Saturday, December 29, 2012

Zelda's Second Christmas

I just realized I haven't posting a long time, so here's to what we did this holiday season. We started off with a trip to Midland so I could play mom to my sister with Zelda. We had a mostly ok time, and visited the Santa House in Midland.

Sleigh ride, inside.

I'mma get that phone!
Mona talking to Santa
Zelda didn't want to sit on his lap. 
I do have some fundamental issues with taking Z to see Santa, mostly because it just sets up a pattern of indoctrination that I want to stay away from. Hence, she doesn't get anything like a 'baby bible' or any other nonsense like that. She'll learn what's real soon enough, and she didn't want to sit with him anyway so no worries. I was a little upset that she saw a mall Santa with Sean's parents without me. It's just one of those small things I want to be a part of.

We also went to Great Grandma Judy's house for that family Christmas party. I didn't want to go and felt super left out since no one talked to me the entire time I was there. I also didn't get to see Zelda's face while she opened presents. On top of that I had to work Christmas morning -nothing is more depressing than elderly that wait around all day for their family that may or may not come. Christmas night we drove to Traverse City to spend the night and boxing day with my parents at the Great Wolf Lodge.

I used to hate that place. Growing up, during high school and my early college years, I hated going. I wasn't the right age or had independence to do what I wanted. Now I can just enjoy it for the kid reasons without feeling weird or awkward about it. I can enjoy the borderline LARP-ing with my daughter as she waves a wand around.

(I know sounds backwards, lets play magic games and not believe in Santa. Oh well.)

It has been impossible to get any pictures of Z too. She knows what the phone is for and wants to play with it all the time. She is good enough to manipulate the touch screen, and figure out a few of the apps to play music.

The plan for New Year's is not travelling. Not driving late at night and then driving back to GR the next day. Done with that for sure.

My only hope is that the next year is less dramatic. Less breakups and less trouble.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Key Lime Pie

Key lime pie with meringue.
I may or may not have bought two pound of key limes for $.20. Then made some pie. There are actually two pies, but the same recipe for both. One I made a half assed meringue (above), and the other with just whipped cream (below). 
Key lime pie with whipped cream.
I got this recipe from All Recipes.com, and just used the first one I found. The meringue was a doubled version of this. I also added lime juice to make it lime merigue.

Key Lime Pie (Easy)
1/2 cup lime juice (fresh squeezed key limes take forever btw)
5 egg yolks beaten
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 9in gram cracker crust

Mix it up, and pour it into the crust.
Bake at 375 for 15 minutes
Garnish.

Easy Meringue (again, I doubled this)
3 egg whites
2 TBS white sugar
1/2 cup water
1 TBS cornstarch
1/4 TSP cream of tartar
1/2 TSP vanilla extract
6 TBS white sugar (add while its beating)

The recipe is complicated, but I just tossed everything into the kitchenaide mixer and whipped it all up.

Spread on top of completed pie, bake 10 min, broil 3 min.

Done.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Change Is Still Ok.

There has been a few changes again to my life.

Sean and I are getting back together. Which has been a really different sort of feeling. I feel drawn to him, and I care about him deeply, but the past few months have been emotionally draining. It's hard to let myself be open and really give him any sort of emotional connection. I don't want things to go exactly back to where they were, but there have been some changes. I wish I could be open with what has changed, but I feel like I would be judged by my readers (few and conservative as they are, no offence). Changes that I support and feel good about, but the rest of the world would think are stupid or dangerous.

Work is stressing me out as well, and I feel like its just too much some days. I wish I had something I was actually excited to go to. And maybe drop my status so I can have more time to devote to Zelda. Every evening is turning out to not fill my mom-fix.

Another load of his clothes have come back to the apartment. :)




Sunday, November 18, 2012

Happy Birthday Zelda!

CAKE
Eat all the cake.
Reading with Mommy. 
My attempt at a cake.
Ready to blow out the candle with Donnie.

My soulmate turns one today. I never have believed in true love, but I know that one year ago I met the most important person in my life. She is the wonderful, evil, curious, feisty child I call my daughter. She was also lucky enough to have two parties, one with my extended family and one with Sean's family.

Getting ready for the Santa Parade.
Walking to 'Wreck-It Ralph' with Daddy.
Happy Birthday Zelda Skye!
Beautiful cake from Grandma Kat.
Yummy!
And no family gathering is complete without a little bit of drama. I'm trying to be gracious, so I will save my true feelings for another day. Right now, I am focusing on my daughter's beautiful day, and making this day special for her.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Pumpkin Pie Cake

I was scrolling the internet, and found this amazing recipe for pumpkin pie cupcakes. I didn't have the brain for making the cupcakes, so I just made some goddamn cake. Yesterday I did the meijer brand recipe for pumpkin pie, and figured I was on a pumpkin streak!

Because I'm lazy as all get out, I decided to use a crust from the store. I made the cake with double the amount of cinnamon because it sounded better, but the rest of it I just did as it told me.

It wasn't a particularly hard recipe, just time consuming with waiting for everything to cool down.

Eh.
Pumpkin pie top, graham cracker crust, vanilla spice cake.
I still suck at baking.

And I met someone. Pretty cool person, couple of dates, super casual, definitely going to be a good friendship if not more.

This is what she brought for the first time meeting Zelda.

Call him Plink.
:)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Our First Samhain!

Zelda was ready for the holiday.
We celebrated Halloween as a family. Not just me and Z, but with her dad too. It was nice to go out together, have some food, and be together. We walked around the Byron Center neighborhoods for about an hour before it was just too cold and too wet.

AAAAH!
I had to change out of my full costume as Pam from Archer, and went in sweatpants and sweatshirt because it was so cold.

Zelda and I in our costumes. 
Spending time with Sean has been much better since our mediation. Finally we have some parenting time taken care of, and things are seeming to settle down. I'm trying to be a better parent and person through this time in my life.

