Day 12: What Not To ExpectPhotobucket - Video and Image Hosting

When you get that notion, put your backfield in motion

Officially a Mom


Putting that Backfield in Motion since 2003

Thursday, August 31, 2006

TAG

Grace was tagged by Jamie.

3 Things That Scare Me

*People for a gaucho-free world
*Mommy and daddy trying to potty train the Gavinator. They let him run around nekkid and if he isn’t trying to whack me in the head with his pee pee, he is peeing all over me.
*Food Shortages

3 People That Make Me Laugh

*The Gavinator
*Mommy
*Daddy
(ummmm, not to be antisocial but I don't really know anyone else)

Things I Love

*Food
*Mo (my musical glowworm I sleep with)
*Twiddling

3 Things I Hate

*Getting peed on
*Getting out of the bath tub
*Mommy not letting me twiddle

3 Things I Don’t Understand

*Quantum physics
*People who don't like gauchos
*Why twiddling and biting is a "no no"

3 Things On My Desk/Table (or my highchair)

*Big brother's pictures
*Big brother's piggy bank
(I inherited his room and mommy and daddy are lazy in the redecorating department)
*A white noise machine... I love sleeping to the sound of the ocean.

3 Things I’m Doing Right Now

*Walking
*Talking (I just recently started saying "fruit", "cup, "water", and "wow")
*Wishing I could twiddle

3 Things I Want to Do Before I Die

*Twiddle
*Pee on big brother
*Participate in an all you can eat contest (because I would like, so totally win)

3 Things I Can Do

*Dance
*Twiddle
*Admire mommy's gauchos

3 Things I Can’t Do

*Beat up big brother (although I'm working on it)
*Face forward in my carseat
*Climb down the stairs


3 Things I Think You Should Listen To

*Mommy... because heck, somebody ought to and it certainly ain't going to me or big brother or daddy
*Mommy's myspace song. Imogen Heap is cool.
*Mo. He plays some really awesome lullabies.

3 Things I Think You Should Never Listen To

*People who don't like gauchos
*Big brother screaching
*"Pink one" (the Little People c.d. that big brother makes mommy play over and over and over....)

3 Absolute Favorite Foods

*Momma's milkies
*Pasta
*Pizza

3 Beverages I Drink Regularly

*Momma's milkies
*Water
(that's it)

3 Shows I Watched as a Kid

I don't watch t.v. Sure, it's on sometimes but I would much rather play or nurse. Nothing has really caught my eye.

3 Babies I Tag

Sophia
Julian
Davis

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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Toys = Fun

Have I mentioned how much fun fd's flickr toys is?

Because

it is

a lot

of fun.

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Sign 'O the times

On my way to work this morning- just as I was getting ready to make the right turn out of my subdivision- a school bus pulled up and did its whole little flashing lights, high-pitched beeping, and sticking out the stop sign number. I sat and waited at the stop sign because turning right would have meant that I went by the school bus, therefore running the school bus’ stop sign.

Because when a school bus sticks its little stop sign out it’s a, you know, stop sign and well, you’re supposed to stop at it.

I know it. You know it. The American people know it (or at least they should). But rednecks? They don’t know it.

As I sat there waiting for the school bus to suck its stop sign back in, three cars came from the opposite direction as me and took a left turn, past the school bus, and straight past the school bus’ stop sign. The bus driver hung his head out the window and yelled at each of the cars and I honked but the cars and the rednecks who manned the cars just kept on going.

I called the husband because I was so furious (because, you know, driving while talking on a cell phone is much safer than running a school bus’ stop sign) and told him what had happened. He asked if I was serious and I was all “hell yeah, I’m serious” and we agreed, once again, that our neighbors are rednecks.

“You know what this means??” I asked him.

“No. What?”

It’s sign makin’ time!" I told him.

That’s right. It’s on.

A cute picture of the Gavinator and the Goose to whoever can come up with a catchy and grammatically correct slogan to put on a sign that express my dislike for rednecks who run school bus stop signs.

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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

It's my blog and I can bitch if I want to

I usually try to keep this blog upbeat and fun. Not to put up some front, because sans the random episode of post partum psychosis after the birth of my first born child, that is generally who I am.

I'm upbeat and fun.

I'm one of those annoying "the glass is always half-full", "God has a plan", "two sides to every story", "everything happens for a reason", and "the broken road led me to you" kind of people.

Yes, I'm Susie freakin' Sunshine.

Well, Susie is pissed.

The Gavinator turns three in a week and we are having his birthday party this Saturday. The invitations have been sent and party plans are underway and then I get this in the in-box of my hotmail account today:

"We will not be able to drive south this weekend for Gavin's birthday. We would really love to be there and we miss all of you so much but sometimes things just can't be worked out the way you want. I will try to call you tonight and talk to you as sending an e-mail seems a little impersonal don't you agree. We love the pictures and movie clips you have sent. Love, Mommie Dearest"

WHAT-THEFREAK-EVEAH!!!

I've been sympathetic. I've been rational.

I've been everything in between and now I'm pissed.

Tell me. Who doesn't come and visit their grandchildren for over a year? Who doesn't come to their grandson's first and only third birthday party?

Who is too busy counting freakin' calories and slowly killing themselves to put the time, energy, and the investment into what is REALLY important? Who doesn't work and has no obligations to speak of (other than the obligation to not eat) and laments constantly how much she misses her grandkids yet NEVER does anything about it??

It was never normal for me so I don't know why it is I expect it to be normal for my kids. I want it more for my kids than I ever wanted it for myself and it's not going to be that way.

I know it. I've known it.

Why the hell does it hurt it so much more when it happens to my kids?

Not that even matters. We're better off. Says Susie.

Oh, and for the record, my phone never rang.

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Monday, August 28, 2006

Breastfeeding: Vodka for toddlers

I posted this on Babycenter but I thought I would share it here:

Ever since I was pregnant with Gavin, I educated myself on the ins and outs of breastfeeding. Not only from a nutritional standpoint but also from from a comfort/nurturing standpoint. I always said I would breastfeed the Gavinator until he was two because that was what the WHO recommended but I never truly understood what it could mean to extended breastfeed (EBF).

So, after I was unable to breastfeed the Gavinator beyond 8 weeks, I threw myself into learning all there what to know about breastfeeding from books, magazines, La Leche League, the internet, and mostly, from the women on the Feeding Choices Debate Board. I was fascinated by EBFing. Sure, I had always said I would EBF Gavin until two but I had never heard of nursing as a "parenting tool" or "nursing for comfort". I remember the first time I read on the FC Debate Board that a poster calmed her toddler during a tantrum by nursing and I was all "but wait a minute, isn't that the same as rewarding with food?" I wasn't being snarky, I just didn't understand.

