Expecting our Little Brother in November!

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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Mom/Baby Friends?!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

First Dairy

So we're vegan . . . and James David has been pretty much vegan for his life, too . . .
Except for 1.5 times when he ate cat food . . . at least one time definitely in the mouth (swallowing uncertain), another time or two where he MIGHT have eaten some but I'm not sure . . .

And of course, he nurses. Breast milk is an "animal product", but he is the one it is meant for! Personally I think cow's milk is great! For baby cows! And human milk is great, too! For baby humans!

Anyway, so he's never had cow's milk (or any non-Mom dairy). Well, he HAD never had any non-Mom dairy! But . . .

Me and Mariclare went to our 10-year high school reunion last week, and me and LJ slept over at my parents' house. It was . . . interesting to say the least! Of course the only people who showed were people who were relatively happy and secure with their current situation. All the haters stayed home, so we had a good ole time!

Such a good ole time that when some unknown and loving family member (ie, Kate), pulled the "awake and seeking attention baby" out of my sleepy arms at 6:30am, I felt nothing but gratitude and immediately zonked out.

So I woke up a few hours later feeling SO happy for the extra sleep, scooped up my cute baby, and my sister comes up like:

"Okay, don't freak out."
I look at the baby, he seems fine. "Okay? What?"
"Dad fed him Greek Yogurt this morning."

And I did not freak out. I honestly was still in the mentality of "THANK YOU MYSTERY FAMILY MEMBER WHO RESCUED ME FROM MOTHERHOOD AT 6AM!!" So much so that I was like: "Oh well, at least I got to sleep in". LOL

Though for the record, my Dad did not do this on purpose. Though he is very smart about some things . . . he just did NOT realize. Basically I had brought these leftovers in a yogurt container. My Mom saw this, and told my Dad there was yogurt in there for him. So my Dad went to look for it, saw the leftovers, and then the only other yogurt in the fridge was the Greek Yogurt and he was basically like: "Okay here we go, yogurt".

It's pretty funny though, my Dad was saying that even though James was eating it . . . "it was like he knew he wasn't supposed to be." Hahaha, like he wasn't eating very much of it--and was sort of eating hesitantly? and let me tell you, he can PUT AWAY FOOD normally, so it's funny.

Though I was telling my Dad it probably had less to do with being DAIRY than being an unfamiliar food. He is a well-attached baby and definitely looks to me or his Dad when encountering an unfamiliar food, animal, person, etc. He looks at our reaction to see how he should react. I watch him do this.

So, though he KNOWS my Dad and sister, he doesn't trust them in the same way, so when they were offering him an unfamiliar (TOTALLY UNFAMILIAR) food, he just wasn't quite trusting them that he was supposed to eat it. It's just funny that he was right!

Anyway, the thing I was most concerned about is some kind of allergic reaction (immediately) which didn't happen, and then stomach upset (in the hours after) which also didn't happen. So it ended up being a non-event . . .

But there is the story of first (and perhaps only? Probably not I guess!) dairy!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Birthday, by Burtons (Guest Photo)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

What We Do With Vaccines, and Why

I would list us under "moderate" in terms of our stance on vaccinations.

For the most part, in my opinion, most vaccines are harmless for most kids, and mostly protect most of us from most of the deadliest and most crippling diseases!

However . . . some vaccines are also deadly for some kids some of the time. Some of the ingredients in vaccines are "poisonous" to the body some of the time. Some vaccines are also unnecessary for some kids in some situations. In fact, some vaccines are unnecessary for most kids in most situations!

And some of the diseases we are mostly protected against? Are mostly harmless to most people most of the time. But, some of the diseases we are mostly protected against are really awful for most kids most of the time, too!

So, James and I make the following decision about vaccines: One at a time. We do not make broad statements like:

-Let's receive all vaccines blindly without researching.
-We will not receive any vaccines on principle.
-All vaccines are important and necessary.
-All vaccines are poisonous, harmful, and dangerous.

For what it's worth, we have done the following so far:

-Chosen not to get Hep B at Birth or One month. There is no reason why he would get this, and at such a young age, we had no reason to put those chemicals in his body without a real risk.

The reason Hep B is given to infants is if the Mom has it already, could have gotten it during her pregnancy because one of the parents is cheating, or if the infant needs a blood tranfusion, it can sneak through a screen 1 in 65,000 times.

However, if there is any risk that the infant could catch it, it is worth getting . . . 90% of infants who catch it during birth have it forever.

-At 2 months received Pneumoccal--Pc (common, deadly 20-30% of the time for infants) and Hib (Used to be common, deadly to 5%, disabling to 25%).

Both these diseases can lead to meningitis, one of the top killers of newborns. Furthermore, James' family has a history of weakness to meningitis. It was a priority for us to protect him against this. When he was 2 months old he was 12.5 lbs! We decided he was ready to handle the side effects and risks because the risks of not doing it were higher at that point.

Furthermore, both of these vaccines have been around for along time, and the amount of times it has led to serious complications in a small child is extremely rare.

-At 4 months received a combo shot of Dtap and Polio. There is evidence that a combo shot means that less ("poisonous") ingredients are needed with the vaccines.

DTap is protection against Diphtheria (rare, but deadly to 10%, but also treatable), Tetanus (rare, but deadly to 15%, and really severely awful to recover from), Pertussis (Whooping Cough, common, occasionally deadly--to 1% under 6 months).

We also received a 2nd dose of Hib.

-At 6 months we decided to receive nothing because James had not been feeling well (I forget if it was a cold or fever, teething related or not, but he had been sick the previous week). Commonly when reactions to vaccines occur, it is if the vaccine is given while the immune system is compromised, IE, when the child is sick or has recently been sick.

-But we rescheduled for 7 months, and then received a second dose of Pc and a third dose of Hib.

-We have chosen not to get Rotavirus . . . but now in researching to write this, LOL, I think I might reconsider . . .

Well, it is originally given at 2, 4, 6, months but it was totally un-necessary then (for us). While Rotavirus is a common disease that can lead to a somewhat serious risk of dehydration often needing a hospital stay to recover from . . . the risk of a baby who is not in daycare catching it is pretty low. And when James was that little I was barely even leaving the house, so there was no reason to get it then.

Plus, he was allergic to everything then and this is an oral vaccine, so he was at somewhat of a risk for developing a reaction because of that.

But now that his system is stronger, he's bigger, and we are being more social with other kids, he's at a SLIGHTLY higher risk of catching it. Though, then again, the odds of a tot who is still breastfeeding getting dehydrated and more seriously sick is fairly low . . .

I guess I'm still deciding! But this is a good example of what we try to consider when making each decision about each vaccine for each of our children at each visit.

Obviously there is a lot more to the full vaccine series but this is just what we've done so far. Who knows what we'll end up doing, we haven't really researched the rest yet, hehe. However, I will say without adding any more detail that we will put off the MMR for his 12 month visit, and probably just catch him up on one of the other ones instead.

A few more important things to add . . .

I believe it is a parent's right, for whatever reason, to decide that no vaccines are right for her/his child for some reason. But with this said. There is one more important point that I must add:

It is very important for most of the people to get vaccinated against some of the deadliest diseases, most of the time. Otherwise we face a situation where most of the people are somewhat at risk, and that isn't fair to anyone.

*We got most of our information from the Dr. Sears Vaccine Book. I would consider it to be a very fair and balanced book that presents all the information without telling you what to think or adding unnecessary fear-mongering. Unfortunately, it is one of few resources that I can say this about! I would highly recommend it.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Hi to Another Kid

Sometimes I think you read this, and this is what I always wanted to tell you.

I hate that I couldn't keep my promise to be there for you no matter what.
I still think often about this and feel very regretful. You did not need another broken promise in your life--I am so sorry.

What happened with me was NOT your fault. If you have any guilt about this . . . the idea that you might have any guilt about this is one of the hardest things for me, so hopefully you don't.

I fell into a trap that many young and inexperienced people in my position fall into--to become friends. I needed training on how to set proper boundaries and I didn't get it. It has taken a lot of therapy to realize I was not entirely to blame for my misjudgments, just as a teenager who does not get the right support is not entirely to blame for their misjudgments...

I really, really, hope that . . . I helped you. It's all I wanted to do, even though I might not have been smart enough about it.

I can't tell you how proud it makes me to see that you have held down the same job for quite awhile now, that you have a real girlfriend--that you are smiling, that you seem happy, as much as I can tell from cyberspace . . .

I wish the world was a different place where people who felt like family could just be family . . . in my heart you will always be my kid. My son who I am SO proud of, for whom I have SUCH high hopes. You can do anything you set your mind to--so pick something good that makes you happy and do it--do it every day so that the joy of it sings through your soul.

I have thought and thought these things for so long . . . so I'm just saying them, here, and hoping the message finds your ear along the winds somewhere in time.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Might As Well Talk about Religion Too...for Thanksgiving!

We are quasi religious I guess.

Our family does believe in God. I was raised Catholic, James was "raised" Protestant. We have both always been deeply spiritual but never quite connected with our religions. We have studied a lot and taken a lot of lessons from Buddism, Taoism, Judiasm, and Christianity, as well.

However nothing felt right. I do not like the concept of religion because of a Buddist lesson/saying--"the moon that can be named is not the true moon". Or in Catholic terms--man cannot explain God, ever changing, ever reactive, unknowable, unfathomable. I have only (and just a small one, at that) a personal sense for what God is which I could never force upon someone else. A force, the goodness, an entity (and of what form)? I know none of these.