RUNAWAY SHARK!
At the end of the day, I still have Z. I still have everything I forgot to ask for. She's my beautiful one, and I can't wait to celebrate her birthday.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Before and After

Finally came to a resolution with Sean. He gets Z once a week and in the mornings when I go to work. After all the drama, the hurt feelings and everything, I hope that is enough time for Zelda to spend with her dad. I wish there was a way to make it easier, but Sean and I have been talking more frequently.

Before we just were in a rut. We were stuck doing the same thing all the time. After the constant anger and frustration, we finally are coming to a point where we can be civil. And I'll be honest. It was more me than him. I am crushed by the whole situation.

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Review: Diary of a Submissive (NSFW)

In the wake of the popularity of "50 Shades of Gray," as part of the BHBC, here is a link to the campaign, I was asked to read "Diary of a Submissive" by Sophie Morgan. I'll honestly tell you that I read about half of 50 Shades, and wasn't impressed. The characters were awful, and the relationship depicted was horrifying. No one should ever date someone that hands over a Dominance and submission contract within the first week of meeting. NO ONE.

But onto DoaS. This is a memoir, not some cheap erotica with a girl begging to orgasm and petting her 'inner goddess' with her 'one twue dominate' every single page.

Oh, yeah, this is about BDSM. Not safe for work. In case you have any questions about BDSM, you can feel free to comment. Yes, I do consider myself part of the community. No, I do not consider myself a submissive. No, I don't consider myself a dominant. Anyhoo....

I loved this book. It give an accurate of one persons personal journey in the world of BDSM. No one's life is the same, and this is a perfect balance. Is there explict sex? Yes! Is it hot? Yes! But there is an actual life behind all of it, a woman with her own quirks and likes and job. This book truly show that not everyone into BDSM is twisted, or fucked up, or angry, or demonized. We are people, and this is one aspect of our lives.

The struggle of balancing the kink world with the real world, a 24/7 dynamic with a life is the story of Sophie Morgan. I thought it was provocative and amazing, much better than the drivel that is out there.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Change is Ok.

In spite of having one less parent in the home, Zelda seems to be doing just fine. She doesn't smile less, she plays more, and I feel like a better mom some days. I am still getting used to working full time, but I stopped pumping at work. It makes me sad, but I still breastfeed when I'm at home with Z. She will still get the antibodies and the helpful nutrients from me at least part of the time.

With all the new working and being away from her, I have had a hard time leaving her with Sean's parents. Last week she got the worst diaper rash I had ever seen. Every time I picked her up after work, it was obvious that she hadn't been changed recently. I was furious, beyond furious. Changing a diaper is a simple task for baby care. The fact that she got an awful rash was nothing short of neglect. So I started looking into daycare (because if I get mad I can at least report them), but it's so expensive.

Then I decided that maybe we should just make some other changes, to redo our budget. First is I'm going to take the dive into cloth diapering, more on that later. I am also going to stop buying meat, once the meat in our house is gone, Z and I will try some vegetarianism.

I'm hurting still. My heart aches, and the only thing I have to fill it is Z. I guess it could be worse.

Friday, October 5, 2012

How to Survive Heartbreak

Step One: Do the worst things for your body

1. Bake cookies and cakes
2. Eat ice cream
3. Cry
4. Scream
5. Mt. Dew

Step Two: Start making a change

1. File for child support
2. Look into getting sole custody
3. Rearrange the living room
4. Register for OkCupid

Step Three: Move on

1. Meaningless sex
2. Meaningful sex with friends you trust (yes, I just said have an orgy)
3. Don't ever forget what is important

I have made my changes for Zelda. I intend on keeping her, she is my daughter and I'm going to keep making choices that benefit her.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Fail and Rebuilt : DIY Coat Closet

So remember this post, where I was so proud of myself.

Well.
It broke. :(
I said, well, time for a trip to the thrift store. I bought pegs and a towel rack for $2.

Ready to remake the coat closet.
Ta-da! Much better. And less jankity.
I took off the hanger, and screwed on the towel rack to the bottom of the shelf so it would hang down and give a place to hang the coats.

The pegs I bought went to my wraps.

Just screws in the wall right now. 
Now it looks much nicer.

All the wraps lined up. 
:)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

A Pain Worse Than Childbirth

One week ago, Sean broke up with me.

Yesterday, he moved out.

I can't explain the hurt I am feeling right now. I am frustrated, and I feel abandoned.

This is worse than the unknown of having a baby because I had someone that loved me and trusted me and made me feel like a good mom. Now I am broken and emotionally devastated.

Well, fuck you, Sean. You decided that instead of working things out and being a full time dad that you were going to run away. You are a child and can't handle being a father.

Fuck you.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Daring Greatly Review

Image from Amazon

Through BlogHer Book Club I was given the opportunity to read Daring Greatly, by Brene Brown. I wasn't sure what to think when the book first showed up at my apartment. I knew within the first few pages that this was a perfect book for me, because when I get upset, I shut down and refuse to let anyone in.

I loved this book, full of Harry Potter references, and easily understood. It also made me reach out and reexamine "The Ethical Slut," and some of the themes put out by those authors. I hadn't thought much about vulnerability and how it relates to everything in my life. I had been hung up on my own issues, that this book helped me examine what I needed to change in my life. To Brown, vulnerability is the way to open up all aspects of life, and a key component to the human experience.

Brown's writing is sophisticated, yet interesting. Not to dry and doesn't bog down the reader. I enjoyed the anecdotes from Brown's years of research and her own failings. I related to her struggles, and made it easier to examine my own life issues. She describes a variety of armor selections, using vulnerability rather than being vulnerable. I found that sometimes I can be one to over share with the hopes that someone will care for me. Discretion without being emotionally deadened is the key.

A while back I posted about how much I felt I was failing. I still feel that way, but I am trying the shame resilience described in Daring Greatly. I do feel like there is an impossibly high standard for being a mom, the fact that I still co-sleep and breastfeed makes me feel judged. These are the choices that are right for my daughter and me, but dealing with family saying "When are you going to quit that?" breaks me down.

