Monday, August 29, 2011

Date Night


Me and the hubs had a much needed date night Saturday. For all of our dates since Adoration was born we have either A) had to rush back to make sure I was back in time for her next nursing session. B) left for our date AFTER she was down for the night. Since she never took a bottle, this is just how it had to be. She's been slowly weaning (I've been going by her cues and letting her self-wean, for the most part.) Her last hold-outs were her before-bed nursing session and her morning feeding. A couple of weeks ago she dropped her night feeding. A whole new world of going out possibilities opened up. We could actually eat out dinner during a reasonable hour! gasp! And just a couple days ago, she dropped her morning feeding. So at fourteen months, Adoration is officially weaned. whew! While part of it was a little bittersweet, man, I was ready to be done with breastfeeding. It helps that I have a snuggly little bug. If anything, I think she is more snuggly since weaning!

So back to The Date. We went to this amazing restaurant that is basically like a big tiki hut, all open air, overlooking the inter coastal waterway. They have docks at the back of the restaurant, so you could paddle board, boat, or kayak straight in. It's pretty beautiful, with tropical plants everywhere and little streams running through parts of the restaurants. It feels like you on some kind of exotic island, with the ocean breeze, water, and palm trees. Dinner was yummy(and so was my pina colada!) Conversation with my hubs as we watched the sun set, was even better.

After dinner we took a night time walk on the beach. With lightning storms over the deep, and shooting stars overhead, hand-in-hand with my best friend and the father of my child, I was falling in love all over again.

my date. for always and forever.

Since we were going to a "tropical" restaurant, I wore my "tropical" dress.
Because I'm cheesy like that sometimes.

colorful chairs on the dock.
Wait.....we LIVE here?

Learning at Home: Colors, Part Two

Here is Part Two to our colors week! For part one, go here.


GAMES

Our first game was "Post-it Note Colors."

Materials:
colorful post-it notes

Directions:
Stick different colored post-it notes to different parts of your body. Let your child have fun pulling them off. As they pull off each post it, name the color and the part of the body they took it from.

Adoration thought it was pretty hilarious that I covered myself in these post-its. I peeled one off for her, so she knew she could take them off. I asked her to help me get the post-its off! As she took off a post-it, I would say, "That is the color green! You took the color green off myarm."She also thought it was fun to put the post-its back on!

Learning:
Helps your child recognize colors and the names of body parts.

Adjustments/Alternatives for different ages:
for babies: Try putting the post-its on your baby. Name the color and body part as you put the post-it on.

for older toddlers/preschoolers:

Have them help you take the post-its off of you. Have them name the color and body part as they take the post-its off. Or try having them take off just one color at a time, "Can you find all of the blue post-its and help me take them off?"


We also played "Flashlight Colors."

Materials:
flashlight
different colored clothes, fabric, or scarves
music

Directions:
Go into a dark room for this activity. Shine the flashlight through the scarves to make different
colors! Name each new color as you do it. We also put on some music, and made patterns on the ceiling with the light to the tempo of the music. Adoration was pretty mesmerized. We also did shadow puppets which she loved.

Learning:
Light vs. dark. colors.

Adjustment for different ages:
for babies: lay on your back with the baby and make patterns with the light on the ceiling to music. Babies love this stuff.
preschoolers: Have them name the colors. Let them hold and play with the flashlight. Have them alternate moving the flashlight from slow to fast.

ART

Bubble-wrap Painting

Materials:
washable, non-toxic paint or fingerpaint
bubble-wrap (I just got a couple of free packing envelopes from an office store for free. I cut out squares and she painted on the bubble side.)

Directions:
Tape the bubble wrap on to a high chair tray or a table (if an older child) so it doesn't slide around. Squirt some paint on there and let them get messy! We did red and blue to mix purple. The bubble wrap adds a interesting sensory element to the activity.

Learning:
Color mixing.

Adjustment/Alternates for different ages:
You don't really need to adjust for either older or younger. Babies will try to eat it though, so watch out! Getting a little in their mouths won't hurt them though. Adoration has been painting since she was three months old! We would just stick her in a bumbo and let her paint on the tray.

