Friday, January 28, 2011

All the things a SAHM should do!

I'm pretty much a SAHM (stay at home mom) and I LOVE it.  I do work, teaching piano lessons from my home and I help my mom about one day a week, but mostly, I'm home.

I had a lot of ideas of what it was going to be like to be home most hours of the day.  I thought about all the tasks I would accomplish and all the free time I would have.  Ahhhhh, what a luxurious life!

What??? You're laughing???  Pshh.

Here is a list of things I was going to do in all my spare time as a SAHM, and behind them is my list of accomplishments related to them. You'll see I've done real well.

- Clean my house. Everyday. Oh, it was going to be SO clean. Mopped floors, dusted baseboards, no cobwebs. (Ha! The dishes get done. Most days. Maybe more like every other day.)

- Bake scones, souffle, creme brulee and other fancy things that include cranberries, white chocolate and poached pears.  All things my friend Annalise does with two babies! (I'm still working on box brownies thankyouverymuch.)

- Or I was at least going to bake cookies. (Grocer's refrigerator section, frozen cookie dough. Yes and amen.)

- Drink tea, burn incense and worship God.  In my long hippie skirt, of course. (Does wearing my nursing pajamas while crying, "please God, help me with this crying baby" count?)

- Paint my bathroom. (No. It has to be cleaned first.)

- Bake treats for my piano students every other week or so. (I'm just glad I make it to piano lessons, dressed, mind you.)

- Visit and talk with my friends, Carma and Devora. (Hi, ladies. How ya doing?)

- Walk with my friend, April. (Yeah....)

- Play piano and sing with my friend Beth. (Beth and I did that. In 2009. Oh yeah, that was pre-India.)

- Go to the Y and workout.  Everyday.  With Jen, Beth and now Tami. (One time I did this!!)

- I was going to garden with my friend/neighbor Jessica. And probably look at interior decorating magazines with her. (I wave to her across the street as we come and go.)

- Make homemade bread. (The only bread we are eating is pre-sliced from a plastic bag.)

- Make lots more homemade food for that matter. (I have perfected "fancy" Mac N Cheese.  Mac N Cheese with lemon pepper.)

- Re-finish my kitchen table. (Tablecloth.)

- Sew curtains for our house, and toys and accessories for India. (Peeping toms are welcome. As are store bought toys.)

- Garden, garden, garden. (It's winter.  Sheesh, people.  I have HUGE plans for spring! You just wait!)

- Play piano, guitar and bass guitar. (I play piano. Have for years. Still playing the same songs I played years ago too.)

- Sell all my crap on eBay. (I have nothing to report on this.  I have however, bought a few things on eBay.)

- Do exercises videos while my baby plays alone on a blanket. (hahaha, "baby plays alone..." hahaha)

- Go out and shop at stores.  (If I was dressed, I would do this.)

- Look smokin' hot, nicely perfumed, dressed in an apron everyday when my husband came home to the smell of fresh baked cookies or bread.  Or creme brulee.  (Most days my glasses are still on as well as yesterday's smudged make-up. I also still smell of yesterday's spit-up.)

- Do my hair and make up everyday. (Does yesterday's make-up count?)

- Get dressed. Everyday.  In real clothes. (Pajamas.)

As you can see, I haven't been very productive as far as that list is concerned.  I guess didn't know that taking care of a baby would demand more time from me than when I worked before India was born. 

She wakes up from a nap, diaper change, time to nurse/check Facebook, puke on clothes, change clothes, start laundry, play, send an e-mail, eat a little bit of cold food(me), baby gets a hold of food and spills it everywhere, clean up spilled food, baby falls down, calm crying baby who bumped her head, put baby in carrier, begin dinner prep only to realize you don't have milk, google "milk replacement" and get sucked into a vegan website, answer phone, entertain baby, put clothes in the dryer, diaper explosion, diaper change, shush baby to sleep, clean up poo-splosion, baby prematurely wakes crying, shush her back to sleep, fold laundry, finish eating cold food, work on blog, start more laundry, baby wakes. I didn't even get to start on dinner, the dishes, the bills, or get the bathroom cleaned.  Repeat every 2-4 hours. 

Forget about souffle.  I just have my eyes set on a shower!

Ahhhhh, just think of all the time I'll have once I have a second baby and they can entertain each other.  I'll be free!  Yep, I'll save this list for then. ;-)

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Vote, vote, vote!

