October 29, 2010

The Week In Rant: Spooky Halloween Edition

It's Friday! Time for The Week In Rant!  

1. Favre Wants to Play
2. Wedding Stress
3. You Won't Let Your Daughter Play With What?

1. FAVRE WANTS TO PLAY
Remember when you were a little kid and you got hurt or sick but you begged and pleaded with your mom and dad to let you out to play anyway? That's what Brett Favre reminds me of. A silly little kid who is throwing a tantrum and refusing to sit it out and just heal. I know that T-Jack as a backup isn't the greatest idea in the world, but do we want a broken Favre on the field either?

Do you think Favre should sit this one out?  Do you wish Favre would just go away altogether?

2. WEDDING STRESS
My brother's wedding is 8 days away. The stress is mounting. My husband and I are bickering. There is no way on God's green earth that my 2 year old is going to actually stand still to have his picture taken (despite how uber debonair he will look in his little tuxedo), or get down the aisle for that matter. My first, last and ONLY rehearsal with the pianist is tomorrow. I feel ready, but am nervous- it has been years since I sang in front of a live (and BIG) audience like this (no, drunken karaoke doesn't count). So, I showed up to work today, took a deep breath and decided not to sweat the small stuff. It's not my day. It's my brother's. Despite the lack of communication and coordination of the wedding party logistics (which has really been driving a type-A freak like me insane), I am going to suck it up and go with the flow. No more whining. No more complaining. No more thinking this day has anything to do with me. I expected this much and more when I got married 5 years ago. The least I could do is return the favor without any bitching. 

 Do weddings stress you out? How do you overcome it?

3. YOU WON'T LET YOUR DAUGHTER PLAY WITH WHAT?? 
I've talked a little bit about my "friend" who had a baby back in January of this year. The more we talk about our kids and how we are choosing to raise them the more I find us on opposite ends of the parenting spectrum. I've said a million times- there is no right way and everyone has to make the best choices for themselves from breastfeeding, to childcare (private home vs daycare center) to crying it out (and the list goes on). She made a comment the other day that floored me. She said, "The day I buy my daughter a toy vacuum cleaner or a kitchen set will be a cold day in hell." I gave her a confused look and said, "Why?" She responded, "I don't want her to think that those things are a woman's job." To which I snorted (yes, I snorted in my own self-righteous mommy moment) and said, "Well, geez. I hope my son doesn't grow up thinking he's a girl because he loves to help mommy and daddy by pretending to vacuum, prepare meals and mow the lawn." I told her that I picked Jack up from school one day and him and his buddies were "cooking hamburgers". He held up the little plastic hamburger and said, "Want one mommy?" to which I said, "Oh yes! Delicious Jackson!" Her daughter isn't even 1 yet and she's worrying about gender roles. Perhaps she should consider buying her something other than the color pink to wear then.

Do you have any toys that you refuse to let your children play with (other than the ones that are clearly inappropriate for their age)?

Have a fantastic (albeit chilly) weekend- bundle those little ones up! Happy Halloween! 

October 28, 2010

My Toddler Plays With an iPhone...

... and I encourage it!


I recently upgraded my phone to an iPhone 4 and little Jack of course inherited my hand-me-down 3G. I wiped it of all of my more adult-centered apps (i.e. social media, restaurant finders, etc.) and it now has his toddler-centric apps only on it as well as a few of his favorite Pixar movies.

I have heard many comments made over whether or not letting a toddler play with an iPhone is just encouraging video games at a much earlier age and "books are so much better." I don't disagree with either of these criticisms; however, I feel it is up to parents to monitor exactly what is on these iPhones before letting their toddlers play with them. He doesn't have just any old games on it. He has games that teach him the alphabet, words, numbers, songs, animals... I could go on and on at how beneficial these games have been! At daycare, he doesn't have any connection to this type of technology. He spends his days reading, playing outside at recess, doing artwork and participating in dramatic play just to name a few. When he comes home, he is physically tired and we really kind of let him make the decision when he gets home at night in terms of what he'd like to do (to an extent...). Sometimes he plays with toys, sometimes he runs wild but a lot of the time he just sits and chills with his iPhone and plays his "games" before dinner. I certainly don't feel that he is being damaged. He maybe spends anywhere from 5-30 minutes on it at best and it certainly doesn't serve as a babysitter. I often ask him questions about what he is playing and for the ABC's-type apps I ask him to repeat the letters and words rather than just look at them. How does that differ from a Leapster or V-Tech learning system?

