29 November, 2010

Breastfeeding...Totally Disgusting!

I was being sarcastic up there in the title. I've been all over the intrawebz reading how disgusting it is to breastfeed a baby, and how no one should have to look at someone feeding their child in public. I'm astonished to be quite honest. Of course, I see breastfeeding advocates all over the place. And while I have a little bit of a problem with the "boob nazis", that isn't what this post is about.

I have many mommy friends. Mommy friends who, as all mommies do, need to feed their babies. I have mommy friends who have chosen to breastfeed for long periods of time. I have friends who have breastfed for a shorter amount of time. I have friends who have started to breastfeed and then had to stop for one reason or another. And I've had friends who have just never breastfed and went straight to formula. I don't judge my friends for their choices and never will. They do what is best for their children, their families and their situation, and that's what all of us should do.

A little background on my experience with breastfeeding. With Reilly, I chose to breastfeed to begin with. I had a very hard time with it. I was too stressed out and emotionally and mentally exhausted, and breastfeeding wasn't working for me. I stopped after three months. I felt it was the best choice for both of us. And it was! We were both much happier. With Ophelia, I decided that I would try again with breastfeeding. It was cheaper, and much greener! And of course its good for baby! I made myself some short and long term goals. Short term is three months. I figure that if I can make it to three months, and still feel good about breastfeeding, then I'll continue. My next goal after three months is six months. And so on until I reach a year, or I decide that it isn't working out for our family.

feeding her baby
So since I'm exclusively breastfeeding (with the exception of Thanksgiving, where I drank a liiiiittle too much, and ended up giving Ophelia formula. But that neither here nor there) I have to breastfeed where ever I am. I don't pump. I tried to make a point to do it for the first month or so of Ophelia's life, but it was too hard. It's time consuming, and it hurts my hand (I have a manual pump) and really...its just NOT the same as breastfeeding. I feel like its a big waste of my time. So I never have a bottle for her. I always make sure I have something to cover myself up with. Breastfeeding isn't disgusting. Unfortunately, it has become the norm in our society to formula feed. And that's fine! If it works for you, more power to you. If you don't like breastfeeding for one reason or another, that's fine too. I won't judge. But to think that doing something as natural as breastfeeding is disgusting is ridiculous. Women have been breastfeeding for as long as humans have been on this planet. It was the only source of food for babies for a very, very long time. People didn't think it was disgusting back then! In fact, women still walk around topless in some third world countries. It makes me sad that, especially in America, breasts are such a sexual thing that we are disgusted when they are used for what they were MADE to be used for. Breasts weren't sexual first. They were sexual second. They are there for food and comfort for our children. Breastfeeding is a beautiful, natural, bonding experience for both mother and child, and hopefully fathers as well, even though they can't feed their children from their chest. I hope that the fathers out there understand and are grateful to their wives who breastfeed. I hope that they can see the true beauty of what their wife is doing. And I hope they can appreciate it with all their hearts.

For those of you (which, I hope if you're reading my blog, you aren't like this, but even if you are, take the time to learn something) who don't like seeing a woman breastfeed, especially in public, I have some advise for you. Suck it up. Avert your eyes. Leave the area. Or just deal with it and go on like nothing is even happening. That's what we do. I don't draw attention to myself when I'm feeding my child in public. I cover up, and she lays there quietly and eats. And when she's done, I put my boobs away and go on with life. Hell, you may have seen me in a restaurant and didn't even know I was breastfeeding. While my parents were in town, we went down to Waikiki to go to dinner. I didn't bring my wrap with me, which I normally wear if I'm going to be breastfeeding, but daddy decided he wanted to carry Ophelia. So I had to hold her and feed her. All while walking down the strip. Most people didn't even notice. And to my absolute amazement, the people who did smiled politely and nodded at me. I was waiting for someone to tell me to take that somewhere else. But no one did! I was WAITING to tell someone that if they wanted to listen to my child cry, that was fine, but I certainly didn't...I certainly don't want to deprive her of her food source just for someone elses comfort. And I certainly never will.  