*painting trick: for regular painting on paper, if you don't want to have to tape paper down, just let them paint directly on the tray. When they are done, just press a piece of paper down on the tray and lift it back up, you will have a mirror image on the paper!

"Mouse Paint" Footprint Painting
In the book "Mouse Paint," three mice on a long white sheet of paper stumble upon some paint, paint the paper, and walk all over it with their wet painted paws. So we did the same thing! We read the book before doing the activity.

Materials:
white banner paper (you can get this at office supply stores, teaching supply stores, Target, and even ikea.)
washable paint or fingerpaint

Directions:
Spread out a long "runway" of paper. Tape it down (so it won't slide.)
Dip your lil' ones feet into the paint and let them walk down the paper! They will leave colorful footprints behind.
I held Adoration's hands as she walked down the paper to help guide her. Then I put my feet in a different color and put my footprints down too! I wanted her to see the difference between the size of our feet. She walked around our patio a bit in messy feet and I just hosed it down. Washable paint washes right off!

Obviously, babies can't do the walking part, but you can still make some footprints!


Our footprints, on display. (Cut up for display purposes.)

For now, I'll be doing these "Learning at Home" posts every other week. I'll plan on doing Part One of our sample learning weeks on Sundays and Part Two on Mondays.
So that was Colors week! Hope ya'll got some ideas! Have fun trying them with your lil' ones. I would love to hear how they go!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Learning at Home: Colors, Part One

Hey ya'll! Here is a sample week of what Learning at Home looks like for us. For the introduction to this feature, check out this post. These activities our tailored towards my daughter's current developmental stage. At fourteen months old, she is considered a young toddler. This week was "Colors." Okay here goes...

READING

Some of our books for the week:

"Mouse Paint" by Ellen Stoll Walsh is one of my all time favorites and is a great way to introduce the idea of color mixing to kids.
I just discovered "A Color of His Own" by Leo Lionni and the illustrations are just gorgeous. Adoration was especially drawn to this book. Look for books that seem appropriate and enjoyable for the developmental stage your child is in!

SOMETHING NEW

As I mentioned in the intro, "Something New" are just new things I add to Adoration's environment. For this week, we had color baskets. A different color for each day. I just shopped around our house for items that went with whatever the color was for the day. This day was "Orange" day. Some of the items in this basket are just pieces of Adoration's toys, cd slipcovers, and an actual orange. Her favorite thing to play with by far was the orange!


SENSORY

Our first sensory activity was "Making Soup."
Materials:
a big pot
a stirring spoon
colorful items that both float and sink. We used foam shapes and magnetic alphabet letters.

Directions:
I showed Adoration how to stir the pot and then just let her play as she liked! I pointed out how some items floated and some were on the bottom of the pot. Every time she picked up one of the shapes or letters I would say the color.

Learning:
Aside from being a sensory stimulus, this activity is a very early introduction to the concepts of floating, sinking, and the mass of objects. It also encourages motor development.

Adjustment/alternatives for different ages:

for babies:
use a container that allows the baby to sit in the water, or you could even hold your babies feet into the water. Let them kick and splash and play! They will have fun playing in the water and trying to grasp the objects (which is great for their fine motor development!) As they play talk about how the water feels and the colors of the objects.

for preschool ages:
For older children, you can extend this concept farther. Make an experiment out of it.
Have your child guess what objects will float and which objects will sink. Put the objects in the water and find out! Have your child name the colors he sees. And just let them play! Have bowls to "serve" the soup in. Your preschooler will love serving you some soup and watching you pretend to eat it!
Our second sensory activity was "Rice Play."
Materials:
Rice
optional food coloring (I added some color to the rice to add interest.)
measuring cups, spoons, funnels, and a muffin pan.

Directions:
Just let them play, and watch to make sure they don't eat it! Adoration particularly liked grabbing fistfuls of the rice and filling up the muffin tin and cups.

