Friday, December 30, 2011

Reflections and Resolutions

There are less than 48 hours left in 2011... whaaat? When did that happen? This year feels like it flew by. At the same time though, when I look back, New Years Eve last year seems like it was a whole different life! I guess, in a sense, it was a whole different life. Yes, I was pregnant, so I was sort of 'mommy' already, but my life didn't REALLY change until 6/7 when Sam came into the world. I thought it would be fun to post a little memory and picture from each month of 2011, and then I'll follow up with my resolutions and hopes for 2012 :)


We found out that the little bean in my belly had boy parts. James left for South America. James' re enlistment paperwork did not go through properly and we went without pay for a few weeks :/ (not so fun when you're 20 weeks pregnant and your husband just left!)


James was still in South America. I went to weekly lunch dates with the other wives from the platoon, and spent some fun days with my good friend (who was also pregnant) Nichole. At the end of the month I flew home to PA to visit family.


Busy month! Had my baby shower and wrapped up my visit in PA, all of the baby shower gifts were left behind and my parents planned on driving them down to NC once we were in our new apartment. I prepared for James' homecoming, what an awesome day that was! We spent loooong afternoons/evenings packing up our small apartment. Towards the end of the month we headed out to Winston Salem for a Babymoon/post deployment mini vacation. We stayed at Graylyn Estate, very beautiful! We had a great time :)


We moved into our new beautiful apartment! It was so fun getting Sam's nursery all set up. We went to a lot of baby prep. type classes. Lamaze, budgeting for baby, baby boot camp, stuff like that. I also took some pregnancy exercise classes at the gym on base. We went to a pig roast, and came home that night to huddle in our guest bathroom while toranados wreaked havok on Jacksonville. Eek!


Lots of baby preparations. I was pretty much DONE being pregnant at this point. No, not the correct term 'finished', I was DONE. Stick a fork in me... done. It was hot, my back hurt, my ribs were bruised and had pinched nerves, heartburn, constant trips to the bathroom, exhaustion. Ugh. Whoever says pregnancy was one of the happiest times in their lives is kidding themselves! We spent a lot of weekends at the pool. Floating around FINALLY gave me some relief in my ribs and back! We went to the New River air show, got stuck in a couple major downpours, but had fun anyway. We had our 1 year anniversary and celebrated with a seafood dinner and Cold Stone.


Finally! June! Time for the big event! Sam decided to join us on the 7th, only 1 week into June, but it felt like MONTHS into June. (I know that doesn't make sense, but I call it like I felt it!) After his traumatic entrance to the world, we went home and the rest of June is kind of a blur of 3am nursing sessions, diaper changes, and endless conversations involving the word 'swaddle'. James' parents came to visit for a long weekend when Sam was a week and a half old, and my mom came for a week shortly after they left.


Started to find something of a sense of normalcy again (our new normal anyway), and cobbled together some sort of schedule. Sam and I had a lot of days of nursing and listening to music once James went back to work. I had my birthday and we celebrated with burgers and shakes from Andy's. I remember I ate my burger while nursing and got a lovely mixture of ketchup and mayo all over Sam. Whoops...


Sam and I flew up to PA for a visit. We went to a wedding, a family reunion, had his first playdate, and did a whole lot of visiting. Sam did great with all of the travelling! In all honesty, it all really stressed me out, but I'm still so glad we went :)


We went on our annual family camping trip with James' family over Labor Day weekend and had a blast. We hunkered down through hurricane Irene. James went to Florida for 10 days and Sam and I battled through some yucky sleep issues.


Started using cloth diapers! Loving it! Went to work breaking Sam of his swing nap, and swaddle habit. Sam and I went home on a last minute, long weekend trip to PA for my Poppop's funeral. It was so sad, he was such a great man. But it was good knowing that his long period of suffering was finally over. It was also nice to get in a bonus visit with family, and a lot of people got to meet Sam for the first time.


FINALLY broke Sam's swaddle and swing habit! And he started sleeping through the night! Woohoo! Drove up to PA for Thanksgiving, and Sam and I stayed a little longer while James went home for a few days. He came back and we went to his family's annual Christmas brunch.