So, after the Goose was born and I was able to BF her, I didn't see breastfeeding as being very different from bottle feeding other than the obvious (real nipple instead of silicone, pumping at work, BM versus formula, etc...). The biggest difference in bottle feeding Gavin and breastfeeding Goose is that Gavin weaned from the bottle at 11 months and at 14 months, Goosers is still nursing strong. Also, Gavin never really took a soothie and he totally gave it up when he quit the bottle whereas Goose is all about the boobies at 14 months. I never got to experience the transition to toddlerhood with a bottle/soothie but I am with breastfeeding.

In my opinion, with the exception of the random fits to get to the milkies NOW, this is by far the most enjoyable time for us with nursing. It is a far different experience (for us, anyway) to nurse for solely nutrition/complimentary nutrition versus mostly comfort with some complimentary nutrition thrown in there.

I'm a fan of the mostly comfort with some complimentary nutrition.

I keep having these ah-hah moments.... so that's what so and so was talking about...so that's what they mean about nursing for comfort.... so yes, it can be used to shorten a meltdown! Sometimes Grace will come up to me with her face all scrunched up and looking totally stressed and exasperated and she'll nurse for a few minutes and then leave my lap a brand new toddler. Apparently nursing does for her what vodka does for me.

Anyhoo, last night I was reading LLL's New Beginnings and there is an article in there (page 166) on adoptive Bfing. A woman adopted a ten month old girl (after ebfing her own son for 15 months) and after preparing to relactate for months before the adoption and then continuing for months afterwards by pumping and using an SNS, the adopted child nursed for the first time at 19 months and is still going strong at 3 years.

There was a time I would have read that article and outwardly I would have given my standard pc "different strokes for different folks" or even a "HUH??" but inwardly I would have been "holy crap, you freakin' hippie! Is a couple of ounces of BM even worth it???"

But now I have much more insight into what EBFing actually is and I can understand where this mother is coming from and why. For this mom who had ebf, not ebfing this child would be like not being able to mother how she knows how to mother. If that makes sense. That's NOT to say that adopted children who aren't BF or children who are not BF are somehow disadvantaged. It is more than milk... that's all.

It is such a natural part of mothering (very much like hugging and snuggling... although unfortunately, ebfing doesn't always come as naturally) and Grace doesn't appear to just want to nurse... it is like she needs to nurse. While I don't nurse Gavin, I can liken it to hugs. Gavin loves hugs. He loves snuggling. He needs hugs. It is natural to me to hug him. Most people can and do hug their children but not everyone is familiar with ebfing having never experienced it so I can see where the confusion comes from.

Long story short, I just wanted to say that "ah-hah". I finally get it. I'm glad I got the chance.


Side note: I would like to mention that I finally geeked out pimped out myspace so be sure to check it out. Also, did you catch my mention over at BloggingBaby? Perhaps that will make up for Mycrack.

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Saturday, August 26, 2006

Walking Goose

Check her out! She is officially a walker!

Marvel as she not only walks while carrying a pretzel rod and manages to maneuver around a plastic bin; she also attempts to jab her brother in the face with aforementioned pretzel rod upon reaching her desired destination.

And yes, the Gavinator is nekkid. Potty training and all that. I'm going to try to get some video of his front flip once I can get some clothes on him. I don't care how old you are, gymnastics should be done clothed!

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Dragons. We've got dragons.

Last night as I embarked upon the 4 hour journey that is Gavin's bedtime routine, he reached his hands way up in the air and pointed to the two vents in his room.

"Air!" he exclaimed. "Air in there! Air comes out!"

"Thats right." I told him. "You have two air vents in your room." (we're working on numbers so everything must be seen as an opportunity to count)

"Air up there! Dragons, too! Air and dragons up there!"

"Dragons?" I asked him.

"Dragons." he told me. "Dragons no hurt Gavin. No hurt mommy, too."

Good to know the dragons are of the NMNG (no mommy no Gavin)- hurting variety considering we were the ones lying just under the two air vents where the dragons apparently live.

"Dragons eat nuggets and french fries. Nuggets and fries." He said as he leaned over on his bed to put his chin in his hands and then he let out a sigh and rolled his eyes upward to look at the foreboding air vents.

We then turned out the lights and snuggled up on the floor together because 1. Gavin will no longer sleep in his bed and 2. Gavin will no longer fall asleep unless someone is right next to him for him to breathe his hot toddler breath all over.

This is the first time Gavin has ever verbally expressed him imagination. Up until now, language has been all business. I have no idea where he came up with dragons in the air vents. I watch very little tv with him sans the occasional episode of Brother Bear, Oobie, or the Real World. I could totally understand if his first stint in imagination-land revolved around an empathetic bear or an incredibly well-manicured hand or even a crazy, pill-popping, drunk anorexic, but dragons? How did he come up with that? Since I'm only used to Gavin speaking of what is "real" and am totally unsure of how he could have come up with dragons (unless hello! There really are dragons in the air vents and perpaps they told Gavin what they are), I have to admit that I kept one eye on the air vents while he slowly drifted off to sleep- curling and uncurling his tiny fist around my arm until finally it went limp and I knew I could crawl ever so quietly and quickly- very quickly... maybe the whole "no hurt mommy" line was a trap- out of the room.

I came down stairs and told the husband to call the exterminator because apparently we have dragons in our heating and cooling system.

"Yeah," I told the husband "they won't hurt Gavin and mommy but I'm not so sure about you and Grace."

He didn't say anything. Perhaps he was gripped with the terrifying fear that there were dragons in the vents and they were probably going to eat him tonight.

"Well," he finally said "I'm not worried about Grace because she'll probably eat them before they get a chance to eat her."

"True." I said as I walked away "Sucks to be you, then."

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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Awww, but it should be called gym-nice-stics!

The Gavinator had his first gymnastics class and he did FANTABULOUS!!

Yes, he is my pride and joy so he could have gone out there and taken a big dump in the middle of the trampoline and I would have been beaming because he's my child and that would have been one fantabulous dump he took for all to see but seriously, he did really, really well (sorry I don't have pics but the camera was dead :().

After a year of enduring such labels as "delayed", "abnormal", and "below average", it was complete and total cake to see him work so hard at speech and physical therapy and overcome all of his developmental obstacles but it was complete and total icing to see him excel at something that comes so naturally.

The other kiddos in his class had two weeks on him since I missed the boat and started him a little late but he totally caught on to everything the other kids were doing. He followed directions- even amidst all the loud music and chaos that is a large gymnastics center- and aside from the random streak onto the floor where the bigger kids were practicing their backhandsprings and flips or onto his beloved trampoline when it wasn't his turn (only to be yelled at by a pretty little girl in a purple leotard), he stayed on task and he was really, really good.