Here are some of the apps that Jack has on his iPhone:
Toddler Phone
Little People Farm
Peekaboo Wild (my kid learned to say crocodile from this app at a very early age)
Peekaboo Farm
Baby Flash Cards
Old MacDonald Farm
Animal Show
Animal Sounds
Alphabet
Roundhouse
Speak, Piggy!
ABC's & Me
iGo Potty
Toddler Zoo

I confess he probably doesn't need this app, but he laughs at it hysterically (must be a man thing): iToot.

I get so tired of the self-righteous moms out there criticizing things like this. We are still parenting him. We choose when he plays with it, how long he plays with it and what he is exposed to on it. We make sure he is learning something. We are interactive. WE call the shots. I'm sure there is a wrong way to go about it, but I feel pretty confident that we are doing okay.

What is your opinion on toddlers and iPhones? Love 'em or ditch 'em? 

October 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

I have been preparing for my brother's wedding which is coming up in a very short week and a half.

I am nervous to be singing in the wedding.
I am concerned about freezing to death in a strapless dress and sandals.
But most of all? I am nostalgic.

I just went to my future sister-in-law's bachelorette party (and I might still be recovering from it). We drove around town in this:
Yes. Those are stripper poles.
While I didn't have a bus with stripper poles (I'll leave the blow up doll that looked strangely like my husband out of this...), I did have an awesome time at my own bachelorette party:
My Ladies
Got to meet Brian Setzer at Nye's
I treasure my memories!

Cheers,

October 26, 2010

I Guess I'm Disgusting

According to this article, I am disgusting.

If you don't have the time to click over and read this article, let me give you the run down. It was written by some skinny bitch who:
1) Hates fat people
2) Has never been fat in her entire life

Her article, which I will try to recap first without bias, is basically meant to be a discussion on the TV show Mike and Molly and whether or not it is uncomfortable to watch intimacy between two plus-sized people.

This article really is horrific from the start. Take the title for example:  
Should Fatties Get a Room? (Even on TV?)

I think it speaks for itself how far downhill this article goes after that.

"My initial response was: Hmm, being overweight is one thing — those people are downright obese! And while I think our country's obsession with physical perfection is unhealthy, I also think it's at least equally crazy, albeit in the other direction, to be implicitly promoting obesity! Yes, anorexia is sick, but at least some slim models are simply naturally skinny. No one who is as fat as Mike and Molly can be healthy. And obesity is costing our country far more in terms of all the related health problems we are paying for, by way of our insurance, than any other health problem, even cancer."

The show promotes obesity? Really? Perhaps the network decided to put a show on about REAL PEOPLE.  At least some slim models are simply naturally skinny? Did you ever think that many of the folks that are obese ARE NATURALLY OBESE? She makes comments that Mike and Molly are not healthy- does she know that for a fact? How much is it costing our country- where are her facts? Proof? She is obviously a novice journalist.

"So anyway, yes, I think I'd be grossed out if I had to watch two characters with rolls and rolls of fat kissing each other ... because I'd be grossed out if I had to watch them doing anything. To be brutally honest, even in real life, I find it aesthetically displeasing to watch a very, very fat person simply walk across a room — just like I'd find it distressing if I saw a very drunk person stumbling across a bar or a heroine addict slumping in a chair."

There are a lot of things that gross me out, but I am not so rude and cruel to write about them. IN MARIE CLAIRE nonetheless.

"But ... I think obesity is something that most people have a ton of control over. It's something they can change, if only they put their minds to it."

ARE YOU KIDDING ME???? Many obese people CANNOT control it- there are many that have medical conditions that cause it not to mention hereditary dispositions. It is not always mind over matter. I really want to slap her.

"(I'm happy to give you some nutrition and fitness suggestions if you need them — but long story short, eat more fresh and unprocessed foods, read labels and avoid foods with any kind of processed sweetener in them whether it's cane sugar or high fructose corn syrup, increase the amount of fiber you're getting, get some kind of exercise for 30 minutes at least five times a week, and do everything you can to stand up more — even while using your computer — and walk more. I admit that there's plenty that makes slimming down tough, but YOU CAN DO IT! Trust me. It will take some time, but you'll also feel so good, physically and emotionally. A nutritionist or personal trainer will help — and if you can't afford one, visit your local YMCA for some advice.)"