Spent just about a week and a half in Jacksonville, but still decorated our little tree, and our balcony. We left up all of our Christmas decorations and left behind a few presents so we could have our own quiet little Christmas once we got back from visiting family in the beginning of January. We spent a few days in MD with James' parents and then spent the rest of the holidays in PA. Lots of visiting, lots of food, and LOTS of presents!! We had a great time :)

What a year! What a great year :) Now onto some resolutions...

In 2012 I hope to:

-Start a fitness routine and stick to it
-Get something of my toned ballerina body back (don't feel the need to lose weight, but feel the need to tone up)
-Begin to make as many things homeade as possible
Examples: Bread, bagels, breakfast sandwiches, snacks, drinks, laundry detergent, cleaning wipes, baby wipes, oxy clean, household cleaners, hand lotion
Examples: Hall desk, files, calenders, cleaning schedules, cabinets (kitchen and bath), Sam's toys

A whole lot of that stuff I'm hoping to accomplish with the help of pinterest ;)

Some of my hopes for 2012:

-For Sam to coninue growing and learning as awesomely as he is now
-For James to get enough time off that we can all enjoy a family vacation at the beach
-To get pregnant again?! It seems crazy to think of that, but unless something happens unexpectedly, we'd like to make a concious effort to try for baby #2 sometime in the Sept-Dec. 2012 time frame!

Here's to a great year!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Proud Nursing Mama!!

Today I could not be more proud to be a breastfeeding mother! This morning Sam and I participated in a 'nurse-in', happening in Target stores all over the country!

This past November, a nursing mother in Houston, TX sat down in a remote area of her local Target's clothing section to nurse her crying baby. She was approached by employees and asked to move to a fitting room. She said no, as she had a cart full of items that she didn't want to leave alone, and had already begun nursing. After saying no, employees continued to walk up to her and give her dirty looks. One employee even went so far as to tell her that they could have her arrested for indecent exposure. Following the incident, the mother called Target's corporate office to report what had happened. Target has released this statement:

"Target has a long-standing practice that supports breastfeeding in our stores. We apologize for any inconvenience the guest experienced and will take this opportunity to reaffirm this commitment with our team members. For guests in our stores, we support the use of fitting rooms for women who wish to breastfeed their babies, even if others are waiting to use the fitting rooms. In addition, guests who choose to breastfeed discreetly in more public areas of the store are welcome to do so without being made to feel uncomfortable."

The TX mom decided to stage a 'nurse-in', a group of woman getting together on a specific day to nurse their babies in public. She started a group on Facebook and as of today, that group has 6,622 memebers! Nurse-ins were planned all over the country for today (Dec. 28th) at 10am.

Yes, Target's policy is to allow women to breastfeed where and when they choose, but this isn't the first incident of mistreatment of a nursing mother at Target. And CERTAINLY not the first incident of mistreatment of a nursing mother at any public location. The point of the nurse-in was to show people that nursing is normal. No woman should be made to feel like she needs to hide when she's simply meeting her baby's most basic need! Would the fitting room have been more comfortable for this woman? Possibly. But I know, from personal experience, that once you begin nursing it's inconvenient to un latch your baby, move to a different location, and re latch. Difficult with a newborn who is just getting the hang of nursing, and difficult for older babies who are easily distracted by their surroundings. Some comments on articles I've read say that the biggest problem is that the woman should not have been sitting on the floor, and maybe she was in the way. Would there have been an issue had she been bottle feeding on the floor? I don't think there would have been. And really, in my opinion, her incident was just the last straw in a long line of incidences of breastfeeding woman being discriminated against.

It is entirely possible to breastfeed in a modest way! Even without a cover! (For the record, the woman who started the nurse-in, was covered by a large blanket while nursing). Sam does not tolerate a cover well, and actually draws MORE attention to himself when covered, so we nurse uncovered. Most of the time I don't even think people notice that he's eating.

Myself and one other mama went to a local Target (in Glen Mills, PA as we're visiting my family for the holidays. Otherwise I would have gone in NC to the Target near our apartment) We spoke with 2 local news stations, and then sat in the cafe nursing our babies and chatting. A lot of people are still very uneducated as far as breastfeeding, but it is my hope that someday in the near future, Mom's will be able to nurse their babies without fear of discrimination.

I'm proud to be a nursing mother and proud to be able to provide the very best nutrition for my baby boy!