Learning:
Encourages fine motor development. Early introduction to the concept of volume.

Adjustment/alternatives for different ages:
for babies:
pour the rice over their little feet, let them grab the rice with their hands(just be diligent about making sure it stays clear of their mouths!) Babies will enjoy exploring this new texture.
activity can stay the same for older children. If you want, you can hide small objects in the rice, for them to find!

Okay, so those were our Reading, Something New, and Sensory Activities for our "Colors" week. Pretty simple, right? Hope this gives you some inspiration! Tomorrow, I will show you our Games and our Art activities! Also, I didn't include the area of Music in the intro, but it's also an important part of our weekly learning. It's just never "planned" for us. We just always have music/singing/dancing/banging on instruments time in our household and I encourage you to do the same if you don't already!

and a note on certain learning activities:

Not every child likes every activity, so don't be too sad if they decide that they hate something! Some children can be sensory "sensitive." For example, Adoration doesn't like sudden, loud noises. Some children may not like the texture of certain things or getting messy. As you do these things, you will learn your child's preferences and maybe certain things to steer away from!
Also, it's okay if your child does something with the activity other than what was "planned." That is part of the beauty of exploration. For example, during our "Making Soup" activity, Adoration gave up stirring the pot, and started taking all the little objects out of the pot and walking around with them. No problem! Rather than make her sit down and play in the water, I just let her take the activity into her own hands.

Stay tuned for Part Two!


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Intro to Learning at Home

Hey ya'll!

In this post, I asked ya'lls opinion on starting a new feature here on the blog about the learning activities I do with Adoration. I got a lot of positive feedback, so I'll aim to make it a weekly feature and call it "Learning at Home." Before I get in to showing you our activities for the week, I'll give you an introduction into how we do it around here. You don't have to do it the exact way we do it. There is no "right" way. This is just what works for our family right now. Hopefully, this will be a place where you can get some ideas or be inspired. If having a lesson plan for the entire week seems overwhelming to you, just take baby steps! Try adding just one or two activities to your week that you wouldn't normally do.

Back in my preschool teaching days, I would have to plan lesson plans for the week and would have to make sure I incorporated activities for every subject area. I have a young toddler so I don't get that fancy. Plus, for us, that just wouldn't be realistic. So I've taken what I know and simplified it into a form that works for our family.

Usually during some downtime over the weekend I sit and plan out our learning for the week. First, I start with a theme. Now a theme isn't necessary, but I've found it helps give me focus for the week. Not all our planned activities go with the theme, but I would say about half of them do. A theme can be something your child is interested in, it can be a book, it can be nature. Get creative!

Here are the categories I use to split up our weekly learning.

READING:
So, for us, this week's theme is COLORS. Adoration is obsessed with one of her books about color's, so it seemed like a good choice. We usually hit up the library on Mondays so using the trusty computer card catalog, I look up books that go with the theme and we check them out! We read before every nap and bedtime, so this one is easy.

SOMETHING NEW:
Have you ever noticed that your baby/toddler/preschool will be surrounded by dozen's of toys, will find a piece of paper on the floor and then proceed to play with it for the next 15 minutes? That's because they see those toys everyday but that piece of paper is different, it's NEW. So my first category is adding something new into their environment. First off, if you don't do this already, it's a good idea to rotate your toys. That way they aren't playing with the same toys every day.
I have a basket I designate for our "something new." Put unconventional materials in it for your child to play with. Use nature objects. Things from your kitchen. Anything that is safe for a child to play with. For example, one week I filled the basket with small cups, cotton balls, and q-tips. It was like Christmas. Adoration just LOVED those q-tips.
Here is the key, only bring the basket out during part of the day. I like to bring ours out when I'm trying to get ready in the morning. It keeps Adoration entertained while I'm trying to see to the all important task of applying concealer to my dark circles. After they play with it for awhile and move on to something else, put it away. You can bring it out later, but putting it away for part of the day keeps it fresh. Besides shopping around my own house and nature for our "something new" basket, I'll go through the $1 bins at Target. They have great stuff that is fun to add to these baskets. I never keep these items out and only use them for our special "something new" baskets. I have a storage bin just for the purpose of collecting these random items.