My opinions of the Bible, Torah, Quran, etc, is that they contain some of the true "qi", the original energy from the Teachers--Jesus, Buddah, Moses, Muhammed, Da Mo, Gwan Yin, Lao Tzu, etc . . . but it can be very difficult to access, learn from, use effectively . . . furthermore, the true teachings are watered down, filtered through a screen of time, power, priorities, of language, mistranslation, editing . . . hence the difficulty in learning--the ease in twisting messages so that people can claim to kill for God or war for Peace. Soooo, I believe you should only take positive messages from things written by humans. Jesus taught us that humans erred. The Bible, Torah, and Quran are as flawed as their writers/recorders, unfortunately--humans, many of them politically motivated, who lived long ago and not only in one period of time but continually changing, editing, twisting, translating. Therefore, any negative messages that get twisted into these texts should be ignored. Like those that make terrorists think God is on their side, or those who inspire our young homosexual boys and girls to commit suicide because they think God/the religious masses hates them.

However, there are also excellent messages in these texts. Like that forgiveness is a way to heaven/enlightenment. Or that honoring your mother and father is a requirement. Or that all people deserve freedom and the opportunity to work and live.

James and I are very lucky to have found a way to learn from these excellent messages, as well, through Yan Xin Qigong. James started practicing in 1998, when he was a freshman in college. I started in 2003, when I was a sophomore.

It is not a religion, but I would consider my Teacher, Dr. Yan Xin, to be a true Teacher or more traditionally called "Master". I don't believe Jesus was the "son of God" in a more specific way than Buddah, Moses, Muhammed, Da Mo, Gwan Yin, or Lao Tzu. I believe that people who attain far along the path of enlightenment become closer to God in, through, and by way of the process/journey. I believe all of these Teachers went far along the path of enlightenment, and that many fully achieved it. As far as my OWN teacher? Well, who am I to judge my own Teacher other than to say he is my true Master. Through his teaching I am able to learn from all the Masters, all the Teachers . . . It is a Thanksgiving Topic for sure.

On this Thanksgiving in particular I wanted to be Thankful for the blessings Yan Xin Qigong has brought to my life. For my family, my husband, my baby, my life . . . I do have so much to be Thankful for.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

In Which my Baby Turns a Year Old and I Emerge out of a Hormonal Fog World . . .

So I guess I got hit with post-partum depression when James started crawling and my life as I knew it truly ended. But it was sort of hard to see what was going on, I suppose. When I went back to my therapist several months ago, I said to myself that it was because I was protecting myself from depression--dealing with the things I was feeling/thinking before it turned into something worse, before it turned into a depression. It was only about a month ago that I realized I was actually, had been for all this time, depressed already! For me I seem to only realize it as I am starting to recover.

Anyway, WHEN I went back to my therapist several months ago, she said: "Women are allowed to be crazy for TWELVE MONTHS after they have a baby. One year for your hormones to be insane and totally out of wack. After that you have to pull yourself together but until then all bets are off." As I seem to do, I sort of dismissed this advice without appreciating it's true significance.

And yet . . . 11.5 months rolls around. My baby starts to nurse a lot less, only ONCE over the whole night sometimes . . . and suddenly, I swear to God, I have emerged into a new world. I can't quite describe what changed or how--I started to look at my baby without any resentment--something I had been doing, I suppose, mostly unconsciously--I started to feel more free . . . nursing is different now, has changed--he's finally to the point with food now where he COULD be okay if I stopped nursing altogether. I don't WANT to do that at ALL but for me it has always made a huge difference when I'm doing something because I WANT to, not because I have to . . .

But really it's hard to say what's changed, what is different. But it really feels like I was stuck in a tall dark maze and have suddenly emerged--into the sun or perhaps clear warm night, starry sky--the air seems to smell more fresh, the world seems more bright. All of a sudden, as if I suddenly passed through a curtain, things are different. I have perspective on my life, my situation, my child, my past . . . I'm starting to heal from things that were hurt, and undone, and left too long, and not left long enough . . .

And it feels really good.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

(Let's just pretend I actually did publish this on Halloween!)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Not Quite BLW

So I set out with the intention to do BLW, but then I didn't REALLY get what it was--because I wanted my kid to eat healthier than I eat, which doesn't quite work with STRICT BLW (sharing food with baby).

And, as it happened, I got a baby with a million food allergies, and then, constipation issues (to rice, banana, apple, other grains, etc) . . . so he needed to eat mostly a prune/raisin/apricot/peach/squash/beet/carrot/soy yogurt, etc type diet while I am eating like fake mac and cheese and tofu pups and bean tacos and also healthier things, but typically flavored with soy sauce, nutritional yeast, "butter", tchratcha sauce, etc . . . so, he can't eat it.

So this is what we've been doing. Now at nearly 11 months he's been having 3 meals a day. Breakfast at 8 am is the most recent meal addition--we started that third meal maybe a month ago, around 9.5-10 months. He wants to eat by like 7:30 - 8 and I couldn't deal with the mess of letting him self feed. So this is this one meal that I feed him soft food with a spoon and don't let him even help more than one or two seconds per morning . . .

So, 8 am, I feed him unsweentened soy yogurt mixed with diced rehydrated prunes and prune syrup. The prune adds some sweet to the unsweetened yogurt, plus this whole mix gets his sensitive system started out right, so he doesn't get constipated.

Then at noon he eats lunch, and at this point we do let him self-feed, but it's not really what we are eating. He usually eats a few prunes, or sometimes raisins or apricots (all rehydrated--ie, floating in water/syrup and all wet and MESSY but ideal for promoting pooping). And then usually some kind of veggie--grated carrot or beet or daikon, etc--steamed broccoli, asparagus, green, etc--sliced tomato or avocado, etc. And then usually some other kind of whole fresh fruit--slice of mango or kiwi or a whole peach, plum, nectarine--now just starting to give apples and it seems to be going okay (woot).

Repeat a similar style of meal around 4pm--his dinner I suppose. I also try to give him some kind of easy-to-eat protein once a day, like tofu, lentils, hummus, bean soup, etc. He LOVES hummus but I need to make my own because all the brand ones make him react.

And then sometimes he has dinner with us (usually a small amount of a selection of what we are having if we eat before 6:30)--otherwise we eat after he goes to bed.

So I guess as he approaches a year I'm thinking of making that 6:30 meal more significant (and prob changing 4pm dinner to 2-3pm snack). I might even make buckwheat/quinoa cereal with breastmilk (and mixed with prunes/raisins) and let him practice eating with a spoon at that meal/us feeding him.

So that's where we are at! In terms of self-feeding, it's going really well. He loves to eat, he loves all food basically. He'll eat for a half hour, fairly steadily, when he has lunch and dinner. He does the pincer grasp and is really good at eating everything with his hands, including whole unpeeled fruit. Like any 11 month old baby (I would think) he's not great with using spoons/forks, and we aren't great at letting him practice because he's actually more messy than when he uses his hands. Maybe that will be part of "dinner" now, too. He did actually "get" recently the whole putting the spoon/fork in the spoon as a means to eat, so I guess now it's time to practice, hehe.

Sorry for not updating more--james LOVES the computer and he won't let me type when he's awake. And when he's napping there is so much more to do! And in the evening I am so tired, I've been going to bed at like 8 or 9. And sometimes he doesn't fall asleep until 8:30, sooooo yeah. And sorry also if I have been a bad friend/family member in terms of calling back/hanging out. This parenting stuff is totes a full time job!! Mama's tired.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

In Which I Discover it is Possible to Rock my Baby to Sleep

So if you recall a previous post, I explained that I needed to strap James down to get him to go to sleep. Like, in his swing, carseat, or stroller.

Well, while I was on vacation, and unable to fall back on my swing. . . I was forced to learn to rock my baby to sleep. And DAMN IT IS HARD TO DO, but it is possible, and it actually only takes 15 mins (unless he is in pain from teething, or not quite tired enough, or constipated, or he sneak pooed and I have yet to notice it or something, in which case it can take 30 mins or longer sometimes).

BUT for the most part, it can be done in 15 mins. But it's like . . .

5 mins in which the baby screams, thrashes, kicks his feet at you, scratches, bites, claws your eyes and mouth, cries, etc.
5 mins in which he does all of these things with less gusto, with moments of calm mixed in
5 mins in which he is calm and more and more appears to be asleep

I honestly wish I could have a video of this because it's really ridiculous.

And finally he is really asleep and it is possible to transfer him onto his side on a bed or in a pack and play, and then to sort of shake him there for a second, and finally you can leave.

So now having discovered this I am pleased to find myself developing more self-efficacy with getting him to sleep, in different locations and bed situations.
Now I rarely have to resort to crying-it-out, because I really did hate it . . . for over a month now we've been rocking our hearts out! Better than CIO, but it's still hard, and teething makes it worse. I need to do a whole (other) post on teething, too.

Monday, September 12, 2011


I hate when I haven't been blogging enough because nothing is explained . . . I can't figure out where to start with how much he has changed, what our life has been, what has been going on. Maybe it's the new normal for the weeks to fly by like a flip-book. Can't believe my boy is nearly 10 months old--time to start planning a first birthday party?! Crahazy!

Sunday, September 11, 2011


So I feel like I have to comment but I'm not even sure what to say . . . everything is cliche. Or maybe I want really to say the opposite of all the cliche things?

I think mostly today of the families that lost someone . . .

