is capable of being so that he wants to do good. Remember, we all try our hardest and do our best for those we feel truly care about us and our feelings. This is what attachment parenting is to me.

Happy Mothers Day to all women! We are all mothers to someone even if we don't have or adopt children. Keep loving each other and the world and maybe we can make the future brighter for all of our children.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Extremism - Where's the Balance?

So I've been mulling over and discussing the recent TIME cover photo and article (Here's a link in case you've been hiding under a rock the past few days and missed it.) and have been struggling to figure out exactly what I want to say about this. I have had many people ask me about this and say that they've thought about me when they heard about it as I'm fairly open about my crunchy, hippy mama style of parenting. I'm fairly open in general about my life, so this is nothing new.

I often proudly admit to being a bleeding heart liberal whose passionate about women's rights (and now children's rights), but I find this picture uncomfortable, demeaning, and exploitative. It's not that the child is 3 years old. It's not that the woman's breast is partially visible. It's that the pose seems slightly suggestive and clearly sensationalist. It's that the mother seems so detached. It's that the title implies that mothers who don't do this are not up to the challenge of being a mother. And I think most importantly, it's that the balance that helps create happy, healthy attached families is completely missing from this sensationalist piece of journalism designed to sell magazines and stir controversy.

I plan on discussing this more, but I just need more time to process. Please check out the links below for information from Attachment Parenting International on their eight principles. And please, let me know your thoughts.
API's Eight Principles
API's Blog Post About the Principles

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Grrrr! Technology Ate my Next Post

I started writing something this morning to post later today, but my iPad ate it. I hate when technology does that (and I'm a tech support person). I'd say that couldn't happen with paper, but I have a dog and a baby who both like to eat paper! Looks like I'll have to write when I want to post, at least with the blogger app. :-/

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Poop-splosion and Baby Giggles

I was thinking all day about what I was going to write for my first blog post when a story happened to us! What's better than real life, right?

A little background; my husband and I are the happy, often exhausted, sometimes frustrated, and slightly nutty parents to one amazing, focused, energetic, and down-right adorable 9 month old boy whom we like to call dude-y! We both work outside of the home and do our best to keep the house at least functional to have all the supplies available for each day with our little man. So, on to tonight's gut-busting story!

Dinner is mostly uneventful until dude-y decides to pick up the sippy cup that had been placed back on his tray after it was dropped on the floor. The cup lid must have been knocked loose from the fall because water begins pouring out of it! We start laughing at the water streaming out and dude-y grins big and lets out his amazingly hardy laugh! Then we laugh more and he returns more baby giggles and we laugh and he laughs! After about 5 minutes of back and forth laughter, we finally all stop laughing. Tears are almost streaming down my face! Dinner is over and bath time is about to begin (a necessity after almost every meal with a 9 month old!).

We start getting the bath ready. I decide to take care of some laundry while my husband starts the bath. I manage to get the diapers out of the dryer, the wet load into the dryer, and begin to load the next pile of laundry when I hear my husband calling desperately for me. I walk into the bathroom to the most ridiculous thing I may have ever seen in my life. There is my husband ready to get into the bath with dude-y, poop smeared all over his belly, poop on the baby's butt, a half unsnapped poopy diaper on the floor, and a look of sheer horror on my husband's face! My husband forgot to check the diaper before removing it and ended up covered in it!!! I rush in, grab the baby, and start dipping his butt in the tub to get the poop off. I unplug the drain so we can all get a shower to clean up and it doesn't drain! There's poop floating everywhere and I'm trying to keep dude-y from playing in it! My husband grabs the plunger and starts plunging the drain all while looking totally mortified as I hold the baby and begin chuckling at the fiasco. Finally we get the tub emptied and cleaned so that we can all clean up. Our bedtime routine is restored and we finish getting our little man ready for bed.

I hope you enjoyed our poop filled night and I hope my husband doesn't mind that I shared. ;-)