feeding my baby
I'm lucky. I have an amazingly supportive husband. He tries to do and suggest what is best for me and our daughter. The week after we got out of the hospital, he took Reilly to gymnastics, I was having a really hard time breastfeeding. I had sore, cracked, bleeding nipples that hurt every time Ophelia ate. He offered to buy formula so I could have a break. It was sweet. I mean, I broke down crying on the phone and told him that I would stick it out, but it was a sweet gesture. He helps me cover up when I need it when we're out in public. He is just fantastic. Granted, he still oogles my boobs whenever they are out, but I'm okay with that. He is my husband after all. I have amazing friends and family who are also super supportive. My mom breastfed my brother and I up until we were about a year old (I forget exactly how long) and she did so while she went back to work! I also have an amazing daughter who knows its okay to feed a baby from a bottle or a boob. I made sure to drill that into her head before Ophelia was born. Reilly had never seen a baby breastfeeding...and now she copies me. I have more than one picture of her breastfeeding her baby dolls. And it makes me happy. No matter what she decides to do with her own children, I will stand by her, of course...and I will make sure that she has all the right information. And that she knows that she can do whatever she thinks is best for her and her family. And I will instill those values in Ophelia, and any other daughter(s) that Brad and I may have. And I'll teach our boy(s) about the importance of breastfeeding too...because hopefully one day, they will be parents as well, and they need to know the importance of supporting their wife and child in that way.

So for all of you who are anti-breastfeeding...please...talk to a mommy who has breastfed. Talk to a mommy who has been so desperate to breastfeed that she could cry, but for one reason or another can't. Talk to a mommy who loves the bond between herself and her child. Talk to those mommies and support them. Talk to those mommies who have chose to formula feed their child and support them too. And talk to the daddies who are so proud of their spouses for doing that for their child.

28 November, 2010

Most effective way to be a parent....it isn't what you think...

While reading over ridiculous stories about whatever the fuck it is the TSA is doing now (more on that later), I ran into this link. It is a news style blog written by a mommy in the bay area. The gist of the story is that every single time we parents turn around, there is another thing we're doing wrong. We're punishing our children too harshly, or not harsh enough. We're giving them complexes. We're ruining them by letting them sleep in our bed, our room, their own bed, or their own room. It seems that everyone has an idea of what is best for our children. And everything we as parents are doing is wrong. According to books, professionals, other parents...hell, even our OWN parents sometimes, we are ruining the lives of our most precious little things.

As I wrote about in this post, I tend to have a different style of parenting than most people. Not everyone...but most people. I honestly believe that if you have some common sense, and you aren't out there abusing substances, or beating your children, you have every right to parent however you see fit. Obviously, you shouldn't be leaving your children out in cars by themselves. You shouldn't leave them alone when they are little. Common sense.

The lady who wrote that article had a list of 10 ways to be an effective parents, and I agree with them whole-heartedly. Apparently it was in the November/December issue of Scientific American.

1. Love and affection. You support and accept the child, are physically affectionate, and spend quality one-on-one time together.
2. Stress management.
You take steps to reduce stress for yourself and your child, practice relaxation techniques and promote positive interpretations of events.
3. Relationship skills.
You maintain a healthy relationship with your spouse, significant other or co-parent and model effective relationship skills with other people.
4. Autonomy and independence.
You treat your child with respect and encourage him or her to become self-sufficient and self-reliant.
5. Education and learning.
You promote and model learning and open-mindedness for your child.
6. Life skills.
You provide for your child, have a steady income and plan for the future.
7. Behavior management.
You make extensive use of positive reinforcement and punish only when other methods of managing behavior have failed.
8. Health.
You model a healthy lifestyle and good habits, such as regular exercise and proper nutrition, for your child.
9. Religion.
You support spiritual or religious development and participate in spiritual or religious activities. (This one I don't agree with. I believe you need to answer your child's questions honestly and with an open mind/heart, and love them no matter what. I don't believe that we, as parents and families, need to participate in spiritual or religious activities.)
10. Safety.
You take precautions to protect your child and maintain awareness of the child's activities and friends.
I believe that with following these ten, very simple, very basic guidelines, we can all have amazing children, but still parent how we see fit. As I believe I've mentioned, I frequent (okay, not so much anymore) a baby forum where the women there belittle and berate moms because of the choices they make. These choices are simple...formula vs breastfeeding. Co-sleeping vs not. Vaccinations vs no vaccinations. These choices don't hurt the child (with the possibility of no vaccinations...but more on that later), nor do they hurt anyone else who seems to be concerned with them. People stick their noses in where they don't belong and it ends up making people feel that they aren't cutting it as a parent. 