It sucks that the events of that day have gotten us into wars in multiple countries since then

and turned our society suspiciously against itself ...

made our foreign affairs into a crusade for the religion of the "free"

But no one can be free when there is war in their homeland
And still no peace exists there
Despite many lives given on both--every--side

So I hope for the future

May I one day live in a world in which we truly care for each human...feed their needs and heal each wound, seen and unseen

I hope I see it

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Travel with A Little/How I Missed my Flight/Wednesday

Okay, probably because I was in denial about the difficulty/work aspect, pretty much no one knew that I was taking a vacation, with james, for a week, and then James is meeting us for the final few days . . .

We are now in Jacksonville, FL, until Monday morning. We are here visiting my cousin Dave and our new little cousin Parker--this will be my first time meeting Parker!

Our flight was SUPPOSED TO be Wednesday at 1:30, land at 3:30, check into the hotel and have a leisurely night settling in, and then see Dave, Tracy, and Parker on Thursday. However . . . we missed our flight. :-/

I will say that both me, and my Dad who was driving me, tends to cut it close in terms of arrival. We are not the type to sit around the airport. We like to arrive and board.

Well. I discovered that my strategy with a baby in tow (especially when I'm alone) is going to have to change.

I checked in more than an hour before my flight (I think? I was in line to check my baggage for a LONG time). And then I went through security . . . which took FOR.EV.ER. They made me take the baby out of the carrier, take my laptop bag out of my carryon, take my laptop out of it's bag, put everything in separate bins that they were running out of . . . then I had to put it all back together on the other side. And I wasn't even rushing! I had NO CLUE that the time was running down.

I think I was just so concerned with the baby and being alone that I just . . . wasn't even thinking it was that close!

But I got through security, looked at the board to find my gate number, and the flight was already closed. WHAT THE HELL? So I ran there, and started pleading with the attendant.

"The plane is there, I can see it!"
"Sorry miss we already closed the doors."
Then the pilot arrives, and looks at me sweating my balls off and clinging to my baby . . .
"Please!" I say, "please, I just got here and I ran straight from security, I didn't even stop to go the bathroom! And my carseat is on that plane!" Waaaaaaaaaaaa
"Can you let this lady on?" he asks the attendant.
"We closed the doors, sir."
"Well, are you going to open them to let me on? Yeah? Well let's get this girl on, too."
"I could kiss you!" I tell him.
"Don't worry," he says with a wink, "I'll get you on this plane. I won't leave without you."
And then he emerges a minute later.
"ummm, I didn't realize this, all the seats are full."
"You sold my seat?"
At this point I'm totally deflated, thank the pilot sincerely for his efforts, and make my way slowly over to customer service. They give me a ticket for an 8:30 flight (my original flight was at 1:30).

I sigh and hunker down--ie, walk the baby to sleep in the ergo, have a glass of wine, make friends with EVERYONE in the airport--bartender lady who looks like my cousin Nikki (but is Colombian, not Italian), magazine stand lady, shoe shine guy, costumer service guy, custodian . . . various other passengers. James charmes and wows even through extreme tiredness--that half-hour nap while I drank my wine is the last sleep I will get out of him until 11pm . . . but I try. I probably literally paced the area around my luggage for three hours straight.

So 8:30 eventually arrives, and they invite those with small kids to board first. And now, I find out for the first time that my ticket? Is actually a stand-by ticket. I am not guaranteed to get on the plane. So then I really flip out--poor customer service guy feels awful because there's nothing he can really do.

At this point I realize I am not alone. I'm not the only one who missed this flight, not the only one on standby. I'm joined by a Mom/Aunt/Grandma? with two young littles, and an entire other family . . . about 10 of us missed the original flight, and apparently they sold ALL of our tickets . . . um. Something is wrong here. JFK needs a kids/family line.

Anyway, me and the Mom/Aunt with the two littles manage to get on. THANK GOD. The flight is fairly awful, but at this point, I'm just grateful to be there. james hadn't slept, as I mentioned, and was practically hysterically beside himself with exhaustion. I really needed to walk him but they kept the seat-belt sign on the ENTIRE time, even though it was like 5-10 mins of smooth sailing, 1 min of shakiness . . . so he fussed and fussed and FINALLY nursed to sleep in the ergo.

So, we arrive, pick up our luggage, I get my rental car, and here I am, at 12 midnight. james plays happily, standing in the back of the car while I SWEAT BULLETS in the steamy Florida weather--can't believe it feels this much like a jungle at midnight, and attempt to install the carseat. GOD IT TAKES FOREVER!

But we're in, we're on our way--I get to my hotel. james is asleep in the car now, and I have been told by the hotel guy that my key will be in an envelope with my name on it in a black mailbox. And sure, I'm exhausted beyond belief, but I'm not seeing any black anywhere around?

So I'm wandering around looking confused at 1 am, and I catch the attentions of slightly-drunk guy.
"Well HELLO, you look like you need some help!"
"Do you work here?"
"Hahahah, No."
I appraise slightly drunk guy, who looks like he is half-hobbit, and decide he is no threat to me.
"I'm looking for this mailbox . . . "
He ends up finding the mailbox for me, which is not at all black or looking like a normal mailbox . . . ?
"Wow thank you so much!"
"Sooooo, what brings you to Jacksonville?" he asks, as I walk the few steps back to my car.
"Well, I'm visiting my cousin."
"Oh, why are you visiting?"
"Well, he had a baby a few months ago, and so did I!" I point to james sleeping in his carseat.
"Oh!" I have surprised the drunk hobbit, but he rallies.
"Well," he holds out his hand and I go to shake it, but he turns it around, "but, there's no ring here!"
"That's because it's here," I say, and show him my left hand. At this point I'm . . . LOL . . . it's just funny, and I'm smiling . . .
I have to give the hobbit a nod for persistence though, because he still gives me his room number and tells me if I need ANYTHING, to come find him. Okay dude, LOL.

So then I finally get in my room, and take the bed apart while holding the critically overtired and screaming baby, mattress on the floor, because I'm too tired, and I don't trust myself to keep a grip on the little man for the entire night . . . boxspring leaning up against the wall, bedframe in the bathroom.

And finally we sleep. Phew.

Note to self. Arrive early to airport in the future. Keep track of time/flight while going through security.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Photo Friday: Meeting Parker!

So I'm on vacation solo with james--more on that later . . .

But yesterday we went to see my cousin and meet his new baby (well, 4 months new, hehe)! I have literally been waiting to take these pictures since I planned this trip! :D

Here is the first moments of meeting . . . my cousin Dave is holding James and his girlfriend Tracy is holding Parker!

Note that james has the shovel in the above picture . . . And then Parker steals the shovel . . .

And then james steals it back . . . hehe

Parker with his Momma!

Dave and Tracy have a beautiful pool, so we got to go swimming! Here is Parker eating his Daddy's ear, haha!

Two babies in the pool!

Three Musketeers, as my sister put it, hehe:

I love this goofy Parker face!

Awww, playing together! I <3 this!

The cousins!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Being a Blogger

As the word "Blogosphere" has found it's word into our vocabulary, those of us who live here have come to understand the world of instant dialogue, of being held accountable for what you say, of public scrutiny . . . we bloggers put ourselves in the fishbowl, inviting others to look into our little worlds, and inevitably form opinions . . .

People have taken different approaches. Many friends now have private blogs, or review comments before publishing them . . . I do not. Just as I breastfeed without a cover, I blog without a cover, too. I believe in the power of words--that they show truth, in more than what is written, but in what isn't written, what isn't said; and in more: why they are written, the story behind the sentence, the emotion behind the judgement. It's all there for the perceptive reader.

It is important to me that I can stand to face the aftermath, that I am accountable for what I say and that I can defend it with logic and reason in the face of scrutiny. (And honestly I feel slightly bad for those who have been unlucky enough to raise my ire, hahaha.)

Anyway, my previous post about balance reminded me of my favorite poem. Sad I am that I must present it here without it's actual formatting, because that is one of my favorite things about it.

Lawrence Ferlinghetti, on the balancing act of the writer . . .
Constantly risking absurdity
and death
whenever he performs
above the heads
of his audience
the poet like an acrobat
climbs on rime
to a high wire of his own making
and balancing on eyebeams
above a sea of faces
paces his way
to the other side of the day
performing entrachats
and sleight-of-foot tricks
and other high theatrics
and all without mistaking
any thing
for what it may not be
For he's the super realist
who must perforce perceive
taut truth
before the taking of each stance or step
in his supposed advance
toward that still higher perch
where Beauty stands and waits
with gravity
to start her death-defying leap
And he
a little charleychaplin man
who may or may not catch
her fair eternal form
spreadeagled in the empty air
of existence

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Last Two Months

It's been a long ass time since I did a substantive update. I honestly think the last two--well, one month really, have been the most challenging for me as a parent so far . . .

Started crawling at 7.5 months, a week later was pulling up, a week later was cruising. Since then it's been a lot of all of those things: lots of balance and strength training. For the first couple weeks he was just CONSTANTLY falling with bumps and bruises all over his head. Thankfully he's better at it all now and, also, I think, more used to falling.

And so baby proofing began. Add this to the mental list of things I said I wouldn't do and am now doing. The main problem here is not that my house wasn't baby proofed, but that it wasn't CLEAN. And, I've learned by now that some people apologize for the state of their house and really it is immaculate? I'm not like that. If my house was semi-clean, I would admit it . . .

