Welcome to the blogosphere honey!
PinkGirl asked me to help her make a blog this weekend and after explaining the boundaries (no real names, mom helps with any photos and most importantly – mom approves the post before she clicks “Publish”), she is up and running at:
I told her that it was HER blog and that I would not be taking dictation. And she is required to use the home keys. I’m so mean.
Family and Friends please comment on her blog posts. Please. please? (Gram, that means you too!)
Back in April, I posted one of our family’s favorite recipes, “Cream Cheese Chicken..” (The original post has a printable version of the recipe in PDF.)
Yesterday, we made a little change and it turned out pretty good, so I thought I’d share.
First, I doubled the recipe except for the chicken and the cream cheese (I have a large crockpot). But this time, we rolled everything up in flour tortillas and made burritos! Next time I either need to use less salsa or maybe just take the lid off and let the mixture stand a little to thicken up, the burritos were a little too runny. But they were GOOD.
It does take an extra few minutes to roll burritos after everything is cooked, but it’s still only 5 minutes to prepare on the front end!
Patrick Warburton (aka Krunk) is a favorite in this house. We like M&M’s too.
I read, therefore I quote. I can’t help it. It’s what I do.
I was reading Working Identity: Unconventional Strategies for Reinventing Your Career by Herminia Ibarra and she quoted Louis Pasteur:
“Fortune favors the prepared mind.“
I immediately thought of Edna Mode’s version:
“Luck favors the prepared.”
(Anyone want to guess the movie? Hint: Don’t forget we are Disney freaks.)
Back to Herminia Ibarra’s thoughts about Pasteur:
“Pasteur was ready to make a discovery when a favorable opportunity presented itself because he . . . had primed himself through years of study and hard work . . .
. . . It is also no accident that the vaccination idea came to Pasteur right after his summer break. Having stepped back from his direct work on cholera, he was able to ssee his old problem in a new light. This is the famous “incubation” phenomenon, in which, “after ceasing to consciously work on a difficult problem, [artists and scientists] sometimes experience an apparant flash of illumination, during which a solution appears to them unexpectedly . . .
. . . Professional reinvention also requires a stepping back to obtain a new way of seeing what is. The full emotional and cognitive complexity of the change process can only be digested with moments of detachment and time for reflective observation. It the same way, time away from the everyday grind creates the “break frame” that allows people in transition to articulate intellectually what they already knew emotionally . . .
. . . It is hard for people to achieve the objectivity they need to question and change their daily routines while they are still actively immersed in them. Time-out periods help people make changes by providing a space for reflective observation. Stepping back makes room for insights we have been incubating but cannot yet articulate.”
In my thought processes, Ibarra led me to “Too Busy Not to Pray: Slowing Down to Be With God” by Bill Hybels:
“No one can become an authentic Christian on a steady diet of activity. Power comes out of stillness; strength comes out of solitude. Decisions that change the entire course of your life come out of the holy of holies, your times of stillness before God.”
I can’t take a vacation right now. But I can schedule some solitude on a regular basis. Maybe I won’t be able to keep the appointment every day, but I’ll take what I can get.
If you have a quote to share from something you’ve read recently, feel free to comment and/or include a link to your own “. . . therefore I quote” post. I’ll try to make this a regular Thursday theme. If you do join in and write your own “. . . therefore I quote” post, please include a link back here? Thanks!
Want to learn how to paste an attractive link with a label? Click here!
(Mr. Linky doesn’t work well with wordpress.com, so feel free to paste a link right in your comment!)
What is FavoriteSon’s favorite school lunch these days?
The “take and bake” Walmart pizzas for $8.00 are an easy way to go on this one. We bake the pizza on Sunday, cut it up into 10 pieces and FavoriteSon packs 2 slices in his lunch every day. Of course, since he’s 13, that’s not ALL he takes for lunch, but it’s a good start.
This week, he talked me into taking him (and his sister) to American Pie for dinner while FirstHusband was on travel, so he’s eating Amercian Pie leftovers for the next few days. That wasn’t $8.00.
Posting this tip was FavoriteSon’s idea. Good job, bud.
