Friday, October 31, 2008

Ander Is Allergic to 3 Musketeers

That's my story and I am sticking to it until I convince him to give me ALL of his 3 Musketeers. Oh, and if I open a candy, I get a bite. That's the rules. I hate Skittles, though, so your Skittles are safe.

When you were a kid, did you know that the adults kept a bucket of the good candy for themselves in the house? I didn't. Humph!

Loki's a pumpkin and Ander's a dalmation.


Thursday, October 30, 2008


I'm a dedicated blogger. If I fail to blog for, say, 20 minutes, someone asks if I am okay. (Slight exaggeration, but if you can't exaggerate on your blog, where can you, really?) I rarely talk politics (but I'm liberal and pleased to vote for Obama this year and thrilled that McCain does not seem crazy like W...just in case my candidate loses, if you wondered). I barely ever talk about my extended family. (Stac Cole can confirm they are crazy and the source of many unwritten but surely-would-be-entertaining blog stories.) I complain about work, but obviously cannot ethically share any details of my cases. Mostly, I write about parenting, or life, or eating breakfast.

There's a void where a theme should be. Working parent? Maybe. Flextime parent? Sort of. Wife, mother, sister, friend. A bit. Organization freak? Slipping. Coffee and chocolate whore? Yes and yes. But no theme. (And how many hits will I get, now that I used the word whore, twice?)

I like the freedom. I write whatever pops into my head. I offend or I don't (though I never, okay - rarely - intend to offend). But everyone else (or, really, a few serious bloggers I read) has a theme. I feel lonesome. Alone in blog land without direction or purpose. Whimper, whimper. But my fingers are free. That's pretty cool.


The Great Time Suck

Chelle made me do Facebook. She was insistent. I'll like it, she said. It's fun, she said. Talk to people you miss/should have known/knew back then, she said. Chelle is wise. Chelle is kind. Chelle is smart. I do as she says.


Total time suck.

I did bath, make breakfast for Ander and I, feed Loki, change both boys' diapers, and do dishes. But, other than that short list, I've played on Facebook. (Admittedly, only while Loki is attached to boob so I can't do anything else anyway.)

How do you read everyone else's stuff all day long? Do I have to visit every friend everyday? Will they even read what I write? Why would they, if no e-mail hits their in-box?

I am overwhelmed and addicted, all at the same time.

Darn that Chelle, being all smart and all.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Trying Something Different

Instead of buying Halloween candy that I LOVE LOVE LOVE, like 3 Musketeers, Twix, and Snickers, I bought gum and suckers. That way, I won't eat it all the candy before Friday. Good plan, right? I won't tell you about the time last week when I brought a bowl of chocolate candy to a party. ;)

Why does Husband think he has the right to judge what I eat? I've been making a meaty chili (hush, tomatoes are a vegetable) and putting it over chips with nacho cheese and tomatoes or baked tator tots with shredded cheese everyday for meals. It's just easy. It has protein. It's tasty. I'm nursing the baby, so I'm starving CONSTANTLY. This way, I don't have to take precious time to cook. But Husband (see how I use that term when he is annoying me? ;)) keeps telling me to eat salads. I don't see him eating salads. I don't see him fixing me salads. For some reason, he thinks my meals are his business, but, notably, not his responsibility. Humph! I'm not claiming my meal is healthy. But it's cheap, simple to make, and tasty. I'm tired, stressed, and caring for a toddler and newborn while working from home. Give me a break!

It's probably best that Alan never posts "Wife" posts. He'd probably get in trouble. I clearly have a double standard. LOL.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Home Officeing

Is there an e in home officeing? Hmmm...

Alan took the kids to the mall and Best Buy (to get a Christianing outfit for's hoping he found one...and to get who-knows-what at Best Buy, which is only a tiny bit scary as he is generally a penny pincher). I started working at about 9 a.m. this morning and now, at 1:18 p.m., am taking my first real break. I don't consider cooking a chili, pumping, cleaning off the island, or doing the dishes (including the essential pump parts, new bottles, and coffee maker parts) a break, but I did stop to do those things.

I managed to make two business calls, send five essential e-mails (including the documents to go with two of them), prepare one pleading, prepare two letters, and enter tons of addresses into my pda. In other words, I got stuff done! Some of it was billable and on a deadline. Yippee!!! If I could work this much everyday, I would make lots more money, that's for sure. Having a home office makes a difference, but having daddy take the kids away - that's a HUGE difference.

If only Daddy could also deal with the kids alone when he is here with them. :/ Alan is great - with one kid. Either one, really. But if there are two kids in the mix, he cannot handle it. I'm hoping their trip out of the house today changes that a bit.

Let me give you an example. I'm home alone with the kids and need a bath. I give Ander milk, put a snack on the table, and put in a movie. I feed and burp Loki and put him in his bouncy seat with a paci. And I bathe, really, really fast. If Loki cries, Ander runs in and tells me, and I grab a towel and a robe, calm him, then finish my bath.

Now, imagine Alan home with the kids. He's not alone, because he rarely is, but I am working in my "office," which means "pretend I'm at work unless there is an emergency." Ander has a mess in the living room (because Daddy doesn't subscribe to the one toy at a time philosophy). Loki spits up all over Daddy, Loki, and the floor, because Daddy fed with a bottle and Loki spits up more often with a bottle. Daddy tries to calm Loki, but to no avail. Daddy asks me to take Loki. So much for the home office. Daddy bathes. Ander's movie ends halfway through the bath. "Honey, can you restart Ander's movie? I'm in the bathtub."

Of course. And, really, I don't mind. These are my kids. Bathtime is a precious thing these days. I want my husband to relax.

Except that, instead of interrupting the bath, the interruptions stop me midway through writing an Answer to a divorce petition, so I have to pretty much redo the work when I get back to it, because the Answer paragraphs have to coordinate with the Petition paragraphs. Or I have to refigure the child support, because though it is easy math, it's approximately 10-step math problem. That's still fine, as long as my husband doesn't want me to make money. But he does, right? So when I work, I need a solid hour or two to get it done. Yes, even a tiny interruption (hon, do you know where the paci is?) can mean doing work twice or making a mistake. That's the danger of a home office, I guess.

Plus, this blog doesn't even touch on the interruptions from Ander. Whew.

