The Truth of the Matter

A longtime – like 30 years longtime – girlfriend of mine noted that she hadn’t seen a recent post from me. I was so elated that she actually read my posts and more so that she looked for them. She began naming all the reasons why I hadn’t and was indeed spot on. I told her that she should submit a post here and she smiled…hmm we shall see.

It has been a week since that conversation. And not a single post was posted in that time. Why, you ask? Why indeed. There are plenty of topics on which I have an opinion and tons of goings on. I could have updated you about the ‘wee one’ getting bronchitis or how I have had bronchitis and am still coughing. Or that we had 6 more inches of snow this week and yesterday was the first day of spring. I could have given you my outlandish completely baseless theories regarding the missing flight 370 and how I really want the plane to have been plane-napped so that the people on board have a better chance at survival. I could have told you all about my little plants, or the wood purchases for a garden box or about the challenge that is my hair. About how my heart broke or how it heals.

But I realized something. That more than anything, I was afraid. Scared that no one would want to read what I have written. That you would careless about my ideas or opinions or random statements delved in my own idiosyncrasies. This outlet, this social connection, this information station could simply be a nothing. A non-starter. A failure. I am afraid to fail. WOW!!! I hadn’t realized it now.

I learned that I am afraid to die. I wasn’t always. Before my 27th year, I would have been pleased to meet my maker. I adore Him and had no regrets. Then a gave birth to a perfect being and fell so much in love that I became afraid. Scared to miss something, scared to not see him as a young man, frightened to not meet his children. I feared not being able to balance nurture with the nature, not being able to teach him all he should know and instill in him love of God, family and country. Oh there were so many fears associated with being forced away from that boy too soon. But mostly, a fear that I would fail him.

I feared failing you. Not entertaining you to the best of my ability. Not educating or learning or creating or inspiring you enough. Not being enough, for you, the reader.

I am getting over it. I am enough. I am alive. I am growing.

In Case of Emergency – Dig

We are expecting 3-12 inches of snow. If I seem to disappear for a while, send the dogs to find me and dig. I’ll be under the snow.

I reside in the Mid-Atlantic where the shoreline and mountains are the outliers to cities and suburbs. My neck of the woods gets snow each winter and I can say with all truthfulness that 3″ is about it or any one snow occurrence. All of our weather (except August heat waves) can be considered moderate. Not too much, not too little. Enough snow to be a pain in the tuckus. Enough rain to moisten your basement. Enough wind to blow the siding off. But rarely enough to make you stock up on supplies and prepare for days of ‘going it on your own’.

Still, the effect of climate change is glaring. Yes, I said it. Climate Change! I don’t care whether or not climate change is a natural phenom or a man-made disaster. That simply isn’t the point here. The point is that the Mid-Atlantic climate has changed for the worse. The school where I work has already cancelled all classes after 5 pm today. It is only 3 o’clock and there is not a single snow flake on the ground. The snow won’t even start until after 8  tonight. Everyone is a little nervous. We are all used to the forecast of a lot and getting a little. But here lately, we get a lot.

Ohio derecho damage

Ohio derecho damage

Two years ago, we had a derecho. I had never even heard of such a thing. We get hurricanes all the time, but by the time we see them, they are full of rain and bluster but the bite is much weakened. Not the derecho. I can’t even explain to you the destruction I witnessed. Huge trees on the ground. No, they didn’t fall over. They looked as if someone had grabbed them and twisted them in half. For miles and miles and miles the damage was, simply put, everywhere. We lost power for 4 days.  Some folks  were without power for 10 days. The derecho was part of a heat wave. No AC, food rotted, no ice, trees everywhere. We traveled to a different county to find a restaurant with power. We stayed in hotel after the first three sleepless nights of heat. Bad weather is an understatement.

In 2010, we had a blizzard of epic proportions. So much of the nation was effected by the snow that we named it Snowmaggedon. We had about 36″ of snow. 36 inches of snow!! Not our wonderful 3 and forget it. My family – ALL OF THEM (I am talking Momma and cousins and such) came to rescue me. They walked from the main street for about 1/2 a mile in 36″ of snow to save me. I had already dug myself out so we drank tea instead :). Ok The Marine helped.

Snowmaggedon from space.

Snowmaggedon from space.

By the way, NOAA reports that 2009-10 was the highest snowfall for my area in recorded history. 77 freakin’ inches, 50 of which fell in one month. Just this past December, according to we set a record for warmest calendar-day lows ever observed with a low of 62 degrees in December. Climate change.