Personally, I'm going to put my name and contact information in this book and hand it to my friends to encourage them to read it.

I was compensated for this BlogHer Book Club review but all opinions expressed are my own.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

Well, if you haven't heard there is a whole bunch of controversy with NickMom, and stealing pictures, posts, and other such things from the internet, I figured I should keep on with what I do. So, here's a post about my newest attempt at cooking. I found this recipe for homemade peanut butter cups, but I didn't want to go out and buy chocolate chips, so I found a recipe for home made chocolate!

(See those blue things? Those are called links, and they go to the original content. See, I don't claim to have done all these things all by myself. I have things to write about because other people are more amazing than me. How about if we borrow something and attempt to make it our own we start being a little more ethical, right NickMom? You guys are thieving douchewaffles.)

Yeah. It's kinda crazy, and I didn't have liners for my massive cupcake things, so I just used wax paper. Really it was a whole big mess but yeah...here's what happened.

My first mistake was that I didn't have enough cocoa powder, and I'm lazy and thrifty-ish so I just cut down the recipe from 2cups to making a half cup of cocoa powder (which left me with 11/64 cup of milk, oops).

Homemade Chocolate (KA's Bastard Version)

Milk - 11/64 cups (37.5 ml I used the baby syringe, lol)
Cocoa powder - 1/2 cup
Butter - 3 TBSP
Water - 1/4 cup
Powdered sugar - 1/8th cup
Flour - 1/16th cup (7.5 g, I just estimated)

Chocolate. Yum.
I made the chocolate per the instructions, but instead of freezing it, I just let it stay liquidy and made the insides for the cups from Type-A Mom's recipe.

Peanut Butter Insides

Peanut butter - 1/2 cup
Powdered sugar - 1/2 cup

This looks awful, but oh well.
Then I went along with the recipe and put down a layer of chocolate, then peanut butter filling, then more chocolate. Stuck them in the fridge, and yeah...

The chocolate ended up being more dark chocolately tasting, but the insides were amazing. And per Type-A Mom's explicit instructions "take pictures."

Nailed it.

All the insides. Meh. Still delicious.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

DIY Coat Closet

I am a handy-woman. I went to a mom's sale today (which was overwhelming and awful, but I did get some good stuff), and came home and needed to figure out what to do with some of Z's new clothes. The weather is getting chilly finally in Michigan, and I got some winter coats. But I didn't want to put them in the big people closet, because I'd just lose track of them. So, I went to the $5 white thing that my parents brought for me, and transformed it. 

The left side used to be plastic shelves, and this is it empty. 

There is a shelf there, which will the be top of the closet.
My first thought was to put a screw in the top shelf part, and wanted to use a hanger to create the rail where the other hangers would hang (yo dog, I heard you like hangers, so I used a hanger to hang your hangers, so you can hang...eh, you get the drift.) My first mistake was using a wire hanger. One was too flimsy, so it wouldn't work, and the other one ripped the screws out.

I tried to make it work, but fail.
 Then I grabbed a plastic hanger, and screwed it to the bottom of the shelf.

Three screws, and the hanger slipped down to the end.
 I then got to hanging stuff from the hanger, and it didn't work quite as well as hoped.

Unsupported, and saggy, almost there.
 One screw in the middle of the hanger, some duct tape around the screws and hanger and bam!

Finished product :)
Now, I pride myself on not spending money, and guess what, I had all the supplies in my apartment. Its a little white trash, and a little jankity, but hey, it gets the job done. Nothing a little duct tape, glue, hanger, and some screws. I feel super handy right now, and accomplished. Getting into a project drove me into reorganizing and getting laundry done too. 

The sale was crazy. Too many people, too much stuff, and it was just the strangest thing ever. The best part was the $2 find in the boy's section.

BALLIN!
Ready for winter, all set to go. It's a huge weight off my shoulders. Only thing left to do it get a job. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Totally Independent

I took Z to a playgroup today with a bunch of kids. It was super mixed up with the ages, with play dough, and shaving cream as part of the activities available. Most of the things were just beyond Z's ability, and she tried to eat everything she could get her hands on. I enjoyed watching her interact with the other kids though.

Actually it was more like lack of interaction. A lot of the older kids swarmed her saying 'baby, baby, play with me, here's a car' and Z pretty much gave zero fucks. Kids would try to share with her, and she just walked past them. A few times I had to tell a kid to back off because he was just all up on her, and she couldn't explore. It made her mad. It's the natural progression of development, playing parallel, then playing together and learning to share, but it still struck me that Z is very independent. She would glance at me, then continue on her merry way.

I'm also sad because she's almost ten months. And that 'baby' stage is almost over. I never thought I'd miss this, the teething, the breastfeeding, and I'm starting to miss it even as it slips away.

Then it hit me. I am never going to experience this again.

"Oh, you'll have another baby," you may say. But I'm not going to have another Zelda. If I had another one, I'd want it to go as well as this one, and it wouldn't be the same. I don't want another baby, I'd want Z again.

Sean tried to teach her to say "button" last night. She almost had it. Every time she does something new, I lose a little piece of my baby as she becomes more and more her own person. Eventually she'll hate me, and we'll scream and fight, and hopefully when she goes off to college she'll love me again.

I bought her birthday presents today. Books, and I know she can't read, but there are some essential lessons in them to teach critical thinking. I got her Older than the Stars and The Magic of Reality. I'm thinking when she's eighteen I'll get her something heavier for reading, but I think I need to read them first.

Now I just need to find some schools in Grand Rapids that don't have creationalism as a rational explanation for the universe. Which will be a challenge in west Michigan.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Last Free Weekend

This is hopefully my last weekend being unemployed. It has been a hard month, and I am not exactly excited for the next job, but at least it is something. I have another interview on Monday, which again, isn't exactly the direction I want to go with my life. It's back to serving consumers, but it's a retirement home rather than behavioral health.