Still, I waste less time working from home than going into the office or a coffee shop. Clearly, my husband is working on it, as evidenced by his trip to the mall with TWO KIDS THAT, OMG, IS CRAZY AND AMAZING AND I WONDER IF HE WILL BE INSANE WHEN HE FINALLY GETS HOME.

But I need a door. With a lock. And sound-proofing.

When I win the powerball. Obviously.


The Fair

Alan...yes, ALAN...suggested we go to the fair last night. I thought he was crazy. It's expensive. It's crowded. It was cold. (It was.)

We had a blast. I wore my little heater (Loki). Ander rode rides, milked a cow (I told him his milk didn't come from mommy), and won a doggy at pick-a-duck. We ate curly fries,corn dogs,pretzels and frozen, chocolate-covered bananas. We listened to music and ran around. We talked to clowns. We watched a fire show.

Next year, we'll bring a friend for Ander. But we'll go back.

Who knew Alan could plan a fun night?

Right now (attention stalkers!), he's with the kids at the mall while mommy works from home. It's really strange. I'm a bit scared he'll forget he has a baby (only because he did once, at home), but it's nice to get some work done, uninterrupted.


Friday, October 24, 2008

How My Boys Like Their Drinks

Alan: fruity and girly; usually through a straw; with tons of caffeine and a bit of Dew

Ander: from a sippy or straw, though he'll deem to take it the grown-up way, IF it has Diet Coke in it {mommy rolls eyes and notes that it RARELY has Diet Coke in it}

Loki: straight up, on the rocks, hot or cold, from the tap...the kid's not picky. If it's milky and wet, he'll drink it.

So much for the theory of "nipple confusion." LOL. We've even weaned from the nipple shield for several days now. He doesn't care if it's from me, warm, or cold from the frig. He'll take the nipple, the fake slow-flow nipple, or the fast-flow nipple. He doesn't care if he nurses or daddy feeds him, though he does resist a tiny bit if mommy gives him a bottle (by rooting instead of sucking for a little bit, until he realizes that he can't have boobie). He'll take any of the three different pacifiers we have, though he doesn't love the paci. (He gets it anyway to help avoid SIDS.) He's also sleeping almost exclusively in his own bed (in our room until 4 - 6 months for SIDS avoidance reasons.)

How do you like your drinks?

I like mine on a beach, with pina colada and a slice of pineapple and an umbrella and, of course, a cabana boy.


Bloody Bloody Ouch

"I am a vampire
I am a vampire
I am a vampire
I am a vampire
I am a vampire
I am a vampire
I have lost my fangs

I am a vampire
I am a vampire
I am a vampire
I have lost my fangs"

92 points to whoever can guess the movie this song comes from - without using Google.

Yesterday, even though I mostly pumped all day (I was on the road), I developed a bit of blood (just a speck, really) on one nipple. Nursing on that side hurts (obviously). Yum. Do I still nurse on that side? Should I skip that side and just pump? Can I keep the milk?

Blood. Yum.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Practice Run

This morning, I timed getting ready to go to my mom's house with both kids. I did not have time to shower, put on makeup, or eat or drink anything. Both kids were cooperative. IT TOOK A FREAKIN' HOUR. Great. Let's review...sleep at 11 p.m., feed baby at 5 a.m., wake at 6:30 a.m. totally NOT refreshed from my five and a half broken hours of sleep, ready for drive at 8 a.m. and work at 8:30 a.m. I'm clearly going to have to change something.

I'll try getting food and clothes prepared the night before and putting things in my car, but, frankly, some of the stuff cannot be done until the morning. Sigh. How do people do this? Do I just like sleep (or eating or bathing) too much? Are my expectations (that I leave the house with a diaper, wipe, and all parts of the breast pump) too high?


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A to Zen

On the way to the pediatric cardiologist this morning, I told Alan how I plan to transform myself from Type A to Type Zen. His response? "Did you just make that up or did you hear it somewhere?" Ha ha, dear husband. I can be zen. I, really. Okay, I'll mark "be Zen" here in my planner...there, on my way to Zen.

The doctor said Loki has a light heart murmur that he'll probably outgrow. Even if he doesn't, it's not causing any trouble or doing anything bad. He's fine! What a relief!!! I knew intellectually that heart murmurs are usually nothing, but I also knew that we were statistically likely to have a vaginal birth and take my second-born home from the hospital with us two days later...and that didn't happen. Usually, I get medically/metaphorically screwed. So I expected the worse. Or at least an extended hospital stay to rule out the worse.

In the great attempt to achieve the state of Zenness, I ate McDonald's for breakfast and took a nap. Hmmm...funny how the caffeine in the coffee did not stop me from sleeping, at all. Must have been because of the 5 hours I got last night. 5 HOURS IS NOT ZEN. NOT ZEN AT ALL. {angry face}

I also bought a new purse. I suspect for the first time ever, I bought a purse at Wal-mart. I am CERTAIN it will fall apart tomorrow. It cost $13. But it was the right size and the right color and I don't have time to shop. Purses lead to Zen, right?


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I've Been Tagged

7 random facts about me:

1) I wrecked my first car around Ander's age. My mom was in the post office, the keys were in the standard shift car, and car seats did not exist. Viola! Hit the post office. My baby sister (around Loki's age) was sleeping in the back seat.

2) I listen to Dr. Laura (conservative radio advice guru) when I can. HATE HER, but find the callers interesting and would love Dr. Laura's job...but I would have the right answers. ;)

3) If it's not on my calendar, it doesn't exist. That goes beyond dates to information and birthdays and tasks and everything else.

4) I can pump about 12 ounces in 5 minutes. I usually try to only pump for 3 minutes. Oh, and that's after a 15 minute nursing session. Can you say "moo?" I can!

5) I love going camping. You probably think I don't, because I never go. But I really, really love being out in the woods, cuddling with my husband. (Cabins and A/C are welcome, but not required.)

6) My favorite coffee is a PJ's granita or a Highland Coffees granita latte. They taste exactly the same. But other than those two drinks, I only like hot coffee. Frozen coffees usually suck.

7) My favorite part-time job was working at Chocollage. I can make a mean gift basket and can name several fancy chocolates blind-folded. Love me some chocolate!