That's what I've been doing a lot of, VOTING!  My baby girl was entered into a cute baby contest and I'm not sure if it's a fortunate or unfortunate thing that the voting is unlimited!  When India and I sit down to nurse, I grab my computer and get in about 30 votes.  After she goes to bed, I just mindlessly vote for her, clicking F5 to refresh the page and doing household chores in the midst of it all.  I have NO idea how she is doing in the standings, but I really believe she has a chance!

I don't ever want her to feel like she has been "voted" on so to speak. Have you ever seen the TV show Toddlers and Tiaras? Yuck. After Dallas and I prayed with her and put her to bed after the first day of voting, we were very glad that she is obliviously enjoying life - no pressure. She just smiled for the camera and we happened to capture just a small glimpse of her beauty.

I didn't enter India into the contest because I vainly think she's the most beautiful baby, or better than any other baby, or I want these gifts (great gifts, by the way and I'm NOT complaining if she does win) or I'm wanting to prove something. 

I did it because I am so proud of her.  My heart beams at every thought of her.  I want to show her off.  I think she has a chance because I know hundreds of people love this little girl.

After all, this really isn't about the most beautiful baby - it's about who has the support of the voters.

If you would be so kind, please take some time and vote for India, near the bottom, on the far right, #260.  Voting is unlimited (it takes about 2 minutes to vote 10 times, FYI), and the competition is tough, obviously!  You can vote here

THANK YOU to every single one of you who has voted - we can't do this without your support! Whether or not she wins, we are very grateful and wish there was a way to pay you back!  Feel free to share India's info.  The more the merrier!

Labels: , ,

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Truth Be Told: Contest

Truth be told...

I'm entering my baby in a beautiful baby contest.  And since we're being honest, it's not just one contest; I've entered her in two.  Oops.  I swore I'd never do this.  And in the spirit of it all, I'm going to ask, beg and plead for you to vote for her. 

Stay posted, voting details to come!!

Labels: , ,

Friday, January 21, 2011

Split Peasers Soup

I love legumes.  Let me say that again.  I LOVE legumes.  Every single one of them.  They are economical, full of fiber, calcium, iron and protein.  If you haven't delved into the world of legumes because you are intimidated, there are so many recipes for you to try that incorporate just a small amount of legumes. 

The recipe I'm about to share, which is one of our favorite cold weather recipes, is full of legumes of the split pea variety.  Since we are feeling pretty strapped financially, this is a recipe that makes two meals for us, with little spending.

Eh, I might've lost you when I said split pea, if you don't enjoy split pea soup.  But for those of you that are wanting something healthy, filling, warm and cheap, this recipe may work for you!

Basic ingredients...

Can't forget the onions! And the best part is you can kind of 'cube' these up - no dicing!

Add a little extra virgin olive oil and let those things wilt a bit

Add the split peas, sea salt, pepper, a bay leaf, yummy stuff like that ..... and some hot sauce! LOTS of hot sauce!

Let it simmer, until it's to the split peas are cooked!

And serve! 

Add a nice salad of mixed greens and some crusty bread, mmmmm!

Hope you enjoy this simple recipe as much as we do!  :-)
Split Pea Soup
2 onions, cut into cubes
1-2 TB of olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 lb of split peas (I prefer yellow)
2 stalks of celery
1 1/2 tsp oregano
1 tsp thyme
1 bay leaf
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
6 cups chicken broth (or vegetable if you want this recipe to be vegan)
Hot sauce, to taste
1-2 cups water

Cook onions with the olive oil in a large saucepan until they begin to wilt.  Add garlic, split peas, celery and all seasonings.  Then add the broth and hot sauce.  Bring to a boil, then let simmer, covered on low heat for about an hour or until the lentils have softened(depends on which kind of lentils you use).  Stir occasionally.  Once ready to serve, I like to add and additional 1-2 cups of water, to make a soupy consistency, as it will thicken as it stands.  I will sometimes run my immersion blender through it, and sometimes will add some chopped carrots to the recipe also.

Labels: , ,

Thursday, January 20, 2011

My baby doesn't eat solids and has stranger anxiety

Yep, my baby doesn't eat solids.  And quite often screams when strangers hold her.  I am THAT mom with THAT baby. 

Normally, those facts would intimidate me, but being a new mom, I'm continually learning new things everyday in regards to raising our daughter.  Who knew there were so many studies and tests on infant development!  Being the researcher that I am, I can easily find myself reading in depth medical reports for hours, just to come to a simple conclusion.  :-)  

Sometimes my baby doesn't do things exactly as other babies do.

India is so proud of her 6 month old self - and so are we! She loves looking at herself in the mirror, sitting up, trying to crawl/scoot, standing up around our coffee table, dropping everything from her high chair, playing everything like she's a professional drummer and chewing on everything with her two little teeth!  Developmentally she is doing great and even exceeds many of the six months milestones.  She still looks so much like her Daddy!

