This just in.

Brace yourselves for a big announcement. Forthcoming.

It’s coming.

Wait for it.

No, really.

I’m quitting my Job. The nursey one.

No, really. I am. I haven’t yet, but I’m going to. I only haven’t because I have to drive to Visalia to do it and I don’t have the spare hour and a half today. Really.

So that’s today’s headline. Not big news for you but the biggest of news for us over here. I could write a nice long post about quitting my Job but I’m not ready for that yet. Maybe later. I’m still feeling a little bit fairytaleoverjoyeddazedandconfuzzled about this decision. Oh, don’t get me wrong, there’s not a single thing I’d rather do than stay at home and raise this Sweet Pea of a Baby. It’s just that even though I’ve been At Home before, it’s been a while. I’m a little nervous about it and all the things that go with not being an Out of Home worker. You know what I’m talking about. Maybe not. Anyway. Next item of business.

Because I am about to quit my Job (just the one where I’m a nurse, not the one where I’m nursing) I’m feeling very suddenly domestically motivated. There is a slight problem with this. Well a couple:

a. My sewing machine is broken. It’s tragic. Truly.

b. Also despite the fact that we have a fair sized house, I have no place for “crafty” things. They are in a box in storage (mostly).

c. In light of all of this and in despite of it I am still plotting and planning several crafty ventures. Probably too many. It’s a disease I have.

And they are:

1. I’m knitting a scarf for my sisters trip to Philly. My sister is Fan-tas-tic. Truly. She deserves a scarf of epic proportions. This may not be big news to everyone but it is to me because I am literally the worst. Knitter. Ever.

No, really. I’m bad.

This is a similar pattern. Only mine is two-color striped. My sister does not like pink. Or anything in the pink family. So I’m using blue and green. I like it. If it doesn’t come out crooked maybe I’ll whip up another one.

Here it is in progress:
See how I accidentally made one row that has 3 greens in it. I’m not afraid to admit my error. I lost count. I was nursing the baby. I told you. I’m that bad.

2. I’m crocheting snowflakes for our Christmas tree. Granny used to make these. I’m doing it. Like right now. They’re fun, if you know how to crochet. If not, they’re miserably difficult. Also, working on other handmade ornaments. Because, well frankly we have none.

In other news: I miss Granny. Like a ton.

3. I’m crocheting hats for the children. I prefer knitted hats (ala my mother in law who is a fantastic knitter) but alas, as previously mentioned, I am the worst. Knitter. Ever. Anyway, per their requests hats are underway. Maybe if the scarf isn’t an abysmal failure I’ll knit them. They should be done by 2012.

4. I’m cooking.

Cauliflower soup.
Don’t tell the Hubs. It’s what’s for dinner tonight. Surprise.

I just met the Pioneer Woman less than a month ago. She’s my hero.

Also: Coffee Cake. I feel like I need to make that right. Now.

Did I mention she’s my hero. I can’t believe I never heard of her before like 3 weeks ago. Where was she all my life?

5. Attempting to make something of our front room.

This isn’t really something I’m doing as much as something I need to do.

It’s a little bit confused. It’s not sure if it’s a living room or a music room or a room where people drop their crap. There are drums in there. And guitars. And a huge bean bag. And crap.

That’s all.

Here’s the drums though. They’re really lovely.


Hubs is a drummer. How lucky am I? Drummers are sexy. That is all. Thank you for listening.

(That photo was taken by Myron Yeung. Our wedding photographer. He’s amazing.)

6. Working on my etsy store. It’s not done yet. Who am I kidding. It’s not even started. I’m totally doing it though. I’m not selling anything knitted though. Unless someone is looking for a crooked scarf.

Whilst my mind is preoccupied with the aforementioned items of interest I’m also entertaining the following hobbies:

~gazing at the miracle of Sweetness we’ve been given. (That’s the Baby. In case you didn’t know.)

This is her:
I know, right. She’s ridiculous.

~ Running after the Big Kids. This takes significantly more time than one would think.

This is them:
I mean look at these kids. If babymaking was a business, I’d go into it. They’re that awesome. (In all fairness, I can’t take credit for the one holding the Baby. She’s my sister. But I’m claiming her anyway. She looks enough like the rest. No one will know.)

~Cooking. Cleaning. Laundry. Shopping. Keeping house in general. Kind of.

~Doing my derndest to support the Hubs in his career and Other Financial Ventures. (This bascially means, trying to keep the kids from talking to him every 10 seconds when he’s trying to write code, which is a whole other thing I don’t understand.)

That’s what I’m up to. Stayed tuned for more news as it develops.