Problems and Solutions

Poor Loki has to go to a pediatric cardiologist for a heart murmur. And poor Mommy and Daddy...'cause, really, I'm worried (even though it's USUALLY nothing) and I'm tired and we cannot afford anymore doctor visits, timewise or emotionwise. Say a prayer (or think of us or make a sacrifice...whatever it is you do) that he'll be okay and will NOT need surgery.

Also, Alan and I are out of time to get anything done at home. Take yesterday, for example. I barely got on the computer at all, since I usually only get on while nursing Loki or watching tv with Alan - and there is no time left to watch tv with Alan. :$ I woke up and checked e-mail. I feed and changed the kids. I wrote a grocery list. I went to Office Depot (more on that later) and Wal-mart. I unloaded, changed (yep, again), and fed the kids. I went to lunch (10 minutes...while watching both kids). I went to the doctor with Loki. I made a follow-up appointment with the cardiologist, in consultation with my husband. I came home. I fed and changed (yep, AGAIN...blowouts are getting old) the baby. I changed myself due to diaper overflow. :( Not my diaper. I laid down for 10 minutes. Alan came home. I fed the baby. I cooked a meat dish and a chili. I fed the baby, again. Alan took over the kids so I could meet a client deadline. I started working. Alan freaked out because one kid needed a bath and the other was screaming and Alan doesn't have boobies (there was a bottle in the frig, BTW) and TWO KIDS AND OMG AND I CANNOT DO THIS. And I freaked out, because my client has waited (somewhat patiently) for 10 weeks for me to do this assignment and he cannot wait any longer and I don't want to be sued and he's been understanding and I CANNOT DO THIS AND TWO KIDS AND OMG AND MY FOOD WAS BURNING.

As Alan later said, while we sat so I could nurse the baby and watched the Duggars, with their 17+ kids, "our marriage isn't strong enough for 18 kids." True. (Probably better left unsaid, but I'll forgive it as our marriage is a strong one...just not inhumanly strong. :)) Our house is a disaster, and that is despite the fact that we are constantly cleaning. And it's not okay, because we are losing track of stuff. (Here's an example...I could not find a pacifier for 20 minutes this morning.) It's not even stuff someone else could clean because it's mostly stuff just not put away. It's not like our floors need mopping. (Okay, our floors need mopping. But you can't see our floors, under all the crap, so you wouldn't know that.) When I finally got a bath, after Ander went to bed, I cried. Because, you know, I was so happy to get three minutes to myself. (Really, it wasn't a sad cry, except for the whole it's-sad-that-you-cry-in-happiness-over-a-bath thing.)

Today, I got a mean letter from my "boss." Somehow, I managed to fail to enter the information necessary to maintain state funding for my public defender work. I had written down the information to give to my secretary in early August. Right after that, I had my first hospital visit (of many) and was put on bedrest. Somehow, I never gave her the assignment. It never got done.

I called. I explained, took responsibility, apologized, and took care of the problem this morning.

Which leads me to the solutions portion of this post.

I set up a home office!!! I bought a cheap printer/scanner/copier at Office Depot (under $100) and a container for my paper (under $25). I bought extra office supplies. I set up next to my kitchen table, but the printer and paper are tucked out of sight in the corner. On the table, there is my laptop. And on the floor, my rolling work cart. Both the laptop and the cart go to the office with me, which means the office is pretty much invisible except when I am using it. Perfect.

I've already done enough billable work this morning to pay for it. Why didn't I do this ages ago?

I also picked up two laundry baskets for returning laundry and other stuff to Loki and Ander's rooms. Stuff kept just piling up on the kitchen table because we do laundry when the kids are asleep and you don't want to wake them to put it away. Eventually, it gets all mixed up and becomes a nightmare. Not anymore. :)


Sunday, October 19, 2008

A Room Full of Strangers

In junior high, I was invited to a party by the most popular girl in the class. I still remember that party. I barely knew anyone, but it was the party of the year, so I went anyway. Everyone was polite. All the cute kids said hello.

Then they moved on and I stood in the corner and no one talked to me and it was a nightmare.

Last night was NOT like that.

Last night, I went to a party where I didn't think I would know very many people. I knew the host, casually, because I had worked with her at a previous job. She was friends with my boss, so was ocassionally around. I had read the LSMSA Reunion website postings of many of the guests. I had even gone to school with some of the guests, though I probably never spoke to most of them during high school. (I'm not a snob. Not at all. These people were cool, and intimidating, and smart...I was too shy to talk to such shiny people.)

Turns out, I knew more people than I expected.

Turns out, the people I didn't know WERE shiny...and wonderful...and interesting.

Turns out, I got to see Nae Nae kiss Nolan. (If only you knew the very very very very very straight Nolan...LOL...)

Turns out, the internet people are cool and sweet and made me feel, well, popular.

Turns out, gifties (including those of you who left early from Natchitoches, kicking and screaming or otherwise ;)) are even cooler than I thought.

Thank you, Shannon, for the opportunity to met these wonderful people. Thank you, Dixon, for teaching Ander to crawl through the doggy door. And thank you, gifties, for sharing a bit of yourselves with me last night.

I regret the times when I didn't have time to talk enough with the people there. I regret not getting a sitter for Ander so I could socialize more. I regret all the food I ate (ick this morning).

But I don't regret getting over my silly junior high nervousness and putting on jeans and going to the party of the year. Same time next year?


Saturday, October 18, 2008

Problem Areas in Each Room

Living room: the computer table, over the tv, and my end table

Kitchen: my medicine/reciept drawer

Baby's room: crib filled with gifts

Guest bathroom: needs toilet paper

Ander's room: the white drawers need cleaning out

My bedroom: there's a pile of crap next to my bed to be put away that has been there over a year

My bathroom: the tub is gross

The sad thing is that these are ALWAYS the problem areas. Why don't I just buy an extra package of toilet paper for the guest bathroom? What makes me wipe down my kitchen counter everytime I nuke something, but never wipe down the bathtub? How come I reorganized my purse once a month, but never go ahead and put away the small nox of stuff next to my bed? I just hate these areas, and there is no explanation for my weirdness.

But now I've written them down, so I'll tackle them, one at a time.