SENSORY

Young children learn about their environment primarily through their senses, so this is an important category. Sensory activities are anything that engage the senses. Touch and textures are a big part of this category. For example, playing with play-dough would be considered a "sensory activity." In a preschool or early childhood facility they have something called "sensory tables" that they fill with different things, like water, sand,rice, beans, feathers, whatever, that children can play with( supervised.) Now a sensory table can be kinda of expensive, so we just use a big plastic container. You could also use a large baking pan, a bucket, etc. Anything that you can fill up. Something kinda shallow usually works best. Actually, I think a kiddie pool would work best because you could just put your whole kid in there with the sensory material and it would help contain the mess. note to self: get kiddie pool.

GAMES

These are specific activities you do WITH your child, to help them learn about and engage their world. Adoration loves these activities and loves that I do them with her. They are usually pretty simple but help children get introduced to some important concepts!

ART

Art is also a sensory activity, but differs in that you are actually creating something. It's my personal favorite. You want your art activities to be self-led. Doing some kind of craft where you end up doing all the work to make it look a certain way negates the purpose. You provide your child with the materials, and under supervision, let them go to to town. This is "coloring outside of the lines," kind of art and that's the kind that will engage your lil' one's growing brain.


Okay, so those are the main categories we use for our weekly learning! I plan 2-3 activites per category. We don't always get to them all, but for now, that amount is easily incorporated into our week. This week I will post specific things we did for our week learning about Colors (and that post will have pictures so it will be a lot more exciting). That will give you some idea on the kinds of things you can do that fit into these categories.

For each activity I will try to provide you with this info:
materials
directions
how it is helping your child learn
how to adjust for different ages, or suggest similar alternate activities for other ages.

I'll also try to provide you with online resources that will help you create your own activities as well! I'm excited!

xoxo,

Kristina

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Weekend and NOT a manatee.




This weekend was wonderful. I feel like we are settling into our new home. Friday night was low key. The hubs had some mandatory bonding night with the guys from his work (I love the community they have...rare in the work world.) So while he was doing that, I indulged in one of my favorite guiltiest pleasures....watching my fave HGTV shows recorded on our dvr. I just love HGTV. I'm a little obsessed. James says that home decorating shows are my "sports," and he is right. My personal favorites are Secrets of a Stylist, Home by Novagratz, Dear Genevieve, and House Hunters International, just to name a few.

ahhh...Emily Henderson. If you are by chance reading this, I love you. You are just so cute and and amazing and would you please come style our house, my wardrobe, my life? That would be awesome. oh and we don't really have any money, so could you get HGTV to pay for all of that? Thanks.
probably your biggest fan,
Kristina
Saturday was chore day. We spent the morning and early afternoon organizing our storage shed, making our solarium live-able, and spray painting things. After all that, we took ourselves out to dinner on a family date, and got some seafood(yum!) near the water. We then took a stroll on the beach, holding hands, feeling that delicious breeze, and watching the sun go down.

Sunday morning we continued our church search. The service was like a breath of fresh air and I cried the whole time (in a good way.) So I'm pretty sure we found our church home. Looking for a church is tedious and I was really praying we would find a good fit soon, and I think we did! After church, we went to lunch with a couple that is friend's with one of my friend's from Charlotte. Friends of friends are always such a blessing when moving to a new place. I'll take any connection I can get!

We got home and all took the requisite Sunday Nap. oh glory, I do love a good Sunday Nap.

After naps, we packed our dinner, and spent the late afternoon/early evening at the beach. It's my favorite time to go the beach. It's not crowded or as hot, the sun doesn't make you as squinty, and right around 6:30/7:00 you get the perfect light for photos. At some point, some people noticed a dark blob in the water, really close to shore. Everybody thought it was this:


The coloring looked like a manatee, and it was huge, and there was no shark/dolphin fin. Surely it must be a manatee. Wait do manatee's just swim around in the open ocean? I didn't really take time to think about a manatee's typical environment. I just knew A) it wasn't a shark and B) everybody was saying it was a manatee. (I really don't have much of a fear of the ocean.)
So of course, I jumped in and tried to get as close as possible, because who wouldn't want to swim with a manatee? Right?