What the holy hell was the purpose of this condescending paragraph (and what the hell is with the parenthesis around the whole thing?)?? If you haven't already stuck enough knives into my heart (through all my layers of fat) you want to give me ADVICE on how to lose weight? She says "Trust me." Why should I trust someone who has NEVER been fat a single day in their life? Is she a trainer or nutritionist or is she just another skinny bitch at the gym making the rest of us feel awkward? If you read Maura Kelly's bio you will see that it appears she had to overcome anorexia. You would think she would have the common sense to understand how damaging writing an article like this could do to someone's self-esteem.

To sum it up, this is the most degrading, hurtful and awful piece of crap writing I have ever come across. While a small part of me appreciates her not holding back, and holy shit, there was no holding back on her disdain for large people; I would think as someone who has the opportunity to freelance for a publication like Marie Claire, she should know (if she were at least remotely professional) that she has a sense of responsibility to write something with a little more class. Something that doesn't further shatter the self-esteem of plus-sized women across the world.

I have discussed my struggles to lose weight after having my son. I have a stubborn 10lbs that will not leave me despite, oh what is it that she suggests? "Eat more fresh and unprocessed foods, read labels and avoid foods with any kind of processed sweetener in them whether it's cane sugar or high fructose corn syrup, increase the amount of fiber you're getting, get some kind of exercise for 30 minutes at least five times a week, and do everything you can to stand up more — even while using your computer — and walk more." Oh yes. I have tried those things and more, and let me tell YOU Miss Kelly: When you don't see the results after 2 years of busting your ass, it is pretty easy to give up.

Say what you want Maura Kelly about how fat and disgusting I am- at least I am married and have a child with an amazing man who loves me JUST AS I AM. So... tell me again? How's that single life treating you?

October 25, 2010

Unplugging

Recently, I was asked why I am nowhere to be found in the social media world on the weekend. Awhile ago, I made a conscious decision that I would unplug on the weekend for the following reasons:

1) Family. My son spends Monday through Friday at daycare for approximately 9.5 hours a day. On a good week, I get about 15 hours total with him (and that is only if we keep him up a little later). On the weekend, he gets all of my attention. There are many weekend days that I don't get to my e-mail until he goes down for a nap around 1pm. It makes me a little sad sometimes that I get so little time with him; therefore, I don't need to be checking my Facebook and Twitter every second of the day- I should be spending that time with him.

2) Time. I don't have enough of it. When I'm not spending the majority of my time with Jack there is cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping. These days, I am preparing to be in and sing in a wedding (just 2 weeks away now). That means: music rehearsals, shopping, parties... I also have 2 weddings coming in 2011, both of which I will be involved in some capacity which means more shopping, parties, etc. I was the first to marry out of many of my friends and I knew my day would come that I would be doing the bridesmaid thing in spades. But I love my girls so I participate with great honor. You could see how that would leave little time for my Social Media world.

3) Mental Break. Unplugging for a couple days really helps me to clear the brain. There was a time when I was addicted to and borderline obsessed with Social Media. From silly Facebook games to just being glued to my Twitter feed- I was spending a great deal of time being totally mindless and unconnected to the rest of my life. Unplugging allows me to spend time working on other projects.

Don't get me wrong. If I get a few minutes of downtime or if I'm suddenly an insomniac, I'll check in and see what's going on. If I have a cute picture to share or something awesome is going on, I'll post it. I'm just refusing to let the computer (and iPhone for that matter) occupy my entire existence.

How much time do you spend on Social Media? Do you ever take time to unplug?

October 22, 2010

The Week In Rant: Scandal Edition

Welcome to your Friday! It's time for THE WEEK IN RANT!

Firstly, I'm testing out some new designs for my blog trying to find one that feels like a right fit for me. If you like something, hate it or have any recommendations, please let me know! I welcome the feedback.

This edition of The Week In Rant includes:
1) The Brett Favre Sexting Scandal
2) Glee- Stripped Down in GQ
3) Getting Old

1) BRETT FAVRE
Honestly. I don't know what to think or how I even feel about this whole thing other than to say, I'm not really all that shocked by it. I had heard that he was a bit of a dirty bird, but whatever- stuff like this swirls around the super-celeb sports stars all the time. I can appreciate that both him and his wife Deanna refuse to comment on it. I feel bad for Deanna that she even has to deal with it at all- whether it is true on not. She's such a sweet lady and has been through a LOT, if this turns out to be true, Brett Favre is a huge jerk. You are the oldest guy playing football- time to grow up.

