Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Breastfeeding is hard

*Warning* This is not for the faint at heart.

Fine, don't say I didn't warn you.

Breastfeeding is hard. I know it seems like the most natural thing--what our bodies are made to do. You make milk, you stick a baby on there, how complicated can it be? Unless you have done it , you have no idea. It sucks! Your breasts--they have a mind of their own, ok? They swell up; they ache; they get rock hard (and I mean rock hard); they have veins popping out of them like they turned into the Incredible Hulk; they freaking L.E.A.K. when you least expect it, they can shoot milk across the room even though your sweet baby is sitting in your lap, mouth agape in front of you (and more than once, milk shot right into my baby's eyes). Did I mention your nipples stretch out like an inch or more thanks to the sucking action of the baby and/or your freakish breast pump. And lest us not forget, they itch like a word that rhymes with witch.

Breastfeeding is hard.

Even if your baby takes to feeding like a champ, it is hard. But those whose babies do not have a great latch (like my first) or prefer the bottle (like my second) have extra challenges.

Breastfeeding requires nerves of steel.

I have a friend who is working night and day to breastfeed her child as I type. I have another friend who breastfed her baby until he was 3. I have yet anther friend who thought nothing of wiping her nipply out anytime, any place, without shield to feed her baby. I was never that strong.

I did have my breast pump--a double pump to speed up the process. Boy, that was interesting. And a bit painful. And freaky to see since everything was in clear plastic. But nothing I could not live with knowing about myself.

Eventually, my babies weaned. My breast pads were tossed in the trash. My pump--sold on ebay to the highest bidder. It was just a memory. But today I had a run in with a woman who reminded me how hard breastfeeding can be.

I ate Mexican for lunch. A refried bean taco salad to be exact. And by the time I was at preschool to pick up The Girl, it hit me. I took off for the potty like nobody's business. Now, our preschool has a really nice potty. It is big, it is clean and it has--get this--a couch! Right there in the bathroom! No kidding. It also has a really nice, curtained off area for nursing moms--complete with rocking chairs. That bathroom is nicer than the break room at most companies. It is set up for quiet, peaceful, reflection. And here I came.

So, I burst in and run to the potty and realize that there is a woman who has set up her breast pump and is ready to pump. But I cannot wait--I have to go. So, I do what any human being would do and I go. From my stall I can hear the pump turning on. My mind takes me back to those days. The pump is not comfortable, but is a tool. When it is on, it literally pulls your nipple and sucks out the milk out of your body. And it feels about like it sounds. The storage bags even come with a slot to hold your baby's picture so that you can "let down" your milk easier without your baby with you. I never had to use it. I always pumped at home. But here is this Mom--no baby--at work, pumping. And here I am, in the stall close by, making horrible noises and smells. (Remember, not for the faint at heart here.) I tried to hold it in people. I really did. I even thought about apologizing from the stall, but could not figure out how to say that and make us both not feel more uncomfortable than we already did. I knew she was trying to relax and get into that zone--the milk zone. And me and my poop had interfered. The farts did not help. *sigh*

Needless to say, I cleaned up asap and left as fast as I had entered, all the while silently apologizing for the scent stamp I had left behind.

Like I said, breastfeeding is hard--really hard. You have to do all sort of things you never in your life imagined you would do, like have a machine clamped to you left breast in a public restroom while strangers were relieving themselves. But you do it. Cause that is what being a parent is all about.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A wee wish for you....

Happy St. Patrick's Day!
We are celebrating by, of course, wearing green (I hate getting pinched--don't you?) The in laws went to Ireland last year and brought back Irish t-shirts, so the kids are getting to wear them today. I am desperately trying to figure out how much of their food I can die green. The preschool I used to work at always had green milk all day on St. Patty's which was super fun, but a bit gross. I am phobic about drinking bad milk. If I ever did drink bad milk, I am not sure I could ever fully recover. But the centerpiece of our festivities is the leprechaun trap. Yes, we are going to try and catch ourselves a little elfin magic!

As I type, The Girl is painting a shoe box green--the preferred color of the leprechaun.

Here she is beating the beejeebus of out the brush.
Once the paint dries, we will decorate it with these green flower stickers. We even made fool's gold. A little enticement for the wee sprite made from contact paper and gold glitter. He won't know until it is too late!

When school lets out, we will have The Boy join in by going on a clover hunt. We will stuff all of these goodies into the little leprechaun "house" which will be propped up by a stick. Then lights out. When the little man shows and goes all Stingy from Lazy Town up in here, he will bump into the stick, thus, trapping him in our secret trap. At least that is the theory. We will see how it pans out tonight. Until then.....

May God give you...
For every storm, a rainbow,
For every tear, a smile,
For every care, a promise,
And a blessing in each trial.
For every problem life sends,
A faithful friend to share,
For every sigh, a sweet song,
And an answer for each prayer.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

We interrupt this program

To bring you funny animal pictures I have recently taken.
The Hiding Cow. AKA Incownitio
Does this make me look fat? Cause I feel like it makes me look fat.
One of these things is not like the other. One of these things just does not belong.

Oh, Hi.

You may now return to your regularly scheduled program. This has been a RHSC presentation.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Beauty is in the Details

I have decided to participate in the Beautiful Life by The Inspired Room. She has been talking about finding beauty in the details and when I was thinking about what I would post, I immediately realized, I had the perfect example. Let me explain.

This is my house.

I don't have a large house in a really fancy suburb. It is a 1974 split level cookie cutter house that we are slowly modernizing. But still, it is nothing about it that is going to command your attention and make you say "Look at that house!" My yard is full of crab grass and mud. My driveway is cracked. My roof is missing shingles. I forgot to put out mulch last year and I have weeds in my garden. But I promise you, the house is full of details.

I love the way the sun hits it in the afternoon.

I love that my kids can ride their bikes on the road.

I love the trees that surround the house--old and rugged.

I love the flowers that we plant in the spring and bloom all summer long.

And the way the snow decorates my garden in the winter.

Even if the windows are old and in need of a wash, they are lovely when I see the people that live in my house.

And that is how I try to live a beautiful life.

Monday, March 2, 2009

'ho and Tell

This is what The Girl calls show and tell. Funny, I know...

We have been a whole bunch of sick around here for about a week. So, not much to report. Last time I was sickly, I took a 7 month sabbatical from blogging. I promise not to do that this time. :) I think...