So, the typical run on toilet paper and milk is actually warranted this time round. With highly unpredictable weather and electric service that takes a lickin’ but can’t keep tickin’, we are quite likely to find ourselves in a pickle. Although I still feel about 5″ is our max, we could just as easily get 12″ of snow. The kids will be out of school, again. I say again because this winter has been fraught with snow days.

The plan:

  • Stock up on supplies.
  • Stay safely off of the roads until the snow has stopped.
  • Eat lots of warming foods.
  • Play.
  • Watch tons of movies.
  • Charge every device we have (in case of emergency).
  • Identify some actual books with paper (in case of emergency).
  • Make hot chocolate.
  • Shovel lots of snow.
  • Play.
  • Make sure everyone has layers to wear and plenty of blankets in the event the power goes out.
  • Find a hotel (in case of emergency).
  • Bake cookies.
  • Start seedlings.
  • Play, eat and be merry.

Stay safe my lovelies.

(Featured image from WSB-TV Georgia)

What are your snow plans this winter?

A Dad’s Perspective on Nursing (and Nursing in Public)

I was so impressed with the insight of this blog post that I am re-blogging it!! Add to that that it was a man who posted it and not a breastfeeding mama brings it home for me. I know how I feel. I breastfeed. but I truly value the insight found here from someone indirectly familiar with the direct and indirect repercussions of feeding ones child.

I recently met a woman who was nursing her 32 month old daughter. I, at the time was new to nursing and my first reaction was “what in the world would possess you to do that”. The thought of all those teeth and a walking, talking person hanging from a breast was more than my narrow mind had bothered to think. I admit it. I had jokes about breastfeeding in college. What… it was funny. Don’t judge me. And there it is right there. Don’t judge me. For feeding my child. For doing it the way God intended. for Giving my child the best nutritional, emotional and physical start to this life that I can manage to give. For sacrificing time out with friends, personal space, and perky breasts. Don’t judge me. This woman’s child has more than nutrition. Before having this child, I could not have imagined breastfeeding without a cover in public. Yeah, well I can now more than imagine it. I have never been offended by a woman’s breast but I have been taken-aback. I don’t come from a breastfeeding family. Now my family knows that if they visit I will feed my hungry child. They are welcomed to leave, sit in another room, go for a walk or ignore it. Whatever. If I am still able to breastfeed after 12 months and the ‘Wee One’ is still interested then… Don’t Judge Me. The baby is hungry.

The Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies

by Jay Parr

I was about twelve, riding the DC Metrobus home from school, when a woman started complaining loudly about another woman breastfeeding her baby on the bus. I didn’t see anything, so I don’t know if the nursing mother was covered up or not, but that’s irrelevant here. The complaining woman made her way up to the driver, a taciturn and tough-looking man who looked like he would as soon cut your throat as say hello (I remember him because he drove that route often). He focused on the afternoon traffic as the woman complained, until he came to a light and she demanded, “Well? Aren’t you going to do something?”

The driver looked out at the cross traffic for a moment, absently drumming his fingers on the fare box, then turned to the woman and shrugged.

“Baby’s hungry.”

I can’t say for certain that the woman immediately…

View original post 2,203 more words

Exceptionally Important – Safety Concerns

Share this! This is exceptionally important especially if you have children. My children’s safety is of the utmost importance to me. I don’t even allow my 9 yo boy to go into the men’s room by himself as the consequences could be heinous.

Please take a moment and watch the video and be sure to watch this to the end. There are specific directions on how to update your phone so that you and yours will not be targeted. I researched how to make the changes on my Samsung Galaxy S3 and they are a little different. those directions can be found below the video. Be sure to check any devise with which you take pictures.

Samsung Galaxy S3: Go to Camera App>settings>GPS tags> off

Stay safe my lovelies! Be sure to subscribe to this blog!


How do you keep you and your family safe?

Teeth and the boobs


“There are teeth in his mouth. I don’t wanna put this in there.” Those are the words that ran through my head when at 8.5 months old, the littlest boy sprouted a tooth and a half. We have been working hard to keep the milk up. All kinds of Hospital grade pumps, herbs and compunded pharmecuticals. And now I have to contend with teeth. As if his occasional gnawing followed by an adorable smile when I yelled firmly stated NO, wasn’t enough. If it ain’t one thing it’s another.

So here we are. Almost 9 months and I have a teething biter attached to my gi-norms. Oh. What is a gi-norm you ask? Well it refers to the milk producing ginourmous (gigantic and enormous got together and made a ginormous… yes it’s a real made up word) mounds that my wee one feels are a the best thing ever. Ok. Breasts. Big ones. I digress. 9 months and now what?