Which is where I get stuck again, what do I want to do with my life? What are my goals?

The worst part is, I have none. I have things I'd like to do (hence why I applied for a job that was all German speaking, and for a manager position with a non-profit), but nothing really sparks my interest. I'd like a 9-5 job, that doesn't tax my brain, but is that where I need to be? It feels like my job experience at this point has limited me in what I want to do.

Should I go back to school? If so, what should I study? I'm trying to break into working in a bank, and maybe I should just drop my need to help people and go find something with business administration.

Meh, it's just not me. And my life is so mundane. I sit at home with the baby, we play, we sing, we go to the store, we dance, we listen to music, we nap, and on occasion I get to hang out with her dad. Which has been super weird too. We're in a funk. That's why I need a job - even if it's making sandwiches.


Purple dress and shoes from Oma.
Z has been just amazing these past few weeks, and I keep looking at her and wondering where the little ball of angry I brought home from the hospital went. She has such a vibrant personality, yelling when things don't go her way, running around the apartment, tripping and face-planting into my computer. She drives me crazy,  but she's just so excited about everything. Still not a sleeper, but she's a quick little bugger. Sometimes she tries to follow me into the bathroom when I need to pee, closes the door on accident, then gets upset because she can't figure out how to open it, and won't move when I try to open the door to let her in.

I feel stuck. All I can hope for is a next step, and a new opportunity.


Bonus - Z in the rain.


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

My first in-between job

I just got an in between job. Part time, over minimum wage, but not something I want to be doing six months from now. It's a job just to patch through.

I hope somethin better comes along though. But I won't be stir crazy anymore.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Personal vs Professional Mom

I am still reeling from BlogHer '12.

This is a personal blog. I talk about things relevant to my life, and relevant to the lives of people that aren't near to me and want to keep in contact. I don't have a facebook (though I do tweet more than I'd like to), and this is a way to check in on what my parenting journey has been like. I like parenting, I like taking the advice of others and though I don't have many parent readers, maybe something I have said will pop out to anyone passing by.

This is my space, raw, uncensored, sarcastic, and real. This is not a place for consumerism.

At BlogHer '12, I got an opportunity to network and understand my role in the blogging world.

Anecdotes and my point of view drive this blog, and any parenting tips and tricks are from all sorts of sources. I read books, blogs and pick what is best for my family. It may not be the way every parent decides, but I do respect the different views.

So, I'm not a professional blog so far. I might have to start a new blog that is more friendly. I already have another opportunity to go back to the professional side of blogging with BlogHer. I'll update more as I find out about it.

Oh well. Can't say I didn't try. I'll work on it in the future.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Baby-ed Out

I have hit my limit on being a stay at home mom.

I have an interview in Indianapolis, and I had one phone interview already for a bank job. I just hope to find some work so I can really start to be ready to pay bills. I have money saved, but that's for if something really bad happens.

Being in between jobs counts as really bad off, right?

My reason for being sick of staying at home is I just don't get out much. Gas is expensive, and the only place that Z and I can really get to is the pool at our complex - but the sun is super dangerous still. Z is still not sleeping through the night so day by day is just a hassle. I'm constantly tired, I can't manage to stick to the sleep solution. Blah.

Time to move on with my life. Time to get out of where I am and get somewhere I am happy.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Nine Months!

Since my last few posts have been kind of mad/angry. Here are some happy things.

My Zelda is nine months old. She walks (almost runs), can say 'Elda' and 'dada,' and is the light of my life. Size 2 or 3 diaper, depending on the brand, 6-9 month clothing, and no shoes. She refuses to walk with shoes on, so I just let her run around barefoot. She is a food thief, and only eats the baby pears and apples. Anything else she rejects. But oh well, I wanted to do baby-led weaning anyway, so that's good.

I can't explain how much she has grown, so I figured I'd post up a picture of what she looked at at four days old, and now. Just to compare.

Four Days.

Nine Months.
I forgot to post up any video from BlogHer12, so here is Z and Daddy playing hide and seek in the hotel room.




Friday, August 17, 2012

How Far is Rock Bottom?

When will I hit rock bottom?

Is it getting fired from a job because someone lied about me? Is it losing my apartment because I can't find a new job? Is it having to move in with in-common-laws? Is it having to move back to Midland? Is it getting Z taken because I can't pay my bills?

I don't think I've hit rock bottom yet, but I feel like it is impending, and I keep falling. I was so close to being in the clear, being back at my job, and moving on. But now? Work can't make up their minds, I've already gotten a punishment, slapped with a violation for doing what any male staff would have done. I played the game and I jumped through all the hoops this time around.

No more.

Don't play me, don't decide to switch sides because of 'new information.' When there is a claim against me, if you never interview me there is bound to be new information - you haven't heard my side of the story!

Now I just wait and see. I can't go back there, I refuse to go back. I deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, and not have to drag my child to interviews. I don't deserve to have my coworkers spreading lies and slandering me while I am not there. I have a family to provide for, and an internal drive to go to work.

I am not garbage. I am a human being.

So I ask the public - where is rock bottom? Is it in a halfway house? Is it welfare?

How am I going to make it through this?



Thursday, August 16, 2012

Banning Formula will Promote Breastfeeding - FALSE

I am furious.

ABSOLUTELY FURIOUS.

Why? I'll tell you why - Mayor Bloomberg has an initiative to ban formula (or hide it, or something) to force mothers to breastfeed their babies.

I am a lactivist, I have said this before, I love breastfeeding, I advocate for it, I support all mother's that choose to give that to their kids.

Key word in there: choose.

You want to promote breastfeeding, I have a few ways to do that.