2) GLEE- STRIPPED DOWN IN GQ
I wasn't going to let this drama go without my opinion. Here's the deal. GLEE IS NOT A CHILDREN'S SHOW. Parents: it is up to us to manage and control what our children are exposed to. If they are exposed to it, then you should really choose to make it a teachable moment. Let them know it is not real. It is TV. Teach them about making moral decisions. I don't keep GQ sitting around my house, so other than this picture popping up all over the internet there is really no chance of it being seen in my house. If you like Glee but don't want your kids to watch it- DVR it and watch later. We cannot control what Hollywood puts out there, but we can control in our own homes what we allow our kids to see. As far as whether or not the picture is appropriate? *sigh* It really isn't the worst I've ever seen. I remember Britney's school girl "Hit Me Baby One More Time" being controversial too, this doesn't seem all that different.

3) GETTING OLDER
Getting older. That's me. I'm heading out to a Bachelorette Party this weekend that will involve a party bus. 10 years ago, this would've been the best thing ever. Now? Yikes. Not only will partying until 2am be extremely taxing on my 34 year old body, but I dread the hangover the next day which I will have regardless of whether I have 1 beer or 10. On the other hand... I'm pretty honored that my future sister-in-law thinks I'm cool enough to hang.


October 21, 2010

Love Is...

Once upon a time I had an addiction to forwarded e-mails. Chain letters, jokes, pictures... you remember back in the year 2000 when that was cool, right? I HATE them now with every fiber of my being. There are some folks who still send them to me, some more than others, and about 99% of the time I delete them without reading them at all. Every once in awhile, I get a gem. This is one of them that is too sweet not to share with the masses:


 What Love means to a 4-8 year old . .
Slow down for three minutes to read this. It is so worth it. Touching words from the mouth of babes.
A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4 to 8 year-olds, 'What does love mean?'

The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined See what you think:


'When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore.
So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That's love.'

Rebecca- age 8


'When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different.
You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.'

Billy - age 4


'Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other..'

Karl - age 5


'Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs.'

Chrissy - age 6


'Love is what makes you smile when you're tired.'

Terri - age 4


'Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK.'

Danny - age 7


'Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more.
My Mommy and Daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss'

Emily - age 8


'Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.'

Bobby - age 7 (Wow!)


'If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate,'

Nikka - age 6
(we need a few million more Nikka's on this planet)


'Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday.'

Noelle - age 7


'Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well.'

Tommy - age 6


'During my piano recital, I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling.

He was the only one doing that. I wasn't scared anymore..'

Cindy - age 8


'My mommy loves me more than anybody
You don't see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night.'

Clare - age 6


'Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken.'

Elaine-age 5


'Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford.'

Chris - age 7


'Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day.'

Mary Ann - age 4


'I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones.'

Lauren - age 4


'When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you.' (what an image)

Karen - age 7

this one
'Love is when Mommy sees Daddy on the toilet and she doesn't think it's gross.'

Mark - age 6


'You really shouldn't say 'I love you' unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget.'

Jessica - age 8


And the final one

The winner was a four year old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife.

Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman's yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there.

When his Mother asked what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said,

'Nothing, I just helped him cry'

October 20, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

I had a fabulous weekend celebrating 5 years with my husband. We celebrated with one of my oldest friends/former college roommates and her husband. I imbibed way too much and payed the price the next day. Was it worth it? Yup.

October 15, 2010

The Week In Rant

It's Friday again which means it is time for The Week In Rant!

1. Is the Doctor Always Right?
2. Weight Loss Motivation
3. Celebrating 5 Years of Marriage

1. Is the Doctor Always Right? 
This past Wednesday, we got a call from daycare to come and pick up Jack because he had discharge coming out of his eyes. Of course pinkeye is suspect, but we had to see for ourselves. We were on the fence about it being pinkeye but of course daycare would not let him back unless we brought him to a doctor. Turns out he had an ear infection, but when asked about his eyes, she said that it was indeed conjunctivitis. Aren't the eyes supposed to be red with pinkeye? Thus the name? I trusted her, got his antibiotics and we went on our merry way. The next morning, Jack's eyes were perfectly clear. Could one evening of drops really have fixed it or was she wrong in her diagnosis? We've seen this before and another doctor said it was because of his sinuses.

It is hard enough to make decisions for our kids and sometimes, I feel like I have no choice but to trust the doctors.