I got closer and closer and it would appear with every rising of a wave. Hmm....it looks kinda flat. Hmm.....those fins look big. hmmm....why are they curling up at the ends like that? Hmm....it looks kinda like a sting ray. Do sting rays get that big?

Despite all my "hmm's" I got within 10-15 feet of the thing. Then we all realized, that thing was not a manatee. It was this:
Oh you know, just a giant manta ray! eeek! Too close for comfort in my opinion. Luckily it was more scared of me then I was of it, and quickly flapped away out of close proximity. So I didn't fulfill my lifelong dream of swimming with a manatee. Instead I swam with a manta ray, which, well, wasn't a dream at all.

So that was my weekend. Swimming with manta rays. What did you do?



Friday, August 19, 2011

Thrift-tastic and a Poll

I checked out the local Goodwill here recently. And you know what I discovered? South Florida thrifting is like hitting the thrifting jackpot. There are lots of retired folk here and when they go to the great beyond they leave lots and lots of stuff behind. Lots of stuff.

I walked into the Goodwill and my eyes opened up really wide, trying to take in everything. I think I even heard angels singing or something. My purpose of the trip was to try and find some milk glass (I collect it.) They had a couple of pieces, but they were pieces I already had, so no milk glass this trip.

I did get some other goodies though. I refrained from a lot of amazing finds because I am a anti-hoarder. So I try to stick to stuff that I need/love/have room for. Here is what I ended up walking away with:

a vintage enameled teapot! Isn't it so cute?

A Melissa & Doug Noah's Ark shape sorter in pristine condition.
for $3! It would've been $30 new.
some of the cutey animals.
and my favorite find; this book from the 1970's.
Isn't the artwork gorgeous?
Best illustrations ever.
There is a bird counting rhyme I'm tearing out and framing to go in Adoration's room. It's too pretty to not be on a wall! Normally I would feel horrible about tearing pages out of a book, but a couple pages are scribbled on, devaluing the book.The ABC's section is in perfect condition and is my favorite section of the whole book so it will be staying as is.

So those were my finds! I think I made out pretty well. Now if only I can find that 1950's/60's dollhouse (my dream thrifting find.)


In other news, I'm thinking of adding a new feature on this blog, and I would love to hear your thoughts. I have a child and family development background and worked as a preschool teacher before making the switch to stay-at-home mama. I've always incorporated learning activities into Adoration's days. But just recently I've become more focused with her. She is at an age where she gets bored more easily. Her little growing brain needs stimulation, exploration, and new activities. I've started planning lessons for our weeks just like I would sit down and plan out a week for my preschool classes. I incorporate the "lessons" into our normal schedule. It's basically an arsenal of stimulating activities, art projects, and sensory experiences for the week to keep Adoration occupied. I've found since I've started planning a little more instead of just going on the fly all the time our days feel a lot more purposeful and Adoration is more content.

Sound intense? It's not. Young children learn primarily through play and exploration, so these activities are super easy to incorporate into everyday life. Most of them utilize stuff you already have around the house, and they can be adapted for a variety of ages.

So I'm thinking of doing a feature, where I show you some of our activities from our week. Would that be something ya'll would interested in or find helpful? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Just Dance



Sometimes there are moments that start spontaneously, that we enjoy so much, we set the button on repeat, to relive it again and again.

And these are how traditions are started.

We are collecting more and more of these little repeat moments, these traditions, as our family grows in love, as we carve out our together identity.

So we dance. Almost every night after dinner, we either put on some fun, danceable music, or worship music. Regardless of music choice, as we dance, and laugh, and are silly......it is worship. And I imagine know that God is laughing and dancing over us...as we love and enjoy each other; a little bit of heaven opening up on this hurting, broken world. And I know we are living. Really living.