It was only a matter of time until I included this in a “Would You Like Chocolate With That?” post.
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, 12
In November of last year, I wrote a devotional on this verse and what it meant to me. Over the last year, as I supported my friend who is battling stage IV breast cancer, this verse has come to mean so much more. Here’s an excerpt from the November devotional over at Pragmatic Communion, entitled, “i am not alone.“
“I’m the book lady. Every year, my church has a HUGE rummage sale. Two full weeks, weekends included, are spent unloading storage units, picking up and accepting donations, sorting, pricing and basically setting up an entire gymnasium for the annual “Whale of a Sale” held the first weekend of October.
I’m the book lady.
I take two weeks off from clients and work the Whale, every day. In that two week span, I literally touch thousands of books. They are categorized by topic and fiction is alphabetized by author’s last name. They sit on three rows of 6 or 7 folding tables (the big ones), in boxes, spine up, facing the shopper. Each box has a sign sticking up from it with my handwriting on it, indicating the contents of the box: Cookbooks, Physical Health, Emotional Health, Parenting, Travel, Military History, American History, World History, Gardening, etc. In each box, you can see the name of nearly every book without having to touch a single one. If you are looking for a particular book, just ask me. I”ll tell you if we have it and, if so, exactly where it is. The comments from people who see it range from, “Wow. This is amazing.” to “Who did all this?” (in a “that person is insane” tone of voice.) In the first few years, I did much of it myself, but now there are actually a handful of people who “get” me and can help sort without messing up the system.
The added benefit is that I get first pickings. At a $1.00 per hardback and $.50 for paperbacks and children’s books, I bring home a bookcase worth every year. My I.O.U grows ominously for two weeks as I sneak boxes of books into my house. Some women buy clothes, secretly hang them in the closet and when their husband comments the first time the clothing is worn, the women say, “This? I’ve had this for years.” Not me. I bring home books, quickly pull off the price tag and shelve them. I don’t say a word. I read so many books at one time, I never get asked, “Is that a new book?” My husband can’t keep up. This year was more difficult. I ran out of shelving space and had to reorganize the playroom. A six foot shelf that used to house toys, games and puzzles now houses fitness, diet and health books. (The shelf is right next to the treadmill after all.) . . . “
Click HERE to continue reading and to see photos of the freakishness.
Way back in May, in a post entitled “5 minute Panera Wannabe Salad,” I mentioned that I stored veggies pre-prepped and that I would post more on it someday. It is someday.
This idea was an accident. It was January of 2008. Mexican night. The table was covered with lots and lots of small bowls with “fixins” like diced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, chopped onions, diced red bell pepper and of course shredded cheese, salsa, queso and more. At cleanup time, we put everything into individual Rubbermaid containers and piled them in the fridge.
The next night, we had salad with dinner and pulled out all the little containers to add the fixins to our salad. At cleanup time, the lids went back on and everything went back into the fridge. THAT was easy! We liked the convenience so much we decided to add some other pre-prepped veggies into the mix for future salad building. Soon we had individual containers of (raw) broccoli florets, cauliflower florets, red, yellow and green diced bell peppers, scallions, carrots, mushrooms – we went all out.
The problem was that when we tried to get something from the fridge, these little individual containers would fall over and out onto the floor. (Is this the underwear principle at work or what?)
Here were the pros:
- We liked that we didn’t have to prep veggies every time we wanted to eat them. Sure veggie prep took longer, but that’s because we were prepping about a week’s worth at a time! Far less than the cumulative time it took before – and we didn’t have to wash the Chop Wizard so often!
- We were eating more fresh veggies because it was so flippin EASY.
- The individual containers took up less room than un-prepped veggies because we were no longer storing the veggie parts we don’t eat.
- Unlike shrink wrapped broccoli or a bag of bell peppers, the containers were STACKABLE.
- With small, individual containers, we only grabbed the veggies we wanted. (I had originally considered a multi compartment veggie tray with a lid – but we would have to take the entire thing out even if we only wanted one thing. Besides. They were all round.)
