Thursday, July 31, 2008

California Milk Processessing Board loses their collective minds!

Thanks to Jennifer at the Lactivist (love the blog, btw), I recently found out that the CA Milk Processing Board has lost their damned minds!

Seriously ridiculous. No one is going to confuse the white stuff from a cow, and I am fairly certain that no one is going to confuse a breast and a cow. Even my 19 month old knows the difference!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

You're going to cry.

Through another blog, I found this one.  Seriously heart wrenching. I cannot even imagine not nursing The Boy, but to have to stop suddenly... well, read for yourself.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Proudly displayed in my workspace!



MWJ from the Q

MIA

Sorry I've been MIA. This probably explains it. So does this.

I sucked it up and went to work today... only to find that the air conditioning is broken. Again. It's hot. I think it might be getting cooler, but I'm too hot to tell. How hard can it be to keep the air conditioning working? Seriously?

More later. I need to go find some ice. Or go work from Panera for a while.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Results may vary

Here is a great ad re: breastfeeding. It was true for me. I am actually 10 pounds under my pre-pregnancy weight. I was down 15 pounds before Kevin came home. Maybe I will get back down there when I dump the bad eating habits again.

The Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog has a bunch of advertisements in this post. I stole the first one shamelessly from her. :)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Another shower update!

I'm still rocking the CDD 5 minute shower challenge. Painting has derailed some of my efforts, but July is still looking fairly decent. Not as good as the first July update, but still decent.

July 1-- 5 minutes
July 2-- no shower
July 3-- 5 minutes (Happy Birthday to me!)
July 4-- no shower
July 5-- 3 minutes (rush rush rush to scrub the paint off and out)
July 6-- no shower, but I did climb in my son's bath so that he would get in!
July 7-- 3 minutes (woke up late... quick was my friend!)
July 8-- 4 minutes
July 9-- no shower
July 10-- 3 minutes (painting)
July 11-- 3 minutes (painting)
July 12-- no shower
July 13-- 4 minutes
July 14-- no shower
July 15-- 4 minutes
July 16-- no shower
July 17-- 4 minutes
July 18-- no shower
July 19-- 3 minutes

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Bush's "birth control" plan

I don't have much time to write, but people have to read about this! To summarize,

The proposal could potentially redefine birth control as abortion. The proposal classifies abortion as "any of the various procedures -- including the prescription, dispensing and administration of any drug or the performance of any procedure or any other action -- that results in the termination of the life of a human being in utero between conception and natural birth, whether before or after implantation." That last part is critical because some argue that hormonal birth control and emergency contraception can prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg.
 
 My favorite comment--

at this rate

saying "no" to a man's request for sex will = abortion.
I can see the psa's: "Life begins at the twinkle in his eye."

Do you know...

When things are sailing along smoothly at work, I know chaos will ensue shortly. Well, chaos is here, and I am in a "why did I come back to this crap" state of mind. I need an outlet... physical outlet... NOW!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Sunday, July 13, 2008

A New Favorite

This blog just got rolling, and one of my favorite bloggers, Crunchy Domestic Goddess, is a contributor. Check it out! So far, I have learned a few things about water and a natural remedy to stop the itching from the million and one bug bites that are a party of my summer!


WindButton

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Comment issues

I'm sorry if you've visited and had problems commenting. I used Blogger's draft version of embedding the comment form in to the post, but apparently it is not working right with my template. Guess that means it is time for a new template! :) Anyway, I've switched it back for now.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Feminism and Breastfeeding

I was reading The Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog, which raised the question, "Can you be a feminist and breastfeed?"  Head over there to read the information provided, but I wanted to post on this topic, because I did not feel that writing a book in the comments was a good idea. LOL!

I consider myself a feminist, and I nurse (a lot...for almost 19 months now), and I consider myself a breastfeeding/nursing advocate. To some this might seem contradictory, but I don't believe that to be true.

Let me start by admitting that until I was in college, I did not even know that there were different types of feminism. However, Feminist Jurisprudence really opened my eyes.  I adhered to more feminist thought than I knew I did, but I was all over the spectrum.