He was the only boy in the center and I was surprised to see that. I figured the ladies would reign supreme but I thought surely there would be a couple of boys. I was wrong. Well, there was one other boy in Gavin's class but he didn't particpate because he didn't want to leave his parents. Gavin was all too happy to leave me and the husband. He was very excited to be in the center and before his class started he watched all the other gymnasts and like when he watched nationals on tv, he was all "WOW", "WHOA" and "GYMNASTICS!!!!!!".

When class was over he was all "more gymnastcis!! More gymnastics!!!". I think this is going to be a good fit.

We've come a long way, baby.

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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Don't I know you?

When the fam and I were in Redneck Riveria at the Pavilion, I ran into someone I knew from college. Or rather, someone who knew me from college. I stepped off the Caterpillar with the Gavinator and a fellow rider came up to me and said "Hey! Where are you from?". I told him "Here. Well, on the other side of the state..." He told me "never mind" and started to go on his way and I said "... but I went to West Virginia University (this year's third ranked Best Party School... suh-weet!)."

It turns out he did too and we spent the next couple of minutes trying to figure out how we knew each other. Mutual friends? Nope. I mentioned Peggy, Sarah, and Nikki G. and they didn't ring a bell. Neighbors? Nope. I lived in Sunnyside and he lived in South Park. Classes? not it. He was an English major and I was all about science, nutrition, and business.

So we parted ways and the Gavinator and I continued to tear up the rides. A little while later we ran into him again. I had the Gavinator on my back, kicking me in the ribs to go faster like I was his personal mule, and the dude told me it was killing him that he couldn't place me. He remembered my name was Amanda and we continued trying to find common ground. Finally he told me that he used to work at Ooie Gooies- a food court type place in our Mountainlair student union.

Ahh-hah!

He worked at Ooie gooies and I was a fat ass who used to eat at Ooie Gooies (come on, with a name like Ooie Gooies, how could I NOT eat there?) like once, twice, sometime three times a day. He made and sold banana muffins and pepperoni rolls and I consumed banana muffins and pepperoni rolls. We had the perfect symbiotic relationship.

This whole scenario begs to ask the question: DUDE!!!!! How big of a stoner fat ass did you have to be to have the guy working the counter at Ooie Gooies- a cafe in the student union of a University with 20,000+ students- remember your name after 9 years!!???!!!! Never mind the fact I've dropped like 40 pounds since college, grown my bangs out, and instead of an black LL Bean backpack emblazoned with my initials, I now sport a two year old on my back. The dude STILL recognized me!!!

Such is my legacy at WVU. Sure, my thesis may be collecting dust on some out of the way shelf in a random library on one of the many campuses that comprise WVU but my habits and the resulting food frenzy that ensued live on today- as fresh as a banana muffin itself- in the heart of one Ooie Gooie worker. For that, I am proud and I'm standing just a little bit taller.

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Monday, August 21, 2006

Gymnastics: Not just for girls

I am so stoked about this Thursday. This Thursday, the Gavinator will begin gymanastics lessons at our local gym. He has a ton of energy to burn, crazy strength, and natural talent so I think gymnastics will be a great fit for the boy.

That said, I have run across a few people who are shocked that I enrolling my BOY in gymnastics. Maybe it is because I grew up in the 80's, during Mitch Gaylord's hayday (come one, admit it. You loved American Anthem, too) and I view gymnastics as being very much a manly sport but other people? Notsomuch. Perhaps it is just a South Carolina thing. Boys should be running around bases or catching footballs; not spending time in a gym learning the fundamentals of gymnastics. Never mind the fact that those fundamentals- strength, flexibility, and coordination- are integral to every aspect of athetics.

I called the gymanstics studio to enroll Gavin and they were all "what's HER name?" and I was all "HIS name is Gavin". Then I told some of my coworkers and other people I know that Gavin starts gymnastics this Thursday and they were all "how sweet that GRACE is starting gymnastics" and I was all "not Grace, GAVIN. GAVIN starts gymnastics" and they were all "What? Is the local karate studio full?" and "Wouldn't he prefer soccer?".

Gavin has already shown signs of mad gymnastics talent. He is super strong. His therapists attributed his freakish strength to his sensory issues- tensing up when we try to lie him on his back, for example- and he never gets dizzy. The kid can spin and spin and spin and never waver (again, a result of all his sensory stuff). Plus, in my opinion (and I am from Mary Lou Retton's home state so this carries a lot of weight), he shows innate talent. He can stand on his head, flip around a bar at the playground, hang forever and a day while swinging from a bar, do a somersault, and do splits. When we went to visit my nieces, they were performing all their gymnastics moves and the boy could totally do or at least try to do everything that they did and they have already had years of lessons. Plus, he wanted to do what they did.

Last night, NBC aired women's nationals gymnastics competition. Gavin was enthralled. He was all "WOW" and "WOAH" and "AWESOME" while watching the girls flip through the air. He was glued to the TV and during comercial breaks he would run across the house like he was doing the floor routine, stop, do a front somersault, and then stand up with his arms in the air. Grace caught onto the gymnastics fever and seconded her brother's yells of "WOW" and "WOAH". It was so cute.

When the husband came home from a long day of work, the gymnastics competition was still on and he got to see all of the boy's fervor for the sport. The husband also brought home a stack of magazines (side note: if you're a flyer and you think you are doing a favor by leaving your magazines on the airplane for the next flyer: don't bother. The magazines aren't left on the plane. They just wind up at my house where I get to catch up on all the celebrity gossip and fashinon trends FOR FREE.) Gavin immediately went crazy for one of the magazines. The pink one. An Oxygen Magazine. He was all "Pink one! Pink one!".

So we gave him the magazine and he took it into the living room where he sat with his legs crossed at the knees, thumbing through the pages of Oxygen, and watching women's gymnastics.

"See." This husband said. "This is what happens when you let the boy wear your bra.

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Saturday, August 19, 2006

Double threat

Our beach trip was fairly awesome. It was nice to get out of town with the family and take in the sun and the sand on the South Carolina coast. I have to admit to being a compete and total cheeseball by tearing up a time or two over the fact I was sharing with MY family something my own parents (and after the divorce, my dad) shared with ME for so many years. In all my cheeseball glory I recounted tale after tale to the husband and the kids of my quarter of a century worth of Myrtle Beach memories. I have a sneaking suspicion I sounded all too much like that chick from American Pie with her whole "this one time, at band camp...". Instead I was all "this one time, at Myrtle Beach...".

I rode the rides with Gavin like my own mom did with me way back in the day and I took the kids out for a treat to Kirk's Ice Cream Parlor and ordered the same thing I have ordered for almost every summer for as long as I can remember: peanut butter cup ice cream with marshmallow topping. I get a cavity just typing out my standard fare but there is something so scrumptious about peanut butter and chocolate all rolled together with the WORLD'S BEST marshmallowy goodness (and keep in mind, I'm a registered dietitian so I'm an "expert" on all things marshmallowy and goodness related) that has rocked my world for the past 25 years. If you ever venture out to the Redneck Riviera, might I recommend Kirk's peanut butter cup with marshmallow topping. Oh, and don't forget to pack a clean pair of underpants. It's THAT good.