1) Lactation consultants: The biggest problem for hospitals in GR are the lack of lactation consultants, or the availability of consultants. Often they come after the baby has finally gotten to sleep, are on strict schedules that don't allow time to come back in and check in with women. I can't tell you how many stories I have heard from women that the consultant came at a bad time, and refused to reschedule, or where unavailable because it's a weekend. Hire more consultant because the nurses have training but aren't certified. I loved most of my nurses in the hospital, but more time with someone more knowledge is essential to successful breastfeeding.
2) Breastfeeding groups: I know of two breastfeeding groups that meet in the GR area. We have FOUR hospitals. If every hospital put out a breastfeeding group, that would leave three days out of the week when there aren't groups. In all honestly, one hospital hosts a group on two different days, so good for them. More support available, means more women will seek help. I only came to a group because I happened to be there. More groups!
3) Post-partem doulas: I think that every new mom should have a post-partem doula. Someone to come home from the hospital and continue giving support. Even just to give a new mom a damn nap. Meet with them before birth, set them up with help to pay for it, or have insurance that covers it. Too many new moms are overwhelmed and that first week (ok let's face it, the first three months) is absolute hell for new parents.
4) In home care: Nurses that visit, dietitians to weigh the baby, lactation consultants to give help in the privacy and security of the home, and someone to just come and hang out while a new mom is adjusting. There should be more people coming to visit, which is why I am so lucky that I have had all of these. Mostly because I had arranged for it all. But I shouldn't have had to. Someone at the hospital should have all these visits lined up for the new mom, come and talk about it.
5) Breastfeeding friendly culture: The thing we need to change is our culture. We need to stop with comments from people that are 'disgusted' by seeing a nursing mother in public. More protection for women that are breastfeeding and need to express milk at work, allowing them as much time as needed to express milk. We need to show nursing mothers in media, in a positive light. Stop taking down pictures of nursing mothers on facebook, why hide a beautiful thing? Sometimes there is a little nip slip. But guess what? It's not because all nursing mothers are sexual deviants and enjoy being exhibitionists. Sometimes there is a squirmy baby. Deal with it. Breastfeeding used to be the only way to feed a baby. Applaud women for their courage in changing how they are viewed by the public. Nursing moms and bottles are the same thing - don't punish women for making a good decision for their baby.

Now why do I care if women formula feed. Honestly, it's not my call. If there wasn't formula, we would have a network of wet-nurses. There is an issue of choice here. I'm not going to tell a mom she has to breastfeed. I'm going to provide my time for her to give her an atmosphere that is supportive, give her advice, and ultimately love her for her decision. I have a friend that chose to breastfeed for six months and then switched to formula. Do I chastise her for 'giving up?'

NO. A loud resounding NO. She is free to make her choice, and she knows what's best for her son. I applaud her for breastfeeding for as long as she did, I wish I was closer to provide more support for her, or that we talked more often so I could have encouraged her to stick with it. But she made a choice and I support her ability to make that choice.

You know what Mayor Bloomberg, shame on you. Taking the choice away from women? That is the lowest of the low. I am against formula 'swag bags,' but there are so many ways to support breastfeeding moms. And of course there are medical reasons not to breastfeed - HIV, AIDS, babies that are allergic to human milk, and reasons I don't know about.

I am a lactivist - but I support choice.

(This post x-posted to BlogHer)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Four More Sleeps

My second day as a single mom was really not bad. Went to the psychologist, Zelda played almost all day. She was a total sweetheart most of the day. Still clingy, but we got everything done. Tomorrow is our typically 'busy' day. 

Hopefully a few days full of friends will help pass the time. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Single Mom - Again

Sean left this morning to go camping with his program. The last time he left me in charge of everything, I had to work, do all the babysitting stuff, and getting back and forth to Midland. When he came back I told him that he couldn't leave the state anymore for work and had to have a set day when he was going to be back.

Well, since I'm on temporary leave from work, I get to stay home, there is no skating this week, so here I am just doing what I do. Sean gets back on Friday, and it's me and Zelda until then. I have a few lunch dates planned, and my things all in order.

Finally started the sleep solution, and  it took me two hours to get Z through a 'bedtime routine.' It worked alright, a bath as soon as she started to rub her eyes, and then laying in bed. She was super mean with the nursing, two sucks then bounced off and rolled away, then dived bath with her mouth open and latched back on. But she finally fell asleep, and here I am writing a blog post.

Today hasn't been that bad with the mom stuff. Z has been super clingy, since she can walk to wherever I am and scream until I pick her up. But, now I only have five sleeps until Sean gets back.

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Oogieloves - First Impressions of "New" Family Media


When I attended BlogHer 2012, I went to a session called 'The Power of Mom.' It was run by the creator of Teletubbies and Thomas the Tank Engine, Kenn Viselman and his team of PR reps, the director, and company. 
 
As I started to read the flyer that had been put out, I was struck by a few things. 1) It sounded a whole ton like 'One Million Moms.' If you haven't heard of them, they are dedicated to 'cleaning up the media.' I put that in quotes because they call out JC Penny for having Ellen Degeneres as their spokeswoman, and heaven forbid - she's a lesbian! What's next, a generation being raised by these heathens?! 
 
Well, yup. Because JCP put out an ad for father's day that had two men. Oh the horror.
 
The reason I don't like OMM is because they are bigots. And when I thought I was sitting in a new version of them with Oogieloves, I started planning my escape route. The session was super small, maybe fifteen people total, but I was near the front and within arms reach of the creator, and if I left what if he stopped me. And I was horrified that I might need to run away, and it was partly rude, but I didn't want to get caught up in a shitstorm of hate. 
 
But I stayed, and I'm kinda glad I did. 
 
The message of 'the Power of Mom' is this - there is no real G rating anymore. Even Disney which is 'kid friendly' has messaged that mom isn't important and truly adult themes. I started to look at my own collection at home that I had retrieved from my parents and saw all the missing moms. Aladin - no parents, Hunchback - no parents (crazy religious father figure though super scary), Lion King - surviving mom (Mufasa dies, so at least Sarabi makes the cut), Little Mermaid - no mom, only crazy strict dad, Pocahontas - dad, with spirit-y mom, but in general the parents are not represented well. 
 