She is still long and skinny, staying in the 40th percentile for weight and the 75-80th percentile for height.  Another area that she is just like Daddy; long and skinny. ;-)

Since she wants absolutely EVERYTHING that we have in our hands, we decided to let her chew on a little bit of our food.  This is where I discovered my baby isn't interested in solid food.

I gave her a slice of avocado.  FAIL.  And let her gnaw on my banana.  Not interested.  How about a bit of my apple?  Nope. 

Well then. 

She wants to chew on them for a minute or two, but then she wants the next thing in our hands.  She is mostly curious.

I didn't think she was really ready to eat solids because she still has the tongue thrust reflex, but decided to try it, just to let her experiment and because she begs like a sad little puppy dog.  And pants like one too.  Her doctor agreed that she isn't ready if she is still pushing the food out of her mouth and there is no reason to rush her.

Speaking of the India's 6 month check-up we talked about solids, and to my surprise without me even mentioning it, the doctor recommended baby led solids, also known as child led weaning or infant led solids, which is what we are doing for the most part!  I will puree a few things for freezing and eating from her mesh feeder, but otherwise, no purees.  She will also use her mesh feeders for eating food too. 

Like any mom who has heard, "she's going to starve if she doesn't get rice cereal" or "you can't survive on milk, how can she?", those comments and pressure still plays in my head sometimes. 

A bit of advice has been playing in the back of my head throughout this and the Doctor read my mind while we were talking about the need for solids.

The Doctor reiterated that she doesn't absolutely need solids until 1 year old, as solids have minimal nutritional value compared to breast milk.  I didn't know this about babies until after India was born and my midwife told me not to rush solids and that she is fine on breast milk alone for the first year.  I didn't believe it fully at first, and thought she was maybe confused but I did a little research of my own.  She's right.   I've since had two doctors tell me the same thing! 

I think God has been telling me to handle this the way I handle everything else - naturally.   There is no need to push this. 

I plan to keep occasionally giving her food like avocado, sweet potato slices, Skittles (I joke), squash blocks, apples to gnaw on, etc.  It's mostly for her to explore, learn, taste, practice her pincer grip and satisfy her curiosity, until she is ready to begin ingesting the food. 

Sounds like a plan.  I'm not in a hurry, and I'm confident that if she gets hungry, she'll stop playing Play-Doh and parachute with her avocado and start eating it instead.  I'm laid back enough to not push it - it'll happen when it happens.

When the Dr asked me if she has stranger or separation anxiety, I said yes (like her response to the nice elderly gentleman she screamed at in the waiting room before our appointment who just talked to her??  Didn't you hear her from the waiting room?  Because everyone else did), quite often and that she loves everyone as long as she is in my arms!  She always likes to know where I am at all times, and will quite often whimper, or more accurately bellow, when she sees me while she is in someone else's arms. 

The Doctor was VERY happy about this!

What?  I thought we were on the same team here, Doc!? 

I guess it's a good sign, as it means she is attached to me, greatly lessening her chances of reactive attachment disorder and especially autism.  I said that I just thought it was a phase, one which makes everyone else mad and leaves me a little embarrassed, and was told that it's actually a very good thing that she cries with other people and wants me and if she just goes to anyone that could mean she hasn't bonded to me and would cause the doctor some concern, as that would be indicative to other issues.  Again, I want my daughter to remember twelve years from now that she would CRY to be with me, not CRY to get away from me!

Of course, I consulted my dear friend Google on this matter and after reading for two hours (it really should've taken me 30 seconds, but I told you, I want to read lengthy medical reports, not just WedMD's answer), and it's true.  Maybe everyone knew this already, but it is news to me!

So my apologies to any of you who try to hold my daughter, or talk to her or even look her direction.  She really doesn't hate you, she's just developing properly. :-)

Have any of you done baby led solids?  Any tips you would like to share?  Am I the only one who didn't know that stranger and separation anxiety is really a great thing?

Labels: , , , , , ,

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: A new habit - lip biting!

Labels: , ,

Monday, January 17, 2011

India and Aidni: BFF's

My daugher has had quite a few BFF's in her short six months.  The pictures on the wall, the ceiling fan, and her new bestie?  Let me introduce you to Aidni.

Labels: , ,

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Truth be Told: Bed

I've decided to start Truth Be Told, which is basically a short post on the craptastic or not-so-cool or oops or promised I'd never do or failed events that I have in life, most of them related to parenting.   They can be posted anytime, any day, and I'll be sure to keep a composed list on the top tabs of my blog. I contemplated joining in on Not Me Monday, but I like the randomness of this.  I'm sure there will be a lot of these!