No real bites yet (thank you Almighty). A few nibbles that were quickly followed up with removal of said appendage from wee one’s mouth and a very firm no. But no bites. I hate pumping. But if he uses those new chompers on my already sore gi-norms, I am gonna be a pumping somebody.wpid-wp-1389043453251.jpg

Truly though, I am extremely thankful to have gotten this far breastfeeding. With the bigger boy (now 9 years old), I tried for a month to breastfeed and pump. He wouldn’t latch at all for a solid month and pumping throughout the day gave no more than 1 ounce combined milk. That is right… no let down ever occurred while pumping. Of course, I didn’t have the lactation help that I had this time, nor did I have a Hospital Grade pump that is as silent as a whisper. No, no. I had lactation help that considered me another number and a store bought loud as Hades pump that sent “The Marine” packing each time it came on. So I am not exaggerating when I say that this time around has been full of small goals and big accomplishments.

So my lovelies. did you continue breastfeeding while baby teethed?

Breastfeeding Challenges pt. 2

20140103_093238 So… ok, just picking up where I left off in part 1. So it’s just one week before I go back to working full time and the wee one starts with a sitter. AND, I don’t have any supply in the freezer, a pump with which to secure new supply, nor hardly any milk being produced. I am drinking ‘non-alcholoic beer’, drinking  boobie milk tea (ok, not the real name), taking to breast all the time, eating the occasional seaweed. Really, doing just about anything to make this milk stay. Now what do I do?

I visit the nearest store and price formula. Good gravy! Formula is priced so freaking high I would either have to be wealthy or qualify for WIC to acquire some. Since neither is my case and I don’t have a hook-up. I am back to searching for ways to produce liquid gold in a bottle.

I hit the internet. I search and search and finally stumble upon the correct words that will produce what I am looking for. I call stores the rent pumps, research pumps on various websites, and locate independent lactation specialists. The first person I speak to is a La Leche League rep. She answers! I explain and she rattles off with reasons why my milk is low, anatomy of the breastfeeding body, and some possible solutions with barely a breath in between. The conversation, that is is an overstatement. It was really a monologue. Anyhoo, it was over in under fifteen minutes and the whirlwind left me feeling very alone  and without usable solutions. She didn’t get my contact information and didn’t really seem interested. In fact, I felt like a nuisance to her otherwise wonderful evening. Booo.

The second pickup was a location that rents pumps. And yes, they had them. And no the rep couldn’t tell me anything more than the cost and which ones were most commonly used because they just work there.

A few more calls and then a call back. A lactation specialist who is absolutely kind and caring and actually paid attention to what I said. She was local. But couldn’t understand why I had problems with the last pump since that is the brand she carries. Hmmm.

A few more calls and another pick up. She skips to the point. Can you come today? I have everything you need here. Oh and I agree that pump was a piece of crap.

Enter lactation guru, book writer, care giver, inspirational, baby whisperer – Kathleen. I show up at this strangers house. She is a well dressed blonde, Mother of grown children, RN with about fifteen other letters behind her name and Ph.D. in her future. She immediately takes the car seat and invites us in. My Mom, Kathleen and I have so much fun over the next hour that it is more like hanging out with a good friend than having someone size up your breast milk shortage.

When I leave, I have pumped, nursed, had my wee one weighed, laughed, gotten two bras that fit, am outfitted with a high quality pump that only whispers, have few baby calming tricks up my sleeve, know what the law allows for regarding work and have some herbal solutions to bring the milk back full force. My knight in shining highlights!! I feel good about my breastfeeding prospects.

So here we are. The wee one just turned 9 months and he still nurses. I never have enough milk to have a huge stash but I can get enough extra for daycare and the occasional night out. I am happy, not stressed. Kathleen at Bethesda Breastfeeding continues to assist me as needed.

-Just an aside, this past weekend, I bought my first non-nursing bra in forever. A nice Felina bra in a mouth dropping 38G!!!!! What in heaven’s name? The Marine asked “G? Is that for Good Googa Mooga?” Eh.

What I know I did right? I sought out help and kept looking until I found someone I felt comfortable with. I  set small achievable goals. They were:

  • Nurse now
  • If I can do it now, I can do it in two hours
  • If I can do it in two hours, I can do it for a week,
  • If I can do it for a week, the a month
  • If a month, then two months,
  • If 3, then 6
  • If 6, then 9
  • If 9, then 12

Patience and diligence were the deal makers. I didn’t give up. Not when it hurt (um yeah, it hurts in the beginning or for my left Ginorm, whenever he nurses – use Lanolin), not when challenges presented themselves. I believed that I could do it, and I searched for the support I needed. I didn’t let the hours of phone calls to the insurance company or the additional hours of searching and calling new leads discourage me.