There were two things that not only surprised but were also totally the me of right now on the trip- no nostalgia and/or warm and fuzzy memories required- and they came in the form of threats I made several times during our brief stay.

I threatened to wean the Goose. Although, from here on out she may be referred to as "she who desires to suck the life and soul out of her mother via her nipples one breastfeeding session after breastfeeding session after breastfeeing session after breastfeeding session after....". Well, her new name may be a bit too long so I'll continue to refer to her as the Goose but you get the point: homegirl is BOOB CRAZY!!! She isn't boob crazy in that "oh, how sweet my little nursling needs the comfort and nutrition of mama's milkies" or "isn't extended breastfeeding a wonderful parenting tool" kind of way. She is boob crazy in the "woman, give me the titties RIGHT NOW or I will continue to writhe and scream and jam my hands down your top and twiddle your nipples until I get a boobie in my mouth for the next hour or so and don't bother watching the clock because I will let you know when I am finished" kind of way.

Holy smokes. I don't know if it was because the boobages were so out there because I was sporting a bikini top most of the time or because she was completely taking advantage of her extra time with mama on vacation but she about drove me NUTS! She nursed 6 or 7 times a day and even woke during the night for nursing. If I tried to hand her off to the husband she lost her mind and the only way she would retain some semblance of normalcy and not scream 24 hours a day was to allow her access to the milkies at all times.

Obviously I'm not going to wean her but if our life at home were to become anywhere close to our life at the beach (i.e. boobies in mouth/hand at all times), I would totally begin to encourage weaning. I can't live like that. I can't. I can't... I can't... I can't.

I also threatened to divorce the husband. I haven't talked about it a lot on here or on Babycenter but the husband and I have hit a rough patch. Long story short, we never have "us time", our sex life is non-existant, and we are both so exhausted and so on edge from raising the high needs Gavinator and the boob-addicted Goose that if we aren't sleeping, we're ripping each other's heads off.

It's hard. I know we're not living a life any different from any other parents to two very young children but we are working opposite schedules to keep the kids out of daycare and we never get a break. What's worse is that I don't think we want a break. We are both totally addicted to our kids and want to be with them at all times but let's face it, people need breaks. We NEED breaks regardless of whether or not we WANT breaks. I have figured out from the two nights away from the kids (when I went downtown and when I played tennis) that when I do a little for me, I can do a lot better for them.

It's like the old airplane analogy when in case of an emergency, the adult is to put their oxygen masks on BEFORE putting the masks on their children. It's not selfish. It's not wrong to out our masks on first. We need to put our masks on so we can help our children. Well, we've been experiencing a major emergency for some time and we continue to put the masks on our kids first failing to take care of ourselves. We need to take care of ourselves first otherwise we're all going to end up oxygen deprived.

Ok, I took that analogy a little too far. We have plenty of oxygen (unless if in the analogy sex is oxygen then we are soooooo out of oxygen) but you get the point.

The husband I stormed off from each other at Broadway at the Beach after I told him "I hate you" and that when we get home "we need to settle our accounts". He took Gavin and I took Grace and we spent our Thursday night separately. It wasn't lost on me that four years ago at Broadway at the Beach we were partying with our friends Emily and Johnny, making out in bars, and pretty much couldn't keep our hands off of each other. Now we are tired shadows of our former selves so hell-bent on making a vacation to remember for our kids that we failed in the most important aspect: each other. A family vacation isn't hotel reservations or trips to the aquarium or even orgasm-envoking ice cream; it's the family being together and when we're storimg off in different directions with a kid a piece, we have definitely lost sight of what is important.

We're going to be okay. I love him more than anything in this world. He came up and kissed my cheek and my neck this evening and I got the same old goosebumps that I got four years ago. I've been working on doing for me over the past few months and now we need to work on doing for each other. It's just so hard. We think we're doing it all right by putting the kids first and in a sense, we are but we've lost balance and we need to find it. I'm not sure how we are going to find that balance but when we do, you'll be the first to know. We're up for the challenge. For the kids but especially for ourselves.

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Friday, August 18, 2006

We're back!

We came, we saw... we need a nap.

I said goodbye.







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Monday, August 14, 2006

Check you later

We're on our way to Myrtle Beach tomorrow! We earned our way to a family vacation and hopefully I can get my big boutt moving in the morning so we can hit the open road by 8:00. I haven't even packed yet so I'm not holding my breath but on my behalf, the husband bowls on Monday nights so I was single parenting it tonight and I got totally caught up in an episode of Wife Swap (side note: dude, if you're feeling even the slightest bit insecure about your own family, do yourself a favor and watch Wife Swap. Believe you me it can be much, much worse. You can thank me later.) and then my dad called and the next thing you know it is 9:00 and I have two dirty, cranky kids with diapers full of poo and a dryer full of laundry needing to be folded.

Part of the reason why we are going to Myrtle Beach (aka the Redneck Riviera) is because this is the last summer for the Myrtle Beach Pavilion. Over the past decade the Pavilion has become something of a haven for rednecks in wife beaters and airbrushed t-shirts and license plates (don't front.... you know the husband and I are getting matching tees with Amanda [heart] Lloyd 2006. Jealous much?) but back in the day when I was a mere 5 years old, the Pavilion was the place to be.

My family and I vacationed in Myrtle Beach every summer. In fact, considering every car in every parking lot of every hotel had West Virginia plates, I'm pretty sure it was state law that West Virginians vacation in Myrtle Beach. We always stayed at The Court Capri and spent days lounging on the beach and swimming in the pool and nights riding the rides at the Pavilion, taking in attractions like Ripley's Believe It or Not, and shopping at the Gay Dolphin. I remember like yesterday the summer of 1981 when I went to The Gay Dolphin and picked out my beloved stuffed dog, Flash (named after Flash Gordon). I still have Flash and it pains me to say that he now resides in a box in the garage and I was unable to find him for a blog post photo op. I will find Flash and he will have his day. So let it be written. So let it be done.

Summers spent at Myrtle Beach and at the Pavilion bring back a flood of memories. My fondest memory is riding a roller coaster for the first time. Again, it was the summer of 1981 and I was only 5 years old. My brother and sister were too afraid to ride the coaster with my mom so I stepped up to the plate. I took great joy in doing things they couldn't or wouldn't do even though I was pissing myself with fear the entire way. The ride operator measured me to see if I was tall enough for the ride and I stood on my tippy toes as tall as I cold possibly make myself and the dude let me on. I thought I had totally pulled a fast one on him but little did I know that ride operators were usually drunk and/or illiterate and generally lacked the ability to measure correctly. I was scared to death and hung on to my mom for dear life as we looped dee looped upside down twice through the corkscrews.