I'm a "throw things to the side when I am done with them willy-nilly" sort of person. And a "out of sight is out of mind" sort of person. And a "I won't look down" sort of person, LOL! Add all these together with having a husband that is the same and four cats? And an ant's view of my house would be like "cloudy with a chance of meatballs (and cat hair)."

The first few weeks/days of crawling were like . . . I would look away for a second (to try to clean and/or baby proof something, usually) look back, and james would be bringing a (clump of cat hair/bit of stale food/leaf/etc) to his mouth and I would run over and excavate. Or I would look away for a second, and then hear a thump and he'd be crying with another red lump on his head . . . or pulling on wires, or pulling the vacuum on top of him, or climbing the stairs, or eating cat food or . . .

If it was JUST baby proofing--JUST figuring out what he was able to reach and making sure it was safe for him--well, that I think I could have handled? Or not even done!

But it was more like, all of my life I've been trying to:
-Have a daily routine
-Get exercise
-Keep my house clean

And in the last two months, finally I've achieved it. (Almost). But it was a hard transition for me. It's a lot of work to keep your house clean. I see now why I avoided it for so long.

But we are pretty much done, now. Well, what I am learning is that you are never done. BUT, our entire downstairs is now pretty much safe and accessible to james. And honestly I like it. I love it. It's nice that I can turn my back on james for awhile now, without worrying about what infinitesimal speck of poison he was able to eat.

And honestly it's sort of awesome to have a clean house. AND to have a routine. Another thing that happened over the past two months. Here's pretty much what we do now:

james wakes up between 5-6, nurses awhile, crawls all over us until we get up.
Dad changes the baby's diaper
I get up between 7-7:30, dress me and james
Then I take james on a walk--I'm up to about 1.5 miles a day!
He falls asleep on this first walk, sleeps 8-9 outside in his stroller
While he sleeps, I start laundry, straighten the living room, eat breakfast if I'm lucky, etc.
james wakes up, play a bit
Nurse and Pump around 9:30
After nursing, eat breakfast
While he eats, I load/unload the dishwasher, deal with the breast milk, other kitchen cleaning
Clean up baby, possible sink bath, possible outfit change, change diaper at least
Read books
james takes 2nd nap, 11-12
While he sleeps, I eat again or for the first time, do laundry and other cleaning.
Wake up, nurse, play, read books
Back to sleep at 2--if I'm lucky this is a long nap. I need a real break by now but if I was really smart I would use this time to prepare dinner?
Wake up, nurse, eat food again around 4:30
Clean up baby, possible sink bath, possible outfit change, change diaper at least
And then I'm not sure because I think he's dropping his evening nap, and lengthening the afternoon nap? (I hope!) Anyway, we eat dinner in there somewhere, sans le bebe.
Dad changes into nighttime diaper and PJ's, reads books, Momma nurses
Baby sleeps 7:15-8:30 in swing
After wakeup, LONG NURSING in bed with Momma to sleep.
And then ideally he would sleep until we went to bed at 11-12 and then nurse again.

So yeah, I think we are doing pretty good!

But it has been a challenging few months. I was prepared to take care of a newborn, for some reason (well, I had an easy one, too!)--I don't mind nursing a lot, or holding a little baby, or changing lots of diapers. But I don't think I was prepared for the adorable baby to become mobile. I was in denial and totally held out . . . I saw he was starting to learn to crawl--I should have started baby proofing then! But I didn't realize how fast it would be.

I'm slow. I do house projects on several year time lines (hence the fact that our "nursery" is still full of random crap). But babies don't grow slow. They grow fast. So I'm continually getting kicked in the pants but HONESTLY? It's good for me, and I appreciate it! But change is hard.

And learning how to take care of my house, my self, FINALLY, after 28 years? Is hard, too. . . it took a baby to motivate me, but it feels good . . .

BUT it's not the only thing I need to take care of my self.

I'm realizing that I need this blog. I need to write, I need to take pictures. While I've been baby proofing and cleaning and organizing my entire life and house, something else inside me has been neglected. Things stir which have not been released.

So, in the words of Yoda: Balance Find I Must.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Movie Monday: Walking on His Knees

We discovered recently that this little ride-on thing that my Mom got him (for lack of a better description) actually converts to a walker-type toy. james was pretty excited when we converted it for him. Here he is using it his favorite way . . .

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Reluctantly Crying-It-Out

And yet another post inspired by an anonymous commenter . . .

Crying it out is a funny thing. People in my Mom and, even more so, my Grandma's generation, have actually expressed concern that I am TOO responsive to james. Even as a wee wee one, the word spoiled did float around the room.

In my opinion, that is ridiculous. While you can't spoil a one-month old baby, you can bet that they aren't crying for no reason either (unless you are lucky enough to have a colicky one). But until the world of teething came along, my james did not cry for no reason. People think it's funny that he doesn't even cry when he wakes up. LOL. I know how long he sleeps for and I pay attention to him, so he rarely needs to cry when he wakes up.

And when he was one, two, three months old, I very rarely left him to fuss or cry for more than a min (because I never needed to). If he was crying, there was a reason. Which nursing could usually solve 99% of the time.

But now he's 8.5 months old. And he screams if I take away a toy that he likes. And when he does fuss, or even scream, for a few mins when I strap him into his swing, it's for the same reason. He doesn't want to go to sleep. He wants to play, and he wants to play with me. He isn't hungry or wet or neglected--he is just not getting what he wants.

And when I pictured myself as a parent, I pictured myself gently nursing my baby to sleep until he dozed off, and then sneaking out of the room. Well, my baby doesn't do that. He won't sleep unless he is strapped down, so, in the swing, carseat, or stroller. If he is able to move, he is moving. Only once recently have I woken up before him and gotten to see him wake up (in the bed with us). And I SWEAR he started crawling before his eyes opened. So he will NOT nurse down. He will NOT be rocked to sleep, he will NOT sleep if he can see me. He will not sleep unless he is strapped down, and alone.

So where do I find myself then? I work hard to make sure he does not get over-tired, I keep him on a strict schedule, I do a nap routine every time, and then, yes, I fuss it out. And on days when I'm exhausted, and feel drained and stressed, and the baby is having a fussy day? Sometimes I even cry it out.

I hate it. I totally hate it. I WISH WISH WISH I had a baby that would nurse down or be rocked to sleep. But I don't. And I do NOT think that CIO is evil, and if it is, damn it, it's a necessary evil at my house or my baby would never sleep. I will very much hope that my next baby will be calmer and want to snuggle and nap with me and be nursed down and all the sweet things that other breastfeeding co-sleeping Moms do to put their babies to sleep, but . . . this baby won't do it.

I have had a post in mind for a long time about how much of a difference there REALLY is between crying-it-out and not crying-it-out. I mean, even a hardcore CIO parent wouldn't leave a kid to SCREAM for more than a few mins, I would think (unless the parent is, you know, about to snap, in which case, all bets are off), and I would think that even the most hardcore attachment parents SOMETIMES need a mental break and have to leave a kid to cry for a few minutes (right? I mean, SOMETIMES?)?

I mean, come on, I think a lot of parenting decisions are made out of desperation. Yes I'm there crying on my kitchen floor while my baby is crying upstairs. But screams turned to coos within a few mins, and then he did eventually fall asleep. And when he woke up, I felt rejuvenated in dealing with him. Which I needed to feel.

So if that makes me an awful person, ah well. As my hubby pointed out recently, james still loves me more than anything, so I guess I'm doing something right.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Um, I know that I'm a Know-it-All (Obviously)

The previous commenter struck a nerve and inspired an actual post out of me--well done, Dawnonymous, I've been looking for inspiration . . .

So yes, I am a know-it-all. Always have been. That's not to say I ACTUALLY think I know it all, or that anyone does. Furthermore, there are some things which I am totally ignorant about. Like, sports.

With this said, I love to learn--about some things, but definitely in general. When someone has a tidbit to offer about a topic of interest and it's something I didn't know, my ears perk right up . . . "Wow!" I say, "I didn't know that! How interesting!" And my brain squirrels it away and it stays there forever.

For instance, I most recently had this reaction when, in participating in a breast-feeding forum, someone mentioned that they had low supply with one child and oversupply with another. "VERY INTERESTING", I said, "I didn't know that it could change from baby to baby." So there, I didn't know everything, but now I do! Tada!

Even as a small child, I was fascinated by bits of information--the sky is blue because the angle of the sun refracts the larger spectrum off of the atmosphere, or learning how to write numbers in binary--something I came across, in 6th grade, while reading "The Ebola Virus", asked my math teacher about, and practiced until I mastered it . . .

No, I don't know everything. But I grew up surrounded by peers, who, by-and-large, knew less (about SOME THINGS, obviously). I was smart, I read a LOT, and when motivated, I was capable of learning fairly complex information.

Yet the point of left versus right wasn't something I grasped until my teen years, and I'm still not clear on the exact details? And when we started algebra--I didn't get why we used X--didn't X stand for a number? Why not use the number? That took several years for me to get past, too . . .

They say that someone with a high IQ is as far away from normal as someone with a low IQ. So while 100 is normal, someone with 140 IQ is as incapable of relating to society as someone with a 60 IQ, clinically mildly mentally impaired, someone that (likely) needs assisted living . . . I grew up having very true few peers, and noticed early on that I seemed to know more than other people--probably because I was reading on an 11th grade level in 5th grade.