You can do it too.

Tell me, did you use a lactation specialist/consultant to help you?

Very Blessed Christmas

The Wee One & The Bigger OneI love Christmastime. Not the running around trying to search out the perfect gift for persons who will ultimately either take it back to the store or give a lackadaisical response. Not even the numerous and ongoing mega-sales. Don’t get me wrong. I love a good sale. But fighting the other sale shoppers is beyond meChristmas Conversation. I would just rather not.  Not even the multitudes of family that I invite over for brunch and that stay until early evening. I love Christmas lights. I love sitting in a darkened room with the Temptations singing any holiday song followed by Luther Vandross singing any thing at all. A room where the only light comes from a glowing Christmas tree. All decorated. I love the smoldering glow as if it were the lone candle on Jesus’ birthday cake.

This year, I had no less than 20 family members come through for brunch. I love all the love. The young, the old, the distant and near. Even now, we have Christmas company staying the night. I don’t mind all the cooking or even all the garbage produced. I am very blessed to have so many loved ones come and spend such a day with me. I truly hope that even if you do not celebrate the birth of Christ, that you are still blessed to have good friends and great family to spend your days with.

Oh, and check the protective do still going strong!!

Merry Christmas my lovelies!

Breastfeeding Challenges Part 1

With baby number 1 (um… nine years ago), even after a month of pumping and taking to breast, I couldn’t get him to latch on and couldn’t produce any milk. Let me expand on that. The bigger boy literally screamed bloody murder anytime he was near a breast. I cried. A lot. My Mother is my witness, my then, less than a month old child said NOOOOOO when the lactation specialist attempted to get him and nipple together. What on earth?

I didn’t stop trying though. Someone gave me a pump. A nice one from Medela with the bag an everything. So I pumped in between (huge air quotes here) “feedings” because well, he wouldn’t take the breast. On a good day, I could muster a measly 1 ounce of milk collected from both breasts… total. I would quickly take my 1 ounce and add it to his bottle for him to gulp down.

At just about one month, that child finally decided to give it a try!!! Whoooo Hoooo. I still only had 1 ounce so that didn’t last long at all. I continued to pump but going to the private bathroom at work was not conducive to making milk. Still I tried. I took brewer’s yeast, milk tea, almost anything that someone said would work. Still 1 ounce. Eh. Enough was enough.

My breast size went from 34b to 36C! Wowzer! All I can say about that is they get in the way of shooting pool.

This time around, I wanted to try again. There were so many things that didn’t go as I wished but this was one that I really wanted to give a chance.  I was completely blessed in that the Nurses and Lactation Specialist at GBMC were (each and everyone) not only willing to help me but did so in a caring, patient and supporting way. I had one nurse who actually cheered in the middle of the night when she heard the wee one swallow! “Did you hear that? ” She asked. ” He swallowed!” By the time I left, I had milk, I was breastfeeding, my holds were stuff of legends and my baby was being fed by me! They sent me home with a pump and a number to call in case of lactating emergency.

I didn’t mention that while in the hospital ( I was there quite often and spent a solid week an a half on a unit for high risk concerns) they actually came to my room to help me find an appropriate breastfeeding bra. I tried on several and well, they didn’t have any in stock that could fit me. I measured in at a true 40F. Booooooo on that. Ok, I was swollen and that had a good amount to do with it. I have since settled to  a UK & US 36FF. Like you read, Gi-norms.

Anyway, I suffered  milk depletion after the hospital pump went back and I waited a month (a whole month) for the insurance company to send me the ‘free’ pump. Only to find that it was a total piece of crap. In fact, it was so bad that I threw it in the trash can instead of selling or giving it away. What brand you ask Ameda, Purely Yours.pump_purely_yours

Now, the Ameda site has some extremely helpful information. But the bare minimum pump that I received produced about 2 oz. of milk. I had been getting an easy 6-4 oz depending on the time of day so you can imagine my concern as that 2 oz started to decrease. And worse yet, it was time to return to my full time gig. Oy vey!

I don’t want to leave you hanging on a cliff. Well yes, yes I do. I want you to subscribe and then read part 2 when it makes it’s appearance.

Til later lovelies.

Did you have breastfeeding challenges?