There are eight major forms of feminist ideology: liberal feminism, conservative feminism, radical feminism, individualist feminism, black feminism, socialist feminism, ecofeminism and post-modern feminism. There are more ideologies, so don't take my list as gold, but those are the most discussed.  Generally, I fall in to a combination of eco-feminism and cultural feminism. 


Personally, I do not see breastfeeding and feminism (at least as I practice) to be contradictory. I made the choice, for a variety of reasons, to nurse The Boy. Some of those reasons are environmental. Some related to my health. Some to his. And most importantly, I made that decision for us. The alternative was (and is) inferior when I am capable of providing this to him. 


What do you think? Comment on The Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog or here. I'd love to see what more people think.





Making a change... one day at a time.

We only have one vehicle in our family, and with Kevin home and needing it, I stepped out and took the bus to work. So far so good. I plan on doing it all summer and maybe during "nice" days later for the rest of the year.

One day at a time, and so far so good! I used the Metro in DC, and now I am back to the bus in Tulsa. I am not sure if it will work or not to take The Boy to daycare on the bus, because the schedule here is messed up. I tried to do it one day, but it took me an hour to go one mile one direction, drop him off, and eight back the way I came from. Frustrating!

Monday, July 7, 2008

July shower update... week 1

June went well enough, but I am intent on improving my showering! Crunchy Domestic Goddess's 5 Minute Shower Challenge is no challenge! Kidding. Her challenge does keep me from wasting time and water in the shower, even though I did not take long showers before the challenge. Now, when I am tempted, I remember that I am going to be held accountable on this blog and the rest of the challengers!

July 1-- 5 minutes
July 2-- no shower
July 3-- 5 minutes (Happy Birthday to me!)
July 4-- no shower
July 5-- 3 minutes (rush rush rush to scrub the paint off and out)
July 6-- no shower, but I did climb in my son's bath so that he would get in!
July 7-- 3 minutes (woke up late... quick was my friend!)

Not bad-- four minutes per shower... 2.3 minutes per day. Can I keep it up?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Breastfeeding through six months

Once I got past those first few (or six) weeks, things got a lot easier for me... and The Boy. We both learned how to latch without looking, became more comfortable nursing in public, and all around had a pretty easy time of it. I never had mastitis, and the one time I had a plogged duct, I used the pump while massaging the spot a few times and it cleared itself up. It definitely helped that I took The Boy everywhere. I was not going to allow him to be an excuse to stay home and not experience Germany.

My Dad and Sheri came to visit us around six weeks.  At first, I was a little shy about nursing The Boy in front of my dad, but I got over that quickly. Really, they were living with us, in a small apartment, for a week. There weren't a whole lot of additional options. They were awesome and I think dad got more comfortable as the week went on. They were also great visitors, because they were happy to entertain themselves some too!

I think it helped that by that point, I had taken The Boy out quite a bit and discovered a few things about his nursing style. He hated blankets and things over his head, so we because efficient at latching with minimal (if any) nipple exposure. I learned to adjust my wardrobe around his needs (every shirt had to be examined for its nursing functionality).  The Boy didn't take as long to eat, but he did go through growth spurt where he would eat all of the time.

Around three months, I decided to take The Boy to the US, and we had a really easy trip. I credit nursing, because on the way to the US, all he did was nurse, sleep and pee/poop. The flight attendant brought me a ton of water (thankfully) and helped me during take off and landing techniques (nurse... screw the car seat). Back to Frankfurt was easy too-- thanks to nursing!

Over the first six months, we both became attached to the nursing, I think. The Boy wanted it and wanted it on his schedule. I enjoyed the down time. The closer and closer I got to six months (my initial goal), the more I realized that I was going to keep going. I posed it to Kevin as a question, presented the information, and then decided. Fortunately, he told me that he thought it was a good decision. 

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Here is my June shower update!

June 1-- 6 minutes (The Boy with me)

June 2-- 5 minutes

June 3-- 4 minutes

June 4-- no shower

June 5-- 4 minutes

June 6-- 4 minutes (after golf!)