This was a curse more than a blessing. Huge chunks of my pre-teen vocabulary were beyond the understanding of most of my classmates. I didn't know that they didn't understand me, and they didn't want to look stupid--so they jeered, and made fun, and called me awful names. And so I've always felt like an outsider, trying to figure out how to relate to people. As I got older, some things got easier--a lot more people caught up to me--I'm more sensitive about my audience, I have found many more wonderful friends and peers . . .

But some things aren't easier, don't change . . . some people will never like or understand me, and I have to just be okay with that.

I have witnessed firsthand that my spouting of information (esp in person) is directly related to how nervous I am. Apparently when I'm insecure I like to talk about things I know because my intelligence--no--not even that--information, facts--is something I feel confident in. Who am I without these facts? An awkward, dysfunctional, overly emotional person. Facts ground me.

And let's be real, folks, I have ADHD. It's part of my personality to impulsively speak, without thinking beforehand about what I was saying, or the consequences . . . I lost many friends as I grew up, and that might be one reason I am SO much more comfortable in the written form, because I can double-check and think deeply before hitting "send"/"submit"/or "publish"--I can tell you, I wish there was an edit button on real life.

And, yes, I have no formal training in breastfeeding or natural childbirth other than doing it. But I spend a LOT of time reading and researching. I think I might have done over 500 hours of reading to prepare for my own childbirth, and I've done at least that much on breastfeeding. And I HAVE been studying these things for YEARS. I would say during times I am online, I might easily spend a few hours daily consulting on "Dairy Queens"--Facebook breastfeeding support group--which adds up to 20+ hours a week. And, most recently, due to my participation, and the respect that many of the regular members now have for me, I was made a group administrator. (Proud inside smile feeling).

Honestly, I very much struggle with the fact that I have no official credentials, (thanks for making me feel even worse about that, dear Dawn), especially when I hear stories of people getting AWFUL and/or INSENSITIVE information from lactation consultants and pediatricians. I know that I can't be compared with them, the fact that they have years of schooling/credentials, which begs the question: how the hell aren't THEY better at THEIR jobs? Why does a ped tell a woman with a baby struggling to gain weight that she should night-wean her? How does a lactation consultant miss a tongue tie? Or be insensitive to a post-partum Mom? It makes me wish that I was someone official . . . I could be a good one, I think.

And in fact, I struggle with my self-identity, self-worth, self-efficacy, self-esteem, etc, just in general. Maybe, Dawnonymous, I enjoy the fact that I know a lot about breastfeeding/natural birth, because of the insecurity I feel about other parts of my life/personality/self.

Recently me and my Mom had a blow-out fight (everything is fine, now). Which, honestly, hasn't happened since I was a teenager. And it was for this very reason, she indicated that I was acting like a know it all.

You know what I said to her (many minutes in), in tears, through sobs . . .

"Do you think I like to be this way? Do you think I wouldn't change if I could? Everything you hate about me, I hate about me more. But you know? Other people love me. They say I am great. They accept me for who I am. I might be a know-it-all or talk too much, but everyone knows that. They know I am that way. But they still want to be around me, they still love me . . . so I am learning to love myself, too, even the parts that are flawed, and I wish you would, too."

So there you go, Dawnonymous, right from the horses' mouth--I agree with you. I am a know it all--or at the very least, I know I come off that way. But, get busy living or get busy dying: Accept me and be a reader or reject me and don't.

But I will not pretend to be less than I am. Nor will I pretend to be more than I am. I am a flawed, awful person. But hey, I might have some helpful info about breastfeeding, co-sleeping, or natural birth. The only thing that makes the awfulness bearable is when I hear from people that I helped them in some way.

I just hope that you find a way to be happy. If cutting me down is what does it for you, go for it, but I see you for what you are.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Emily's Birth Story: Guest Post

I love that in the time I've been NOT blogging, my family has come together to make sure I have some new posts--hehe.

But seriously I am THRILLED to present the birth story of my cousin. As she will tell, she planned a natural hospital birth, and ended up getting her wish, though not quite in the way she'd planned! She was induced the day before her due date for low fluid, but even with an induction and pitocin, she was able to have a natural, vaginal birth!

I think part of why she was able to handle pitocin contractions so well was that she REALLY did her homework--took both a Bradley course and a Hypnobirthing course, and practiced relaxation exercises nightly.

I can't say enough for the power of taking REAL (non-hospital) birth classes--it is essential if you are planning a natural birth. PREPARED childbirth is completely different from UNPREPARED childbirth . . . and if you want to have a natural birth in a hospital, it is a must.

Another really smart move on her part was hiring a doula. I would never attempt to birth in a hospital without a doula. Doulas GREATLY reduce the odds of medication use, c-sections, and a host of other interventions.

Wow I practically got a mini-blog post in with my intro here! But with no further ado, the birth story of Ava Rose!

The third trimester of my pregnancy was surprisingly good. I had hyped myself up to be totally miserable, and even until the last few days I was just waiting for the misery to begin. I didn’t think it could be so easy. Granted, putting on underwear and bending over got to be pretty difficult, but I was still able to take 4 yoga classes a week (obviously with a lot of modifications) and I was still sleeping through the night with no problem (obviously with a lot of bathroom breaks haha). The back pain I had in the end of the first/beginning of the second trimester had disappeared and I was fine! I had heartburn, but it was totally manageable. Little biscuit was kicking up a storm, but I loved the reminder that she was doing well in there. :)

We were super prepared, having taken a Bradley course as well as a Hypnobirthing class – I was determined to do this as naturally as possible and to labor at home as long as possible, especially since apparently I have white coat syndrome. I dutifully listened to my hypno-relaxation CD every night and visualized how I wanted my birth to go. I was nervous about the pain, but I hoped I would be able to handle it as well as my cousin Adrienne and my friend Diane who both had given birth recently.

I had been having sonograms and fetal monitoring every appointment because my blood pressure was high at every appointment, due to a case of white coat syndrome. I monitored my BP myself at home and it was always completely fine, so my doctor did believe that it was WCS, but he said better safe than sorry in terms of knowing if everything was going ok in there and I didn’t mind seeing her so often, that’s for sure! But he had been saying that he wouldn’t let me go much past my due date, even though there really wasn’t a real issue, and I wasn’t looking forward to arguing with him about induction (which I REALLY wanted to avoid, since I had learned that being induced almost always inevitably leads to more interventions, i.e. an epidural and/or c-section). I had my 39/40 week appointment on Wednesday, June 8, 2 days before my due date. Two weeks before, my doctor had said my amniotic fluid level was getting rather low, at 8.5, but the next week it was 10 so I wasn’t worried. But unfortunately at my appointment on June 8 the sono tech said my fluid level was 5.5, and my doctor said that was dangerously low and he wanted to induce. I was to go home and finish packing, eat dinner, then make my way to the hospital. Unfortunately I am rather cowed by doctors and so didn’t put up much of a fight, even though he had told me the week before that AFL levels can fluctuate greatly even from one moment to another if the baby changes position. After we left the office I called my doula to let her know what was going on and she suggested taking a bath, and asking for a repeat sono when we got to the hospital.

We arrived at the hospital around 10:00 PM and we filled out paper work and answered the same questions a few times. They were all confused that I was asking for a repeat sono, and the intern who came in to see me said that she would call my doc to see if he would be ok with that since she didn’t feel comfortable just doing it since that would indicate she was questioning his diagnosis. Ok, fine. Why would he refuse, since a sono is so quick and easy? When she finally came back she said that he didn’t want her to do one – we had enough information to make an informed decision. We were rather shocked, what was the point in refusing us? I called my doula and we spoke about it a little. We finally decided that Trevor would talk to my doctor directly since I’m not very good at sticking up for myself. It was already 1:00AM at this point and I was hungry – but of course they don’t let you eat in the hospital! My doctor called and Trevor spoke with him for a while – telling him that while we know it won’t change his recommendation, it might change our decision to go forward with the induction. He FINALLY agreed. This was really not the way I had imagined things going, so I was sad and disappointed, tired and hungry. We got the repeat sono, the levels still looked low, so we decided to proceed. Of course, even though we had arrived at the hospital to be induced, no one had put in the orders for the Cervadil (medication that goes on the cervix to try to stimulate labor that way). It was 4:00AM before I even received the medication! Definitely not the way I had hoped things would go.

The Cervadil is a 12 hour dose, meaning that it sits in there for 12 hours and hopefully produces some reaction and after that they would start me on Pitocin. I appreciated that my doctor didn’t start right in with the Pitocin, but was trying to start things a little more gently (the Cervadil helps to soften and dilate the cervix, hopefully causing labor to start more or less on its own, whereas Pitocin actually makes your uterus contract, resulting in stronger, longer, more painful contractions). During the 12 hours I tried to sleep as much as possible, and Trevor and I hung out watching Seinfeld on the iPad that we had put on there for my labor. I was starting to have some regular contractions, but they were hardly noticeable. By 4:00PM I was still only 1.5cm dilated and 50% effaced. Blargh. Cue the Pitocin. They reassured me they start with a low dose and increase it periodically so you only have as strong a dose as produces a reaction. They started me at 10 (whatever measurement that would be) and I think I ended somewhere around 20-25. My doctor let me know that he’d be back in a couple hours to check on my, and to probably break my water. I was a little against this, but by this point I’d already been in the hospital for 20 hours and I was hungry, tired, sick of all the crazy monitors and wires, and ready to get this over with (even though we’d learned in class that ideally you should avoid having your water broken artificially). I looked at it as the lesser of most of the interventions I’d already received, since this does have to happen anyway, and there was a good chance that it would really get things moving.