Truth be told....

We contemplated going to be last night, a Friday night, at 7pm.  We made it to 10pm.  We are now the old couple with a kid, in bed at 10pm on a Friday night. Not-so-cool.  Promised I wouldn't do.

Feel free to share or blog about your Truth Be Told moment.... :-)

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

New Years Resolutions 2011

*I had this all ready to post on New Years, but with my Grandpa passing, I waited until now.  I hope you don't mind. :-)

Most people dislike New Years Resolutions. Why?  Well, mainly for two reasons. 

One, they don't want to conform to the general idea.  They don't want to be counted with the average person.  The idea of being an individual resonates with me in many other areas, but with New Years Resolutions, I'm ready to comply with the rest of society.

Secondly, they don't like the feeling of failure.  I think that is the most common reason.  Let me tell you - this recovering perfectionist understands!

Every year, around Thanksgiving, I begin to think about my goals for the upcoming year. 

Then, I set my New Years Resolutions and every year I fail at them.  I don't think I've ever succeeded in one.  Some of them over the years have been, but are not limited to:
  • Working out
  • Journaling
  • Spending time reading the Bible daily
  • Learn a new vocabulary word everyday (this was actually quite difficult)
  • Keep my house clean (this was even MORE difficult)
  • Write one snail mail letter or thank you a week
  • Stop cussing (Ha, normally, just a few short months later I try to give this up for lent)
But I'm not defeated by my failures.  They served their time and purpose, and at least got me thinking (some of them months in advance) about areas in my life that I would like to see change. 


You want to know what this year's resolutions are?  Of course you do, that's why you're reading!
  • Blog regularly.  I haven't decided on a "set" number of blog posts a month, but I do with to blog more often than last year.  Which shouldn't be hard considering I blogged more in the last four months of 2010 than I did in the previous eight combined.
  • Shop less at Walmart!  I wish I could give up Walmart totally, but the cheap prices, oh the cheap prices.  And yes, I know why they are so cheap, and that is why I'm convicted to shop there less.  Instead, support WAHM (work at home moms) & their gorgeous creations, local businesses, and companies that help society, not hurt it. 
  • Journal, journal and journal.  I love all my old journals, they are precious to me.  I have really neglected my personal journal since falling pregnant with India.  I also have a journal for her that I write in - milestones, notes of love, encouragement.  Someday, I want it to be filled with stories of her.
  • Get rid of crap in my house.  You know what happens when you move from an apartment to a house? You get crap, and fill that house full of it.  Unless you are Salena or Vanessa  - then you don't.  I want to get rid of about a quarter of my stuff.  I mean, my baby can't even crawl yet, and my basement is full of toys for her!  And all the boxes of stuff I've been planning on selling on eBay?  Hello, garage sale.
  • Stop being so mean to my husband.  I'm not always mean, but my husband is pretty sensitive, so I have to be careful how I say things.  I can be abrupt, and that hurts him.  I'm pretty curt or frank with him (whichever man you prefer lol!), and I need to pad my words more.  I've been working on this one for a while too.  *sigh*  I really am a work in progress.
  • Make more of our stuff from GOOD products.  Clothes and accessories for India, window coverings, meals made from whole foods, more garden produce, homemade yogurt, sprouted bread, etc.
Ahhh, 2011 Resolutions are set!  Actually, maybe not set, because I love to add an extra one here or there.

Do you make New Years Resolutions?  If you do, what are they?  Have you ever stuck with any of your resolutions?

Labels: , , , , ,

Saturday, January 8, 2011

I Want You To Know...(Happy 6 Months India!)

To my dear India Josephine,

You are now 6 months old.  6 months.  That's half a year!  I can't believe how fast you have grown!  You are still my little lovebug and my joy.  I can honestly say that I am cherishing every moment with you.  I can't believe you, my precious daughter, are getting so big!

There are so many things about you that haven't changed at all.  Mostly, your personality.  A few things have changed.  Those are mostly developmental things.  I want you to know, that whatever pace you are changing, it's alright with me.  It's supposed to be.  I also want you to know that your personality is unique - I never want to quench your spirit or try to change you into something for my convenience.

My heart skips a beat when you smile or laugh.  Your Daddy & I are so proud of you! You are absolutely beautiful - perfectly made.  Your bright blue eyes, little tongue, chubby cheeks - gorgeous.  I want you to know there is no one more beautiful than you.

