call it a whim

Monday, July 31, 2006

He was right!!!

Yes, I have come to report that the father in My Big, Fat, Greek Wedding was in fact, correct. Windex is a wounderful, multi-purpose spray that can be used for almost anything.
My first example comes to us from the seventh month of my pregnancy. This was in May, when the humidity in FL set in, my entire body seemed to swell literally overnight. I woke up and panicked when I realized I could not remove my wedding rings. Normally, the things are a little loose, but on that day in particular, they were not budging. I immediately scoured the internet for tips, and tried everything. I wrapped dental floss tightly around my finger to try and constrict it enough to slide the ring off. Nope. I tried vegetable oil. Nope. Preperation H. Nope. sticking my finger in ice while holding it above my head until the finger had frostbite and the arm felt like it might fall off. Nope. Just when I had given up hope, and started putting my clothes on for a trip to a jeweler to see if they could cut the rings off. Then I stumbled across the second page of my google search, which I had been making my way through, and found the word Windex. "Like in the movie?" I thought. Well, I dug it out of the cabinet, sprayed my finger liberally, and within 2 minutes, was able to slide the rings off. An added bonus: the rings had a nice clean shine. MAGIC!!!
My second encounter with the miralces of windex came on Friday afternoon. Somehow, three hornets had managed to get into our house. Now, I am NOT a bug lover. Especially when the bugs have stingers. All I wanted was a can of Raid, which we didn't have. So looked through the pantry and spotted a trusty bottle of windex. I grabbed it and went on my sniper mission. I located the first hornet, aimed, flinched, sprayed about 20 times, and then ducked in case all I had managed to do was anger the thing. When I found the strength to open my peepers, I saw the little thing writhing on the floor. I am not normally a person who wants to watch something die, but when it's a bug, nothing gives me more pleasure. I patted my trusty bottle of windex, and set off in search of the other hornets.
Thank you windex, thank you big fat greek daddy. I am a customer for life.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Breast....does that offend you?

Today, I came across this article on MSNBC . I am a faithful reader of babytalk magazine, and many other parenting periodicals. When this magazine arrived at my house last week, I did not even look twice at the cover. I expect to see pictures of breastfeeding in these types of magazines, and it did not faze me that they chose to portray this image as the cover of their Summer issue. However, it has certainly caused a great deal of controversy, and I thought I would share my own two cents worth.

My basic thought on feeding an infant is, a baby has to eat, and as parents, it is our job to feed them. Now really the only two ways to feed a newborn are via breastfeeding or formula. Cow's milk won't cut it. Solids don't make up a big enough part of the diet until age one, so infants need calorie and nutrient laden liquid to help them grow (and no, Carnation Instant Breakfast isn't good enough). So back to our two choices, let's examine them:

Breastfeeding has countless benefits to both baby and mother. First, there's the bonding issue. What better way to get an infant to love you than to be the supplier of all of it's nutrition? There are antibodies in breastmilk that can fend off disease for years. Studies show that a baby who is breastfed for only 3 months has a greater chance of fighting off ear infections for the entire first year of life. Now think about if that breastfeeding is done for a full year or (gasp) even longer. That kid is like a walking antibiotic for itself. Plus, breastmilk is always at hand, ready warmed and doesn't require pre planning. Then there are the benefits for mom. Breastfeeding aids in weight loss in the postpartum months. It has also been linked to women who are breast-cancer free in their post-menopausal years. Even the formula companies post all over their cans "breastmilk is the best nutrition for an infant". I can say, and have said, that breastfeeding trumps any other method of feeding a baby. BUT...after the three month mark, Grady chugged Enfamil and enfamil alone. Why? Well, that brings us to the formula.

Formula is easy. It's more expensive, but the cost can be worth it for people like me, who discovered the one drawback to is HARD. It takes an unbelievable amount of commitment and time. Formula has most of the nutrients of breastmilk, none of the antibodies, but it comes with a know your kid is getting fed. I worried incessantly that Grady was not getting enough to eat. I also had NO idea what a huge chunk of time breastfeeding takes up in the course of a day. Grady would nurse for 30 minutes at a time, then by the time he burped, spit up four times, had a diaper change and took a catnap, it was time to start the process all over again. I felt like I was chained to my boppy (nursing pillow). Add on the fact that every time Grady latched on, I felt like a pirhana was biting my nipple, and formula became an appealing option. I tried calling lactation consultants, and pumping, but after crying my way through for 3 months, I had had enough. So Grady got "the devils brew" as some very pro breastfeeding "lactivists" call formula. He is now healthy as a horse, weighs 22 pounds and is quite advanced for his age in many skills. Oh, but it must be said that he has never had an ear infection, so the three month rule must work.