- The veggies were staying fresh longer because we were lining and layering the containers with dry paper towels. (Amazing discovery! Works great with mushrooms, lettuce and fresh spinach!)
- We were no longer sacrificing still packaged but rotten veggies to the mold gods every week.
- No more dry heaves while cleaning out the fridge. (The “what was this?” fridge cleaning game is rarely played in our house anymore.)
Now the cons:
- We had to prep veggies. (Unfortunately, since we don’t want to pay for pre-prepped veggies, we weren’t going to get around this one.)
- The individual containers were getting knocked over and falling out of the fridge way too easily.
There was a problem with our “system.”
So, as I mentioned, I shopped/researched what container solutions were available. I finally settled on an unused rectangular plastic box I happened to have. It was the perfect height and depth. I packed it with all the individual containers. Again. Perfect. It’s been working for nearly a year. We can either remove one or two containers or we can slide the box all the way out of the fridge like a drawer. The actual veggies and individual containers change all the time, but the are always stored in the veggie box. And yes. Those are actually oblong containers not square or rectangle, but they work in the veggie box, so they may stay.
We’ve also added two large rectangular containers to sit alongside the veggie box. One with a romaine mix and one with fresh spinach. The photos below only show one – we were out of romaine.
UPDATE: (Inspired by Endless Freebies comment below.)
The photos may be misleading. They only show one configuration of the box. We usually use the smallest containers we can and when space is needed for more veggies, we size down as we use the contents. And we have multiple sizes and shapes!
With regard to the box size – that was a process. (Like I said, The Underwear Principle at work!) We tried a smaller veggie box size, but we had a few problems:
1. When the depth of the box didn’t equal the depth of the fridge we had wasted space behind or in front of it. (Wasted space? Not on my watch.) We tried pushing the box to the back and using the extra space in front for other things, but we HATED moving the stuff to get to the box. Storing anything behind the box? We would forget about it and have to play the “What WAS that?” fridge game later.
2. We tried a shorter box and storing it on an adjustable shelf, but we had too many veggies and needed to stack. When we did, stuff fell out because the sides of the box were too short.
3. The day the above photo was taken, the veggie box wasn’t full. We didn’t have any onions or scallions and only one color bell pepper. Sometimes we have shredded carrots, asparagus, avocado, diced or sliced tomatoes, sliced zucchini or squash – LOTS of choices. So while a smaller box would have worked THAT day, it doesn’t work every day.
I eat a fair amount of salad and we use LOTS of spinach, so the big rectangular containers along the side work out the best for us. (We put fresh spinach in LOTS of things – especially omelets!)
I’m charging the camera battery right now, but later I’ll take another photo of TODAY’s configuration as a comparison.
We’re down to two sets of sheets for our bed – one set is flannel (which I CANNOT deal with in Florida until December at the EARLIEST) and the other set is . . . very old. So, I’m perusing Overstock.com for king size sheets and something caught my eye. I could save $750!!!! I just can’t decide. Pink or Orange?
happy birthday to me. happy birthday, happy birthday. happy birthday to me!
I just LOVE a husband who will not only BUY me this – BUT (the REAL present) actually RESEARCH the lens I need based on what I want to photograph. (Mainly, FavoriteSon running into the end zone with the ball and PinkGirl on stage singing her heart out!)
Given the fact that I had to work on client site Tuesday (and wear hosiery), I had a pretty great birthday, including a few hours at my sister‘s house holding LittleHoudini and dinner out with the family. But Wednesday felt more like a birthday.
I have the BESTEST friend EVER.
I had gone to work out first thing in the morning and then gone for a cut and color. I was finished by lunch and was supposed to meet my friend at Panera Bread (our favorite place to go together). I got there first and she called me and said, “We’re not going to Panera. Step outside and I’ll pick you up.”
She picked me up and drove . . . to the other side of the parking lot.
We had a GREAT lunch (miso, salad and two rolls for only $10 each!) and then she said, “We’ve gotta go. We have one more thing we have to do.”
Then she drove us to an adjacent parking lot.
A DAY SPA!!!! yippee!