You love people, always have a smile for everyone (except when you're overtired) and you enjoy getting lots of attention from all people.  You are by definition, a ham.  You know how to charm and win people over.  Complete strangers love you everywhere we go as you light up for the slightest smile.  You are a people baby!  You bless many people daily!  I want you to know that God has great plans in relationships for you.

You are very, um, let's say vocal.  You have been since Day 1.  When you were first born, you let us know, and all the neighbors, the instant you were hungry!  You have always been very good at communicating exactly what you need.  In that way, it has made it easy on me as your mother.  There is nothing subtle about your personality.  But what can you expect with your Daddy and I as your parents?  ;-)  I'm 95% sure that you say "hi" now.  I want you to know that your voice can someday be used to speak for the voiceless.  I also want you to know that you are ALWAYS going to have a voice and be heard with your Daddy and I.  I don't want you to be quiet because that's not who you are.

You were very active inside my tummy.  You still have to be on the move now.  You still love to "stand" up.  You still hate to be cradled, and I wince when people try to cradle you, because I know you will begin to cry.  I don't have the heart to tell them you hate to be held that way - I'm always counting on your great lungs to communicate.  And most of the time, it works.  You LOVE to sit up (on your own of course, Ms. Independent) and look around.  You want to be on the go, and I'm sure that once you start moving yourself you will be the happiest baby ever!  I want you to know that all your energy is OK!  There are lots of things that you can do in the world!  I don't believe that you have to be this perfect, calm baby/person.  And neither should you.

You are determined and persistent in every sense of the word.  There isn't an ounce of apathy in you. If you see a toy, you won't stop until you get it.  I would say you are aggressive.  In a good way, of course.  If you are laying down, and we sit you up but you really wanted to stand up, you will yell at us until we finally stand you up.  Then you send us a big smile.  You have been this way from the beginning.  I want you to know that this determination and boldness can serve you well.  I pray that your eyes will stay on your goals and the passions that are in your heart won't die before their time.

You are a smart little girl.  You easily know and recognize people and remember places. You know which toys do what.  I will continue to teach you and help you grow, and don't plan on dumbing things down for you, in language, in developmental activities, in every day life.  I want you to know that I only wish to encourage your intelligence, that's why I will continue to challenge you.

You are very curious and observant, still.  It takes a lot for you to sleep if there are people talking around you, or music playing.  Some people think you should just be able to sleep anywhere, but just remember, they only sleep in their own beds, not in the middle of a "party". ;-) You have to see and be involved in everything.  As much as you are active and you love people and like to be out doing things, you are easily overstimulated.  Of course, you haven't learned when enough is enough, so I try to decide that for you.  I'm was and still am the same way.  I want you to know that your sensitivity is normal.  I don't expect you to drown out everything else.  I hope and pray that you stay sensitive.  I want you to know that your observation can be a great tool in discernment.

You do love to be home, especially when you feel overwhelmed by lots of noises and people.  Many times, after a time of overstimulation and crying, we will come home and you will just coo and cuddle and giggle with us for two more hours!  You just wanted to be left alone by everyone else and wanted us.  I want you to know that if you ever find yourself in a situation that is just "too much", you can always come home to us!  We will be here, waiting for you with love.

I know by the time you can read this that you probably won't believe that you wanted to be with me so much.  But you do.  You look for me everywhere, you don't let me far from your sight.  And when I know you're being bothered by something and I don't rescue you immediately, either because I don't want to hurt any one's feelings or because I want you to be exposed to other things, you look at me with desperation in your eyes.  I want nothing more than to "rescue" you.  Of course, sometimes I do.  I want you to know that I will do my best to be there to help you.  I will also protect you.  But I do want you to experience other things.

You love to chew on my chin.  You also love to give me big kisses.  You grab my head, pull me close and slobber all over me!  I love it!   You have a great sense of humor!  Your exercauser is the first toy you've loved, besides Sophie the Giraffe and your new Babi Corolle doll.  You still love to be read to.   You still love your nekkid time and love to chew on your toes.  You aren't really allowed to watch TV, except for Baby Signing Time & Little Pim Chinese.  They only hold your attention for about 10 minutes. :-)  Then, you are looking for real people to interact with, my little social girl.  I want you to know that I love watching you have fun.  I'm not a fun-spoiler!  The guidelines we have set up for you already are for your good (I'm sure you'll be hearing that a lot more).

You are content in a carrier, on me.  That way you can observe and be a part of everything, but yet still stay close to me for comfort.  You could stay this way all day long.  We have a great bond.  I want you to know that you can always come to me for comfort and shelter.  I will try my best.