My favorite by far was Mulan - transvestite with both parents that survive. Win. 
 
Basically I want to see this movie because it says there are no bad guy, no loss, it is teaching love and treating the movie as a stage play where the audience participates. It kind of reminds me of Bear in the Big Blue House, but I just want to see why this could be possible.
 
Part of me says, fuck it. Children have to grow up, learn that the world isn't sparkles and rainbows, it is los and hurt and frustration and bad situations. Parents don't always stay together, and there is adversity. No job or college or internship takes a kid that had a perfect home life, who lived an easy life. Our society treasures those that flourish in pain and hardship. No matter how smart you are, if you are white, upper-middle class, straight man - you will always lose to someone that had to struggle in life. 
 
'Family friendly media' can mean a lot of things, and perhaps I need to start writing guides to questions that may arise when Z really starts to watch movies and take in media that way. She can't sit still for a movie, and only watches when there is singing (and again, the AAP says no screen time before age 2, but I can already tell you that Z doesn't fit that criteria). 
 
Should I be sheltering Z? At what point to I tell her princesses and santa aren't real and its time to grow up? 

X-Posted to BlogHer here

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

There And Back Again - My First BlogHer

We got back from NYC to GR yesterday with a little pit stop in Midland. Apart from the crazy driving, BlogHer was a few things:

1) Overwhelming- There was so much to see, so much to do, and it was in NYC. Besides just conference stuff, there was the city to see, Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, 9/11 Memorial, Central Park, etc. I didn't get to see everything, but I had been to NYC before. No way could I have made enough time to do everything I wanted (but I did get to see a really good friend a few times in my short stay, which was awesome).
2) Overstimulating- With all the sponsors and people all packed into a hotel there was just too much going on. There were smells and lights and talking and noise, and I needed to pace myself when it came to the expo hall. Also, I needed to pace Z since I had her with me for parts of the conference. She was a doll, but I could tell when she started to shred, and it was time for us to go back to the hotel room. I wish I dealt better with large groups, and it's something I need to work on
3) Challenging- Talking to other (successful) women bloggers made me challenge what I do. What do I blog about, who do I blog to, what should I blog about, who should I blog to? This is a personal blog, and I'm going to try and keep that separate from any revenue making blog I might start in the future. Because I'll be honest, working from home might be a nice little change from getting punched in the face part-time.
4) Inspiring- The sessions have given me a lot to thing about, and inspired me to try writing from my perspective and parenting style. It also has given me the tools to think about working from home as a writer (in fact I have already started applying to the BlogHer Publishing and the Book Club).

There's my new life plan - what do I want to be when I grow up? I want to write. I want to stay at home and do my work during naps and in the wee hours of the morning when everyone is asleep. I want to be there for my baby and give her all my time and still provide for her. It's going to be a rough start, but I think it can be done.

Friday, August 3, 2012

To NYC and Day 1 of BlogHer 2012

I have learned so much about blogging in the past thirty-six hours. But more than that, I got a chance to drive for a long time with Zelda in the car.

The drive from MI wasn't too bad. Z slept most of the time and had someone in the back of the car to entertain her the entire time. I pumped so we didn't have to pull off to nurse all the time, and as long as she couldn't see me, bottles were just fine.

We stayed in NJ with my mom's friend Pam. Wednesday then came into NYC on Thursday morning.

I got to see one of my close friends from Midland last night, and big news I ran/walked by first 5k this morning! The route was through Central Park, and I made a personal goal of doing it in under an hour. Well, bitches ain't shit, we did it in 42 minutes. I am so happy, and I feel so good about myself today. And it's my birthday, I am twenty-three today. It's a good age so far, and I dunno, even with all the drama (which I will write about at a later date once it's all worked out) I'm so happy.

Blogging conferences are so difficult though, trying to network, talking about products, and essentially feeling like a consumer whore.

I'm not really a consumer whore, I like capitalism, but I don't buy things ever. And since this is more of a personal blog rather than a tips blog, or a recipe blog, or a journalism blog or whatever. It's my thoughts, not really something that I use for selling ad space, or getting readers. I blog about my life for my friends and family and whoever manages to find my life entertaining.

Besides being a whore on twitter for the past few days, that's definitely going to stop. I know I just posted about how I don't have any time for that, but when its all tweet us and win things or tweet us and we'll sell you our first born children, I tweet. And everyone here is on their phones tweeting, and when I don't have Zelda, I have plenty of time for tweeting. Once I return to the real world, I am going to quit tweeting for a while. And instagram-ing.

BlogHer is hard for me personally because I don't do well with big groups of people. I don't like the noise, I like my privacy. It's hard.


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Does the Internet Make Bad Parents?

I spend too much time on the internet. I spend too much time on my smartphone. I spend too much time doing things for me than for my daughter.

Even with this confession, I am not on twitter or facebook or whatever as much as I see some mom bloggers posting. I don't have time to sit on twitter all day, and that got me wondering, how much time are you really spending with your child if you are tweeting all day and posting blog post after blog post. Is it all during nap time? Are they in school all day?

I can't stand to sit on twitter all day and follow all the party invites for BlogHer 2012. I just don't care. I don't spend all day on my computer (though today may be different, it is almost 5am and I can't sleep). How can you justify so much time on a twitter stream and not on your child - don't you people have a life?

I for one do. I have two jobs, breastfeed exclusively, keep up with a blog and barely touch a twitter. I have too much in my life to sit on twitter all day waiting for something to happen.

And for that matter, twitter parties are bad, and you should feel bad.

Monday, July 30, 2012

'Traditional' Marriage


There is a lot of bigotry in America. Westboro Baptist Church, Boy Scouts of America, and even fast food chains (yes Chick-fil-a) have come out in 'support of traditional marriage.'