Warmest Regards,

Me

SAHM turned RN turned SAHMRN. Recovering craft addict. Abysmal knitter. Lover of cake.

baking , crafting , crochet , knit , mothering , sewing

I’m an advocate of family time. You know, time spent as a family. However your family is defined, I for one, think it’s important you all sit together and connect. Whenever. Dinner seems a logical time. Right?

Right.

Our family has six people in it. If you don’t count the dog and cat and bird and the tortoise and the three spiders the 10 year old keeps in his room. Coincidentally our table also seats six. (This is going to be a problem if we have another baby. Someone will have to sit on the floor. I hope it’s not me.) We eat dinner together every time we are together. (Which is to say Big Kids are not with their dad). This is four nights a week. The other three nights the Hubs and Ella and myself just stare at each other trying to figure out why it’s so quiet. Oh and we have a conversation about something relevant, usually. Anyway, those four nights we sit at the table together for food and conversation. Kind of.

We had a game we used to play all the time when Big Kids were still Little Kids called Hi-Lo. Each person in the family would have the floor to discuss the high and low points of their day. Presumably uninterrupted. Presumably. We went in order of youngest to oldest. This worked. For a while. Then, somewhere along the way, this game become passe’ and the chaos that we now recognize as dinner ensued.

Now, I hate to have to admit that I can’t keep my children under control, but I can’t keep my children until control. They’re just too big to be sat on.

Typically it goes something like this:

Me: Dinner is on kids. Let’s go.
Boys: (stampede) Where? Where? We’re STARVING.
Me: Ok good. I’m glad I cooked then. Let’s eat.
15 yo: Hang on MOM I’m talking to Marissa.
Me: No. You’re not talking to Marissa. Get off the phone it’s time to eat. (while trying to move out the way of the starving boys who think they are going to die)
15 yo: Ugh. fine
Hubs: Ok everyone let’s get at the table. (He likes to play Good Cop)

Then… We all get to the table.

15 yo: (hiding phone on lap under table, text messaging, I’m just going to guess it’s Marissa)
Me: Put your phone away please.
Boys: Where are the forks? Pass the _____? Pass the _____? PASS THE _______?
Hubs: Boys, don’t yell at the table please.
Ella: (sleeping in the sling on me)
Me: OK let’s try to have a civilized conversation. 15 yo (of course I would be using her name here), how was your day?
15 yo: (completely unaware I exist, still looking at phone in lap)
Me: I’M GOING TO TAKE YOUR PHONE AWAY. Please put it down.
15 yo: GE-AWD MOM. OK.
Me: Don’t talk to me like that please.
12 yo: OHMYGOD IF I SAID THAT TO YOU I WOULD GET IN SO MUCH TROUBLE. YOU NEVER PUNISH HER. UGH. It’s not FAIR.
Ella: (stirring in the sling on me)
Me to 12 yo: That’s not true. And stop yelling.
Hubs: (silently eating)
10 yo to 12 yo: STOP BEING A BABY. OH MY GOD.
Ella: (now awake and looking scared)
Me to table: Alright that’s enough. Can we PUH-LEASE just eat dinner and have a conversation without anyone yelling. Let’s play hi-lo (please God can’t we just go back to the days of playing Hi-Lo).
10 yo: OK. My high was…. when I had recess today and I was playing tether ball and…
12 yo: (cutting off 10 yo to recite line of movie/tv show or talking in one of his comedy voices)
Hubs: (laughing at 12 yo)
Me: (giving 12 yo dirty look)
15 yo: (rolling eyes) Can I look at my phone now?
Me: (head in hands) I give up.

And no one has even eaten yet. At this point I usually have some kind of mini-mental breakdown which scares the children just enough that they are willing to stop yelling and have a conversation. I’ve resorted to tears a couple of times. I’m not proud of it. Don’t you judge me.

Does this sound familiar at all? Please say yes.

Dear. God. Please. Say. Yes.

I’m going to keep sitting sitting at that table though. At 6 pm on any given night that’s where you’ll find me. Even if I have to drag them all there kicking and screaming. It’s happening.

We’re eating dinner. As a family.

dinner , family time , parenting

In 100o words or less… talk about breastfeeding. Go.

This blog isn’t particularly amusing or out of the ordinary. It’s just something I wrote as part of my quest to not return to work (cause I really really reeeeeaaallllly don’t want to). Also I should credit my Hubs who acted as Editor in Chief of this post (a new designation for him, in addition to his usual duties of being awesome).

Here goes:

As a new or expectant mother, you are filled with the best of intentions for your child. Your head is swimming with the possibilities this new life holds. And you are no doubt being bombarded with advice from friends, family and literature on how to provide your child with the best foundation for success.