Your Daddy can make you laugh like no one else!  You are crazy about him!  He can lift your mood in an instant.  Daddy is always a lot of fun - he makes everything very fun! He prays for you, and you love to "talk" with him.  You love him and he loves you.  I want you to know that your Daddy will always pray for you, be there for you and loves it when you talk to him!  Your Daddy is great at giving you undivided attention.

You love, love, love music!  You will sit by me on the piano and "play" and "sing" with me.  The first time I knew for sure that I felt you move in my tummy was when I was playing piano and singing.  You also love to dance!!!  I want you to know that even if you end up not being musically inclined, I will love you just the same.  I don't want to pressure you to perform.  I want you to know that it's OK to let the rhythm move you.  Don't be embarrassed.

I want you to know India, that I love you with all of my being.  You have changed how I see the world.  You have made every day of my life brighter.  I thank God for you, the little person that He entrusted to me. Thank you for being you

I want you to know that I'll love you always and forever!

Labels: , , , ,

Friday, January 7, 2011

Are breastfeeding mothers being obscene?

Facebook has had a long hate-only relationship with breastfeeding and any pictures of women breastfeeding.

TheLeakyBoob (great name, right?), a Facebook group that supports breastfeeding mothers, and is a solace for moms with many questions, has been deleted again, and again for violating Facebook's terms of service - with no other explanation. Not only that, but several members of the group have been deleted for posting pictures of themselves breastfeeding. 

I know, I know.  About half of you are saying to yourself, "Good! I don't want to see any pictures of breasts".  Believe me, the pictures aren't graphic at all.  You see less breast than what you see on a perfume ad.  I'm pretty sure you see more breast while TV-watching, grocery-aisle-magazine-browsing, ad-viewing, being-amidst-the-general-public type of day than the average picture of one of these mothers feeding her child. 

Who's ringing the alarm in the grocery store aisle?  Who is reporting profiles of the many other sex goddesses and their revealing photos on FB? 

The hypocrisy has been documented over the years, and the problem isn't just with FB, it's a double standard in our society.  If you want to see a post about society's double standard, click here.  If you want to see FB's issue, click herePLEASE NOTE:  Both links contain obscene material. I'm not showing this to be risque, I'm only highlighting an issue.

In the midst of their deletion, every mom page (Cafemom,, just to name a few) went nuts and several other FB breastfeeding groups formed and membership skyrocketed.  It has made national news.  Many more lactivists have now been born.

No one knows why the page was shut down.  FB claims it was an accident.  You can read more here.

Now, I consider myself quite the lactivist, and have no problem with seeing other women breastfeed in person or on a photo.  I personally don't post photos of myself breastfeeding because I don't want people seeing any more of me than an accidental cleavage flash every now and then.  I don't know who is viewing what photo, and I'm not comfortable with that.  Like I said, I have nothing wrong with others doing such things, I'm just a generally private person.

Our culture has a complete double standard.  I get nasty looks when I feed my daughter, with a tent over me, with NOTHING exposed at a restaurant.  Yet someone can be in the same restaurant, cleavage out, thong revealed, and they get looked at, but in a completely different way. 

Why the disgust at me?  I'm only lowering the cost of their health care by breastfeeding.  They have eyes with eyelids and heads with necks.  They can look away at my giant nursing cover.  

I'm not being flamboyant or spiteful.  My daughter just wants to eat.

I see things all day long that I don't like or don't agree with.  Mostly, I ignore those things.  I chose to look away when the Victoria's Secret ads on TV.  But yet the same guys who awkwardly clear the  house  room when I breastfeed, can't peel their eyes off the NFL cheerleaders.  The same women who get skeeved out by me breastfeeding , turn on their Jersey Shore or daily soap opera and see that as normal.

I'm pretty sure that globally, more women live like me and breastfeed their children.  But yet, we, as breastfeeding mothers, are seen as obscene? 

What do you think?  Are you offended by a breastfeeding mother?

Labels: , ,

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Back to life, back to reality

We are home after Christmas, an abscessed tooth, a trip to Africa, two blizzards, my Grandpa's death, his funeral, and various other things that I can't even remember because my brain is mush right now.  I'm hoping that maybe life will begin to get back to normal soon.  My mind is tired, my body is tired, and I'm people'd out.

I spent the last couple of days in the town where my Grandparents live, at my Grandpa's visitation and funeral.  It was a tough moment walking into the funeral home just in time to walk into the area where my Grandpa's body was lying, waiting to be mourned and viewed by us.

It's never a fun thing to listen to your family members weep.

My Grandpa's visitation was busy; over 750 people came to show their love and support for my Grandpa and his family, some people waiting in line for up to two hours to see my Grandpa and greet the family.  It was a long day for all of us.

