I am now “that lady”

I may have been 7 or 8 years old the first time I was exposed to breastfeeding.  I was on an airplane with my mom and grandmother and I remember seeing a woman nursing her baby.  I saw a breast, felt my cheeks flush red, and quickly looked away.  I had never seen anyone do THAT before!  What on earth was she doing?  I can’t remember if I asked my mom or grandmother any questions about what I had seen.  I was probably too embarrassed to ask.

Fast forward 25 years…I am now “that lady”.  I have flown many times since my youngest was born.  I always nurse in public while traveling…in the airport and on the plane.  I really have no choice.  When my baby is hungry, I feed him.  It really is as simple as that.  This attitude isn’t limited to our travels…it’s an everyday way of life.  I have been blessed to never have encountered any rudeness or dirty looks as a result of me nursing in public.  I’m discreet, but I will not pile up blankets on top of my baby’s head…I live in Florida where it’s hot!

Sadly, a friend of mine (who does not breastfeed) has encountered negativity–while traveling.  She was on her way home after visiting me and her 9 month old daughter was asleep in her arms in the cradle hold.  A young boy (between 8-10 ish years old) was seated next to her.  The boy’s mother made a big scene and complained to the flight attendant that she didn’t want her son sitting next to that lady while she’s breastfeeding.  My friend got a little angry.  She was obviously not breastfeeding, and lifted her baby away from her body to prove that she wasn’t, which, in turn, caused her baby girl to wake up.

All I can say is that I’m glad it wasn’t me!  I’m pretty sure I would’ve told the woman where she could go and how to get there.  I’m proud to be “that lady who breastfeeds her kid in public”.  I’ve nursed at church, the mall, the beach, various restaurants, public parks, my kids’ school, the doctor’s office…practically everywhere!

Gawk all you want…maybe you’ll learn something!

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To Purell or Not to Purell

Yesterday I took the kids to Panera for lunch.  While we were sitting there eating and watching it rain outside, I hear a Mom shouting at her child as her child tore out of the bathroom, “Don’t touch anything until you’ve had your hand sanitizer!!”  There was a sense of urgency in her voice.  It was evident that hand sanitizer is a DIRE priority in her opinion.

I realized how silly she sounded when I think back to my childhood.  We didn’t have hand sanitizer.  What we did have was good old soap and water.  Sometimes just water!  I survived.  We all did.  However, I’m JUST as guilty as this anonymous mother is of slathering that stuff all over my kids’ hands as well as my own.  It’s almost as if we believe that it puts a magical barrier around our children and ourselves to protect us from what evil lurks on doorknobs, tabletops and handrails.

I’m sure you’ve all heard the conflicting information about hand sanitizers.  Does it really work?  Does it subject us to any “superbugs”?  It’s up to you to decide what and who you believe.  Here’s a few links to check out:

The Myths vs. The Facts
Hand Sanitizers vs. Soap and Water

Last but not least, here’s what the CDC has to say about clean hands and how to get them:  Handwashing 

It would seem that good old soap and water is good enough!

P.S. Hey, if you like this post…Click HERE to vote for me @Top Mommy Blogs 

The Dog Days (of summer) are *almost* over

Boy, this summer is sure winding down quickly.  I’ll be taking the kids back to Maryland in less than 3 weeks, and they’ll start school just a mere 10 days later!  The time has flown by again this year.  I’ve got a list a mile long of things that we need to do before they go back home…doctor appointments, clothes shopping, visits to the library, and hopefully squeezing in a couple or three more beach visits before they leave.  I’ve started on this list…Karissa wanted these “design your own” Converse All Stars, so they’ve been ordered.  She’s been poring over the Justice for Girls website all summer, carefully selecting all the clothing she *needs* for her first year of middle school.  The boys are SO much easier.  They honestly could care less about clothes and shoes.  However, Nathan has been hovering around the front door all day, waiting for the Fed Ex man to show up with his iPod Touch (his only wish for his birthday…which is August 19th).  Jacob…well…Jacob would be content with some new legos or some sort of action figurine.