She had a gift certificate she had been holding onto for THREE years. (It was a gift from her cub scouts – including FavoriteSon – as they moved on to Boy Scouts.) She had made appointments for pedicures and had brought a gift bag filled with a bottle of wine, two glasses, cheese and chocolate. Is that a BESTEST friend or WHAT?
Unfortunately, we were stuffed from lunch and I was carrying leftover sushi in a box (because I am SO not leaving it in the car to go bad!) AND I had had a mani-pedi on Saturday, just 4 days before. So we rescheduled and got massages! One hour of total relaxation. I turned off my cell phone. Yes I did! FirstHusband was in town. Let the school call him if there’s a problem. Let the clients leave voice mail.
So. wonderful. Told you. BESTEST friend EVER. And you know what? Sure the actual massage was GREAT, but the REAL present was that she FORCED me to take the time to have one in the first place. A massage? On a Wednesday? I NEVER would have scheduled that for myself. I get massages on vacation, not on “Wednesday.” I’m going to have to rethink that mentality. umm hmm. And sushi? for lunch? on a Wednesday? unheard of. gonna rethink that one too. (although PinkGirl scrounged my sushi leftovers, the little bum.)
I had taken the time on Saturday to have a mani-pedi because I had a little time to kill and driving home and back would have been a complete waste of time and gas. (That’s my story, anyway.) I was driving PinkGirl around that morning in an attempt to allow her to attend a cheer clinic from 9am to 1:30pm AND a birthday party from 11am to 1pm.
So I got PinkGirl to the cheer clinic at 9am.
Went 5 minutes around the corner and got a spa pedicure and manicure.
Picked her up from cheer at 11:00 a.m.
Drove her to the (pirate pool) birthday party 8 minutes away.
Stayed with her at the party till 12:45 p.m.
Drove her back to the school for the 1pm cheer performance.
All that includes changing from cheer tshirt and shorts – to a pirate costume – to a bathing suit – back to the cheer tshirt and shorts. Not to mention combing out wet hair and redoing a pony tail. (and all the grousing that goes with said combing)
I’m flippin tired just typing all that.
But – all that aside - you know the BIGGEST thing I did on Saturday? Brow wax. seriously. never had one. I had the spa pedicure and I’m getting the manicure while a tiny little fan blows on my red power toes. Lisa, the Asian lady giving me a manicure says, “Brow wax?”
I immediately turn to look in the mirror on the wall next to me.
AMAZING! What a difference! I’ve tweezed UNDER my brow for . . . ever. But I had NEVER taken any off the top. FirstHusband even noticed a difference – in a good way! I also let her do a lip wax but I was VERY worried about that. I’ve had a lip wax twice in my life and both times, I blistered like crazy the next day. Lots and lots of tiny water blisters. NOT attractive. I told Lisa and she confidently said, “I fix.”
well. what the heck?
And she did. almost. She covered my lip with baby powder and then blew on the wax for about 30 seconds before applying it to my skin. I only got THREE blisters. Amazing. I’ll be seeing Lisa again.
Spa pedicure? $20
Brow wax? $4
Lip wax? $8
A little calm in the middle of my frantic morning? Priceless.
can’t beat it.
oh. And Saturday afternoon? FirstHusband and I FINALLY ordered and paid for all the tile and supplies needed to re-tile our shower. Baby steps. baby steps.
Today is FirstHusband’s birthday and officially ends the THREE days a year when he is THREE years younger than me. (He prefers to say that I’M three years OLDER.) We’re going out to dinner. Birthday boy’s choice? Sushi.
Somehow, I’ll manage.
Tomorrow is International Chocolate Day! Let’s celebrate with a little blast from the past . . .
and what did he do with this cute little boy?