When I got off the ride, I was the hottest shit for all of a nanosecond because I wasn't afraid of riding the upside down roller coaster. My vast accomplishment was all too soon lost on my siblings as they resumed their torturing of me and farting on my head within 5 minutes but that ride sparked my love affair with all things addrenaline and roller coaster related. Just a mere 15 years later I would become a ride hostess at Cedar Point and freefall 152 feet daily and think nothing of it.

Another Pavilion milestone was when I was thirteen I was finally old enough to go to the Magic Attic- Myrtle Beach's only under 18 night club (if you're a country music fan, Alabama sings about the Magic Attic in one of their songs). It was a rite of passage for all adolescents in West Virginia. I shopped that day for the perfect orange day-glo Mytle Beach emblazened tee-shirt to go with my black biker shorts and sparkling white Keds sneakers. Dude, I was so ready to rock the party that rocks the body. I met a boy that night named Heath and wouldn't you know that I still keep in touch with him? He is married to a doctor and is the Army now stationed in Afghanistan.

Many summers were spent at Myrlte Beach and at the Pavilion. A quarter of a century ago my parents took me there and now I'm going to share it with my kids before it is gone. No, they won't remember it and no, I probably won't even enjoy it since the Pavilion has long jumped the shark and is long past its hayday but it is important to me.

Don't worry, I'll post tons of pictures and just for you, I may sport some orange day-glo.

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Sunday, August 13, 2006

Mad skills

In addition to the Goose's crazy vocabulary skills, she can also do some serious sound effects.

Check her out in airplane-engine-mode. Is it just me or do airplance sound effects appear to anger the Goose? Hmmmm, maybe it's just the stupid-ass bow. Anyone know where I can find a baby hair-clip sans stupid-assedness?


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Debunked

In keeping with the spirit of posting pictures of new shoes, I thought I would put a common hillbilly stereotype to rest.

Yes, West Virginians wear shoes and sometimes, we even wear shoes with the West Viginia University emblem on them. Suh-weet!!!!

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Don't you just love my pink toenails? My nieces (4 and 7 years old) offered to give me a pedicure today. Seeing as how two children with a bottle of hot pink wet 'n wild polish is the closest I'm going to get to a real pedicure for a very long time, I figured I would take them up on their offer.

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Saturday, August 12, 2006

Speaking of the giggly googlies

I have to admit I'm feeling awwwwwwwfully special for getting a mention over on BloggingBaby.

So now you know I used to spend my Friday nights watching ABC's TGIF and I now spend my Friday nights surfing blogs.

No, it's ok, I totally understand. I wouldn't hang out with me, either.

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Friday, August 11, 2006

Baby meets world

Do you remember the episode of Boy Meets World when Cory and Topenga want to call a "stop time"? I think it was when Topenga was about to move away from Cory in Philadelphia to Pittsbugh. They were enjoying their last minutes of puppy love together and they wished they could call a "stop time" and make the moment they were in last forever.

What? You didn't watch Boy Meets World? You were too cool for Boy Meets World? Riiiiiiiiiiiiight.

Let me get two things straight:

1. No one is too cool for Boy Meets World.

2. No one is too cool for Boy Meets World.

I loved me some ABC's TGIF back in the day. In college, we would sit around and watch the ABC line-up of teeny bopper sitcoms while slamming Natural (Natty) Lights and getting ready for a night on the town. We were way too cool to show up at the bars before 10:00, we were all broke so it was a chance to drink cheap booze before paying $4 for watered down draft, and let's face it, TGIF ruled.

Plus, my unrequited love interest, "C", bore a strinking resemblance to Cory and watching the show made me all giggly googly. Now I'll readily admit that THAT was not cool.

Anyhoo, the short story long is that the Goose took her FIRST STEPS today.

Per the husband, she took four steps while I was at work (but those don't count since I wasn't there to witness them first hand) and the she took another couple of steps while I was on the floor playing with her and the Gavinator.

Cory and Topenga, I am so feeling you right now.

I'd like to call a "stop time".

Please.

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Thursday, August 10, 2006

ME!

I did something for me tonight!! For me!!! For me and only me!

Did I go shopping? Noooooooo...

Did I go out on the town? Nooooooo...

Did I get a manicure/pedicure combo? Noooooo... but it would have been nice...

I bet you're just dying to know what exciting, blog-post worthy thing I did that was just for me and only me!!!

Ok, maybe it's not that exciting and perhaps not that blog-post worthy but it's my blog and I'm making a post about it so there you have it.

I played tennis tonight with one of my coworkers! One of the coworkers I went downtown with about a month ago.

What? You didn't know I played tennis? Yeah, well, neither did I but I own a racquet, I've watched Wimbledon a time or two, AND I saw that Enrique Iglesias music video starring Anna Kournikova a couple of times so I figured that's all I needed take up tennis as a hobby.

I had so, so, so, so much fun. I bathed the kids and put them to bed and went and met my friend at the local recreation center near my house. Granted, we both sucked (I think she sucked worse, though... perhaps she isn't a fan of Enrique Iglesias) BUT the more you suck at tennis, the more of a workout you get while trying play tennis and when it is all said and done, working out and getting out of the house are my ultimate goal.

The people there who could actually play were just standing there hitting balls back and forth but my friend and I showed them how it was really done. The best way to describe our tennis playing is to imagine if golf and baseball got together and had a baby. That baby- that half golf, half baseball baby- would be our version of tennis. I even yelled "FOUR" a couple of times to warn the folks 4 courts down that one of our balls were heading their way. We were running after balls like a baseball player around the diamond and whacking balls so hard that if there had been a hole somewhere, I have no doubt we would have finished under par.

We were that good.

I had fun.

I was out of the house, spending time with someone who doesn't see me as a milk machine or someone who can spin them around for hours on end, and doing my part to get in shape and get rid of these last few pregnancy pounds.

I'm sure there are people out there who would wonder what alternate universe a person must live in to see an hour of playing tennis with a coworker as "me time" or something to be ecstatic over.

Eh. Those people must not have kids.

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Mother to Daughter

This story makes me sad. My mom was (is) a chronic dieter and had (has) serious, serious issues. She suffered from anorexia before I was born and was overweight all of my childhood.

When I was growing up, she kept journal after journal chronicling her struggles with food and weight. I remember like yesterday how she would sit on her bed drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes while writing frantically- in her beautiful cursive hand-writing on the lined pages of a black and white composition notebook. She chronicled every calorie from each and every bite of food that crossed her lips and the pain and the negative emotions that those calories made her feel. Sometimes when she wasn’t home, I would read her journals and I would learn.

If you are fat you will be unhappy. If you are fat no one will love you. If you are fat you are ugly. Food is merely calories meant to be counted. Food is not to be enjoyed. Shame on you for eating.

She kept pictures of thin celebrities on the refrigerator. Cans on Slim-Fast filled our cupboard and cases over diet soda were stuffed under her bed.

