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A few thoughts about breastfeeding…

 

I knew that I was going to breastfeed my baby.  Check that. I planned on breastfeeding my baby.  Of course, I also planned on an all natural birth without interventions and ended up having a C-section after over a full day of labor.  Plans! Isn’t there a saying about plans?

I had friends that breast fed, but I had no idea what I was starting. In hindsight my best advice was from a friend who said she struggled with breastfeeding for 3 weeks.  She said she was determined not to give up. I still haven’t given up, but I do have some thoughts.

  1. It is unfair that childbirth is so grueling and then is immediately followed by breastfeeding.  If you have the honor of completing either, they are two of the most challenging activities of your entire life. Childbirth is no walk in the park, but it’s relatively short when you consider your breastfeeding journey. I’m 8 months in and I’ve been tracking my stats.  I started out the first month at nearly 90 hours of breastfeeding.  That’s every two hours or so for the last 8 months. Let that sink in. The kiddo won’t wait longer than that unless it’s night time.  The kiddo is also in the 99% percentile for height and weight.  I suspect this has something to do with it. I’ve been in beast mode since August.
  2. Breastfeeding moms don’t care what you think.  This includes, but is not limited to: your opinion on breastfeeding, if you think my kiddo is too big or that I shouldn’t be feeding him in public or whatever, then just keep it to yourself. I do not need your approval and I couldn’t care less if you support me. I’m doing it anyway.
  3. Random nutritional fun facts. I get hungry. I need snacks. I don’t care what time it is or if my snack is cheese slices from the back of the fridge. I have also been known to eat that nasty Betty Crocker frosting in a tub when I want something sweet (just a few spoon fulls). I’m really trying to eat healthy, but I get hungry.  Rumor has it breastfeeding burns roughly 500 calories a day. Did I mention that I run as well? I’m training for a 10k. Some days, when I run, I’m guessing I need to take in an extra 1,000 calories a day.  
  4. Tucking in my shirt. Please!

 

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Moms don’t take sick days

You may already know this, but moms don’t take sick days. Growing up I remember my mom taking a sick day once (it may have been more than that but it’s unlikely).  She had a migraine and images-2shut the bedroom door (shut the door!  Whoa.  Serious stuff there). I believe she said something like “Do not open the door unless the house is on fire!” and she also instructed my sister and me to be quiet in such a way that we were silent for the entire day.

 The past extended holiday weekend my family had the flu.  This includes me because I am part of said family. On Friday I felt fine. I went shopping with my mother and sister and I didn’t feel great, but I just chalked it up to a 2,000 calorie lunch.  It seemed like a good idea at the time. I even went to the gym and worked out…hard.  On Saturday I went to the gym early and felt worse as the day wore on but not sick. My husband was sick. I quarantined him in the bedroom. Throughout the day I felt progressively less swell and at one point I laid down on the floor with the little one and fell asleep watching The Gilmore Girls on Netflix. I was unable to admit I had succumbed. I thought I had simply worked out too hard two days in a row.

By Sunday I was toast. And here are the things that also happened while I was toast: I walked the dog, went to the coffee shop (I hope you didn’t get sick there, if you did sorry. I was in sick denial), the gym, PetCo (they had a sale and I got $20+ back), laundry, set up new aquarium, laundry, walked the dog, laundry, and laundry. The icing on the cake is that during this whole episode I also feed the kiddo every 3 hours or so which meant prying myself out of a warm blanket on the couch (you know so I didn’t get sick from quarantined husband in the bedroom) a few times at night.  This was especially cruel because last week he strung together a couple of 6 hours sleeps in such a fashion that I was sure he was on a roll. He was not. I should’ve never washed those lucky PJs.

I don’t say this to brag. I was honestly in denial and that’s why I think moms never take sick days.  There is always so much to do and if I’m awake every three hours well then I might as well get at it. On the other hand it will all still be there tomorrow!

Two rules I live by

I am not a rule follower.  Strike that. I don’t put a lot of faith in rules.  No wait, that’s not true either. I believe that “rules are guidelines for people who don’t know better.” That’s rule number one. Rules are great, but if you know what’s going on you can usually safely cut corners and/or modify.  And I’m all about cutting corners.

If you want to have an insightful conversation, ask others what they think about rules.  They can just fill in the blank.  Rules are ____________________________.  It’s sort of fun. My husband’s answer? Rules are meant to be followed.  You might be able to guess where we run into problems.