At 9:00PM I had only dilated maybe another cm. In all honestly, having my water broken was probably the most painful part of my birth. I think my husband got pretty concerned for me, my mom told me that he wasn’t prepared at all for my reaction. It was mostly because I was dilated so little and cripes, my doctor has huge hands (he’s a big guy!). With that over, things did start to move more quickly. My parents had been driving all day and arrived soon after my water was broken. Mom didn’t want to come inside since she knew she’d hate to see her little girl on all the monitors and in pain. They went back to the house to get some sleep. My doula had arrived right after my water was broken (she was there earlier in the day but I told her she could go home and put her kids to bed, etc., since nothing was happening yet). I tried to stand/sit on the birth ball for a while, but it was hard with all the wires, plus I was required to wear compression stockings since my mother had had a blood clot after my brother was born. I’m not sure they could have packed any more wires onto me! Going to the bathroom was such a process, but I had to pee so often and sitting on the toilet was where I was happiest. Things were definitely getting more painful, and the nurse wanted me to change positions on the bed, so she had me lay on my side. NOPE. That was the only time I said that I didn’t think I could do it, because it definitely was painful and I still wasn’t that far into active labor. I knew if I had to lie like that, things would go downhill fast. Luckily my nurse, Elaine, was willing to work with me. We figured out how it was possible to keep me connected to the fetal monitor while sitting on the toilet. I probably was in there for over an hour, some of that time Elaine had to actually sit on the floor and hold the monitor in place so that it would work. This was really a turning point, and I was able to focus totally on relaxing the muscles and opening up. The pain was much more manageable when I was able to totally open up and relax through it, which is what we learned in all our classes but I found very hard on the bed or standing. What also helped was what my friend Diane told me – the contractions don’t last that, usually only about a minute, so you only have to get through that and you’ll have some relief for a little while.

This whole time I was able to really relax and almost sleep between contractions. Time seemed to pass faster than I thought, which my hypnobirthing teacher had said can happen when you’re “in the zone”, as I think of it. Trevor said it looked like I was almost in a trance – I understand now what our Bradley teacher meant about being more “inside” than focused on the outside. Elaine finally had me get back in the bed after maybe an hour and a half on the toilet and I believe at this point I got checked and was at 5cm. I was happy to hear this because that was a lot of movement in that short time I was on the toilet. From that point it seemed to go by in a total haze. I can remember moaning quietly through the later contractions, and maybe squirming a little. I was most comfortable on my back on the bed, which I didn’t expect because we learned laying on your back is not the best position, but it seemed to work for me.

It took probably around 2 hours to reach the point where I felt like I needed to push. I sort of was doubting myself, and I remember saying to my doula “I think I need to push” and she told me that was fine. Our nurse Elaine was on her break and would be coming back soon, so we decided to wait to tell anyone until she came back. I was not able to stop little pushes that my body was doing by itself and again doula Robin told me it was fine and to even make some grunting pushing noises if I needed to. Elaine came back with my doctor who checked me and said “Are you ready to have a baby?” - YES.

On the first push he was already able to see her head, which I felt was encouraging! He stayed with me through the first 2 contractions and then said “I’m going to let Elaine work with you for a little while” and he went to have a coffee or something, which I thought was a little strange! But after one more contraction and the 2 pushes that went with it, she went to go get him since obviously I was pushing pretty effectively! Everyone laughed when I said “I’m starting to sweat, can I put my hair up?” – which I did but then asked if it looked ok. I knew that I was soon going to be in a lot of pictures, so, ever conscious of how I look in pictures, I needed to know I wasn’t going to regret them haha. The next contraction and she was crowning, which was a little uncomfortable since I wasn’t able to get her head out in those 2 pushes. The doctor asked if I wanted to touch her head, which I said no to – I was uncomfortable and didn’t want to move haha. But he said “wow look at all that hair, it’s a girl right? We can give her a little curl” and played with her hair while she was crowning – I appreciated the comic relief. He prepared me for the next contraction by saying “Ok Emily, this is the part that’s going to hurt but you can’t stop, just push through it”. The next 2 pushes and her head was out! Honestly it didn’t hurt as much as I expected it to, as having your skin tear sounds pretty awful. One more push and she was born!! Ava Rose Burton entered the world at 5:38am on June 10, 2011, on her due date. They wrapped her in a blanket and put her on my chest, where she cried her little heart out. Trevor cut the cord, they wiped her up a little and then put her right on my chest to stay warm. We cuddled for a little bit and then I tried to feed her. She latched on right away, which was great! All the while, I delivered the placenta, and got stitched up (uncomfortable!). I can push out a baby no problem apparently, but I reverted to my old squeamish ways when he was checking and stitching haha. My parents were there waiting outside, so they got to come in right away after I was cleaned up. It was also wonderful that the hospital never insisted that she go to the nursery – they did her first bath in the room (which had a warmer if it was needed), they let me nurse her while she got the vitamin K shot to help comfort her, let me keep feed and bond with her before the eye ointment was applied, and let me keep her temp up with skin-to-skin contact. I was just really happy that she never had to leave me.

I was almost embarrassed that no less than 4 nurses came in to tell me what a wonderful job I’d done and to ask how I was able to handle it so well; one even stopped my parents in the hall to tell them how amazed they were at how well I did. I think I was mostly lucky in that I don’t think my body reacted as strongly as others to the Pitocin. I handled the contractions as well as I could and tried to relax as much as possible, keeping in mind what we learned in our birth classes and that really helped me as well. I won’t say that hypnobirthing was completely responsible for how well I handled the pain, but I know it definitely helped to train my body to relax to the CD every night before bed. I think all the yoga I did helped as well. In the end I knew it was necessary pain, which I think makes all the difference. My body just knew what to do and I was along for the ride! I also don’t think it hurt that I was completely exhausted so my body kind of shut down between the contractions to conserve the energy I had left – we were in the hospital around 32 hours before she was born, without any food and only ice chips as a “drink”.

When all was said and done, our experience ended up being perfect. While it got off to a rocky start, I couldn’t be happier with how Ava came into the world!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Old School Sunday: Tent Life

If you haven't heard about my blog series "Old School Sunday", read the back story!

And if you want, catch up on what you missed (read from the bottom up!)

Getting to the end of the spring semester of my sophomore year of college . . . we had started a tent city on the campus green in protest of the "War on Terror" invasion of Iraq. We started out there as soon as we went in, March 19th, and we stayed out there for the rest of the semester . . . we might have even done it again in the fall, I forget (maybe we'll find out! Hehe).

Anyway, my poem about tent life . . .

10th April 2003
Current Mood: grateful
Current Music: Radiohead--2+2=5

We started this tent city in protest
A protest against the destruction of life
But I feel our purpose here has changed.
Every moment a reaffirmation
Of what life is.

I denounce your television
I denounce your stereo
I denounce your perfumes
I denounce your wardrobe
I denounce your money
(the millions spent on nothing,
billions paid and earned on wars of destruction)
I denounce your petty capitalist materialism

For this earth holds joys beyond your dollars
I denounce your ability to buy happiness
(war for peace)
I claim this happiness on behalf of the people
the animals
the trees the plants
the rocks the mountains
the skies the grounds

I claim this happiness and I will share it
for free
If you try to pay me I will laugh (priceless!)
If you try to kill me I will laugh (worthless!)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

I am Getting Sucked into a Teething Vortex (and other Problems)

So, I REALLY wanted to post an update at least for james 8 month birthday and also post his 7 month one which I never did. But I haven't had time/energy. Why?

Crawling and pulling up and teething AND hand foot n mouth disease. Not to mention a bunch of other things. Which maybe would be fine, but . . .

My house is a baby death trap! Not really but we have four cats and there is fur and hair floating everywhere (not to mention animal bits that go unfound, ehhh), I have always sucked at cleaning (esp vacuuming/sweeping/mopping--th​ough I'm getting better fast) . . . not to mention that James is ripping up the floor in the kitchen, so there are bits of linoleum and god knows what else scattered everywhere . . . basically, I can't let james in hardly any spaces by himself because he is CRAWLING FAST and pulling up on EVERYTHING.

I finally MOSTLY baby-proofed my porch, so we are good out there and I can watch him there from the kitchen or laundry room, but I really want to make more of the house accessible to him so that I don't have to watch him every second. The living room is sort of okay, and our bedroom is nearly baby-proofed, but the rest of the house needs to be done.

Another problem is that he's been super fussy from teething, and he gets up SO early, awake by 5:30/6, I put him down for his first nap now (by going on a walk) before 8 am, and then he hasn't been falling asleep until like . . . 9 some nights? I feel like I have no time to myself, he's nursing so much in the middle of the night lately, I'm just exhausted.

So, even when he's napping, I'm too tired to babyproof or clean half the time. Siiigh. And when he's awake, well, I just have to watch him 24/7 because my house is a deathtrap, as I mentioned. And I won't even go into the fact that he's CONSTANTLY falling and hitting his head (with all the pulling up). I feel like an awful mother. Gah!!!

AND I also haven't had time to do any of the things that make me feel like me--blogging, going on IV, taking pictures, I just feel overwhelmed. :(

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Old School Sunday: Things Start to Get Better with my Parents

If you haven't heard about my blog series "Old School Sunday", read the back story!

And if you want, catch up on what you missed (read from the bottom up!)

Getting to the end of the spring semester of my sophomore year of college . . . here I write about how I will go to my first Yan Xin Qigong event . . .