She blamed everything on food and her weight and she blamed the food and the weight on my dad. It was her unhappy marriage to my dad that drove her to eat and it was the eating that made her fat and it was the fat that made her depressed.

I went on my first diet the summer before sixth grade- 1986. In a diary entry from that summer I wrote:

Dear Diary,
I’m on a diet. Today I have only eaten one slice of cheese. I’m going to ride my bike all day….


My obsession with dieting ebbed and flowed throughout the years; punctuated by periods of extreme dieting usually brought about by stress or the need for control. By junior high I was keeping track of everything I ate on slips of notebook paper. By high school, I was living off of Special K and skim milk and I would punch myself in the stomach when I felt too full.

In college, while I was still obsessed with dieting and weight, my obsession with beer won out. Alcohol and late night food binges resulted in a 30 pound weight gain. I was the fattest I had ever been and while my weight made me miserable; alcohol, food, and good times with friends soothed the pain.

Finally (and this is the Cliff’s notes version), thanks in part to my college education (yes, in between the nights of partying I managed to graduate with honors and receive a B.S. and a M.S. in Nutrition), I got things under control. I lost all the weight from college by working out and cutting back on portions. No crash dieting and no obsessive calorie counting. I still have my moments of insanity and I do wonder how my psyche would fare should I ever battle the bulge again but all in all, I have met my demons head on and won.

As a mother to a daughter I have a lot at stake. I will not repeat the cycle with my own children. I will not do to her what she did to me- inadvertently or otherwise. My mom continues to battle her demons. She is now extremely, extremely thin. Food is all she talks about and she rarely eats. I have told her that I will not allow my children to be exposed to or influenced by her disordered eating. I want my children to know and love their grammy but I want them to be healthy and have a normal relationship with food more.

I want them to have everything I didn’t have. Isn’t that what every mother wants?

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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Fun with Flickr

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Monday, August 07, 2006

Sometimes it hurts

Tonight I was outside putting the kids' toys away and I could hear the high school band practicing in the distance. The warm summer breeze and the aching of my legs from the 4 mile walk I took earlier, compounded with sound of the percussions in the distance made my heart ache a little. High school band practices are something of my very distant past. Days and nights spent with friends on the muddy practice fields and hot asphalt while learning music or baton routines and endless marching routines. I remember that one summer our band director began the "dot method" of learning marching routine. We put down color coded and numbered dots to guide us from position to position until we learned the steps. My friends and I had took great joy out of taking other peoples' dots and throwing them far off their mark into the steep grass or mud so that when the came time for them to march to their dot, there was no dot to be found. Band geeks can have a wicked sense of humor.

I came inside to check my Myspace page and came across Barrett during one of my stalkings searches. Barrett and I worked together at Cedar Point during the summer of 1996. I worked Ripcord and he worked the race cars which were located right next to Ripcord. I remember on night in late July I had worked a double shift and was feeling exhausted. I leaned against the fence waiting on the next group of riders while a breeze blew across Lake Erie and cooled my sunburned skin. The sounds of people screaming while falling 152 feet on Ripcord and people riding the nearby Mean Streak were punctuated by an "Amanda! Amanda!". I turned around and it was Barrett from his station highest on the race track that overlooked Ripcord's flight path. I yelled "hello" back and he called out "do you want to go out tonight????". I yelled back "sure!". He hollered "I'll meet you at your dorm when you get off!". All the riders who were standing next to me while waiting their turn were all like "did he just ask you out??" and I smiled and nodded yes and they were all like "awwwwwwww". Sometimes during the quiet of a hot summer night, I can hear the screams of fear and joy and the whistling of the Mean Streak and my heart does a pitter patter.

I talked to my best friend, Sarah, on Saturday. Her twin boys just turned one and as usual, I'm late getting their card and gifts in the mail. She told me not to worry about it. We talked about weaning her kids from the bottle and introducing cow's milk and then our kids started screaming and we had to get off the phone. I told her I loved her but there was so much more I wanted to say. The other day she sent me an e-mail and wrote:

Sometimes, I really miss those days of driving around Morgantown - few cares, no real responsibilities... throwing water balloons at pedestrians... aaahhh the good ol' days!

I miss those days, too. I miss our long drives throughout Monongalia County in her old Subaru. Some days she would just announce she was going for a drive and I would get up and go with her without saying a word. I miss the hour long drives by Cheat Lake when we would lose ourselves in the strains of Tracy Chapman and we wouldn't say anything. We didn't have to. The hot summer air would whip through the car as we rounded the country roads. Most of the time we never knew where we were going and it didn't matter. We had time. The comfort was in knowing that the other one was there. Friends, boys, classes, troubles, and everything else came and went for so many years but we remained constants to each other. She is still my constant but I miss the days when we didn't worry about who would watch the kids while we drove for hours or how do we afford the gas and who the hll has time for a drive? Never mind the fact we now live 7 hours apart.

This hot August night I put the kids to bed and reached for the keyboard.

Summer hurts sometimes.

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Sunday, August 06, 2006

Memories Stuff Sold Here

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The yard sale was a smashing success. We made about $500.00 ($600.00 total but we sold some stuff for my neighbor and my sister) and that will be enough to cover the three nights in our hotel and gas to and from the beach. Once we get back from the beach we're going to sell the rest of the stuff on EBay and hopefully make a nice little chunk of change.

Yard sales certainly bring out all types of people. Our's was definitely an expecting parent's dream but unforunately the majority of those who came were looking for items non-baby related and were sorely disappointed. The few preggers and soon-to-be-grandparents who did make their way to our yard sale left the sale very, very happy because not only did we have a ton of stuff, we had a ton of nice and barely-used stuff. As you can see from the pictures above, the husband and I worked hard to display everything prominently and neatly hoping that would help us make sells.

That said, I live in Redneckville, South Carolina, where people put signs on their houses to proclaim their dislike for neighbors and nary a person bought any of the like-new, neatly hung, name brand clothing for $1-2. Most people went straight to the random boxes of stained and worn out mismatched pieces that we were selling for quarters.

I had an entire table of breastfeeding pumps, accessories, playtex nursers, breastfeeding books (The Nursing Mother's Companion and Dr. Sear's The Breastfeeding Book), storage bottles, storage bags, spare parts, and Medela steam bags. I honestly didn't think I would sell any of the breastfeeding stuff since I live in the Formula Capitol of the World but around 10:00 an expecting mama showed up and squealed with delight over all the breastfeeding stuff. She pulled me to the side to reveal to me that she is only 20 weeks and her breasts are leaking AND she wants to breastfeed until her child is at least two (what is it about being pregnant and/or female that makes you disclose information like leaky breasts and the size of their child's explosive poops to all the world?) She bought all the breastfeeding stuff up.

I thought I would be said to see all of our memories being carried off like that. I'm not and it feels weird.