In a nut shell -- don't judge people on how they parent if they are making the effort to do these 10 things. If their child is happy and healthy, who cares if they get their child vaccinated or not? Who cares if they let their child stay up late if they have nothing to do the next day? Who cares? It isn't your child. I have AMAZING mommy friends who's families aren't "normal" (I use that term very loosely), but I think they are some of the most amazing parents with the most fantastic kids, and I am a very lucky person to have such great families in my life. We don't need to own all the latest parenting books, or listen to nut jobs like Dr. Phil just because we don't parent the way that they do. Really. Just follow those rules up there. I promise.

And if you don't like it...well....go suck an egg. 

With Love, 
Mrs. Obie

Wordless Sunday

Ophelia's first trip to the beach

26 November, 2010

Sugar cookies part 2; decoration

As promised, here is part two of the sugar cookie making! The decoration! Now, I made the frosting. It was pretty sticky and messy, but Reilly got to mix up the colors. We  made 5 different colors; green, yellow, red, purple and "brown" (which, to be honest, was more of a greenish-black color). Recipe follows. All you do is mix it up. I didn't even chill anything in the fridge, and once on the cookie, the frosting hardened up pretty good, which is what I was going for.

  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 1 tbs light corn syrup
  • 2 tbs water
  • 10 drops food coloring

The idea was to give Reilly and her friends something to do while they were here to keep out of the grownups hair. It worked! They seemed to have a total blast decorating the cookies, which made me happy.  Pretty easy little project for them to do I thought! They each got to take what they made home. I highly recommend putting something down under the cookies to prevent frosting spills...I put tin foil down, and I still have frosting to clean off the table.  I'm glad the kids enjoyed making the cookies! It was something artsy fartsy that I don't really do very often, but they seriously enjoyed it. 
finished cookies!

I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving with their families! I completely enjoyed my time with my family and friends this Thanksgiving. Stay tuned for a Thanksgiving day post, even though it'll be late. 

24 November, 2010

Sugar Cookies! Part 1

So today, while thinking of all the things that we have to do tomorrow, I was put in the mood to make something for the kids to do tomorrow while they were waiting for dinner to be done, and to keep them occupied and out of our hair. Since I don't have much in the way of "artsy fartsy" craft supplies, I decided, the next best thing?

Why, decorating cookies of course!

 So Reilly and I (but mostly Reilly) decided to make some cookies to decorate tomorrow! We found a recipe on allrecipes.com and worked on it this morning. First, I laid out all the ingredients:
mixing the dry ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup butter

 Mix together flour and salt in a bowl. Easy right?

We softened our butter in the microwave for 45 seconds. Then in a medium bowl, mix together the remaining ingredients (sugar, egg, vanilla, butter and sugar). The recipe says to use an actual mixer, but I just used a whisk.  It was just as easy.
wet ingredients
mixing them together

After whisking the wet ingredients together, add them to the dry ingredients and mix until they form a smooth dough. We just used our hands! After mixing it together really well, you need to wrap it up in saran wrap and chill for 1 hour in the fridge.

form the dough
dough out of the fridge
cutting the cookies
After an hour, take your dough out of the fridge. This is when you should pre-heat your oven to 325 degrees and get out your cookie sheets. I recommend using either a silicone baking mat or parchment paper....if not then just use an ungreased cooking sheet. Roll out your dough to the thickness you like. I try to keep my cookies a little on the thicker side to avoid tears and holes in the cookies. But whatever floats your boat. THEN! Bust out your trusty cookie cutters. We decided to use Christmas cookie cutters...mostly because those are the only kind we have. Plus, Thanksgiving is the gateway holiday to Christmas! Also, take time to get pictures of your child, or yourself posing. Bake at 325 for 13-15 minutes. I did 14 and they came out just right. Let them cool and then move to a sealable container if you aren't going to decorate them right away. Other wise, decorate them as you like!

my mini chef
The follow up post will be tomorrow after the kids decorate them. I figure this is an excellent way to keep them busy and out of trouble while the adults mingle, drink beer, and cook! I'm very excited for tomorrow!