I remember when it was back to school time when I was young.  I couldn’t wait to pick out my new set of clothes from the JCPenney fall catalog (I’m talking EVEN into my high school years…am I showing my age??).  It might’ve been 90 degrees on the first day of school, but gosh darn it, I HAD to wear those new jeans and new sweater on the first day!  I got giddy over new pencils, pens and notebooks!  I remember the swarm of people that would flood Peoples Drug and Dart Drug (ok, now I really AM showing my age) to pick up their packets of loose leaf paper, bottles of glue, and 3-ring binders the evening after the first day of school.  One thing that has changed for the better is that schools typically hand out supply lists before school starts, some as early as the last day of school prior to the new school year.  This at least gives parents some time to plan ahead and prepare!

Along with the end of summer also comes the end of my peace and quiet…since school is starting, so will the phone calls riddled with complaints about how “expensive these kids are”, “Don’t you know how much school supplies cost?”, and the “You really need to send me more money, who cares if you pay your child support?”  I usually just chuckle under my breath and say…”Welcome to my World…how does it feel”…etc., etc., etc.

I think the video says it all….love this song by Florence and the Machine.

Take two Midols and call me in the morning

With my daughter fast approaching her teen years, and right smack in the middle of her “tweens”, the drama is ever ensuing at our house.  This morning, I walk into my bathroom to find a host of toiletries belonging to her on the countertop, accompanied by her used bath towel lying on the floor, and a trail of her discarded pajamas and underclothes.

“Karissa!!”, I yelled across the house.

“What?”, she yells back.

And, so the drama begins.  I ask her what all that stuff is doing there, she gives me her answer with a sprinkle of tweenage attitude, and then I. Get. ANGRY.  My head starts to roll and bob at the same time.  Then I breathe.  I’m still upset with her, but rather than yelling, I try to reason with her, and a lecture begins.  Bad move on my part.  More attitude is spewing from every pore on her body.  She is rolling her eyes, about to cry, bobbing HER head.  It is a battle of wise estrogen versus the novice estrogen.  Girl, I brought you into this world…yadda yadda yadda.  Meanwhile, had my mother not been in the other bathroom blowdrying her own hair and could’ve seen/heard what was going on…she would have been LAUGHING!  At ME!  Ha!  I think she would have called that karma.  Or paybacks.  Either way it’s a witch with a “b”.

Later (like 20 minutes later), my daughter is walking through the kitchen and proceeds to drop her iPod Touch on the floor.  Given, it was a complete accident, but it still cracked the entire screen to the point it’s not usable.  In the process, she gets a pin prick amount of blood on the tip of her finger, and you would’ve thought somebody just stabbed the poor child.  She needs a Band-Aid, I absolutely have to get her a new iPod Touch because CLEARLY it’s my fault that a) she dropped it, b) Apple didn’t make it with a stronger  screen to begin with, and c) pretty much everything is Mom’s fault, so this must be too.  So, as I am telling her that I am in NO way going to fix it for her, I’m looking online to find the info for Apple repair.  This is otherwise known as “caving”.  I’m famous for this.  Yes, I totally caved.  I started thinking that I had paid almost $250 for this product just 3 short months ago for her birthday.  It’s an investment.  I actually just ordered another one for my soon to be 9 year old for his upcoming birthday yesterday.  I can’t just let it be trash.

However, this behavior on my part has created what looms in my daughter as her sense of entitlement.  I really need to learn to stand my ground.  I have a hard time with that, mostly because I am only with them for such a short time and I want our time together to be as peaceful and enjoyable as possible.    I will be working on that.

And so begins what will be a series of dramatic mornings, that rollover into afternoons and evenings.  This will be the story of my life, so long as she is with me (and probably alot of the time she is not) until she is at least 30.  Thank goodness I’ve only got one girl…so far!