I'm usually a sentimental sap about everything. I have a Hardee's Chicken Fillet wrapper that my best friend, Sarah, and I signed when we were in the 8th grade in a scrapbook upstairs. I have every card ever given to me since I was 10. I have empty packs of cigarettes leftover after a wild and crazy night in Morgantown stuffed inside of a shoebox under my bed. I have diaries, notes, letters, pictures, matchbooks with telephone numbers, gifts, flowers, leaves, blades of grass, and everything in between either given to me or saved because they all remind me of something or someone.

I did save some of the kids' stuff but not a lot. I just don't feel the desire to hold on to everything. I guess because when I was younger, I knew moments were fleeting. I knew a matchbook with a telephone number in it wouldn't always mean so much as it did when I was 21. I knew a validation of friendship inside of a sandwich wrapper wouldn't always be something I wanted or needed. I knew staying out until midnight on the golf course with my boyfriend while my parents slept wouldn't always be wild and fun so I needed a blade of grass from that night to remind me.

Don't get me wrong, I know my babies will grow up entirely too fast but I have them and that is all I need. The stuff doesn't mean a lot. They do. They're always going to mean the world and I don't need anything to remind me.

It's much less about the imprint their stuff leaves in the carpet and much more about the imprint that Gavin and Grace leave on my heart.

Well that and can I get a "hell yeah" that I can walk through my bedroom and Grace's room without climbing over 16,000 piles of toys and clothes!!!

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Booby Clip

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Pacifier clip. Keeps the paci in reach at all times so the kid can just grab it and have a suck, suck here or a suck, suck there whenever the mood strikes. Great idea, right? Great idea for a paci-addicted kid but what's a boob-addicted kid to do? More importantly, what's the mother of a boob-addicted kid to do?

I know if the Goose had it her way she would invent a booby clip so either lefty or righty was with her at all times. Actually, since her newest preferred method of nursing is "a little off the right, a little off the left, little more off the right, perhaps another suck or two on the left, back to the right, but wait! Is lefty jealous? Better give it another round. Hmmmm, are they uneven? Back to the right. Did I start with the left or the right? Better nurse off of lefty one more time for good measure", she would probably invent the "Booby Clip Duo" so both lefty and righty could be firmly attached to her and in reach at all times.

I could just trail along behind her because it's not like I have anything else to do, right? No other children, no job, no house to clean, no interests to pursue, and no vodka to drink. Nope, I'm just here to be the human pacifier. Or so thinks the Goose aka C.E.O. of Booby Clip Duo, Inc.

Sometimes she doesn't even want to nurse, she just want to have her hands on them to make sure that they're not going to go off and play with other children or go to work or clean the house or pursue their own interests or go on a vodka bender downtown. She keeps on tight leash on lefty or righty.

Sometimes I get really frustrated about her sudden need for all things booby but then I think about the kids who take a paci or bottles and can keep them with them and fulfill their sucking needs beyond infancy and no one bats an eye. Life sure must be easy for those kids. While I'm not about to become the human paci 24 hours a day, I do try to allow her a lot of freedom in meeting her sucking needs because I know the only reason at this age I would limit her sucking is because I'm what she is sucking and that's not fair.

We just have to meet in the middle and the middle is far, far away from the Booby Clip Duo.

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Friday, August 04, 2006

Sale of the Century

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No, Babies R Us did not just vomit in our living room; we're having a yard sale tomorrow.

Good times.

Not.

At first I was sniffly and sad and all "awwwwwww, remember when....?" but now I'm tired, hungry, and pissed off and hoping we can make enough to not go into debt over our beach trip in a couple of weeks.

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9-5

"Amanda, you ever heard of upskirting?"

"What?"

"Upskirting."

"What??"

"You ever heard of upskirting?"

"What the hell is upskirting?"

"When someone uses a cell phone to take a picture under someone's skirt or dressing room. Have you ever been upskirted?"

"Have I ever killed anyone?"

"No."

"Then no, I have never been upskirted."

"Upskirting is all over the news. It was in today's paper. I'm going to go home and Google it."

"Get out of my office."

"Fine. That's what I get for trying to keep you up on all the latest news."

"Latest news. Right... working next to you is like working right next to Anderson Cooper. Silly me."

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Thursday, August 03, 2006

Viva el gaucho

10 years of dance lessons- $5000.00
Old Navy Gauchos- $29.99
Showing off your mad skills for the all the blogosphere to see- Priceless

This is for you, Karrie.

Go Gauchos, Go!

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Wednesday, August 02, 2006

HOA: I know what the "A" stands for

HOA: Homeowner's Association, right?

Wrong.

Homeowner's is right but the "A" stands for something else. It starts with an "ass" but instead of ending in "ociation", it ends in a "hole".

I mentioned my HOA drama in a previous entry and spoke of the old retired dude who everyone hated" but what I failed to mention was his name.

His name is Raymond.

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Apparently the rednecks are not only a vindictive bunch but they are also proficient in sign-making and plays on words related to pop culture. Although I really don't think the ' before the "s" was necessary, I think their point was made. Unfortunately it was made only a brief walk from my house.

I can't believe this garbage is going on in my neighborhood. I'm only thankful that my children are too young to really grasp what is going on. I am enjoying a good chuckle but I am bothered because both the rednecks and Raymond are raising children old enough to be aware of this insanity and possibly be influenced as to this is how adults handle their problems.

Between this and my my morning Dixie Chick debacle, I am seriously considering looking for a quiet piece of country land somewhere in the New Englad area of the US.

On a more positive note, I have FINALLY figured out how to upload video so enjoy this clip of the Goose showing off her sweet vocabulary skills!

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Making it work

In honor of World Breastfeeding Week I thought I would share an article I wrote for my company's newsletter:

Whether or not to breastfeed is one of the most important decisions a new mother can make. There is no right or wrong choice but the American Academy of Pediatrics, World Health Organization, and American Dietetic Association recommend breastfeeding as best for babies. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months and that breastfeeding should continue until 12 months (and beyond) if both the mother and baby are willing. The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months and that breastfeeding should continue for the first 24 months (and beyond) if both mother and baby are willing.

Ample scientific evidence supports the contention that breast-fed babies are less vulnerable to acute infectious diseases, including respiratory and gastrointestinal infections, experts say. Some studies also suggest that breastfed babies are at a lower risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and chronic diseases later in life such as asthma, lymphoma, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months may even protect against obesity. In addition, women who breastfeed face lower risks of type 2 diabetes, ovarian and breast cancer, and osteoporosis.

Though about 70 percent of new mothers start breast-feeding right after childbirth, just over a third are breast-feeding at 6 months and fewer than 20 percent are exclusively breast-feeding by that time. Those numbers are even lower for working moms. The goal of Healthy People 2010 is for 75 percent of new mothers to start breastfeeding right after childbirth, half to be breastfeeding at 6 months, and 25 percent to be breastfeeding at one year.