Friday, October 17, 2008

Defending The Mommies

When I decided not to breastfeed Ander, I heard some criticism. I was surprised, frankly. Most of the women I know bottlefeed. Plus, I had real medical reasons - serious ones - that made bottlefeeding a real necessity. As subtle and not-so-subtle little "breast is best" comments started flooding in, I developed my own philosophy. Breast is best, except when it isn't.

In my mind, "when it isn't" was a fairly limited category. I had a very serious infection and the doctor could not rule out breast cancer. I had a heart problem. I was unable to gain weight, even during pregnancy, and my body was literally fading away. "When it isn't" was clearly the category I fell into. I was annoyed by the "breast is best" campaign, because I felt like it marginalized women who truly should choose either donated breastmilk (which is expensive, difficult to get, and fraught with it's own set of potential costs and complications) or formula. Personally, I did not feel guilty. I made the best choice for my baby and my family. But I did feel like others either wanted to guilt me into breastfeeding or expected me to feel guilty because I was making what they would consider was the wrong choice. It's annoying when you think others, including real people, medical professions, the government with it's breastfeeding campaigns, and perfect strangers, are trying to guilt you into a particular position. Even if you don't feel guilty yourself, it's easy to get fed up with the whole thing.

Now I'm on the other side. I'm nursing my baby. I'm doing what is said to be "best." I'm following medical and government recommendations. You would think the "breast is best" campaign would make me feel empowered.

You would be wrong. :)

Actually, it makes me MAD this time (as opposed to the itty little annoyed of last time).

I've read the studies. Breastmilk has some wonderful qualities. (Obviously, I believe breastmilk is worthy, as evidenced by the boobies that I offer up for sacrifice every 2-3 hours.) It's rare for baby to have complications from or allergies to breastmilk. (You know, apart from my lucky baby and his jaundice. Oh, the irony.) I worry a lot less about Loki getting my cold or Alan's pneumonia because of the antibodies he gets.

But breastfeeding has some real, serious cons in other departments, including and especially the bonding department. Let me note right up front that some families bond just fine while breastfeeding. And, honestly, in those families, BREASTFEEDING IS BEST. :) But in my family, breastfeeding definitely gets in the way of bonding. Now, if the health of my baby was the only consideration, why, I'd say breastfeeding was far superior to formula feeding. But the reality is that my child's social and emotional development is, in many ways, more important to me than my child's health.

Health matters, but I'm not force-feeding Ander veggies. I let him have peanut butter and jelly, but I insist on table manners. Why? Because once his basic health needs are taken care of (veggies are offered, he gets a vitamin, and candy is limited), his emotional needs matter most. I'd rather a pleasant lunch where Ander and I chit chat and make circles with the sandwich than that Ander eat his carrots.

Formula, for all it's downfalls, provides for basic health needs. At that point, bonding weighs heavier in the whether-to-breastfeed equation, at least in my mind. While breastfeeding, I cannot look Loki in the eye. (Mostly, that's attributable to my body shape.) We spend his awake hours feeding instead of me talking to him and interacting with him. His daddy cannot console him sometimes. Poor Ander gets a lot less interaction because feeding takes at least 20 minutes instead of 5 minutes, and leaves mommy drained and tired and hungry. I am really not complaining. I'm truly not. I'm choosing breastfeeding because, at this point, the health benefits outweigh the cons. But the cons are real.

As I realize just how real (and understated and underreported) the cons are, especially the bonding con (but many others not mentioned here), I'm finding myself MAD at the "breast is best" campaign. Yep, actually angry. The bottom line is that best is an opinion. It's a judgment that someone made. And I'm just not convinced that it's true for every baby and every family. So how dare society tell new moms and dads that they are doing something not best when they use formula, even when using formula means their baby is getting it's nutritional needs met, mommy and daddy are bonding with the baby, and the baby and other children are getting their emotional and social needs met, perhaps better than the needs are being met in my own breastfeeding family.

I've also heard again and again that wanting daddy to bond is just an excuse and daddy can bond just as well in other ways. Bull (in my humble opinion ;)). All Loki knows right now is food. All he wants is to eat. The measly one bottle Alan gets to feed Loki does not make Loki turn to daddy for love (translation in Loki speak: food) and attention (translation in Loki speak: food) and comfort (translation in Loki speak: food...LOL). Loki is missing out on something precious when Daddy cannot feed him.

I'm still deciding that breastfeeding is best...for my family. But the cons are real, serious, and important. I dare not decide what is best for your family. I've decided to speak out against those who try to convince you what is best, including government campaigns to make women breastfeed. Breastfeeding is best, except when it isn't. I've just expanded in my mind my personal definition of "when it isn't." And, this time, I'm not just annoyed. I'm pissed off that someone else...anyone else...thinks they should tell me what is best for my family.


In Memory

Britt is my age. Actually, she's a year older, so she is 34. My sixteen year old self would say that is old. But my current self thinks that is young - too young to lose your mother.

I met Ms. Tony (Toni?...I never really had to write her name) when I visited her home on my way to my juniors' graduation with my girlfriends. I probably met her before that, but that's the time that I remember. I remember knowing instantly where Ashley and Britt got their pizazz. I remember thinking that Ms. Tony instantly treated me like a daughter. I remember feeling at home.

Ms. Tony always said exactly what she meant. Her expectations were high, no matter the obstacles. Family was incredibly important to her.

Britt is too young to lose her mom. It's a sad day.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Race Relations

I've been reading a friend's blog that deals with race and gender. I've also been watching the election campaigns very closely. Mostly, race isn't on my mind. I worry a bit that Ander does not have a diverse enough group of friends, and I do what I can to not just expose him to white people, but beyond that, I don't think about race much. Except, now, it's on my mind a lot more.

So, yesterday, I tried to consciencely notice who I interact with. I have a big criminal case against an assistant district attorney. He is black. I went to the doctor. The doctor and the nurse practitioner were both black women. I went to dinner. All the servers and all the patrons were white. I went to the kickball game. Most people were white, but one person was of Asian descent and a few people were black.

I was glad to notice that people in power positions, like the doctor and the attorney, were black. But I am concerned that I self-select working with high achieving minorities. I didn't hire the doctor BECAUSE she was black, but I didn't consider for a moment NOT hiring her because she was black. I met her, I instantly loved her, and she became my doctor. I wonder if other white people in my area would have even considered her?