What if I, a mother of four as well as a Registered Nurse specializing in maternal-child health, knew a secret that could assure you a closer, more intimate bond with your little one? What if that same secret would assure your infant an IQ of 5 or more points above average? What if the secret held myriad health benefits for both you and your child? If you are an open-minded mother in search of the best for your child, I will assume I have your attention.

The secret will save you money and keep your child from visiting the doctors office so frequently, as children often do. It will prevent a host of chronic illnesses and diseases including diabetes, leukemia, intestinal disorders, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, many childhood cancers, meningitis, pneumonia, urinary tract infections, salmonella, diarrhea and even more. It could significantly reduce your infant’s risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)?

The secret will help you lose weight and tone your uterus after childbirth, and significantly reduce your risk of cancers of the breast and reproductive organs. It requires no special equipment or products, and doesn’t require you to go anywhere or do anything special or out of the ordinary. And as the icing on the cake of benefits, the secret is ecologically aware and environmentally sound, reducing your carbon footprint and leaving the world a little cleaner than you found it. Did I happen to mention it’s also free?

Perhaps I should have said secrete instead of secret, because this simple thing you can do as a mother, that will achieve all the aforementioned benefits, is to feed your baby the milk that you yourself produce.

There is enough evidence to support that breastfeeding is, by leaps and bounds, the best way to feed your baby. In fact, breastfeeding might be more aptly named bestfeeding. And these things I mention are only the tip of the breastfeeding benefit iceberg. There are so many astounding benefits to feeding your baby in this way and not surprisingly, more are being discovered every day. This is, in part anyway, why I chose to exclusively breastfeed all four of my children from the moment of their birth until they self-weaned somewhere between 14 and 18 months.

When pregnant with my first child I made the commitment to breastfeed. I had no support from family, no friends who had breastfeeding experience that could be shared, no words of wisdom, no advice to be offered, no where to turn for help. I myself wasn’t even breastfed, nor did I know anyone who was. Bottle feeding had become the normal and accepted way to feed a baby. I questioned the notion of portion control and a one-size-fits-all scientific “formula” (pun intended) for what babies should eat. My intuition told me breastfeeding was better. I set out with my conviction, my desire to be successful, a newborn baby and two functioning breasts.

It seemed with everything in place anatomically – a healthy milk supply and a baby who needed to be fed – I’d undoubtedly be successful, presumably with little effort. I soon found this was not necessarily the case. I had a fussy newborn child with a latch issue, engorged breasts full of milk and an excruciating case of mastitis. As I quickly learned, even with all the necessary parts in place there is no guarantee breastfeeding will come easily. The natural thing doesn’t always come naturally. Like other skills in life, sometimes it must be learned. With a shelf of books, the phone number of a lactation consultant and determination for success I set about learning it. I became a sponge for knowledge and soon saw the fruits of my labor, my happy, healthy, thriving infant daughter. With relative speed breastfeeding became second nature. I found myself easily and comfortably nursing in the mall or grocery store. My determination to be successful and desire to give my child the best was indeed bearing fruit.

I subsequently took this passion and determination into my profession as a Registered Nurse caring for mothers and their newborn children and then to my community to spread the good news: It can be done! Not always effortlessly, and not without some support. But it can indeed be accomplished. And the extra effort pays off in all the ways mentioned above and more. As a community of parents we can support each other in this effort with encouragement and information, stories of successes and lessons from failures. We, as mothers, and as a culture, have the power and solemn responsibility to make choices that will positively effect the lives of our children and thus the future of our society. Feeding your baby in this natural way is the first simple step.

bestfeeding , breastfeeding , mothering , parenting

Boobs.

I have two. Surprise.

They work really good. At feeding babies and other things, like making my shirts not fit.

Recently there has been somewhat of a controversy brewing over on facebook regarding photos depicting babies/children breastfeeding. Several women who have profile and/or album pictures of themselves nursing their children have had their photos and/or entire accounts deleted because of “objectionable content”. This has led to a kind of online protest. Apparently “objectionable content” includes a half exposed breast being used for the purposes of feeding.

For example this:
Would be deleted.

And this:
Would also be deleted.

That is my baby. And yes, those are my breasts. (Well one of my breasts. The one on the other side looks just about identical.) Those photos of my infant child enjoying her booby time are considered objectionable by facebook standards.

This one though, is just fine.

By the way this is Heidi Montag (in case you live in a cave). I did not actually get this picture from facebook but I have a good fb friend who has a photo of herself far more scantily clad than this so Heidi pales in comparison. I didn’t ask my friend if I could use her photo otherwise I would have just to make a point. Anyway. There you go. Appropriate. By facebook standards.