And if life is made up of moments, these are the kind I want to fill up my life.

Just dance.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

By the Seashore.

Our treasures from this week.
Adoration loves finding seashells. so sweet!


A convo with my husband:

James: What did did ya'll do today?

me: Oh, you know, just went to the beach. whatev.


It is so crazy to me that I can get to the beach here in the same amount of time it took me to drive to the grocery store in Charlotte. Apparently people that have lived here their whole lives don't think this is a big deal. Except it is a big deal. They just complain about the heat all the time. Except they don't realized that it is actually cooler here than a lot of the country right now. The average temp here for the year is like 74 degrees. Do you know how many days were 74 degrees in the other places I lived!? A total of like 15 days. You wait all the hot, humid summer for the moderate weather of Fall. And then you get like two weeks of Fall before it just turns cold and rainy, and you have to scrape the ice of your car every morning. Then you wait all Winter for the warm, but not hot weather of Spring. Then actual Spring weather only lasts like one week before it gets really, really Hot, and you want to die. Welcome to most of the South, ya'll.

So sure it's hot here. But it's really not that hot. And then it will get cooler. And be the perfect temperature, and not get cold, for the rest of the year. So natives, you should just stop complaining.

So anyways, I am absolutely loving living near the ocean. The floorboards of my car are covered with sand and while that would drive some people crazy, when I see that sand, it makes my heart happy. Because that sand all over the floor of my car means we live at the beach:

I wear flip-flops every day. I have embraced beachy hair. I went paddle-boarding in the middle of the week with my hubs at the end of his work day. I saw a manatee just chillin' in the water. I cheered on a baby sea turtle. I have worn the same cut-off's three days in a row. We ordered a child bike trailer so we can go on family bike rides every night. Fish is becoming a staple part of our diet. A slew of bathing suits hang perpetually in our bathrooms. We are not on vacation.

Paddle-boarding was definitely a highlight of the week. James' team from work was having a team building day and me and the Patoot got to tag along. It was a flat day on the ocean so we went to a gorgeous, practically empty beach, rather than paddling on the inter-coastal. The beach was full of reef pools that colorful fish love to hang out in, perfect for snorkeling. Guess we have to get some snorkel gear! I love finding all these secret spots.

I absolutely loved paddle-boarding. It was my first time and felt natural to me.( Next up, learning to surf! I have a feeling that for all my next holiday gifts, I'll be asking for beach gear.) And get this...we saw a manatee out in the water. Sadly, I was on the shore watching Adoration, giving the hubs a turn on one of the boards. I saw the manatee from a distance...but the fatty was swimming right up by the guys on the boards. I was pretty jealous of the guy's proximity to the manatee. I just love those fat sweeties.

At one point, I was having a turn out on a paddle-board, paddling alongside James' co-worker, Nick. With the gentle breeze, clear, blue water below us, and colorful fish darting underneath; it felt like a dream. Or at least like we were on a vacation. But, no, it was just a regular ol' Tuesday. Nick turned to me and said, "It feels like we are in the Bahamas." And it did.

So the transition to becoming Floridian was surprisingly natural. Now if only I could share all of this with all the people I love. Despite our idyllic surroundings, I am missing friends and community so, so, much. I just wish wherever we were, all the people we loved always surrounded us. I think everybody probably wishes that. But the world doesn't revolve around me, as much as I selfishly wish it did sometimes (what? people can't just uproot their lives and follow me around?)

I know community takes time and I know we find it. My motto has been "to have friends, you've got to be a friend first." So I'm keeping my eyes peeled for people that could use a friend.
Until we have some community, I'm counting my blessings and letting the ocean breezes cheer me up.


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Stickin' it to the Man.

One of my Charlotte friends/fellow blogger, Rachael, posted a comment on the last breastfeeding post :

After the opening picture, I had said something like, "Aren't you glad I didn't post a gratuitous breastfeeding photo of myself?" This was Rachael's answer:

rachael said...

I agree with Jess!
Your writing is on a whole new level!