2nd April 2003
1:13am: Email to my Parents
Current Mood: cheerful
Current Music: Norm and Sal on Guitar--Creep by Radiohead

Dear Mom and Dad,

Mom wrote me and told me to write. Well, tonight I went to a program in the South Study Lounge that was organized by the Hall director. It was a discuss and exchange of ideas concerning the war. The head of the honors dept was there to assist, and it was run by a Philosophy professor and a philosopy Grad student. It was really interesting. We split into groups of five and discussed the issues. Then we tried to come to some points of consensus and discussed as a large group. The head of the honors dept was in my group and I met her and talked to her a lot during the discussion. She seemed impressed that I was so informed, and she said that it was important for busy college kids to take time out of their days to be responsible and informed citizens. I thought that you would be interested to hear that.

Also, this thing I read about, very interesting. "British and American coalition forces are using depleted uranium (DU) shells in the war against Iraq and deliberately flouting a United Nations resolution which classifies the munitions as illegal weapons of mass destruction." Great Britain's Sun Herald

So, how is everything with you guys? I tried to talk to mom yesterday on the IM but she left for some reason . . . Anyway, have you sold any houses? Good luck with that. Read any good books? I've just read Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac for my literature of the new consciousness Class, and I really liked what it had to say about Buddism. Alot of it sound like what I've been discovering lately. Like I've been thinking about what a soul is, or an aura if you want to think of it like that. Your "Holy Spirit" your soul, your energy, your qi, whatever you want to call it. And How every person has one, but also every tree, every living thing, every object. Everything has and is energy. Everything at the base level is just waves. And How the earth also has an aura, an energy field. It is made by the sun and contained by the earth's gravity And it is huge and powerful and when you lay on the ground and breathe in you can feel it, you know. Like when you sleep outside on the ground you wake up feeling so fresh and healthy. And So all of this means that all of us and our souls or auras are all connected and overlapping with the earth's energy. Which means that self, seperating your aura and your energy out from the rest and labeling it accessable to your mind and control, is all an allusion. And if you choose to think about it differently, the whole earth is just part of and a continuation of yourself. Anyway, so I was thinking this and Dharma Bums really spoke to that and I really liked it. Also, this has a lot to do with what Qi-Gong says--that once we realize that we can access the energy of the earth, that limiting ourselves in anyway is un-necessary. Also, I'm probably going to Yale with Laccone on Saturday. He is going to this qi-gong event, and I asked him last week to ask his qi-gong leader about the possibility of joining the group even tho it is supposed to be closed to membership at this time. And he said that he didn't know if I could join, but he suggested that Laccone bring me to the event on Saturday, because you are allowed to bring interested people if you want to. So I think I am going. I'll let you know how that goes.

So I hope I didn't loose you with the auras and all that. I don't know how much you know about Buddism. So let me know how things are.

Love Adrienne

Later the same day, I talk to my Dad on AIM about my feelings about emerging adulthood and the new responsibilities I've inherited . . .

5:27pm: Honesty
Current Music: Salmun playing Street Spirit by Radiohead

AdriN2001: hey dad
CT Golden1: hi a....hows it going?
AdriN2001: Alright
CT Golden1: good....going to boston withy us and grandma M
AdriN2001: Yeah
CT Golden1: withy us...haha
AdriN2001: You know Dad, I get really stressed out about life and you and mom make me even more stressed out and I wish you wouldn't
AdriN2001: It's like you think I don't worry about these things on my own and so you have to make me worry about them
CT Golden1: you wouldnt get so stressed out if you were more organized and didnt waste so much time on things that arent important
AdriN2001: They are
AdriN2001: The head of the honors dept thinks so
AdriN2001: I have someone to back me up
CT Golden1: do they teach any classes in time management...if so you should take it
AdriN2001: I don't waste time dad
CT Golden1: also try keeping a daytimer and carry it to remind you of things that you have commited to
AdriN2001: I don't watch TV, I don't hang out with people for large amounts of time. I am always trying to prioritize and get as much done as possible
CT Golden1: I can only go by the time I see you...and then you do very,very little
AdriN2001: Well I'm on break
AdriN2001: It's just that I feel sort of helpless
CT Golden1: its that time of the semester that with 17 units you probably pulling your hair out
CT Golden1: tried to warn you against it
AdriN2001: Like I feel like everythings moving at such a fast pace and it's like no one asked me if I wanted to grow up so fast or if I wanted so much responsibility all at once
CT Golden1: I remember when I was in my junior year...I almost quit school...went thru a period of deep depression...hope it wont happen to you
AdriN2001: Well you puttting so much pressure on me certainly isn't helping
CT Golden1: what pressure are you talking about?
CT Golden1: do you want some sound advise?
AdriN2001: No
CT Golden1: fine...whats the presure?
AdriN2001: I just feel like you and mom are always bothering me about money and what job I'm going to have and stuff and I already worry about that stuff CONSTANTLY, and it isn't really good to be told that the unbearable amount that I already worry isn't enough worrying
AdriN2001: Because if I worried any more I would just snap, so I almost feel like you want to push me over the edge or something
CT Golden1: are you having financial problems?
AdriN2001: I don't think so, I mean, I'll be able to give you everything I owe you before the end of the year
CT Golden1: I'm not worried about that....ok...does that make you feel better
CT Golden1: how about if I tell you how proud I am of you...will that make you feel better
AdriN2001: lol
CT Golden1: how much I love you
CT Golden1: Their is one thing I can tell you for sure
AdriN2001: not if you don't mean it and you really aren't pround of me because you think that how I'm doing at school is horrible and that the things that I am passionate about are pointless
CT Golden1: I dont think your doing horrible....I just know that you can do much better
CT Golden1: and I expect someone who is as intelligent as you to do better
CT Golden1: Life is a bitch Adrienne, and if you think collage is tough....just wait....you havent seen anything yet
AdriN2001: Well it's just like I know I can do better too but so much worrying makes me freeze up and not be able to accomplish anything
CT Golden1: try managing a career and raising a family....when your not only responsible for yourself but everyone else too
AdriN2001: I know
AdriN2001: And I'm stressed out about that too
AdriN2001: And it hasn't even happened yet
CT Golden1: you need to stop worrying and start doing what needs to be done....sit down...make a list and remove things from it when they are accomplished
CT Golden1: whats happening is very common
AdriN2001: It's like I used to think of being grownup as walking through a gateway where there are two distinct sides but I'm beginning to realize that things go on and on, and you are never grown-up and suddenly all-knowing but you just sort of stumble through life and somewhere along you grab a wife and kids and you are still blind as ever, and then trying to teach your kids when you never feel like you ever learned anything yourself
CT Golden1: your constantly thinking of what you need to do....just do it and dont do anything else until you get a handle on it....no extra-curricular
CT Golden1: walk......I think you do walk already alot....its good to do
AdriN2001: Alright Dad I have to go but thanks for the advice and thanks for listening
CT Golden1: when I told my father I was going to quit school
CT Golden1: he didnt get mad....he never really would say alot
CT Golden1: he just said that he though I should hang in and finish....he thought I should.....I really miss him
CT Golden1: ok...bye
CT Golden1: love you
CT Golden1 signed off at 4:54:06 PM.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Catching Up

Okay, so I FINALLY caught up with a lot of my online stuff . . .

-I finished uploading the rest of the pictures from Montauk on Facebook. Check them out if we are friends!

-Prepped the rest of June pics to be uploaded.

-Uploaded a pic for this weeks Wordless Wednesday (published retroactively, hehe).

-Caught up with my facebook networks--Dairy Queens (for nursing Moms) and Cutie Pies (my group of babies james' age).

-Caught up somewhat with my I-Village group (my online friends).

-Caught up somewhat on the blogs I read.

And to start it all off, I plugged in my computer and put it back in it's place in the living room. When I'm taking time off from online, a lot of times I just put the computer away and then I don't think of it . . .

Anyway, I think now I will probably be publishing a bit more in the next couple weeks in which we'll mostly be home during the week. So, look out for that!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Curing Oily Skin with Chemical Free Products (Guest Post)

Thanks to my sister Lauren for being our guest blogger today! She was talking to me recently about this and I asked her if she'd like to write about it! Thanks so much, Lauren!

My family and I come from a long line of Anglo/Euro descent. My dermatologist told me that I just got stuck with the short end of the stick in the skin department, with large pores, very oily skin and dry skin in different areas, a red face, and the proneness to burning, skin cancer, etc. Not too promising. As a result, I always used astringent soaps and cleansers on my face, chest, and back, and moisturized my dry hands and legs. I used a shampoo and conditioner that claimed to strip hair down to help avoid that greasy look. I got lots of acne as a teen and in college my eczema flared out whenever I was under stress. I avoided make-up for fear it would clog my pores, and I used harsh scrubbers and exfoliation on my chest, back, and face to avoid acne. I had bangs and always remember being nervous that they were "clumping" or looking greasy in high school.

Fast forward to less than a year ago, when my sister Marilyn became interested in all-natural beauty and skin products. After I learned that there was no regulation about what gets put in our beauty products, I became very wary of any product I put on my skin, nails, hair, or even on my teeth. Most people know that there is a FDA (Food and Drug Administration) to regulate what is in our foods, a DEP (Dept of Environmental Protection) to protect the earth and water we live off of, even the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) to protect our TVs and radios from being profane, etc etc. In the United States, we are meant to feel that the government is looking out for our well-being. This is obviously an idealistic view. Many of these agencies do not work the way they should. But at least these agencies EXIST. There is no committee, commission, administration, or departments of government that dictate what is safe to put into our cosmetics. This is extremely disturbing to me!