I was very disturbed that no one in the bar and grill I ate supper at was black. The food is good. The neighborhood straddles a mostly white upper middle class neighborhood, a mixed middle class neighborhood, and a poor black neighborhood. I've never seen any clues of racism at the restaurant. But all the people were white. It raises my eyebrow. Are black people self-selecting out? Is there some underlying racism there? I truly do not know.

Anyway, I plan to actively notice the race of the people I interact with in the next few weeks. Maybe I'll get some insight and awareness.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Overheard at the Kickball Game

"My sister doesn't date gifties." -me

"Way to beat a girl, Mr. Uncle Tom." -me

"Could we call that safe due to douch baggedness?" -EBeth

"I can't go to Sammy's. My cat needs his gonads out by Friday." -Dave

I apologize that these are approximations. I was so excited by the game that I can't remember the exact quotes. These are good approximations, though.


Know Your Enemy

I recently commented on a friend's blog a suggestion that she read a story by Orson Scott Card as a starting point for a discussion with her pre-teen child. One of her readers commented back that Card is a homophobe.

Maybe. I don't know and the recommendation to just "google it" doesn't, for me, constitute sufficient proof. Card is Mormon and the Church of Latter Day Saints teaches against homosexual behavior, so an anti-homosexual rights position would not shock me. Actual fear of homosexuality? That would be difficult for me to believe of someone who rights such open-minded stories, but I'm not saying it is impossible. I'm just saying that I do not know.

Still, I stand by my recommendation that my blog friend read the book.

I've read books by Klan members and racists. I've read many a book by a sexist pig. I have certainly read books by people with different political or social positions than mine.

You do not have to agree with someone, or even respect them or their positions, to learn from them. If I only read books by authors that held the same world view and sense of right and wrong as I do, I'd never read anything. I am saddened when people close their minds because of a perception of someone else, substantiated or not. Obviously, if you don't respect someone, you look at their body of work differently and more critically. That makes perfect sense to me.

But to not look at their work at all. To not know and explore the opinions of people with whom you agree and people with whom you disagree. That's closing lots of intellectual doors that are better left open.



One of my friends barely uses the interweb to communicate. She was willing to read my blog for pregnancy updates, but that was as a favor to me so I didn't have to call her with updates. Another friend doesn't read blogs. His wife does, so sometimes he gets updated on goings on. But sometimes, he doesn't stay up-to-date. One client much prefers to call me with information than to e-mail me. That's fine during office hours, but he works during the day and calls as I am leaving the office. I've encouraged e-mail. He uses it, but he forgets to use it sometimes.

All of these people answer their phones. They are willing to visit and make plans and chat. They just aren't e-connected.

Drives me crazy! I really don't realize just how much I e-communicate until I try to make plans with one of them. I can't just e-mail. Want to get coffee on Tuesday? I HAVE to call them. Need a document before I can file the court papers? I have to pick up the phone. I am so connected on-line that I barely want to pick up a phone these days. I am aware the world does not revolve around me (despite the impression my loyal readers might have from reading my blog ;)), but I can still hope the people in my life start relying on e-mail, right?


Monday, October 13, 2008

Bodily Fluids

It's 1:30 p.m. So far, I've spilled breast milk all over my shirt and pants - twice. I've been pooped ALL OVER once. And I've been bled on twice. Awe...some.


So much for catching up with the laundry this weekend, eh?

Loki went to the doctor again to be weighed, since he wasn't gaining weight before. He is finally above his birth weight, three weeks later. Yippee. No more weight checks, though his next office visit is next week because it's his one month check-up. Sigh. It was one day too early for today to count as his one month. Fab-u-lous.

Loki has, you guessed it, breastmilk jaundice. You would know that I would choose to breastfeed and the little sucker would get one of the really rare complications of breastmilk, right? Basically, something like 2% of breastfed babies suffer for this (nonthreatening) jaundice. The only real problem is that it can mask real jaundice, which he did have, so they had to vampire his heel again today. Fortunately, my doctor is not concerned. She just said to keep feeding on demand during the day and up to every four hours at night. She said with the weight gain and with the whites of his eyes still white, we are okay if he looks a little like a pumpkin.

Oh, and Loki refused to nurse, three hours after last eating, in the quiet little corner of the doctor waiting area where I had total privacy and Ander had a sucker to keep him occupied. No, no, no. Because life cannot be simple.

An hour later, Loki DEMANDED FOOD NOW. At Highland Coffees. Packed for midterms. In front of my old history professor and some uncomfortable looking (but polite) freshman studying for midtems. Right as Ander announced, really loudly, "I made poo poo." (Might I add there was no need for an announcement. Really, you just had to say, breathe, and you could tell. Unless you were Doris (sans a sense of smell), anyway.) Have I mentioned that I carry an emergency bottle? No? That would be because I forgot to carry one. Ow.


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Loving My Husband

It's not an anniversary or special date, despite the props that I am about to give out.

I've spent the day with my husband, but really, we were rarely in the same room and had zero time to talk. He let me sleep until 9 a.m. (bless him!). He fed Loki his 3 a.m. feeding, Ander his breakfast, and did laundry. He cleaned tree parts out of our front lawn. He helped spray down Ander after the ant incident (poor boy got eaten up). He changed sheets, picked out Halloween costumes, and unloaded groceries. He took a nap, but barely complained at all when I ruined it by letting the baby cry in the room. Yet, I look across the house at him, buzzing in and out of the bedroom, saving laundry and getting things ready for work tomorrow...and I realize how much he means to me.

It's not the stuff he does, though thank God for the stuff he does.

It's not his cute smile or sense of humor or gentle, strong hug when I'm stressed.

It's not that he goes to work everyday, when all he really wants to do is lay on the couch and play with the kids.

It's just him. He grabs my hand and I know things will be okay. He smiles and I know that our kids are blessed. He is somewhere in the house, the state, the other end of my e-mail account, and I know I am never alone.

Just in case I haven't said it enough, I have the best husband in the world. (He's a pretty fine daddy, too.)


Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Failure to Share Useful Information

I would say, at this point, I am exclusively breastfeeding. Who would have thought, me, breastfeeding? Five years ago, it would not have occurred to me to breastfeed. I still think formula is pretty okay. I would NEVER try to talk a friend into breastfeeding. It's sort of like preaching about Jesus. I never did buy that you get someone to believe in Jesus by TELLING THEM TO BELIEVE. People who really believe, and live a peaceful, loving life, were always the people that made me believe. Preaching never worked. Showing did. Evne my atheist friends, when they live a positive, loving life, remind me of why I believe Jesus exists. Who but God could make someone without a belief in God still know how to be a good person? That is a miracle!

So how do I show people that breastfeeding is good? I blog ('cause you don't have to read a blog unless you choose to) and I feed and I support. I am honest about the pros AND the cons. (No one ever said being a Christian is easy. To have to follow the rules all the time - it sucks! To be attached at the booby all the time -it sucks, pun intended.) If someone is going to choose to breastfeed and put in all the required hard work, I want them to know what they are getting into, so they can succeed.

Unfortunately, I'm feeling like I am in the minority. You see, I am finding that when I seek out advice, I get a guilt-trip. I do NOT feel guilty about the way I am exclusively breastfeeding. I do NOT feel guilty about using a nipple shield or pumping a nighttime bottle or minimizing public nursing or covering-up or trying to create a schedule instead of purely feeding on demand. My way might not work. I get that. It's risky. But my baby, other than 24 hours at home for jaundice (while I continued to pump every 3 hours) and a tiny bit of formula in the hospital over three days (always mixed with breastmilk) in an attempt to allow my baby to NOT be strapped, down to bili lights, has only had breastmilk. I definitely would call that exclusively breastfed. But some psychos out there will not answer my questions, because I am not constantly baby-wearing (I use my sling mostly only for public nursing), because I am using a nipple shield (apparently, S-I-N-F-U-L...who know? LMAO), and because daddy is bottle-feeding. Oh, yah, and because I am not baring my breasts, which are "not sexual objects"...didn't I know? [Of course they are sexual. Are you joking? Can't breastfeeding be natural and my boobs be sexual? Why can't they be both?]

Let me take a second to say my real-life friends have been INCREDIBLY SUPPORTIVE! Ebeth, Stac and Stac, Leah, my LSMSA peeps, Rach, Paca, and even my "nonbreastfeeding leaning peeps" like Michelle and Brien (though Brien's nonleaning comes more from his lack of breasts, I suspect ;))'ve all offered great advice and no judgment, even when I KNOW you have a different philosophy than I do about some aspect of nursing, like extended feeding or public nursing. Thanks.

But on-line and with strangers, even of the support breastfeeding persuasion, people are judgmental. Do NOT use a nipple shield (with no explanation...thanks, Bethany of LSMSA, for actually taking the time to give me the information and an explanation so I can decide for myself). No need to cover up. (Of course there is. If mom is going to be uncomfortable uncovered, then covering up only helps the nursing relationship. It's common sense. D'uh. Being a mom doesn't make me a different person. And I'm not saying you have to cover up. I am saying that I have to cover up.) The LLL website doesn't do a good job, at all, of supporting combo feeding. I'm a working mom! I have an involved daddy who wants to feed the baby. I have health issues that require sleep (a bit, at least) if I am to survive. Combo feeding (and come on, people, it's with BREASTMILK...though formula would be okay with me) is my solution to the inability and inadequancy of my character that keeps me from being a 24/7 stay-at-home mommy. (Yes, I said inadequacy of character. I am an honest woman. LOL.)

Some of the judgment sort are really smart. They know tons about breastfeeding. They just can't get over themselves enough to share the knowledge. It's like it's 100% or 0%. Either you sit all day, nursing on your couch on demand and with your top off, or you are a failure. Well, they are the failures. Their extreme position and narrow thinking means that they are putting women in the position of remaining uneducated about breastfeeding OPTIONS. Yes, I said it. There are OPTIONS. And more babies would get more breastmilk if women were encouraged to exercise the options.

I know all this breastfeeding blogging is getting old. Goodness, Kristy, talk about something otherthan your boobs! :) But, somewhere out there, some woman is reading this. She wants to do the best thing she can for her baby, but she is realistic and doesn't want to burn out. And she stumbles upon this blog. And she realizes she is not alone and that others who preach and make different choices do not get to make her feel guilty. They don't have the power. They SHOULD either share their useful information, without judgment, or feel guilty themselves for discourging breastmilk - however it arrives and however much gets to baby.

So here's my chance to guilt-trip the crazies! Take that, crazies!

For the rest of the world, the saga will continue. Stay tuned.


Thursday, October 9, 2008


My lips have been chapped, well, for about 40 weeks now. That's from the beginning of pregnancy until now. I drink a ton. I eat fruit. I use chapstick. I think pregnancy and breastfeeding just zap my fluids.

In totally unrelated news ('cause randomness makes for good blogging, right?), the parish picked up the tree debris we had. Yippee!!! Ander had fun watching the tree truck with our neighbor, Mrs. Audrey. Mrs. Audrey was kind enough to keep an eye on Ander, so he could watch the truck while I checked on the baby. Have I mentioned how much I like our neighbors? Seriously, we live by some really great people. (Plus the trashy people to the other side of us, but who is counting? And who is listening to the trashy teenager making out outside of our bedroom door? How does a kid end up in 10th grade at 18? How? Not that I am judging...much.)


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Moms Shouldn't Write About Poop

But some poop stories are just too good not to share.

"Yuck. What is this?" Alan exclaims as he lifts up Loki and looks down at his t-shirt. Poop is smeared from Daddy's neckline to his waist. "Your mommy doesn't know how to put a diaper on you, does she?"

Wife coughs. "Um, honey, you changed Loki's diaper a half hour ago."

Husband is sheepish. "Oh."

Ha ha ha ha ha. LMAO.


Little Brat

We visited my mom today. I had some checks to sign and leave at my office for deposit plus Maw Maw wanted to see Loki and Ander. I figured Maw Maw could hold Loki while I got a much needed nap.

Aw, come already know exactly what happened. Ander and Loki each took a nice long nap at exactly the same time, since, you know, I had a sitter and all.

At least I slept some.


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

It's Not All Baby Cuddles and Mommy Bliss

It's my first day home alone with the two kids. Alan returned (temporarily) to work so he can stretch out his leave and the time that Loki gets to spend at home with mommy and/or daddy.