Check out more Wordless Wednesday posts over at is hosted by 5 Minutes for Mom
Sometimes my blog stats spike. Usually due to a Mr. Linky post from another site or a kind “shout out” from another blog. But this week just confuses me. Take a look:
My September 8th Google search strings included:
square watermelon (8),
square watermelons (5)
resulting in 60 VIEWS of the “my kind of watermelon” post
My September 9th Google search strings included:
square watermelon (8),
square watermelons (6)
resulting in 70 VIEWS of the “my kind of watermelon” post
And as of 6:55 p.m. (eastern time) on September 10th stats:
square watermelon (10),
square watermelons (2),
square water melon (2),
water melon square (2)
AND “καρπούζι τετράγωνο” (1) (which, when Googled – showed THIS page)
resulting in 66 VIEWS of the “my kind of watermelon” post
Look in my sidebar under “Top 10″ posts. It’s moved to the top of the list.
I don’t get it. Do I just need to watch the news more? Disney’s Pass the Plate? Listen to NPR? Anyone?
UPDATE: I did figure out that the referring site is Google Images. Search for “watermelon” in Google Images and I’m on the first row. I guess when you’ve got a photo of watermelon showing up on the first page of Google Images, everyone in the world who searches for watermelon could potentially click on the image to see it better. Lucky me.
I find myself saying certain things that, in the future, when they are adults, I’m sure my kids will remember and make fun of. My own personal idioms. Keep in mind that these phrases are spoken in a lighthearted, casual tone. I’m not angry or snippy when I say this stuff (okay – MOST of the time.) So. Here’s stuff I say a LOT.
“Yo. Pretend I’m your mother and that you respect me.” (When I’ve asked a kid to do something one too many times.)
“Is that working for you? Cause it’s not really working for me.” (In the middle of a tantrum.)
“Handle it differently, please.” (most recently, this is being said to PinkGirl when her first response is to yell at someone – usually her brother – when she perceives herself a victim of something “unfair.” Also said to FavoriteSon when he reacts to the yelling.)
“It’s not grace when you give it that way.” (Said when someone makes a “sacrifice” or “compromise” for another, but in the process, makes sure everyone knows how put out they are by doing it.)
“Solve your problem.” (In response to whining, complaining or having a fit.)
“What do you git, when you have a fit?” (answer? “nothin.”)
“Will you be complaining all day?” (Self-evident. I asked PinkGirl this question yesterday and she flippantly replied, “Pretty much.” I am so proud!)
“Don’t eat it.” (Deadpan response when a kid – ANY kid, says they see something yucky or gross. OFTEN said when a kid says they see a bug or lizard, but also when they say the see dog poop, rotten food in a forgotten lunch box, a cat hairball . . . you get the idea.)
“Are you done yet? How bout now? Now? What about now?” (This one is just fun. It can be used in the middle of a tantrum, when a kid is complaining about something or even when they are just thinking about something.)
“Leave no trace.” (Picked this one up from cub scouts. I say it when I see a kid’s stuff – aka “path of destruction” – dumped in the common living areas.)
“Isn’t it annoying that you had to stop (playing/watching tv/doing something fun) and come back and (do that/pick that up/put that away)? If you had (done it/picked it up/put it away) before, you wouldn’t have to do it now. You could still be (playing/watching tv/doing something fun).” (oh. they are getting TIRED of this one.)
“Good enough isn’t good enough.” (I rarely finish this sentence. I usually say, “Good enough . . . ” and the kids finish it in that “alright, already” tone of voice, while rolling their eyes.)
“Sometimes it’s not enough to do your best, sometimes you have to do what’s required.” (Got this one from Winston Churchill.)
Mom, can I . . . (something ridiculous – or ridiculously expensive)? “Yes” “REALLY?” “No.” (PinkGirl recently asked me if I would buy her the Barbie Mariposa doll. I said “Yes” and she looked at me and said. “I’m not fallin for it.”)
This was fun! I may make a page and keep adding to this.
What about you? What will your children remember and imitate when they are grown, sitting around the Thanksgiving table, doing the “do you remember . . . ” thing? What will they say to their kids? What do you remember hearing from your parents – over and over and over . . . ?”
If you have more than a comment’s worth of examples and happen to write a post on your own personal idioms, include a link to your post in a comment here! I know I would love to read it! I might even discover some new things to repeatedly say to my kids.