P.S. The answer to your first question is NO. In order for us to normalize nursing it in public, shouldn't it be so online? No apologies needed, no demure "not posting a gratuitous photo" comments - bring it! :)



And you know what? I thought about it and she was right. I think it's beautiful when I see photos of other women breastfeeding. Why am I so weirded out by one of myself? My answer would be something like, "Well...it's a private thing." Except that would be a lie, because if you read the breastfeeding post I have nursed in public, EVERYWHERE. So while it is a sacred thing between me and my child it hasn't been so much "private."

So I'm getting over myself and posting a picture. My first ever breastfeeding photo open to public viewing. This picture is my proverbial sticking it to the "Man." If the "Man" happens to be a breastfeeding wary culture, in which this case, it is.

I'm sorry I couldn't give you something nearly as epic as this picture was, but I decided to go the more tasteful route:



Take that "Man!!"

Saturday, August 6, 2011

A Rant. of sorts.

there are really no words for this sculpture...but aren't you glad I didn't
post a picture of me doing this? or any other gratuitous booby breastfeeding
shots of myself?

So yeah, this is a breastfeeding post, in honor of Worldwide Breastfeeding Week...or whatever. Don't worry, no play by play of our entire breastfeeding journey, just some highlights (or low lights) on the topic and a rant, of sorts.

* It hurts like hell in the beginning. Not everyone apparently (I have yet to meet one of these lucky few) , but it did for me. When you hear a lactation consultant say, "It shouldn't hurt if the baby is latched on correctly." Just know they are lying. It will probably hurt. And it will probably hurt like hell.

* The pain goes away and if you can get over that hump it's totally worth it.

* It really is a bonding experience that just can't be explained. So I won't even try.

* Breastfeeding takes commitment, but then again, what doesn't when it comes to a baby?

* working momma's, or momma's whose baby will only take a bottle, but pump like crazy so their babies can get breast milk deserve some mad props. for realz. I hate pumping.

* For various reasons, some people just won't be able to breastfeed, as much as you may want to. You have not failed at motherhood and your baby will be fine.

Okay, I've got those thoughts out of the way. Now here is a little bit on my own journey with it. I'll start with a conversation I had with a twenty-something, single girl, light-years away from the complexities of motherhood. First of all, I felt OLD talking to her. I am a twenty something as well, but our life experiences are just so darn different. She is dating, and having fun, and going out, and wearing heels all the time (God bless her.) I, well, I am writing a mommy blog post about breastfeeding. So, there you go.

Anyways, we were chatting, and somehow we got on the topic of breastfeeding (which, I did not bring up by the way.)

girl: "So is so and so coming tonight?"

me: "Yeah, I'm pretty sure."

girl:"oh....didn't she like, JUST have a baby?"

me: "Well, not JUST, but yeah, she had a baby recently."

girl :"doesn't she have to feed him...like breastfeed him or something."

me: "Yes."

girl: "Well...what would she do?"

me: "Well...she could bring the baby and breastfeed him here or she could have left him with a babysitter and just be home in time to feed him for his next feeding. or she could have left a bottle of pumped milk."

girl: "She could breastfeed him...here ?" stares at me blankly. wide-eyes. blinks.

I then proceed to tell her that you can breastfeed babies in public locations. I cite myself as an example, saying that I've had to breastfeed about everywhere.

girl: "So I guess you have to bring the baby into the bathroom or something to feed it?"

me: my patience at her clueless state is wearing thin. plus, I'm kinda offended at the suggestion of having to bring a baby into a bathroom just to feed it. I reply,
"No! So you want me to bring a newborn baby into a dirty public restroom with all those germs? Go into a stall, sit on a toilet seat that doesn't even have a lid to cover the toilet, and feed my baby? Would you want to eat your dinner in a public restroom on top of a toilet?" okay, so I was apparently more than kinda offended.

girl: " Oh...well, I guess not. I've never really thought about it like that."

