Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Milking it

One year into breastfeeding and going strong!

For most of my life I did not think I would ever make that statement. 

Didn't plan on getting married. Didn't plan on being a mother. 


I'm a mom in one of the most visceral, tangible ways right now. It consumes so much of my life currently; I never expected this identity.

For the record, I have also never loved being alive like I have this past year.

But back to the subject, I always thought breastfeeding would be a chore. I presumed a mom would wean as soon as healthily-feasible. I presumed extended breastfeeding moms were slaves to their children, permissive, and [probably] had some kind of codependency problem.

I didn't foresee the joy of breastfeeding. I should have.

I have always loved feeding people. I've enjoyed making ridiculously huge family dinners since I was in grade school. I really, really like being able to put food on the table when friends are over. Babette's Feast: it speaks to me.

Feeding your child the best nutrition on the planet gives a similar satisfaction. Plus, there are the sweet snuggles, the convenience of ready-to-go, prewarmed drink, and less stress about how much solid food actually makes it in because you know the milk can sustain him.

Oh, and the weight loss. I lost 40 lbs of pregnancy weight in a matter of weeks and then an additional 10 lbs. Meanwhile I ate as much as I wanted. Yes, I know I'm lucky to have this metabolism. But regardless of weight loss, breastfeeding is lowering my risk for cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and probably osteoporosis.

It hasn't been completely smooth sailing; it hurt a lot for the first few weeks. It was drippy and messy for a while. I had an unquenchable thirst. I think an oversupply caused a lot of colic-like symptoms for the first few months. We still have problems with occasional biting. And there is the ongoing challenge of nursing being Bubba's primary sleep association. But I'm thankful that overall it's been as successful as it has.

Also, breastfeeding in public: I should apologize to all moms right now. I used to think that nursing in public was unsightly, gross--you know, cover those things up, ma'am. Nobody wants to see that.

Despite all the advancements of feminism in society, I judged women's bodies so hard. Nevermind that biologically boobs are, well, made for breastfeeding.

And really, nursing just isn't a private thing. If you think it is, you are in reality suggesting that women ought to stay home. Because many babies need to nurse every 45-60 minutes, particularly newborns. And what is so private about feeding a baby? Nothing. For adults, sex is private. Going to the bathroom is private. But eating is hardly private. If anything, it's a communal thing. We meet friends for lunch, we have family dinners, we dine in public, we are amongst strangers at restaurants. So why would feeding a baby--in the way babies were designed to be fed -- be a thing of secrecy?

So I apologize, again, to all the flabby, frumpy, disheveled nursing moms I sneered upon. You were feeding your child. That is enough. You don't owe it to society to look graceful or elegant or photogenic in the process.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Dirt

We talked all winter about growing a garden this year. 



Did we plan ahead? no

Research our plants? no

Build our bed frames [in advance]? no

Save money and start from seed? no

Get something in the ground? Yes!!




"To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow"

Perhaps. But if it all dies overnight, we had fun this day. 


Not that it will. Not gonna let it. Repeating to no-green-thumb self. 

This is the kind of farmers we are: drive to Lowes, buy lumber, randomly pick out veggie plants that "look nice," get a truck bed full of manure and potting soil, go home, assemble in one afternoon. 

Voila!


Ok, I did put a little thought into the vegetables. I eat lots of tomatoes. So one bed is pretty much all tomatoes. I know squash grows well in these parts (or at least it tends to be the Phoenix of the compost pile) so that's the second bed. 

We inherited a whole bunch of cabbage plants that someone gave my mother in law for her school kids. She didn't see her class having the opportunity to grow them, so now they're interspersed in any remaining spots. We also sacrificed a few to keep Bubba's hands busy and off my tomato plants. 

 


Wish us luck. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Links

My mother's mother died three years ago this day, no joke. 

I'm thinking of all the kind things she did for me when I was a kiddo: the bubble baths, the giant mugs of root beer floats, playing the "Calamity Jane" video again and again, the shopping trip for my own cowgirl hat, letting us sisters have free range of her fabulous closets for dress-up. 

It occurred to me yesterday that the best thing she did for me I never saw--her loving my own mom as a baby and a little girl. 

You learn a lot of things in many places, but you mostly learn from your family how to live. 



I love my son as much as I do because my grandmother loved my mom and my mom loved me. 

The joy I know in loving him, what I experience every day, comes from somewhere a long time ago and a long way back. But Meme is the furthest point I can tangibly reach back to.

Thank you, Meme. 

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

'Konmari me

I've been on a bit of a spring cleaning kick this past week. 

Not a binge, just a lil kick. 

My neighbors are cleaning out their garage. 



What's behind spring cleaning? I theorize that the nice weather makes us feel better about ourselves and life and when we feel well, we have more energy and motivation. 

It's not like I have more time now than previously. I mean, yeah I'm working 25 hours a week whereas I was putting in 37+ before Bubba came along. But he more than makes up for that time difference. 

What did I do with myself before he was born? In retrospect I had sooooo much free time to work on pet projects. Instead, in retrospect, I wasted sooooo much time on the internet. 

I recently deleted Facebook and Pinterest apps from my phone. No regrets. 

When my kindle battery recharges I'm going to buy Marie Kondo's book. I've been skimming through a number of organizational blogs but they haven't done much for me. In short, they propose this: 

1) Spend a small fortune on dozens of cute color coordinating containers. 
2) Organize your things in said containers. 

Uh. My material problems run deeper. Or should I say I need more help than that. My thinking about belongings and stuff and necessity need challenging.

I've heard that's what Marie Kondo offers--a philosophy of decluttering. Asking yourself "does this [piece of crap] bring me joy?" "What am I really fearful of in letting it go?" 

At least that's what the reviewers suggest. We'll see. 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Waiting

. . . outside the fish market while Bubba naps in his car seat. It's been almost two hours (!) in the parking lot here. 

But he's been a good little shopping companion today, and he's earned it ; )

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Letting go

We had an unexpected treat this afternoon when four friends dropped by our home. I briefly had palpitations because the house was messy. Sooo messy. Not very gross, no mildew monsters crawling out of the bathrooms or anything. Just lots of stuff strewn everywhere.

Ryan and I both have some perfectionist streaks. For two minutes I was initially mad at myself for slacking on the pick up, for not keeping the house in a constant state of guest-readiness.

But fortunately, somewhere amongst the internets I had recently found this little gem (I think on the ModernMrsDarcy blog), and I remembered it:

Hospitality means people leave feeling 
better about themselves, not about you.

Bam.

This was about connecting with friends I hadn't seen in way too long, not a show-and-tell for my interior decorating.

I just let it go.

Later this evening I started reading "Savor." I think this article on thenester blog and this quote from Shauna Niequist was meant for me today.

"Friendship is God's greatest evidence of Himself here on earth." 

'Feeling so grateful for the beautiful people in our life. I need to not let silly stuff get in the way of them.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Wild Kingdom

In the last 24 hours, we've spotted a possum, rabbit, and red tailed fox in our backyard.


The young homo sapien was also repeatedly seen throwing clothes into the laundry hamper and clapping for himself upon completion.