When do you trust your doctor and when do you go with your gut mom instincts?

2. Weight Loss Motivation
I find this somewhat hilarious, but yet I am frightened all at the same time. My husband and his buddy decided that they needed to do something drastic to lose the weight and keep it off. So, instead of putting money or rewards on the table, they took it one step further and devised consequences. Their contracts (yes, they wrote up contracts) state that they are to lose 15% of their body weight by Memorial Day. Should they fail, they will have to follow through with their punishments. My husband, with his full luscious head of hair will have to shave himself bald and grow out his facial hair (trimming allowed). I can vouch for him that he will not make a good bald man and we'll just say that facial hair isn't his strong suit. His buddy, who is balding so he shaves his hair regularly and wears a thick man goatee is going to have to grow his hair out and shave his goatee. They must continue with their punishments until their goals have been reached. This may not sound all that horrifying to you, but to them? These are the worst punishments possible and they will do ANYthing to not have to follow through.

How is it going in the first week? From my outside perspective, my husband is not off to a great start. Sorry, honey! Totino's Party Pizza is not really part of a balanced diet and only one day of walking the dog is probably not going to do much.

I have to chuckle a little because I understand how hard it is. For me, it seems there is nothing in the world that is big enough motivation for me to actually get started and stay on the path of healthy living. I make excuses and they all seem reasonable for me. My husband and I enable each other, too. Everything from having a long day or a busy weekend is an excuse for making garbage food for dinner. I've begun to take some baby steps- I can only eat out for lunch one day a week and I have to log my food on WeightWatchers.com. I'm still dealing with some migraine issues, so exercise is slow go. So, I'm parking further away at the office and taking the long way to the ladies room. Baby steps.

I'm not sure what would be a big enough consequence for me to actually force myself into healthy living. If you had to choose a consequence for not meeting your goals, what would it be?

3. Celebrating 5 Years of Marriage
Today, my husband and I are celebrating our 5 year wedding anniversary. Every year, I think about that amazing wedding weekend. For me, it was a real life fairy tale and my dream come true. However, I'm not going to sit here and tell you that the last 5 years have been total wedded bliss. Marriage is not easy. It takes work. We've had ups and downs. We've dealt with a miscarriage and infertility. We traveled the world. We built a house. We miraculously got pregnant and had a child. After adding a child to our home, our marriage became even more of a challenge. We have had to learn a whole new way of working together for a common goal. We don't always agree. We don't always get along. We often nit pick each other. There are sometimes tears.

But at the end of the day there is love. We love each other. Regardless of all of our crazy life changes we still love each other as much as we did the day we walked that aisle and said our vows.

October 13, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

I had Monday off for Columbus Day. One of those random holidays that I get as a Credit Union employee. This year, the kiddo's daycare was closed too. My husband didn't take the day off so Jack and I decided to have a little Mommy-Son time and we took a trip to the MN Zoo.

We had the best time!


Once over his fear of this giant copper turtle, he proceeded to pet the turtle as well as point out all of its body parts. You can imagine why our dog runs away from him at home...

October 10, 2010

This Is My Reality

It was a busy weekend.

It wasn't busy in the sense where I was running around all over the place or there were a thousand things to do. My husband went away for the weekend with the guys (he even took the dog) and it was just me and my little man. It isn't so much that it is hard to be alone with him for 2 days, it is just a different sort of busy. He's 2. He's demanding. He often requires to be entertained. He always needs a watchful eye. He needs 3 square meals + 2 snacks a day, diaper changes, potty training practice. Did I mention naps? He needs a nap.

There is one small thing I have prided myself on since bringing home my little bundle. I have very consistently kept him on schedule. This schedule matches closely with what he does at daycare Monday through Friday. This schedule keeps him happy and rested. This schedule keeps him steady and mommy and daddy sane. However, this schedule often interferes with the various parties and activities we are often invited to on the weekend. I often tell people that from about 12-3 we can't always make it to places during that time or that we'll be late. We understand that people need to move forward with their plans and we would never expect anyone to change things just for us and our "schedule".