Well, in civilized society we call that hate. If you want to take a gander at the picture that I have posted from http://robertcargill.com/. These are all traditional biblical marriages.

Guess what, when I was a sophomore in college I was raped - according to the 'biblical standard' of marriage, the men who raped me should have paid my father a fine and married me.

I am horrified that such an outdated and misogynistic book dictates so many lives.

I'm not saying I'm going to go out of my way to purchase only 'gay friendly' products from companies, but I can for sure say that I won't be supporting companies (or people for that matter) that are so hateful, ignorant, and bigoted. I don't support Apple (even though they love the gays), but for all those christians that use an iphone, well, looks like its time to find a new provider, right? Time to stop using amazon.com, they just pledge to help grant equal rights to all humans in the US. Switch over to Yahoo, because Google and Bing both support equal rights.

And my favorite so far, is that Disney supports same-sex marriage, and have you noticed how many non-traditional couples there are, how many single parents or orphaned children as well?

Yeah, it's just one other company. But seriously, it's time we all got along. My marriage (or lack thereof) isn't going to break up anyone else's marriage, why do so many straight (white and christian) feel the need to put limits on something that doesn't even apply to them.

Finally - it's all about choice. Companies can choose what they donate to. But guess what, you can't choose to be gay, or choose to be straight. You can choose your religion (or lack thereof, guess I'm not going to be a popular parent), choose what you spend your money on, but quit trying to choose for everyone.

TL; DR Shame on you Chick-fil-a. Shame on you Boy Scouts.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

No Cry Sleep "Solution"

I caved and went to B&N today and purchase a real, paper-and-ink book. It by parenting educator Elizabeth Pantley, because I just hit a roadblock when it comes to Zelda. She wakes up (it seems like) constantly during the night, always is nursing to sleep, and cry-it-out a) doesn't work for her, b) makes me feel like a bad parent. I can't stand to let her cry because now she stands and shakes the crib bars, so she has been sleeping in bed with us.

Not that I don't like co-sleeping, because I do. I just want to be able to put her in her own bed, and not have to be constantly worried about her at night.

I picked up this book The No Cry Sleep Solution, because it was recommended by some women in my breastfeeding group. The Dr told us to let Z cry-it-out, and I am sick of 'living with it.' Therefore, we are going to try something different.

We aren't starting right away, I just read the first few chapters and we need to do some ground work - sleep logs and such to get a real idea of her schedule. The average baby her age sleeps (8-9mo) 14 hours during 24, and I'm sure Z doesn't get that. I went to Pantley's website and decided to download all the logs so that I can track everything for real. This would be a lot easier if I were a stay-at-home parent, but alas.

Sean and I decided that we are going to start this after we get back from NYC next week. Yeah buddy, going to BlogHer 2012! I'm still freaking but at least I know it will be fun. After travelling it will be sleep solution time for Z.

Friday, July 27, 2012

I need to delete something

I discovered instagram.

I hate it, yet I can't stop using it. I think I do it wrong though, instead of just posting pictures of random things and my lunch - I posted up a pictures of Zelda and my scratches from work.

And I have that damn twitter too.

Twitter is hard. I don't sit on it all day, I have a baby and a life - plus I can't tweet with a game controller in my hands. And I don't understand the 'hashtags.' Are they supposed to come in the middle of your tweet so it flows, or at  the end? I think if it is in the middle it's more clever, shows you took time to think about your idea, but at the end just in case it was such a good idea you needed to spit it out.

My facebook is still gone. Don't miss that at all.

I like G+.

I hate social media - but if I want to stay relevant, exciting, I need to be over sharing my life on every channel. Maybe lifetime will pick up my boring life and turn it into a movie. That's what I hated about facebook, and now I'm doing it.

I should delete all things. Twitter, instagram, google+, and even my deviant art, just for good measure.

I'm so fucking hypocritical. And I'm no better than anyone else. Maybe I should be Amish.


Minus the god part.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Pinching and Biting

I have a squirmy baby. She doesn't like sitting with me, but she likes being carried around while I try to get things done. It's great having a child that can move, mostly because then she can follow me into the kitchen and scream that she wasn't happy that I put her down surrounded by all her toys - how cruel am I?

I've just been having some issues with breastfeeding. My supply has been super low, and that makes me uneasy. I talked to a few of my other friends that are nursing, and they said I can go as long as I want to. There is no judgement, but I also don't want a toddler coming up during dinner and lifting my shirt for a snack. Recently Z has taken to pinching me while nursing.

Yup, the biting happens when she bored, and pinching when she's just laying there. It's like she enjoys the feel of my skin between her fingers. So, when she does it, I pull her off, tell her no and sit her on the ground. Which causes crying because she HATES that. I feel bad, pick her back up, and it's back to the pinching. She does it when she isn't nursing sometimes too. All I can think about is some of the kids I work with - did they start pinching this early? Because if so, how the fuck do I stop it? I can't just punish Z - she's a baby. She barely understands words let alone 'no.'

And Sean thinks we should start weaning because my milk supply is low. But I think I'm going to adopt a different approach to weaning, aka, rather than thinking of it as eliminating breastfeeding, but more as adding complementary foods. Zelda loves food, squishing it in her fingers, chewing on plums, toast, anything she can get her little mini-pincer grasp on she will put in her mouth. I don't want to give up nursing, it's my time with her, and she likes cuddling.

Oh well. When Sean starts lactating he can start making the rules, right?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Milk Truck

As you probably know, I'm a 'lactivist.' I breastfeed and I encourage all my friends, neighbors, family etc to support breastfeeding moms and a breastfeeding supportive society. I just found a site for The Milk Truck. Essentially it's a truck that drives around waiting for mother that have been harassed/accosted for breastfeeding in public, and providing support and a comfortable place for them to breastfeed.