Stay tuned for the follow up post on decorating and my ever-famous, Thanksgiving post!

I hope everyone has an AMAZING turkey day! Take the time to be thankful for your friends and family.

20 November, 2010

15 November, 2010

Wordless Sunday

another day late...again....whoops! we've been busy getting ready for my mother in laws arrival!

squishy face

08 November, 2010

Wordless Sunday

One day late. I'll be better I promise!

Reilly and her new BFF Lucy at the fair

Trouble in Paradise (aka Why I Don't Like Living in Hawaii)

Okay. I lied. I didn't realize at the time that I was lying but I lied none the less. About a year ago, when Bradford was reenlisting, and we were deciding where to go, blue sunny skies where what popped into my head. He reenlisted to go to Hawaii. I was giddy over it. Who wouldn't want to move to an island, especially one where so many people wish they could go, where it was sunny and 85 degrees every day?! After living 25 years in Washington, with the rain and the cold, I couldn't get to Hawaii fast enough. I talked almost every day about how I was so stoked to get to Hawaii and go to the beach and sit in the sun and enjoy minimal rain and no snow!

Well now, after 4 months of living here, I regret even thinking that this would be the best place to live. What the hell was I thinking?! Okay, okay, there are some good things to living in Hawaii. Its gorgeous here. It really is. They have the most gorgeous flowers here, and some of the trees are so huge and awesomely weird, you can't help but love them. This time of the year (aka, the rainy season), the temperature drops down to the upper 70's, which is perfect weather. Its only muggy and gross after it rains now instead of the majority of the time. But there are some things I seriously hate about this state. Really. I would love to vacation here, and some day, after we leave here...years and years down the road, I will probably visit again.

Things I Hate About Hawaii:
-Its an island. There is only so much to do, and it isn't all that big. We could (and have) driven to the opposite side of the island in a short amount of time. I'm pretty sure it takes longer to drive to Seattle from Olympia than it does to drive from our house to the opposite side of the island.

-The skunk plants. We have a row of them outside of our house. And they smell HORRIBLE. I never go out my front door unless I have to because I hate smelling them.

-The bugs. A friend of ours told me "you don't REALLY live in Hawaii unless you have bugs in your house". Unfortunately, its true. And not to mention disgusting. The bug of choice for Hawaii? Cockroaches. I always imagined cockroaches filling up a tiny New York apartment when it was filthy. My house isn't filthy. Or in New York. One night, I came downstairs to put pumped milk in the fridge and had a panic attack because there were five...yes...FIVE cockroaches in our kitchen. I had seen six that night, one was in our bathroom. I squished as many as I could, but 3 of them got away. Mother fuckers. Luckily, I haven't run into the dreaded centipedes yet. I've gotten a lot better with mentally dealing with the cockroaches, but they still make me wanna throw up.

Artists rendering of my cockroach infested kitchen. Not to scale.
-The weather. Now, I'm not horribly irritated by the weather, especially since it isn't as hot as it was when I was big and pregnant. What irritates me more is the fact that I can't wear my long sleeve shirts and my boots. I'm barely wearing long jeans and the majority of the time I wear capri's and flip flops. It makes me sad that I can't cuddle up under a blanket and watch a movie because its chilly outside. And light candles. I think what I miss most is the FEELING of fall or winter. Its November and we went to a fair last night. It was gorgeous outside. 80 degrees. IN NOVEMBER. We're just a couple weeks away from Thanksgiving. I could go lay out in my backyard and get a tan. IN NOVEMBER. But I digress.

What sucks the most about Hawaii? Being sooooo far away from everyone I know. Although, I do love the fact that they don't observe Day Light Savings Time. I think that's a stupid thing. In fact, if I were president, I would do away with DLST. UNNECESSARY!!!!!!

02 November, 2010

Wordless Sunday

I'm so behind on my blog. The last couple weeks I've been racking my brain trying to think of things to write about and apparently my pregnancy brain has followed me...I now have postpartum brain. So since I'm so late, there will be two pictures for Oct. 31 (three days late....). I hope everyone had a happy and safe Halloween!
My beefcakes first Halloween

My pretty pretty princess