Today, we were told "Oh, yes, 3:00 will be just fine. Come whenever" We walk in the door, and everyone had already eaten. We were given some reheated pieces of leftover chicken fingers and dried out pasta salad. The excuse was that they hadn't eaten all day and that the food was ready early and they didn't want to let it sit. Again. I didn't ask anyone to wait for us. All I ask for is a little common courtesy. If dinner was going to be served at 2:00, just tell me. Tell me because walking in late and having to eat second hand food was hurtful. Tell me because I have a 2 year old whose needs are more important than mine- one who isn't going to eat rubbery, reheated leftover chicken finger pieces. Tell me so I don't feel like an idiot walking in what I guess was, late. In this day and age of cell phone and e-mail, not a single person at this party thought it was the least bit important to pick up the phone and say they were going to go ahead and eat without us. It would've been okay. I wouldn't have felt so rushed. We could've made it in time for cake and not look like jerks for being late.

I'm hurt. I don't expect the world to revolve around me and my uber-scheduled child, but I do expect common courtesy from the people who are close to me.

Right now, a 2 year old that naps in the afternoon is my reality. I won't apologize for it, especially to those who refuse to understand.

October 08, 2010

The Week In Rant

It is Friday! That means it is time for THE WEEK IN RANT.

1) The MN Twins
2) Randy Moss
3) The piss me off article of the week

1) Yeah... the MN Twins are going down in flames. I am a lifelong Twins fan who had the likes of Kent Hrbek plastered on my wall and the number 14 on my back all my years of playing softball. I love the MN Twins. Just because they are going to lose to the Yankees (again) doesn't stop my love. I'm still a fan. I'm proud that they made it this far in the first place despite injuries to their top players and despite a bullpen that frankly, sucks. I'm proud that they have a fabulous new stadium to play in which truly feels like baseball, even just driving by along 394. I love my Twins and will continue to cheer them on even though I know this weekend will likely mark the end of their season. I'll cheer them on in hopes that they can tell the Yankees to stick it for one more game.

2) I get the hype that comes with Randy Moss. When he's good, he's GOOD and we definitely need some GOOD receivers for the Favre to throw to. I haven't forgotten what a total pain in the ass this guy is though. I really hope he is able to get over himself and get out there and play the game. I appreciate that he's added some excitement back to Viking's Football with the slow start this season. I'm very much looking forward to watching our good ol' Randy Moss hit the field on Sunday!

3) I saved my biggest rant for last. This article, Why I Hate Infant Formula Companies, really pissed me off. I agree that formula marketing efforts are pretty stupid most of the time in their claims. But COME ON. I did not choose to formula feed my kid because of a commercial or a can that I saw on the shelf at Target. I had to formula feed so my baby could live!! My decision didn't happen in the hospital or at my OB's office, they left the decision to breastfeed or formula feed ENTIRELY up to me. There was no pressure either way and they gave me all of the information I needed/requested and answered my questions about both. I love both the hospital and my OB/GYN for letting me have a choice. I desperately wanted to make breastfeeding work, but after 5 days of my son not getting anything to eat except about a teaspoon of supplemental formula here and there we officially hit failure to thrive, his jaundice was worsening and I no longer had a choice.

This article also says that 4 out of 100 babies die in the US because they are not being breastfed. Really? That is the only reason? Were they preemies? Were there underlying conditions? People. Breastfeeding is not a magic potion. Breastfed babies can still get sick. If I place my non-breastfed son next to my manager's breastfed daughter- she has been just as sick if not more sick than my kid. It did not stop her little baby from developing pneumonia, thrush, roseola and 5th disease in the first 9 months of her life. I'm not debating that breast milk doesn't have wonderfully healthy nutrients in it (so long as the mother has a healthy diet and lifestyle as well). I'm simply saying that mothers deserve to have choices and should be given all of the information BIAS FREE to aid in making their decision.

Yes, I am angry that formula had to be recalled. I'm also angry that strollers, cribs, nappers, playpens, spinach, beef, etc., etc., ETC. have to be recalled. Cripes. I wish that everything was perfect and safe in this world, but that is just being naive. I won't put my son in a bubble. I think my point is, that we can't keep blaming the damn companies and their marketing- it is an insult to my intelligence. So please, PLEASE I beg of you, stop shoving breastfeeding down our throats. Give people the benefit of the doubt and let them make the decision that is right for them.

I apologize. I know I rant on this subject a lot. If there is one thing that has driven me nuts about being a new mom it is the insane amount of the unsolicited opinions and advice that I get on nearly a daily basis. I am able to mute a lot of it out, but this one angers me the most because formula was the one thing that saved my son's life. I am not telling anyone not to breastfeed, nor am I some big formula nazi (nor do I work for a formula company! ha!). I am telling new moms out there to use their brains and make the best decision for their own situation.