Fortunately, Loki nursed a bit late (almost midnight), so Alan fed him at the 2 a.m. feed and I was good until 6 a.m. But starting at 6 a.m., things got busy. I've nursed Loki twice, changed three diapers and two outfits, fixed Ander and myself breakfast, started a chili, set up a movie on DVD, got down the bank for the money Ander found, and done a ton of little things.

What I haven't done? Sat down to eat a meal. Showered. Changed my clothes. Spent more than a moment in the bathroom. Brushed my teeth. Started my hour I plan to dedicate daily to work.

I just want to sit between my darling children and watch a good cartoon. But there is no time.


Monday, October 6, 2008

Nursing in Public

Sigh. It sucks.

We had a ped appointment and my doctor's appointment, with lunch in between. To date, I've just pumped and brought a bottle, but this time we were just going to be out of the house for too long. So off I went, armed with a sling, a nipple shield (sorry, really should start reading the titles of my blog entries ;)), and a blanket.

Loki is almost done with jaundice. He even gained a tiny bit of weight. But, of course, at 2 1/2 weeks, he hasn't gained enough. My doctor suggested nursing at least 20 minutes each time. My baby, of course, objects and refuses. He nurses for 7 minutes...and that is it. There is no waking him. There is no getting him to relatch. 7 minutes and he is D-O-N-E.

After the appointment, we went into the "newborn" waiting room, which was empty, to nurse the baby. I am not a "brazen breastfeeder" (a term I'm stealing from another person's blog entry, where she suggests nursing openly and without cover-up in public). I won't be hiding in the back room, but I don't want booby exposed, either. (Yes, yes, I've heard the "babies have a right to eat" argument. For me, it comes down to the fact that all humans eat, but we have manners. There are times and places where it is impossible to feed a baby while covering up. In those cases, feeding the baby trumps all manners! It is the polite thing to do. But if you can be more discreet, using a cover-up, sling, or a quiet corner, that's just good manners, in my humble opinion. I'm not telling anyone else what to do, of course. I'm simply stating my personal position on the matter - a position that matters a lot at this moment in time.) So I tried to nurse discretely, and for 20 whole minutes.

Boy, we suck at this!

First, Loki does not want to suck for 20 minutes. HE SIMPLY REFUSES. Gre-ate. Second, we managed to stay covered, but not without my husband freaking out over a sidewards glance of flesh. (Did I mention the room was EMPTY? {rolls eyes}) And...I leaked all over when Loki suddenly pulled away. Ever see boobies cry? You should have seen my t-shirt.

My doctor's office was MUCH, MUCH WORSE! The doctor was running late, between the two kids there were four poopy diapers, the baby was wailing, and there was no private place to nurse. Well, how bad could it be to nurse in an OB's waiting room, right?


A 3 year old kept trying to peek into the sling. A snotty, gross 3 year old whose nasty nose was not getting near my baby. Everyone was really nice about it, but I was so awkward and the baby was so hungry that we managed to get even wetter. I had major leakage, despite a bath towel, cover, sling, and nursing pads. I looked like two water balloons had burst, right under my breasts. Terrific. :( Plus, Lokin refused to nurse. He was too hungry, and I couldn't cover him and keep from leaking and let him breath and hold his head up all at once.

I really, really hate NIP. Hate it. It does get better, right? I guess I'll carry an extra t-shirt from now on.


Friday, October 3, 2008

I Hate Money

If I've ever approached a nervous breakdown, it's been over money. I grow up fairly poor. We had food stamps. I lived in a trailer for years. I only wore hand-me-down clothes. I didn't get to buy yearbooks or prom dresses or, often, Christmas gifts for my friends. In college, I worked three jobs at once and ate lots of peanut butter and jelly to survive.

This year, I didn't make an income. Between the miscarriage, a short spell of financial downturn at the business, morning sickness, bedrest, and having a baby via c-section, there was just no opportunity to make an income. I'm blessed, I guess, to have kept the business running so that I can make money in 2009. I'm really lucky to have a husband with a solid income. We are paying our bills (including all those extra medical bills), if just barely.

So when I turn on the radio or tv or search the web, the economic news gives me mini anxiety attacks. I don't know why. It's not like I really own stocks. My mortage note is reasonable and does not fluctuate, so I'm not losing my home anytime soon. I don't need any credit right now, and have a great credit score, so getting credit is not an issue for us. As situations go, ours is fairly stable.

But I think back to the days during college when I couldn't afford a beef meximelt at Taco Bell, for 49 cents, and I freak out.


Thursday, October 2, 2008

Loving Lorna - So I Stole Her Meme

How does one pronounce "meme", anyway?

Based on an exercise developed by Will Barratt, Meagan Cahill, Angie Carlen, Minnette Huck, Drew Lurker, Stacy Ploskonka at Illinois State University. If you participate in this blog game, PLEASE acknowledge their copyright.


* Father went to college
* Father finished college
* Mother went to college
* Mother finished college
* Have any relative who is an attorney, physician, or professor
* Were the same or higher socio-economic class than your high school teachers
* Had more than 50 books in your childhood home
* Had more than 500 books in your childhood home
* Were read children's books by a parent
* Had more than two kinds of lessons before you turned 18
* The people in the media who dress and talk like me are portrayed positively
* Had a credit card with your name on it before you turned 18
* Your parents (or a trust) paid for the majority of your college costs
* Your parents (or a trust) paid for all of your college costs
* Went to a private high school
* Went to summer camp
* Family vacations involved staying at hotels
* Your clothing was all bought new before you turned 18
* There was original art in your house when you were a child
* You and your family lived in a single family house
* Your parent(s) owned their own house(s) or apartment before you left home
* You had your own room as a child
* You had a phone in your room before you turned 18
* Participated in an SAT/ACT prep course
* Had your own TV in your room in High School
* Owned a mutual fund or IRA in High School or College
* Flew anywhere on a commercial airline before you turned 16
* Went on a cruise with your family
* Went on more than one cruise with your family
* Your parents took you to museums and art galleries as you grew up
* You were unaware of how much heating bills were for your family


Meme Stolen From Paca

1. What are your nicknames?

Sixteen; Psychotwin; Natch (I doubt any of my friends know the story of all three nicknames. I run in different circles. LOL.)