Many people probably do not realize that what you put on your skin is not just sitting on the surface of your body. It is being put on the largest organ, the skin, and is being absorbed into the blood, being run through the brain, heart, liver, kidneys, nervous system, and everywhere in our bodies. That means that what you put ON your body is just as important as what you put IN it.

This was a complete revelation for me. As a health-conscience person, I pay attention to what I eat. I always read labels and try to avoid things I don't recognize or can't pronounce! I began reading the labels of the cosmetics I was using. Even as a person with sensitive skin who uses gentle products, I was astounded to see how many chemicals and unknowns were in basic things like soap, shampoo, conditioner, face wash, and lotion. Additionally, companies do not even have to list ingredients on cosmetic packaging. Many ingredients may not be listed even if there is a list.

Back up to about two winters ago. I developed a rash on my hand that my dermatologist determined was an outbreak of eczema. This can be brought on by stress or by using products that you may be sensitive or allergic to. I had been using Cetaphil lotion which is non-comedogenic (does not clog pores), non-allergenic, and very gentle. He told me that even a product as great as Cetaphil contained chemicals that would keep the water and the oils of the lotion from separating like salad dressing. This was a huge eye-opener to me, and I ceased using lotions. I now only use coconut oil or olive oil as a moisturizer. Fast forward again to this past December.

Marilyn decided to share her new found love--chemical free beauty products--with my family for Christmas presents. She gave me a rosemary mint shampoo bar (Burts Bee's) and a bar of soap (Dr. Bronners). These were the two products she used and recommended. I began using these with gusto! The bar of soap was easy to figure out--it is just like other soap you would use except it has no chemicals and is a castile soap, meaning no animal oils are used (see http://www.drbronner.com/faqs_main.html).

The shampoo bar is another thing. We are used to shampoo that is liquid, shimmery, and smells like a salon. There are different kinds for curly hair, straight hair, frizzy hair, and even ones that can change your hair (flat to volume, frizz to sleek, etc). There are shampoos for colored hair, permed hair, blonde and red hair. It is funny to walk down the aisle of shampoo for me now, because I know that all hair types really only need one kind of shampoo. The shampoo bar I use is not pretty. It is actually kind of ugly. It does not shimmer or smell like a salon. It is actually a greenish brownish dark color, sort of like earwax. Plus, how do you get the shampoo into your hair when it is a bar? Easier than you think, just wet your hair and rub the bar around on your scalp, and maybe rub it between your hands a little to get some foam to then put in your hair. This shampoo has best effect on short or medium length hair, but you can certainly use it with long hair, it might just take more time.

AFTERMATH: After I began using the shampoo bar I found my hair to feel very gummy and dirty. This was not because my shampoo was not working, it was the opposite reason. The bar was helping to get rid of all the chemical build up from the products I used before--Pantene Pro-V Volumizing Shampoo. I found that after a month of using the shampoo bar 2-3 times per week, my hair bounced back to "normal" and appeared healthier and shinier than before. This is because it was not laden with chemicals or oils from the old shampoo that are meant to coat the hairs. I also found that I did not even need to brush my hair. With non-chemical soaps and shampoos, your body naturally "oils" itself. I would try to avoid eating too much oily food because of the nature of my skin. Now, however, I eat tons of olive oil in my cooking and I find my skin and hair to be less oily than before. Because your hair will naturally moisturize, you do not need to use conditioner. I now use the shampoo bar about three times per month. My hair is just not as oily, and the less I wash it the better.

Also, changing your products may cause your skin and hair to act weird. It might look bad for a month. It might feel gummy or dirty. You might even break out or have very dry skin for a few weeks as your skin gets used to the way it is supposed to produce oils. This is all normal and to be expected. If you are dedicated to using exclusively chemical free products, your skin, hair and nails will adjust in time. Some people may need to moisturize externally if they have extremely dry skin and hair. I would recommend eating more olive oil, taking flax seed oil in pill form, shampooing less often, or using a natural moisturizer like coconut oil or aloe vera instead of conditioner.

My sisters and I have also explored the area of waxing. When I shaved, I would get bumps, redness, and using foaming shaving cream dried my skin out. Under my arms was the worst area and I would always feel prickly and uncomfortable there. Waxing can be more expensive and is not for everyone, but I recommend it for anyone that feels discomfort shaving. Waxing is not as painful as it may sound. Additionally, when you wax you are pulling the roots of the hair out and this causes hair to start to re-grow from the beginning. Therefore, when hair grows back it is soft baby-hair, as opposed to when you shave and the hair grows back thicker, sharper, and often darker than before.

I think it is also really great when parents talk to their teenage girls about shaving and what it means and why people do it. Shaving is not something a young girl has to do, and if she waits her hair will probably stay soft and blonde longer. I wish I never started shaving!

To learn about what is really in the cosmetics you may be using, go to the Cosmetics Database here: http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/. Look up any product that is sold in stores, and you can see a list of ingredients as well as a hazard rating.

To learn more about where I learned about these topics, see http://storyofstuff.org/cosmetics/.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Old School Sunday: Worry

If you haven't heard about my blog series "Old School Sunday", read the back story!

And if you want, catch up on what you missed (read from the bottom up!)

In the middle of the spring semester of my sophomore year of college . . . we were newly at War in Iraq, and I am working my butt off to try to pay for school, books, and life . . .

23rd March 2003
Current Mood: depressed

I worry a lot. Sometimes it seems like the only thing I do. It hold me captive, immobile. I can't move. I can't think. I can't act. I just worry. I check the amount of my next paycheck everyday.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Summer Hours

So I was feeling really bad that I've been so MIA, can't even pull a Wordless Wednesday out of my computerbutt after taking 500 pics on vacation . . .

But then I realized that last year, 2010, while I had really awesome months like May (24 posts), October (36 posts), and November (39 posts), that during the summer I made noticebly less posts--19 in June, 16 in July, and a mere SIX in August . . . and if I recall, I was on vacation a lot, and doing lots of stuff outside and with friends and just didn't have as much time for it.

So really I shouldn't be disappointed to see that this is happening once again this summer. As someone that is often a daily blogger I can't help but feel like I am missing something--and I am missing something, to be honest--I love writing, and I like the "cataloging life" sort of aspect of it . . .

But I am gaining other things, and having a great first summer with my boy . . .

So oh well, I decided I'm just having summer hours right now. And that's that. I'll update when I can. :-)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Old School Sunday: Shame and Nakedness

If you haven't heard about my blog series "Old School Sunday", read the back story!

And if you want, catch up on what you missed (read from the bottom up!)

In the middle of the spring semester of my sophomore year in college, I rant via AIM to a friend . . .

13th March 2003
Current Mood: melancholy

AdriN2001: You know what I think alot?
SCS1NMY574: what?
AdriN2001: How much of life and human interaction is a lie. Just a farce
AdriN2001: People are so afraid
AdriN2001: Afraid to be real, afraid to find what real is
AdriN2001: It's so so stupid
AdriN2001: And TV and media and our parents and our friends and everything and everyone doesn't help
AdriN2001: Everything just makes it worse
AdriN2001: Reinforces its validity
SCS1NMY574: so what are oyu going to do about it?
AdriN2001: I don't know what I can do except live my life to reflect that I reject that
AdriN2001: I reject this worlds stupidity
AdriN2001: I reject this lie
SCS1NMY574: thatsright sista
AdriN2001: haha
AdriN2001: I really hate it though
AdriN2001: SO SO SO much energy is devoted to deception
SCS1NMY574: yeah but its really only natural, to a degree
AdriN2001: It ISN'T
AdriN2001: Why is it?
SCS1NMY574: dont ask me, i just typed it
AdriN2001: ha
AdriN2001: I can't see how it's natural
AdriN2001: Adam and Eve don't naturally feel shame
AdriN2001: They are taught it by the serpent
AdriN2001: Little kids aren't ashamed. They are taught it by society
SCS1NMY574: tru, but this is nothing new, if it stems back so far, to adam and eve, isnt this almost considered inate(sp)
AdriN2001: No that's the whole point of the story
AdriN2001: It isn't innate
SCS1NMY574: whatever, i guess i dont know the story
AdriN2001: Using nakedness as an example, there are plenty of societies where nakedness is perfectly acceptable. There is no shame in nakedness in those societies
AdriN2001: Shame is something we are TAUGHT
AdriN2001: That's SO SO horrible. What a bad and unnecessary emotion
SCS1NMY574: well the majority of what we are taught is so so horrible
AdriN2001: True dat
SCS1NMY574: nothing is really right or great
AdriN2001: Did you know that . . . hold on
AdriN2001: In Figi, there was no TV
AdriN2001: in 1995
SCS1NMY574: where?
AdriN2001: Figi. In 1995--13% of adolescent girls were at risk for developing an eating disorder
AdriN2001: Then Figi got TV
AdriN2001: Over a course of three years, there was a 50% increase in girls who thought they were fat
SCS1NMY574: shizat
AdriN2001: And in 1998--only three years later--39% of adolescent girls were at risk for developing an eating disorder
AdriN2001: Can you imagine how beautiful those little Figi girls were? Are? Can you imagine how lovely their skin is? And emaciated sunken cheeks models have unknowingly convinced them that they are not at all lovely
AdriN2001: That is so sad
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