Rant complete. Happy Friday!

October 07, 2010

When the Husband Is Away The Mice Will...

POTTY TRAIN! 


My husband is going up north this weekend for a "Guy's Weekend". He's been encouraging me to take Jack out of the house and do something. Go to the zoo, the mall... just SOMEthing. It's not that I don't want to take him out or that I'm scared to take him out, but let's face it, taking a 2 year old out anywhere is a lot of work for two people to manage let alone MY 2 year old who is going through an independent streak of "I do it." which means running blindly through parking lots, malls and throwing mega tantrums when it is time to leave.

My husband used to travel extensively for work in my son's early years and it was during those weeks that I would put on my tough mom hat and break bad habits. I recall an instance a year ago, and I remember this clearly as it was baseball's postseason and I was cheering on the Twins to yet another Yankee defeat, that I chose the 4 days that he was away on business for some sleep training. Jack had just turned 1 and wouldn't go to sleep unless he passed out on one of us first. I knew this couldn't last forever so during these 4 days, I put him to bed ever so wide awake. He would cry and cry and it would break my heart, but I knew it had to be done. When my husband came home, he was amazed by our little man who would go to bed so quietly without any tears. I think he thought it was magic.

He would never admit it, but I definitely have more thick skin than my husband when it comes to breaking our son's tough habits. We've discussed getting rid of the Nuk and have been working on setting the stage; however, I think with this kid, we're just going to have to go cold turkey and be tough. It'll mean a few sleepless nights but then it will be done. I haven't decided if this weekend is the right time though. It is the right time to encourage potty training, which is why I will likely not take him out anywhere this weekend. Since I'll be home and have no other plans, I feel like this is the perfect opportunity to put him on the toilet at regular intervals and encourage him to use it home as much as they encourage it at school. We've been lazy about it, so I'm really going to take the opportunity with him and start the habit this weekend.

Peeing on the potty may not be all that exciting to us as adults, but heck for a 2 year old? It's pretty awesome.

How did you break your little one's bad habits? What potty training methods did you use?

October 06, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

I love October. It is my favorite month of the year- the beauty of the colors, the crisp cool weather, the nostalgia of my wedding anniversary and of course the Apple Orchard.

Even though the trip to the Orchard itself was a toddler tantrum disaster, my amazingly talented husband took these gorgeous pictures of our day. If you have a chance, check out my husband's body of work- he's an amazingly talented photographer.





October 05, 2010

Baby Stuff: A Look Back

Friends of my husband and I are in the process of adopting a baby. From my own experience when I was considering adoption during my infertile days, I know that preparations during the adoption process are not all that different from 9 months of pregnancy (minus the 25 weeks of barfing). It is probably even harder- mountains of paperwork to prove you are worthy to be parents and cleaning every speck of dust out of your house to prepare for your homestudy. This couple recently started to read up about baby gear and stuff that they will need when baby arrives and it brought some memories... My greatest involved me standing in the baby section at Target like a deer in headlights. What the hell is all this stuff? What do I need it for? What is the best brand? Shouldn't all my gear match? I. Had. No. Idea. My poor little registries at Target and BabiesRUs went through a lot of changes before baby made his sudden arrival. Nobody told me that I probably wouldn't use half of the stuff I got or that you really have no idea what you truly need until you walk in the door with baby in your arms.

I did a post about a year ago titled The Baby Cage and Other Baby Must Haves. Tack on another year to that and there are even more items I forgot to mention. Today though, I'm going to go through the top 5 items I didn't need:

1. The Baby Swing. I know other people use the crap out of these things but our little man for some reason spent very little time in his. The first time we put his little 6.5lb body in it, I thought for sure the thing was going to swallow him up not to mention even on the slowest of speeds that it seemed as if the thing would just toss him right out despite our best efforts to strap him in. As he got bigger he did a little napping in it, but not much. I truly just think it bored him. Not to say that this puppy doesn't work like a charm for other babies- it really just didn't do much for ours.

Not to mention... this thing is expensive! 

2. The Personal Refrigerator. This one is my personal favorite. For some reason, in my pre-baby head, I thought that it would be super awesome to keep a fridge full of bottles ready to go in the middle of the night. My new house, which was under construction while I was preggers, was big and the nursery light years away from the kitchen so this would make sense, right? I think I used this for all of the first 3 days where I kept his little supplement formula nursettes. 6 days postpartumm and still no breastfeeding to be had, we moved forward with all formula and no more nursettes, not to mention bottles that didn't fit in this little fridge and a baby who liked his bottles warmed. We'll just say this cute little mini-fridge got zero use- at least for what it was intended for.