For moms who work and wish to continue breastfeeding once their maternity leave is over, breastfeeding presents a whole new set of challenges. Urging women to breastfeed exclusively is a tall order in a country where more than 60 percent of mothers of very young children work, federal law requires large companies to provide only 12 weeks' unpaid maternity leave and lactation leave is unheard of. Studies indicate that women who continue to breastfeed once returning to work miss less time from work because of baby-related illnesses, and have shorter absences when they do miss work, compared with women who do not breastfeed. Even with the substantial benefits to be gleaned by encouraging working mothers to breastfeed, only a third of large companies provide a private, secure area where women can express breast milk during the workday, and only 7 percent offer on-site or near-site child care, according to a 2005 national study of employers by the nonprofit Families and Work Institute.

Working mothers who wish to continue breastfeeding are fortunate here at ----- because our ----- is one of the few employers to provide a private, secure lactation room. If you are an expecting mother who is planning on continuing to breastfeed after you return to work, please speak with your supervisor or ----- ----- regarding your options. Breastfeeding and working can be difficult at times but with the health benefits for mom and baby and the potential cost savings for employers, it is win-win-win for everyone.

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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

PSA

Ok, so this is non-boob related (and dude, can I tell you that about 30 people have been brought ot my blog today from googling the word "boobs"!!! Who googles the word "boobs"???? Honestly!) but I feel it is my civic duty to the residents of the state of South Carolina and any other state with crappy driver's license regulations to post this Public Service Announcement.

I took last Wednesday off to attend Gavin's last speech and physical therpay session. Did I mnetion it was his last session? Because it was. It was his last session. My boy was discharged because my boy is age appropriate. Booyah. Anyhoo, about 30 minutes into the session I begin to go through my wallet to look for Ben and Jerry's gift certificates because we were going to take the boy out for ice cream to celebrate and we're poor so it needs to be FREE ice crea. My driver's license fell out of my wallet and I picked it up and gave it a little look-see because come on, how often do we look at our own driver's license and let's face it, I ain't getting any younger and I'm driving much better so it isn't very often people actually ask to see my driver's license.

So there is my driver's license with what I believe to be the BEST DRIVER'S LICENSE PICTURE EVAH (in case I haven't mentioned it, I lurve my driver's license picture) and plenty of other information about little old me. In SC the person's birthdate is in bright red large print (ayi yi yi, I'm almost 31) and in even brighter red and larger print is the date in which the license expires. THE BEST DRIVER'S LICENSE PICTURE EVAH was taken when I was about 9 months pregnant with Gavin (about 3 years ago). I don't know how it happened because I was one pissed off and sweaty butterball during my late summer pregnancy with the boy but it did and for that, I am proud. I remember coming home after having the picture taken and throwing the license at the husband and telling him to check himself because I am hot, angry, sweaty butterball of a woman and he better respect that.

So after taking a brief moment to mourn the loss of my 30th year and reflect on how the hell can I be almost 31 when I still act like a 15 year old and still look so fine even when angry, swollen, and butterball-esque; my eyes wandered to the even larger and redder print: September 1, 2004.

September 1, 2004.

Blink.

Blink. Blink.

Let's see. Today is July 26th 2006. 2006 minus 2004 equals two.... 9 minus 7 equals two months... two months minues 24 months equals 22 months....

So, the old driver's license has been expired for 22 months. 22 months. I called Lloyd over to read the large, bright red print and after about 5 minutes of him working out what appeared to be calculus, he confirmed that yes indeed, my driver's license has been expired for 22 months. My last license was only good for a little over a year. A year. What the crap is up with that?

No biggie. We'll have our "end of speech and physical therpay celebration" and then when the kiddos nap, I'll run out to the DMV (aka hell on earth... aka where the stupid people spend their Wednesday July 26th 2006's), pay a fine, and get a new and better license with an even awesomer picture of little old me and all will be right in the world.

Ummm, that's not quite how it works. Yes, you have to pay a fine but you also have to take your written and driving exam AGAIN and no, they don't send out notifications as to when your driver's license is going to expire because you're supposed to actually read the LARGE, RED print on your driver's license. And who is going to change the 60 diapers in one week while I'm off reading my driver's license????? Exactly.

I haven't taken a driver's test since October 4, 1991- two days after I turned 16. I don't know how I passed my test the first time but the ultra-short mini skirt I was wearing that barely covered my 16 year old pins and the fat, sweaty police officer who tried to rub up against me rather than jot down on his notepad that not only did I NOT know what high-beams were, I couldn't parallel park if my life depended on it must have had something to with it. I can't be sure. I'm just saying. But the fact that about 30 minutes after receiving my license I proceeded to pick up about 30 of my closest friends and run over a turtle and hit a pedestrian probably supports my theory that I only got a license in the first place because the cop who tested me the first time was a perv.

I was sweating bullets. So there I am in a room with 5 other people- who are all half my age- taking the written (now computerized) driving exam. I finished first. Kiss it young people. I may die way before you but I can finish a test a hell of a lot faster.

29/30. I passed.

On to the driving test. Really, it's all a blur from here. This time it was a female instead of fat, sweaty perv and she was pretty annoyed that because I'm anal retentive and I'm keeping the Goose's carseat rear-facing FOREVER; there is only enough room for an oompa loompa to ride shotgun. Any taller and you're licking your knees for the entire ride. Trust me, I know. I licked my knees- well licked my knees and performed nursing yoga in the backseat- for over 40 hours during our drive to and from Texas last fall.

When I was 16 the driving test was on a closed course but now I was on the open road. I tried to remember how I'm supposed to drive (stop at a stopsign) instead of how I have actually driven for the past 14 years (pause at stopsign and then make sound effects a la Nascar while pulling out in front of traffic and flipping off the other drivers who honk because don't they know they should yield to the princess).

I ended up passing- which is only further evidence for how screwed up our department of motor vehicles is- and my driver's license picture? Not so hot. I'm all sweaty and greasy and because I'm wearing my trademark giant, dangling earrings and there is a shadow, I look like I'm sporting a mullet. The license is good for ten years. Perhaps mullets will come back in vogue sometime over the next decade.

Oh well. The husband never respected "that" in the first place and no one has looked at my license for the past 22 months so it's not like it matters.

Go look at your driver's license. You can thank me later.

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For the love of boobs

Because the only thing I love talking about more than my own boobs are other people's boobs, I'm going to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week here at Officially a Mom by making it all boobs all the time for the next seven days.

To kick things off, here is a picture of Grace nursing just minutes after she was born. I may even find it within myself to dust off the one or two pics I have of the Gavinator nursing.

My how far we've come!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Be sure to check out The Celebrity Baby Blog Breastfeeding Gallery in honor of World Breastfeeding Week.

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