My Grandpa is loved, that is for sure, and I'm thankful for every single person who stopped by the visitation or came to the funeral.  It was great to see so many extended family members and friends of my Grandparents, all of whom I haven't seen for years.

To all of you who have sent messages, texts, called, etc, THANK YOU!  Life was too crazy there for a bit, but I plan on responding to you soon!  I just need some time right now to regroup...

During the visitation, I received word that my husband, who was returning from Ghana, Africa, was now going to be delayed over night in New York, and most likely missing my Grandpa's funeral. His flight was set to arrive too close to the funeral, and I didn't know if I'd be able to make it to the airport and back in time for the funeral.  And I wasn't willing to take that chance!  Dallas was most likely, going to be stuck at the airport most of the day. I was upset, but couldn't do much about it. 

My godparents, Jim and Shirley (my cousin Matt's parents), came to the visitation, and when they heard that Dallas was delayed, Shirley volunteered to pick him up and drive him to the funeral since she was coming anyways!  It was so nice to have Dallas there for support, as we closed my Grandpa's coffin right before we proceeded into the funeral.

Ah yes, the funeral.  It went as well as a funeral could go.  My Uncle Bruce shared some great memories of my Grandpa, and he did such a good job describing my Grandpa and his life.  It was my favorite part of the funeral.

I learned a lot of things about my Grandpa.  One of the neatest things was the fact that in 52 years of marriage, he never once took off his wedding ring, not even during surgeries!  My Grandpa didn't go around oozing love songs, but that was his way of saying 'I love you' to my Grandma.  Precious.
My sister and I sang Amazing Grace, and thankfully we made it through it without crying.  That was miraculous.

The funeral was finished with my godmother Shirley's Dad singing my Grandpa's favorite song, Pisnicka Ceska (Song of Bohemia).  While it was being sung, I could hear the older people singing the song in Czech.  It was a wonderful sound. But at the same time, it was sad, as it was also signifying the soon to be end of a generation, as none of the grand kids could even pretend to sing even one word of the beautiful song.

The burial was of course difficult, especially while Taps was played and they handed my Grandma the flag that graced my Grandpa's coffin.  We were blessed with a light sprinkling of snow as we said our final farewells to my Grandpa's mortal body. 

I think the biggest shame in all of it was my Grandpa, the one we were all there celebrating, wasn't even there to receive all that love.  I decided I'm going to have and Un-Funeral when I get old.  Everyone that loves me will be invited to say their goodbyes and take lots of pictures with me.  And we'll eat ham sandwiches.  I told my cousin Jill about my plan and she said, "well, wouldn't everyone just cry?", implying how awkward it would be.  I guess she's right, but I'd rather be celebrated while I'm alive.

Dallas and I said our goodbyes, and the three of us, tired beyond all reason, and for all different reasons, took off, longing for our home.

Dallas had an amazing time in Ghana, and love it there!  We talked the whole four hour car ride home about it!  He loved the kids there and from everything that I have heard, they loved him the same!  There is NO doubt in my mind, that he would do an excellent job!  The kids gave Dallas a djembe drum, something he has wanted for years!  It's absolutely beautiful, and means so much to him already.

I also think it was fun for him to get to know the Korum's, a wonderful family who lives there and have been family friends since way before I was born. :-)

Dallas hit the ground running, straight to my Grandpa's funeral, and went right back to work this morning, and went right back to work this morning, and the day won't be done until late as we have small group tonight.  I do admire my husband's commitment to lead and guide others, in spite of his own tiredness!  BUT, we also haven't even done our own family Christmas yet....hopefully we'll get to that on Saturday!

I'm ready for life to settle down a bit.  I'm ready for normal naps, healthy food, cloth diapers (TMI - we have the worst poo-plosions with disposables and lots of stained clothes), some down time, and most of all just time to snuggle with my two favorite people in the world!

Love you all, and congratulations if you made it to the end of this emotionally scrambled blog post!  Thank you all for your support during this time. Back to regular blogging tomorrow!

Labels: , , , , , ,

Saturday, January 1, 2011

My heart hurts

My Grandpa Ellard died unexpectedly last night.  New Years Eve, 2010.  What a crappy ending to the year.

Many people wouldn't turn to their personal blog to detail their loss of someone they loved so much, but my husband is gone right now, and I hope you don't mind me working through this process in front of you.  I'm sure many of you can identify with the raging feelings of grief.

We are experiencing our second blizzard in two days, and I decided that since my husband is gone, I would get snowed in at my parents, instead of being home alone for a couple of days.  Now I'm so glad that I'm here, instead alone, dealing with all the emotions.