June 7-- 5 minutes

June 8-- 6 minutes (I was lazy and stopped watching the timer!)

June 9-- 4 minutes

June 10-- no shower

June 11-- 5 minutes

June 12-- no shower

June 13-- 4 minutes

June 14-- no shower

June 15-- 5 minutes

June 16-- no shower

June 17-- 7 minutes (I'm penalizing myself for failing to turn on the timer!)

June 18-- no shower

June 19--4 minutes

June 20-- no shower

June 21-- no shower

June 22-- 5 minutes

June 23-- 5 minutes

June 24-- no shower

June 25-- 4 minutes + 3 minutes (after swimming at night) = 7 minutes

June 26-- no shower

June 27-- no shower

June 28-- 4 minutes

June 29-- 3 minutes

June 30-- no shower

Now the debate in my head on how to present this data rages on. Being an economist, I can tell you that I can fix these numbers (much like statistics) to say whatever I want them to say. Rather than making the call and dealing with the consequences, I am going to present two different methods.

First-- the average shower time per shower-- 87 min/18 showers = 4.83 minutes per shower

Second-- the average shower time per day (i.e. distributed over all 30 days even though I did not take 30 showers-- 87 minutes/30 days = 2.9 minutes per day

Either way, I am doing well and am under the 5 minute challenge, but if I do it per shower, I am over my personal goal of four minutes. Not bad for month one, but there is still room for improvement.

Why the hypen

Del asked why I hyphenated my name, and the long and the short of it is that the hypen was a compromise. If I were doing it again, I might do it differently-- either not cave on not changing it or have two middle names. I did not want to change my name, but when I talked to Kevin about it, he was visibly hurt. I wanted to keep my name as it was, because I was fairly established in my career (i.e. people recognized my name in a good way) and well, it's mine-- a part of my identity!

After a lot of discussion, I compromised with the hyphen. It makes it a pain for airline tickets (they remove the hyphen, but then you can't swipe a card for the automated check in), passport to airline ticket matching, and overall length of name! For example, my government credit card can not fit my entire name on it! I won't even try to estimate the number of times I've been asked to spell my name, because the hyphen part throws people for a loop.

So there you have it-- why my name is hyphenated. :)

More job news

So my position as the Senior Economist (Regional Technical Specialist) is supposed to be come official July 6... five more days. One complaint (really the only complaint other than the overall suckiness of the new NSPS payroll system we are under) is that I would be getting a 5% raise (maximum allowed) for a job that I'd normally make an additional $20-30K for (much much much more than 5%). I could get 5% July 6 and an additional 5% three months later by assigning different job duties, but I was told that was the best they could do. Now, I really wanted this job. Don't get me wrong, but it hardly makes it worth it to get paid at a GS-11 level for GS-13 work, which under the new system is all rolled up in to one pay band, thus limiting the pay increase to 5%. Are you confused yet?

Well, today I got a call saying that if I would move down to payband one (which is, I suppose, a demotion) as a developmental assignment for one year, taking a 5% increase in pay to do so, and then after that one year, I would get the increase in job duties (from 12 to 13 equivalent) and a promotion to payband two, I could (at that time) get an additional 6-20% pay increase.

Confusing, so I hope everyone is still with me.

Basically, by taking a demotion with a pay increase, and then a promotion with a variable increase that is not set in stone, I am going to win big time. My second in line supervisor guarenteed me that I could get 10%, probably get 15% and they would try to get me the full 20%. If I did not trust my supervisors, this would be a problem, but I know the CPAC is advising them and working hard for this to happen, so I am quite confident that they will not back track on this.  To make up for the loss of the second 5%, I would need the second promotion to be around 7% (to regain the lost income of the nine months), which has basically been guarenteed.

Needless to say, with the short term loss (nine months), the long term gain is worth the risk of getting 10% instead of 20%. Even (really) worth the 6% if paid out over the rest of my time in this position.