2. What game show and/or reality show would you like to be on?

The Mole. Failure can make you a winner. I love that!

3. What was the first movie you bought in VHS or DVD?

I don't think I've ever actually bought a movie, at least for myself.

4. What is your favorite scent?


5. If you had a million dollars that you could only spend on yourself, what would you do with it?

I'd hire a truth-teller to tell people all the things they need to hear, but I am too wimpy to say. I've already vetted my truth-teller; I just cannot afford his salary yet. I'd also hire a housekeeper and chef. And I would travel.

6. What one place have you visited that you can't forget and want to go back to?

New York City.

7. Do you trust easily?

Yes, too easily. I get in trouble for it all the time.

8. Do you generally think before you act, or act before you think?

Socially, I act before I think. Professionally, I always think before I act.

9. Is there anything that has made you unhappy these days?

My baby being in the hospital and on the bili light made me cry everyday. Missing Ander during my many hospital stays was heart-wretching. The NICU made me crazy.

10. Do you have a good body image?

Yes. Tomorrow, I'll be two weeks post-partum, and I still have a good body image, Maybe I live in a dream world. LOL.

11. What is your favorite fruit?

Strawberries (with chocolate, of course) and satsumas and watermelon. Opps, I didn't see the singular verb tense.

12. What websites do you visit daily?

giftieetcetera, LSMSAreunions, pregnancyweekly, google reader

13. What have you been seriously addicted to lately?

Iced oatmeal cookies and grits (not necessarily together)

14. What kind of person do you think the person who tagged you is?

I am untagged, but Paca is going to be a dear friend, just as soon as hubby and I make it out to Hawaii!

15. What's the last song that got stuck in your head?

Loving in the glen, Smoky side of Loch, Ander in my hand, Thistle in my heart...close your eyes and dream...

16. What's your favorite item of clothing?

Right this moment? The $50 nursing bra that actually fits and doesn't hurt. It's dirty this moment, so I'm wearing the $12 Wal-mart one. It itches.

In general? I need a new all-purpose sweater, with a zip front and pockets and cuffed sleeves, but that sort of sweater is always my favorite (and gets worn until it wears out, which is why I need a new one).

17. Do you think Rice Krispies are yummy?

No. I don't like Rice Krispie treats, either.

18. What would you do if you saw $100 lying on the ground?

If I didn't have the way to identify the owner, finders keepers!

19. What items could you not go without during the day?

Right now? A nipple shield. Yuck! But in general, my laptop.

20. What should you be doing right now?

Holding my baby. Or, perhaps, taking a shower. Double ick!


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

What's In A Name

Lochlan Reilly, aka Loki. It funny how much our relatives hate the name. And strangers. They try to pretend. "Oh, that's interesting." "Wow, that's really unique." (Not really, by the way. The Scottish version of Lochlan, spelled Lochlin, I think, is the number one boy name in Australia.) And Loki just blows their minds. They want to called him Lock-ee instead of Low-key. Which is fine by me...Loki is my nickname for Lochlan and other nicknames aren't bothersome to me, especially as his daddy sometimes calls him Loch...but it's really funny when my family stumbles all over themselves, trying to remember how to pronounce Loki or to spell Lochlan.

But our friends mostly seem to really appreciate the humor of the name Loki. It sort of gets a kid off the hook, doesn't it, to name him after a god of mischief? It's the opposite of the way I live, but the dream of what I want to be like. Whatever he does, living up to his name will be easy, even if everything else is hard.

Ander and Loki. Who would have thought I would have kids with those names? I am such a Michael/Scott sort of person. But the names fit. They fit perfectly, somehow.


The Myth of Breastfeeding Bliss

I remember when I was a formula feeding mommy and I heard from so many breastfeeding mommies that I was missing out on the intimate connection of looking into my beautiful baby's eyes while nursing him.

Ha ha ha ha ha.

Imagine your nipple is pierced. Now, imagine someone ties that piercing to a train. The conductor starts the train. The train leaves the station. OUCH to the thousandth degree. Oh, and that's with a proper latch. And without any sore nipples or tears or anything...though rumors abound that such things eventually happen.

And looking into dear baby's eyes? Not a chance. He's buried somewhere far below eye level. Plus, I have to watch his nostrils, as he cannot get air if I don't hold them away from me.

Alan and I were discussing how wonderful it was to bottle feed Ander, to hold him close and gaze deep into his soul.

I know I am doing the best thing for my little one. But bonding? Wonderful? Sweet? Those people must have been lying liars!


Off the Light

The home health people called and Loki is now bili light free. He knows it, too. I try to put him down (because it's 4:22 p.m. and I haven't had time for lunch yet...sigh) and he screams. He knows I am going to hold him now...I'm certain of it. :)

They are checking him again tomorrow and not taking the light away until they are certain levels aren't coming back up.


Oh The Blur

Alan apparently watched Rocky and feed the baby bottles half the night. I had to get up and pump, of course, but at one point, I slept for 5 hours IN A ROW. Holy moly, it was nice. I'm so blessed that Loki will take the bottle or breast equally well. He gained an ounce today, so I guess he's eating enough. Of course, when I did pump (once yesterday when the pain was unbareable and once this morning after the five hour slumber), I made about 12 ounces in less than 5 minutes. That's crazy, of course. No one does that. Sigh.

Ander was sitting in the back seat of the car day before yesterday, and he busted out with, "oh my freakin' God." Guess we are letting words slip that oughtn't.

I feel like I never stop. Wake. Pump. Shower. Feed baby. Feed me and Ander. Change Ander. Change baby. Feed baby. Feed Ander. Ander down for nap. Feed me. It just never ends. I think it will be better once Lochlan is off the bili light, but I figure that's going to be Friday at the earliest. His levels are going down, but pretty slowly.

We've had fewer visitors than I expected. P and E came over one night. My youngest sister visited the next night. But one of my sisters is pregnant and nearing the end, so extra trips are exhausting to her. The other has a sick kid, so she is not coming around until he is better. And my mom and dad haven't been by all week (which, yes, I think is strange, but normal for them). I think it helped that we brought the baby to a family event, so everyone got to see him there.