I then take it upon myself to educate this girl, lest she go on thinking that nursing women should bring their babies into dirty public restrooms to nurse. I talk about how nursing a baby is "natural." And it shouldn't be weird for women to have feed their babies in public. And nursing is hard enough as it is, and society just makes it that much harder. blah blah. And how sometimes I wish it was just like Africa or Europe and then I wouldn't have to worry about it.

And the girl starts backing away.

uh-oh. I just became THAT lady. The hippy, vigilante, nursing mother earth. I can almost read her thoughts; I might start squirting my boob juice at her to prove my point.....she better run away.

So my reaction was a little harsh. I couldn't believe I had just become that lady. When I returned home I thought about why I reacted so strongly...so emotionally. And here is why:

It was personal.

So in reality, I'm pretty modest. I've always used a cover nursing in public, and if not, everything was covered, and was very discreet. I refuse to post any pictures (even if you can't see anything) of me nursing. Even though I think it IS beautiful. I'm just modest, that's all.

But it's true, I've had to nurse just about EVERYWHERE. airports, airplanes, cars, weddings, malls, restaurants, friend's houses, parks, museums...you get the idea.

Adoration refused to take a bottle. (Well, she took one for like one week and that was the end of it.) I tried EVERYTHING. And if you are thinking "Did you try this? It worked for my baby." The answer is Yes. All of it. I tried it. At some point, I figured out nothing was going to work and I should stop stressing me and my baby out and just embrace it.

So I've never had the option to bring a bottle of pumped milk to a restaurant so I wouldn't have to breastfeed. I've never been able to be away from my baby longer than a certain amount of time. I've had to take her with me pretty much everywhere so I could feed her. Any dates I've gone on with my husband have had to be after she's gone down for the night.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining, I'm so glad I was able to nurse. I love nursing. I mostly don't mind having my baby with me all the time. People have much harder times with the whole baby feeding thing than I have had. It's just that nursing has been a BIG part of my life this last year. And I refused to become a hermit, so breastfeeding in PUBLIC has also been a big part of my life as well.

And I've had issues with it. Maybe it is because of my modest nature, but it's like I can FEEL people's stares sometimes. Or people trying not to stare. I can feel that business man in the suit at the airport thinking, "Geez...get a room." And those rooms....they don't exist. And even if they did, why should I have to always remove myself from normal life just to feed my child? Leave that meal, that church service, those conversations EVERY time? Answer that, Mr. Business Man. Answer that.

Anyways, most people are really great about it. But there are always those couple of people...that are well, just like the happy-go-lucky single girl I had a conversation with.....clueless. And in their defense, well meaning...but clueless. And when I try to nurse in public, I FEEL them in the room. And they make something unavoidable for me really awkward.

And maybe if women breastfed in public more this wouldn't be so much of a problem. Then society would be used to it. It would be normal. Not that I'm advocating throwing bare boobies around (honestly, it's really not that hard to be discreet) but we shouldn't have to go into hiding every time and be hermits. Every time I see a woman breastfeeding in public I just want to thank her. Cause she deserves some props. *Pats self on back.*

okay. I've said my piece. I have given the requisite mommy blog post on breastfeeding. The End.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

When Your Young.



Jess already blogged this, but it's so good, I have to share it too. Gotta support our peeps. ;)

If you haven't discovered Matrimony yet, allow me to introduce you. They are out of my former home, Charlotte, NC. In Charlotte, there were lots of people who were a lot cooler than me. Ashley, the female vocal/keyboardist, of this band was one of those people. We were part of the same wives group and not only is she super cool/creative/talented, she is really, really sweet. Just the sweetest.

But anyways, this band is kinda a big deal. And they are probably gonna be an even bigger deal. So now you can fall in love with them and when they are that bigger deal, you can be like, "yeah, I listened to them before they got all big and stuff." And then you can be that person who is cooler than everybody else.

Right now, you can download their new single for FREE. So go do that, HERE. And now watch this video. Because it is awesome and it will make you want to dance around. And it reminds me of Charlotte. *tear*


Matrimony | Obey Your Guns from Crown Alley Films on Vimeo.


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