We need one of these in every city. Now I need to make a plan to get one.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Letting Go and Rearranging

Well, a few things happened today. First, I cleaned off my desk. I cleaned out the drawers, and I stuffed everything into boxes as if I were moving. I'm not moving, but my desk is. It was a cheap conquest from craig's list, so I am getting used to the idea of just letting it go. I don't use it, I'm not in school right now, and Sean said that if I go back I can get a new one.

So, goodbye desk. I did order a new organization thing, but it was broken upon arrival. I was kind of upset about it, because I wanted to start organize the paper clips and the pins and odds and ends. But, I can't so I'll just procrastinate on it again. Another time I will go through all my boxes and such and organize the cords into the drawers later. Oh, well.

And tomorrow we are rearranging the living room, making it a little more accessible, and doing something different. It will be nice. But I just can't sleep. :/

Friday, July 13, 2012

Reclaiming Me

I took a huge step today, and I'm officially coming out (again). I came out as bisexual when I was a junior in highschool, and redefined myself as a pansexual during college. Sexuality and relationships have become fluid  for me, and some out there might call me a slut for it.

Well, that's fine with me. I am reclaiming once derogatory terms for myself. The first is Fat.  Second is Queer. The last one is Slut.


THE SLUTS UNITE OATH
I believe that sex represents more than just the creation of children.
I believe it is an enjoyable, healthy and a profound part of the human experience.
I also believe that the responsible use of birth control is an essential component of a mature, civilized society.
And if these beliefs make me a slut in some people's eyes, then so be it.
I will stand united with my fellow sluts, now and always

Questions? Well, this is where the oath came from.
I'm sure most of these aren't really a surprise to most of you reading here. I'm finding my way each day, and becoming happier with who I really am. 

This was brought on because of a book I read a while ago The Ethical Slut. I liked it, and gave me a lot to think about. I think my next step is going to be attaining a copy of The God Delusion. Oh man, all this reading and free thinking has got me in the mood for a run. Tomorrow morning, it's on like Donkey Kong!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Walking Baby

Everyone says, "7 and a half months is too early to walk!" Well, haters gonna hate, my baby can walk.

Family 4th of July

This year for the fourth of July, Zelda, Sean and I went to Midland. It was an interesting visit. Zelda and I went over on Tuesday and spent the night, Sean came on Wednesday then we all went back to GR on Thursday so I could get to work on time.

Oh, and Zelda started walking this week. Totally blew my mind. We were at a friends house (Tony and Jane and their son Xander), and Z decided for whatever reason, she was going to stand and take four steps. I was shocked. She's just too small to be doing that sort of stuff. It's funny because her thing is taking a step with only her right foot, so she ends up going in a half circle before falling down. Her balance isn't that good, so she get's four to six steps at a time, but I can tell she's much happier being more mobile.

Back to Midland story. I got to meet my sister's cat, Loki. It was a crazy trip. I got to see my sister is full pre-teen blowout mode. I wasn't sure who she was anymore, she used to be a wild child, but this was something I had never seen before. I've screamed and cried at my parents, but this was just ridiculous.

Zelda's special outfit.
Zelda and Loki.
There are a few reasons why I don't see my family, mostly because it gets a little dramatic. I love my family, but they are so emotionally draining, and I do everything in my life to not have people that put too much strain on me. I don't talk to people that have drama - it doesn't work for me anymore. But it's my family. I can't just not talk to them, I can limit the time with them. But I'm not part of the drama, my life is mine, Sean and Zelda are my stress, not theirs.

The fireworks were super fun though, we went to the Country Club and sat on the golf course and watched. Way less stressful than going to the Tridge, and easy to get home. We got home and Donnie got to do his thing with the kids in the neighborhood and do fireworks in the street. He didn't expect Sean to bring out the big guns and big fireworks. It was all fine and dandy until some asshole down the street rolled up and told us we were rude.

Oh, ok. It's rude to shoot off firework on the 4th of July? Wow, get over it. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

IPhone-ography

I've been reading the Twitter, oh, sorry, 'following' the tweets of BlogHerTech and just saw a post about 'iphoneography' classes. That's right, iPhone-photography classes. Classes. For taking pictures with your iPhone.

That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard. Classes for taking pictures with your phone. I can't even believe it. How bad are people with technology that you need a class on pressing a button. Obviously they aren't professionals if they are using their phones to take pictures.

Dumb.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Being Happy Alone

Completed the first week of couch to 5k. Hard, but it's time to ramp it up for this week.

I have lost myself in the role of 'mom.' I haven't taken enough time for me, no matter how many 'days off' I have, I haven't done something just for me.

Last night I went to an auction, a friend of a friend's husband died and she was holding an auction to sell her things and a bunch of people from her community donated goods and services (one girl auctioned herself off as a burlesque show) to help pay medical bills. It was a riot, I got to hang out with some friends I hadn't seen in a long time, and I learned a little bit about myself.

I need to find time for being me, without Sean, without Zelda, and I need to learn to be happy being just me.

Also, I picked up half a third shift last night, 3a-7a. Why? Because I had a friend in need. Because I had the time, and because people get screwed at work. Because I got to play Skyrim for a few hours and get paid for it. I got to come home to see Zelda asleep on the floor.

This is what happens when I'm gone. Yes, she is cuddling a clean diaper.
It was nice to come home and get Zelda ready before Grandma Kat and Grandpa Frank came to pick her up. I was supposed to work this weekend, but they took her, and I got a nap, and a shower, and dishes done, and I might even get a chance to go play some Dawnguard while I wait for her to get home.

Back to the point of this post - I need to find happiness alone. I haven't been single in years, and I feel as though I have lost myself in my relationships and my new family. I love being a mom, I love being able to give to my family, but it's not all of my identity. I'm not a house-wife, I'm not a stay-at-home-mom. I like working, I like going out with friends even though I don't drink.

Who am I? What truly makes me happy? What do I need to make myself happy? How can I be happy without using anyone else? I don't have any definitive answers. But maybe going out without Sean is a start. Maybe having a day to myself doing nothing but napping and showering is what makes me happy. I don't know.