(Those aren’t real. Just in case you were confused and thought we had evolved into milking cows.)

Here’s the law: Cal. Civil Code § 43.3 (1997) allows a mother to breastfeed her child in any location, public or private, EXCEPT the private home or residence of another, where the mother and the child are otherwise authorized to be present. (AB 157) (emphasis mine). Ok so facebook is a private site and therefore can apparently self govern so I guess laws about breastfeeding don’t specifically apply to them because technically facebook is considered a “home”. Go ahead read that again, see if it makes sense. It doesn’t.

Now, I’m not one to get my panties in a bunch over much but there are a few things at the top of my list and guess what, breastfeeding is one of them.

There are a few reasons for this:

a. Because of my education and health care background I happen to know scientifically (not that that means much) of the health benefits of breastfeeding. In case you didn’t know they include things like improved health of mother and baby, reduced cancer risks and protection against asthma, diabetes, leukemia and a host of other things. If you need more than that, read the link above. I’d hope not.

b. Because I’ve seen firsthand (four times now) what breastfeeding (and especially exclusive and prolonged breastfeeding) can do for a mother and her baby.

c. Because we are one of the most educated and advanced countries in the world (or so I’m told) and yet we still breastfeed our babies less and for a shorter duration than many other countries (see here for data).

d. Because I think (this is just me thinking btw) that a whole load of the problems in our country are directly related to a few things. One of those things is parent-child bonding and attachment. If you aren’t attached to your breastfeeding baby you’re a monster, or you have a detachable breast, which last I checked isn’t possible.

There you go. Reasons a through d. (Also on the list of “thing to get your panties in a bunch about”: racism, sexism, homophobia and fear mongering. Just so you’re aware of my hot points.)

So like I said this one chaps my hide just a little bit. Besides being utterly ridiculous it only further perpetuates the image of breastfeeding being somehow sexual in nature (right, because milk is so sexy) when we need to be normalizing it as part of our culture.

I nurse in public. Yep. I’m one of those women. I just take my breast right out at the dinner table of a restaurant or in a store or at the mall or wherever I happen to be when Ella is hungry. You know, cause she’s HUNGRY. I’m certainly not going to make her wait to eat while I go find some filthy empty bathroom stall. No. Thank. You. Also, I don’t generally cover her head because, well, that’s silly. I’m not hanging my nipple out for goodness sake. I realize I’m not saying anything that hasn’t been said a hundred million times by breastfeeding advocates all over the world, I’m just saying it again. Because *some* people appear to not be getting the picture.

Like this one:


The picture of a happy, healthy, exclusively breastfed baby.

breastfeeding , breasts , hot points

To the non-medical types that word might mean nothing. But to those who have used it, that word might mean the difference between panic and sanity. You know what I’m talking about.

Xanax.

I’ve never taken it.

But, with the holidays approaching… well, I’m still not taking it.

We should talk about my family. I don’t think it would be completely out of line to perhaps have a candy dish of said alprazolam on hand for such stress-laden holiday events as Thanksgiving. I can’t talk about the crazy parts of my family because that would be rude. Not that they read my blog. But anyway. It’s rude to say your family is crazy. I’m pretty sure.

Thanksgiving is approaching. I’m cooking for the Hubs, the big kids, Sister (if she can make it after eating in 2 other places) and my perpetually single father. (He’s funny, attractive and 60 [but acts 45] years old and available, ladies.) I should say “We” are cooking because the Hubs will be in the kitchen too. He’s that guy. Anyway we are not going to the Big Family Dinner. That’s another blog post. Xanax not necessary. I hope.

Once I had a patient who kept a candy dish of vicodin on the table next to his easy chair. (Privacy disclaimer: Because all patients are protected by HIPPA, as they should be, I will not reveal details about patients or their families. I will not reveal details about specific illnesses nor will I reveal names or locations. Specific situations will be slightly altered to protect privacy. Because most of my readers know where I live there is no point in me trying to pretend I live somewhere else or not reveal where I live at all. My patients privacy is of utmost importance to me so I will not compromise it. If something I say resembles you or someone you know, I promise you, it is only coincidence. OK. That is all.) Anywho, candy dish of vicodin… I thought that was funny at the time but now I see it’s just a matter of convienence. I mean you keep the remote next to your chair right? Right. Save yourself the trip to the cupboard. (I don’t advocate the use of so much of any medication that you ought to have it in a candy dish. By the way.) This is purely anectodal and has no real bearing on this blog post except that it’s funny that someone would keep vicodin in a candy dish. Thankfully no one actually expected to find candy in his house.

All you’re likely to find in the candy dish here is actual candy.

And probably some turkey. Probably.

holidays