I don't know what I did to deserve all of this positiveness in my career, but dang. It sure is nice to have things go my way!

Breastfeeding... the first few weeks.

Like I said, I am going to break my experience down in to smaller periods of time. I've been going strong with The Boy for 18 months, and that is just too much to cover in one post. Some of the details might be fuzzy, thanks to the time that has passed, but I have told so many people, I think I remember most of it. Feel free to ask questions!

I have made it no secret that I had a long and difficult labor thanks to being induced at +12 days. After The Boy arrived, the midwife helped me to get him latched, but he did not stay that way very long. Katherine, my midwife, told me not to worry. He would latch again, and we know he knows how, because he did it after the birth. I tried off and on again through the early morning (he was born at 159 and we went to our room around 330), when I should have been enjoying the sleep, but he would not latch. When he did, he would immediately come back off the breast. Also, he was gagging on the breast.

Katherine came back to the hospital around 8 to fill out paperwork, etc, and when she came to check, she again reassured me and told me that she'd be by the house Tuesday evening (later that day) to check on us again. I went home anxious about nursing, because we were having problems already!

Tuesday evening Katherine came, and I was still having problems. The Boy would latch, suck a few times, and then come off the breast. He was gagging on my boob! The horror and panic was creeping in to my mind! Katherine again reassured me, watched as we tried to nurse, and then as he gagged, she looked at the clear liquid and thought that he had a tummy full of fluid due to the long labor, etc. She assured me that he would suck, and in the mean time, encouraged me to use my pump to help my milk come on.

Wednesday morning Katherine returned to weigh The Boy, etc. His weight loss was minimal (thank God), and she seemed unconcerned about the little loss. My milk still was not in, but she assured me it would come. Wednesday night (about 36 hours after birth), The Boy started latching and sucking, so that was encouraging. At this point, Katherine left on a planned vacation, and her partner, Sine, took over for two weeks.

When Sine came by on Thursday, she felt my breasts and told me it'd probably be a day yet before my milk fully came in, but not to worry. At this point, The Boy was latching, and by the end of the day, my breasts were beginning to feel a little raw. Thursday and especially Thursday night really sucked. The Boy kept sucking and sucking and sucking. I could hear his tummy rumble, and he was never satisfied, but Friday... hallelujah! The magic titty juice arrived!

By Saturday's or Sunday or something like that's visit by Sine, The Boy was happily nursing. I asked her to check his latch, because contrary to what everything I'd read said, it hurt, and it hurt bad! The Boy would latch, and I would inhale sharply, clench my teeth and try to bear it. She said the latch was fine, but she'd bring me something for my tender nipples. Oh, and The Boy was a barracuda sucker!

In spite of the initial pain, which slowly disappeared, and the LONG time it took him per nursing session (like an hour each time), it slowly became easier and easier. That being said, growth spurts that are frequent in the early weeks/months would almost always result in one setback or another. However, I began nursing in multiple positions, feeling comfortable bringing The Boy in to our bed so I could sleep and nurse (a real life saver with Kevin on the road for games), and nursing hands free (i.e. using my boppy effectively). In the first six weeks, I read more books than I ever imagine and blogged frequently. I also became comfortable enough to nurse in public around two or three weeks in. I never thought I would, but I did!

One more thing that I dismissed from the books was just how thirsty and hungry I would be in the beginning. I ate a lot, but I drank even more (water)! Seriously, I was drinking water by the 1.5L bottle. Two or more a day. I just could not get enough to drink! I had to give up mineral water (bubbles) for a while, because I could not drink it fast enough!

So there you go... the first six week... More to come!

EDIT:  One thing I forgot to mention was that there were definitely times in the first six weeks when I wanted to quit. Kevin would be gone for a couple of days. I'd be exhausted. The baby would cry or nurse non-stop. I wondered if it was worth it.  I wanted to be selfish-- have a break, go out, do something...anything to feel like a grownup. Looking back, I feel stupid (and selfish) for even questioning, but at the time, it was a real problem. Fortunately, I pushed through the bad times and was able to keep going.

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