Ok, so what does that all have to do with the controversy? Everything. Despite the fact that Grady drank formula, I am very pro breastfeeding. I am pro formula feeding too. I just want those babies to be fed. Whenever, however, and wherever they need to be. Every time I pulled out a bottle at the mall I got oohs and aahs from everyone passing by as I fed my little boy. I tried nursing in public once (and only once) and I got dirty looks and hushed "tsk tsk-ing". One elderly woman told me I should use the restroom to "do that". For the record, no one has ever asked me to eat my Chick-fil-A while seated on a toilet...that would be unsanitary, right? Also for the record, breastfeeding in public is permitted by law in every state, yet America as a whole is somehow appaled by the thought of a mother using the tool God gave her to feed her child. The breast has become an oversexed object of the woman's body. However, those same people will walk by Victorias secret or a Maxim magazine and not bat an eye. I have seen teenagers at Busch Gardens with bikini tops that barely cover the nipple, and no one asking them to step into the restroom.

Now let me clarify, I was not just walking through the food court in the mall with my boobie hanging out. I was seated, on a bench in a quiet part of the mall. I had a blanket draped over my shoulder. All people could see were Grady's tiny little socks poking out from under the blanket, and it still offended them. Because they were offended, I was embarrased. It was one of the reasons I switched to formula. I was not as educated then as I am now. I do not condemn anyone for making any legal parenting choice they see fit, as long as it does not put my child in danger.

Fast forward to today. There is a magazine cover out that portrays a baby eating from its mother's breast. You do not see the nipple, you do not see more of the breast than you would see on the cover of Cosmo. Yet there is uproar. One mother shredded the cover so her 13 year old would not look at it. In my opinion, all that is doing is teaching the young boy that a breast is a dirty thing, and sexualizing it more. Believe me, there is nothing sexy about a breast when it is being used for breastfeeding. They are swollen, leaky and smell like sour milk most of the time. But to a baby, it's heaven. I am not saying that all mothers should breastfeed, in fact, I think there are definately times when it is not an option. I am torn on the government's new stand to encourage breastfeeding. While I think it's a great thing for them to support, I don't think they are going about it in the right way. Anyone who has seen the commercial of a pregnant woman riding a mechanical bull knows what I am referring to. I don't feel that people who formula feed are endangering the life of their child (obviously), but there are people out there who do have that mindset, and I am ok with them as people. I guess where I am trying to go with this, is to spread the word (very slowly, based on the number of people who read this blog) that breastfeeding is not bad. Breasts are not bad. Why are you offended? The next time you smile at the lady feeding her baby a bottle at the mall, try to smile at the lady next to her with the baby's head covering what you can't see but know is there, or at the very least, don't scowl.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Old MacDonald had a Walrus...

Well, faithful reader(s). It has been nealy a month since my last blog. During that time, I played the role of single mom for a few days while Chris went to training for his new career with the Department of Treasury (the IRS, but the Dept of Treasury sounds a little "nicer"). Snaps to any single moms who read this blog. I don't know how you ladies do it. I was dead tired by the end of the week. Also in the past month, I have officially signed up to start classes for nursing school. So, I hate to dissappoint, but the blog may be lacking a bit in and out for the next, oh....3 to 4 years. By then blogs will be "so 2 years ago" anyway, so I am sure no one will mind much.
Grady's first birthday is less than a week away, so plans include a party this Saturday, and then a trip to NJ for Chris' family reunion. Chris will not be flying up until Friday night, but the rest of us are leaving Wednesday the 19th, which is Grady's actual birthday. Think of me and my in-laws as we brave the 2 hour plane ride with a toddler. (sob, he'll be a TODDLER)!!!!
Chris and I have been watching America's Got Talent (and DVRing "So You Think You Can Dance") and I have got to say that I am totally smitten with little Taylor Ware, the yodeling 12 year old. I am also a big fan of the crazy harmonica kid, who reminds me of a little Taylor Hicks. To the guy with the dogs, however....what the heck???? Sorry to any of you who did not see the acts last night and are now totally confused. BUT, I do have new video footage of one of America's youngest up and coming talents. Aren't you lucky. In the following clips, you can hear him trying to say "walrus" and singing Old Mac Donald. Sure, neither one is perfect yet, but he definately tops the guy with the dogs....

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