Are we having fun yet?

Most definitely!  We had a rocky start to the week…it started off like this:

Saturday, a week ago, I went to pick up the big kids.  I arrived and ended up waiting an HOUR for them to finish getting ready before we could leave.  No biggie…we had plenty of time, and Tristan was happy so long as he had his Mommy.  Once I picked them up, we grabbed our lunch and dinner at Subway, went back to my parents’ house and then to the airport.  Smooth sailing so far, right?  Yeah…until I heard those dreaded words at the airport…”Ground stop in Atlanta”.  Our flight was seriously delayed.  At first, it looked like it would be just for 30 minutes…they let us board the plane, I got all optimistic, and we were excited to leave.  Once everybody had boarded and gotten situated, the captain announced that another ground stop for Atlanta had been issued and we wouldn’t be permitted to take off again.  We sat on the plane for about an hour and a half before we could take off.  We had a connecting flight to make in Atlanta, and I was nervous that we would miss it.  Once we landed, I was relieved to see that our connecting flight had also been delayed, and wouldn’t be departing for another 45 minutes.  Big sigh of relief.  And then the captain had to open his big mouth again and tell us that although we had landed, our gate was full and we would not be able to deplane  for another half hour or so.  It ended up being about 50 minutes before we were at the gate and off the plane.  My connecting flight departed and the hunt for another flight began.  All this was occurring after 10:30 pm.  I was TIRED!  So were all the kids.  I found the gate where a flight to Orlando would be departing around 11:15, and it has already  boarded confirmed passengers, and was in the process of putting stand-by passengers on.  I needed to get on that plane if I wanted to get home in time to watch Tommy complete the Dad’s Day Triathlon the following day.  Well, thank you very much, Gina from Delta!!  She got us on the plane and we were off…unfortunately we wouldn’t arrive in Orlando until nearly 1 am, and the drive home is just over an hour.  We were getting home around 2:15 am.  The kids went right to their beds and passed out, and Tommy and I followed suit.

Somehow, around 5:30 am, Tommy woke up, got himself ready, and left for the Triathlon.  He said he kissed me goodbye, and that I tried to get up to join him and he told me to go back to sleep.  I don’t remember any of that.  I do remember waking up around 8:30 and finding a text from him shortly after that he had already completed it.  I was stoked he did so well, but not so stoked that we had all missed it!  We went to brunch after he got home, then I spent the rest of the day grocery shopping and letting Tommy catch some rest before we had to go to his boss’ house for a picnic.

Right after Tommy woke up from his nap, Karissa had taken Tristan with her into the kitchen.  Nothing out of the ordinary when baby-hog junior is around.  Less than two minutes later, I heard a blood-curdling cry come from the kitchen.  Something happened to the little guy.  I ran to the kitchen, hurdled over Jacob who was standing in the doorway.  Karissa was already holding him, but he was still crying.  She told me that she dropped him.  Before you freak out…she had placed him on the kitchen counter and he was sitting up.  She thought he would be okay for “just a second” while she turned around to get something (whatever it was, she forgot about what she was getting in all the confusion!).  He lunged forward and fell off the counter, straight onto the tile floor.  He landed on his back, and the back of his head.   He cried for a good bit (as would I have if my head had hit that hard floor).  I wasn’t really too concerned because he didn’t have a knot anywhere on his head that I could see.  It wasn’t until he vomited twice that I started to panic a little.  I thought it would be best if we took him to the ER to get him checked out to ensure he didn’ t have a bad head injury or a concussion.  So much for that picnic!!

We spent one hour in the ER (yep, just one hour!! quickest ER visit EVER!), then were sent on our way with some piece of mind.  Off to the picnic we went anyways…just a little late.

So, that’s that tale of our first 24 hours (almost…but not quite) in Florida.  I’m happy to report that the rest of the week was somewhat uneventful.  So, are we having fun yet?