3. The diaper stacker. We registered for this. I think. I know it was part of the nursery theme that we chose. I know that this little piece ended up folded up at the top of his closet until only a few weeks ago when I ran out of room in his changing table drawer and needed a place to put a few extra diapers. Basically for 2 years, this thing collected dust in his closet. If you can make it functional and work for you then go for it, but save yourself a few bucks and pass this one up. There are plenty of places to put diapers for fast access that don't require spending any additional money.

4. The Baby Carrier. Again...many mommies swear by these things, but it just didn't work for me. I might have different feelings about the need for a carrier if I am ever so blessed with a second baby. In my head, I thought I would use something like shopping and getting chores done around the house. It turned out to be yet another baby item that just never got used. The bouncer worked out great (not to mention totally entertaining to Jack) while I was getting other things done. Shopping-wise, I used his carseat at places like the grocery store and his stroller at the mall thus not ever having the need for this carrier! Not to mention, when he was a newborn, he was way too small for it- seemed like he got lost in it and I just never trusted its functionality.

5. Baby Hangers. I bought an absolute shit-load of these and for the life of me, I cannot figure out why. I have a friend who hung up all of her little boys clothes and I kept thinking, "How does she have the time for that?" I have not once hung up a single item of his clothing. A dresser seemed to work just fine for our needs in the clothing department and really... stuff he was going to spit up on, poop in and spill on are really not hanger-worthy in my opinion.




And there you have it! My top 5 baby items that never got used.

Moms: What baby items do you have lying around the house that never got used? 

October 03, 2010

The Lessons I Learned

I've been away for a bit. Not long, just a bit. The past week has been more than a touch of chaos. However, I have learned a few things:
1) We are not a 1 car family
2) Mistakes happen, but managers are ultimately the ones held responsible
3) My toddler's medical stuff completely cured my week long headache

I won't leave you hanging on the details.

1) My car was more than a little confused for the past couple weeks. The brake lights wouldn't turn off as I was driving (my apologies for those who had to endure driving behind me... I really wasn't riding my brakes all the way down Highway 169), but the funny part? They would turn OFF when I hit my brakes. Not good. The worst part? The car dealer had no idea what this was. Thanks to our good friend Google, we were able to troubleshoot; however, the dealer decided that they didn't need to follow the appropriate steps to fix the problem. It took FOUR DAYS to get the issue resolved (and no courtesy car... another story altogether). Brake lights. I had to drive my husband's beast of a Durango for an entire week and to a mid-size sedan driver, a Durango may as well be a semi. Because of only having one car meant I had to take care of dropping the little man off at school. I attempted to drop him off early one day. Bad idea. Disaster. Not only for him but for me. My commute tripled at that time of the morning. I think the worst part though is that it made my husband and I bicker. The good news? The car is back, it seems to be working. For now. The lesson: Our family will always need to have two cars.

2) Not only did being down to one car make the week chaotic, but it was insanity for me professionally. I had several projects that were ready to launch and a ton of work to make it happen. My first ever billboard (my designs) will be up starting tomorrow! Anyway, this isn't what I learned this week. Another colleague made a mistake, a rather big one and it went to print and went out in the mail. While it was my colleague's fault for writing it wrong in the first place, our stuff has to go through many layers of editing/approval- operations, accounting and management. So after going through all this layers and all the layers missing it, whose fault does it become? D- all of the above. It is important to get the facts from the moment you start writing, but it is also all those other layers' faults for not catching the error. It isn't an easy situation, but part of being the boss is accepting responsibility for the errors that your team makes. The lesson: I'm not yet the boss, but when I am, I intend to be able to take and claim responsibility for errors, even if it is uncomfortable because that's how it works.

3. Did I mention I had a migraine for like a week and a half? Oh yeah. I had a headache. Like the worst, most debilitating knock-me-on-my-ass pain. I bashed my head trying to get into the before-mentioned Durango and that actually felt good. Yesterday, my husband suggested that I may have a sinus infection and to try Jack's Little Noses Saline Spray. Best thing ever. My headache ceased within a half an hour. The lesson: Just because it says it is for little people doesn't mean it can't be beneficial for big people too. 

What lessons have you learned lately? 
 
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