We had just finished supper and had talked my Dad into playing a crazy card game with all of my brothers and sisters, when my mom answered the phone and quickly gave it to my Dad.  My Dad answered and promptly left the room.  As he was leaving, my Mom said that it was my Dad's sister, Connie, and she sounded upset.

This was a very distressing moment, because I knew something was wrong.  I paced the room, trying to keep my oblivious New-Years-Eve excited siblings under control, all while feeling like I was going to vomit. I made my way to the bathroom and cried in there, then pulled myself together - after all, I didn't even know why my auntie Connie was calling.

I wanted my Dad to get off the phone so I could know what was going on, but at the same time I didn't want to know. 

My Mom said my Dad wanted to talk with me, and as I walked into my parent's bedroom, my Dad didn't say anything.

I just looked at him.  He didn't even tell me.  I knew.

And I just wanted to curl up and cry.  My whole body felt limp.

I made my way to my Daddy's lap, laid my head on his shoulder and wept as he held me. 

I apologized to my Dad over and over again that his Dad was gone.

In all the driving with my Dad yesterday, we talked quite a bit about my Grandpa, and said too bad it's a blizzard, otherwise we would've went and visited for lunch or something.  I hate this stupid blizzard even more now.

I still feel sick.  And sad and angry and frustrated and confused and filled with regret and numb and at peace and empty.

Can you feel all those things at once?  I don't know.

When I saw family members beginning to post on Facebook last night, it was comforting to know we are all feeling the pain of the loss of my grandpa - but yet it was surreal to see it in writing.

We are now beginning the preparations for my grandpa's funeral.  My Sister and I will be singing Amazing Grace.  I have dreaded this day.  Right now, I don't know how I will hold up while trying to sing in front of many people who are mourning a man we all loved.

For those of you that didn't get the opportunity, I want to tell you a little bit about my grandpa. For those of you who did know my Grandpa, I hope these sentiments will resonate in your heart as you recall him with me from his Granddaughter's perspective.

As the oldest grandchild, I spent a lot of time with my grandparents, and one of the highlights of my year was staying at my Grandparents house, all by myself, a couple times a year.  They lived about four hours away, so it was a real treat!

My Grandpa was a very tall man, with big brown eyes, and prominent features.  He had huge hands.  He was Bohemian, and very proud of it.  He spoke Czech, and I remember he and my Grandma speaking Czech when I was little and they didn't want me to understand them.  He had a thick Bohemian accent, but I didn't realize that until I was grown up; that was just the way he talked and I could understand him.  I remember when friends of mine met him, and they couldn't understand him!

My Grandpa could fix everything, and helped a lot of people.  When I was younger I remember him being active - fixing something in his large garage, running an errand to the local hardware store, mowing his HUGE lawn, picking raspberries for me, driving me somewhere, always doing or creating something to make life a little easier and better.

My Grandpa also liked to take naps, read the newspaper, and drive my grandma crazy sometimes. :-)  He always gave my sister Vanessa and I brainteasers and unique puzzles and challenged us to solve them.  Many of them he made for us.

Every Christmas, he found unique ways to give the family members money for Christmas.  I think my all time favorite was when he gave everyone walnuts (I think) and inside of them was their money.  He was VERY clever.

The older I got, the more I realized my Grandpa was always thinking, a deep thinker.  I also think he was very observant and discerning.  I remember him understanding things before they were even said. 

Another thing I noticed as I became more aware, was my Grandpa would talk and be full of stories - but not necessarily in a crowd.  If you had him one-on-one, he was FULL of interesting stories, ideas, and even shared some of the crazy antics he participated in "back in the day".  He was funny!  I've always wanted to video tape him telling stories, sort of interview him, but I didn't.  I horribly regret that.

He didn't have to be the center of attention.  He would sit quietly, taking in more than any of us really knew. 

I will miss my Grandpa immensely, and am very sad that my daughter won't get to remember him.  As the oldest grandchild, I was blessed to have 29 years with him.  He was a silent presence in our family.  And he wasn't even that silent, the rest of us are just loud. :-)

I love my Grandpa, and I know with all of my heart that he loved me, and all of his family, even though he wasn't the best at expressing it. The sparkle in his eyes said it all.  He was very proud of us.

He always waved goodbye with a twinkle in his eye, his large frame easily seen, and gently waved his pointer finger.  It was his signature wave, we all loved it.

I just with I could see his big smile again, hug his big, hard belly, getting lost beneath his chin and hear him say one more time, in his deep, loud voice, "Hello, Girl".
Grandpa, saying goodbye to India in August

Labels: , , , , ,