My kids like to watch Wizards of Waverly Place on Disney Channel. In it, there are three kids – an older brother, a middle sister and a younger brother – who are training to be wizards. It’s good, clean fun, usually laced with lessons of honesty, responsibility and ethics in every episode. Often, it’s the girl, Alex who has trouble following the rules and we get to see the chaos and backlash that follow her choices. In one episode, Alex cheats on a Spanish test by sneaking a Spanish “pocket elf” into her bag (a tiny little expert/encyclopedia) and her brothers decide to make her suffer some consequences by giving the pocket elf some chocolate. (You NEVER give a pocket elf chocolate!) When the pocket elf bites her as she reaches into her purse, she becomes OBSESSED with chocolate.
Whenever I watch this, I must admit, I have the urge to make a CHOCOLATE ANGEL myself.
Find more chocolaty stuff at “Would You Like Chocolate With That” hosted by Lisa at Stop and Smell the Chocolate!
What a perfect week for a BACKWARDS Works For Me Wednesday!
In my last post, “free baby holding“, I shared my previous experiences as nursing mom and a little about my sister’s current experiences as she learns how to nurse her new baby. I remembered quite a bit and was able to give her some tips that have really made things easier, but my knowledge base is tiny compared to what my fellow bloggers can offer.
So here’s my plea:
Moms out there – if you nursed or are nursing your babies – what are some favorite, tried and true tips and tricks you employed to make your breastfeeding experience better and easier? Everything from products to techniques, clothing and gadgets, cleaning and storing milk – any suggestions you might have would be VERY much appreciated!
Here are three tips that really made a difference yesterday. TMI ALERT: (click away to avoid a candid discussion of logistics)
1. If you have a scab on your nipple, take a very warm washcloth and hold it to your nipple until the scab softens. The scab will fall off and latching will be much less painful. There will be hardly – if any – blood. Doing this also speeds up healing because the scab isn’t being pulled off every time the baby nurses. My nephew was a week old yesterday and my sister’s nipples are almost completely healed.
2. When you are expressing milk, RELAX. Yesterday, my sister was trying to express and she was getting NOTHING. I told her to stop looking at the pump. To drop her shoulders. Close her eyes. Get comfortable. Breath deep. Consciously slow her heartbeat and relax her muscles. Then I told her to look up. I was holding the baby and he was looking around. He yawned. He sneezed. My sister laughed and started talking about him. We discussed how cute he was. After about 2 minutes, I told my sister to look at the pump. She looked down and then she jerked her head back up and said, “HOLY COW, I can’t believe this crap really works!!!” Having trouble expressing? It’s not all mechanics. RELAX. Think about the baby. When I expressed at work, I looked at pictures of my babies.
3. DRINK LOTS OF WATER!!! My sister keeps forgetting to get some water before she sits down to nurse. I suggested that she leave water bottles near all the different places she nurses.
I had a GREAT day Friday. I spent the day with my sister, Wendy and LittleHoudini while her hubs was at work. I arrived a little before 9:00 a.m. and left a little before 9:00 p.m. What an amazing day:
To take a shower and wash her hair – and blow it dry!
Two 2-3 hour naps.
A fridge with about a weeks worth of cooked dinners in it.
To hold a tiny baby for HOURS!!!!
They came home from the hospital on Thursday night and I went over to stay with my sister while her husband went to to get her Percocet prescription and stop at the grocery store. LittleHoudini was having a horrible night. Screaming inconsolably. Nothing we tried worked. The nurses had given him a little formula because my sister’s milk hadn’t come in and he was working through it. Not sure if he was hungry or having digestion problems, they gave him a little more formula later that night. Whatever the problem, they all had a rough night Thursday and didn’t get much sleep.
Even though he was exhausted, my brother-in-law had to go back to work on Friday, so I dropped my kids off at school and went straight to my sister’s house. She was wiped out. She had just finished nursing LittleHoudini and I asked if she wanted to take a shower. Such a little thing, a shower, but it can make such a big difference. I just curled up in a chair with LittleHoudini and watched him sleep while she showered and got something to eat. She started to clean up the house, but I gave her such a hard time she settled for sitting on the couch and sorting through her diaper bag from the hospital.
When he woke, she nursed him and when she started to switch him over to the other side she said, “What is that on his face?”
I looked. “Milk.”
Later that day, after two naps and some food, she said, “When I saw milk on his face earlier?”
“That was the greatest accomplishment of my life.”
See, her own doctor had said to her, “Some women just don’t have much milk.”
Okay doc. Maybe so. But WHY would you say this to a woman BEFORE HER MILK EVEN CAME IN? Was it your intention to make her doubt herself? To anticipate failure even before attempt?
An aside: I admit, I believe in breastfeeding.
And before I say anything about my experience, let me say this: If you give/gave your baby formula, that’s fine with me. Whether you gave your baby formula by choice, medical necessity, or any other reason – I’m not going to berate you or beat you up for it. It’s YOUR decision. Breastfeeding was MY decision. You have every right to disagree with me and I know this can be a controversial subject. If you think formula is better than breastfeeding, feel free to comment, just realize you aren’t going to change my mind. I’ve done my research and I nursed both my kids. I’ve experienced the benefits firsthand. (And this blog is my own personal hate-free zone so any comments containing meanness or passive-aggressive sarcasm are changed to an invisible font.)
I know firsthand how difficult it is to breastfeed and work full-time. With FavoriteSon, the first two months, I was on maternity leave, the third month, I worked part-time and from the fourth through seventh month, I worked full time as a program manager at a college. Every day I expressed milk for the babysitter to give my babies. I had a male co-worker stand outside my office door while I was expressing and moo like a cow. I got him back by calling him on the phone to work through some paperwork – while the breast pump hummed in the background. For some reason, he wasn’t comfortable talking to me at that time. Said he would wait till I was finished. wimp.
From FavoriteSon’s seventh month and when I went back to work after having PinkGirl, I worked as a trainer, teaching classes. I would nurse the baby in the morning, drop off at the sitter’s, start a class, break at 10:00 a.m., express for 10 to 15 minutes, teach till we broke for lunch, sit in my car, eat lunch, express and begin an afternoon session, break at 3:00 p.m., express for 10 to 15 minutes, finish the afternoon class, express one side in the car while driving to pick up at the sitter’s. (The battery operated Medela only takes one hand under the shirt. I got it situated before I started driving. Even the mounted police cameras couldn’t see anything.) When I got to the sitter’s I nursed the baby on whichever side I hadn’t expressed in the car. I carried a lunch box cooler full of food to work, brought home expressed milk in it EVERY day. On those days I had to attend a business lunch, I took 20 minutes before or after to express. It was a routine. It worked. I was very open with my clients about what I was going to do on my breaks and during my lunch. They respected my decision and often provided an empty office for me so I didn’t have to go to the car or drag a chair into the bathroom. When the stress built up and the milk started to go, I would spend a weekend “nursing on demand” like all the books and experts told me to do. It always worked. I got plugged ducts and mastitis. Not just once. And it hurt. And I got rid of the plugged ducts by nursing on demand, like all the books and experts told me to do. For each child, the first week, I had some serious pain. TMI ALERT: Bleeding. Cracking. Even Scabbing. But I knew it was temporary. When it was that bad, it only really hurt for a moment, during the latch. FirstHusband said that when he watched me brace myself when the baby latched on, he was never more proud of me. Me too. I knew it was temporary. By the second week, it was much better and by the third week, I was healed and it didn’t hurt at all. I nursed both my kids for more than a year. That was my decision and it required extended, sustained determination, work and sacrifice. I did it for health reasons, financial reasons . . . LOTS of reasons. That was MY decision.
Breastfeeding was my sister’s decision, too. But before her milk even came in, her doctor had given her the impression that she couldn’t do it. I spent all of Friday working on her confidence and helping her master this delicate part of motherhood. Saturday, we went back over to let PinkGirl, FavoriteSon and FirstHusband meet LittleHoudini. He had a great day, sleeping well and eating well.
I don’t know if my sister will continue to nurse LittleHoudini after she goes back to work, but for now, she’s doing GREAT!