While we disagree about rules we agree that some rules cannot be bent and I find that lately my guide is answering life’s big questions (a guideline if you will) “Could I live with myself if _______________?” This is the second rule. For example: can I live with myself if I get into an accident while texting and driving? Nope. So I don’t do it. Can I live with myself if I have cheese curds for dinner? You betcha!

I’m not suggesting that everyone needs rules or to spend time thinking about them, but then again if you’re reading this you probably have some time to kill.

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I know this to be true

When I was in college I was a part of a psychology study.  The researchers wanted to know what college freshmen believed to be true and interviewed me along with other subjects four years later to find out if we still believed the same things.  I do not know the official results of this study, but I’m hypothesizing that one, the data was a pain to quantify and two, there was lots of bizarre coding involved, and that three college freshman had vastly different beliefs than college seniors. If they asked me now what I know to be true I would says something like this… Fact: It is fun to pop bubble wrap. Any statement started using the word “fact” is suspect.  It is akin to saying “I don’t mean to be rude, but…” and then going on and BEING rude. I do not like to grill in the winter. This does not mean that I don’t like to eat grilled food in winter. Please don’t confuse the two. Grill for me! You don’t need church or religion or Jesus to be a good person. Just when you think you’ve figured this thing called life out, there is a game changer causing you to regroup. You can find anything you need and lots that you want online. You get to choose your attitude. It’s cheesy and true all at the same time. If the door is closed, then the cat wants it open and vice versa. Some people are a mess and that’s just how they are going to be. The only person you can change is yourself. You will never understand what your dog is barking at sometimes and that’s ok. People do no like to hear “No” even if it’s true. Eating over processed products instead of food makes you fat. No one likes a complainer. That call, the one you’ve been waiting forever for, will only happen if you run the vacuum or are in the shower.  So go on with your life.  That’s why voicemail was invented. But above all: Life isn’t fair.  Your mom told you when you were little, but you thought she was lying.  She wasn’t.

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I love this game

I started “playing” soccer when I was 5 or maybe 6 at the park closest to my home. I think that my dad heard about this up and coming sport and he wanted me to have an edge. I may have cried and alternately picked dandelions through my first practice. I don’t remember much except that our team wore orange t-shirts as jerseys.  Since then I have played on too many teams to count. Some were awesome, most were less so, and many were downright were terrible, but I generally have fun no matter what and you can’t beat the exercise.

I played every season from the age of 5 to 17 (lots of times on more than one team) and when I went to college I wanted a break: from practice every day, from team building and bonding, and recovery for my body.  I also thought that I would invent myself with short hair.  Both were equally terrible ideas. I made it about two weeks and missed a team. I started playing rugby.  They say about soccer that “It’s a gentleman’s game played by hooligans. On the other hand, rugby is a hooligans game played by gentlemen.” Having played both I can say that I agree with a smug smile on my face.  Rugby had ceremony and teamwork, but I rarely understood what was going on…except when I had the ball and then I knew that I had to run as fast as I could to avoid being mashed into the pitch by players twice my size and many times faster.

In short, I missed soccer, but I didn’t have the courage to pick it up and join a team as an adult until I watched the 2009 World Cup.  The players I watched were phenomenal and I spent a month at a bar (close to my home that would let me choose the channel) screaming at the TV.

I went home and did a Google search for soccer teams in my area and registered as an individual. I was picked up by a team that wore yellow with a name that I still can’t pronounce! I reluctantly borrowed a yellow shirt from my soccer playing nephew. I got some cheap pleather cleats at a store by my house as well as some shin guards. I showed up on a hot summer Sunday and have only missed a handful of games since, but not because of a broken nose and a concussion. I played a week after that.

This game has taught me more about life than I think my parents ever knew possible. They may have signed me up to keep me busy, but while I was playing soccer I was learning: to think ahead, keep my head up, and play with everything I had.  I learned to push and shove, and hold my own with girls that were taller, and bigger, went to nicer schools, or had better training. I also learned to pull jerseys and trash talk, but only when the referee wasn’t looking. I learned to pick up an injured opponent and to say “Good game” even when I didn’t mean it.

Now, I play coed and on a half field with less people.  The game still has all of the same elements with a lot more running than I remember. I still laugh and have a good time. I am by no means the best person on the team, but I like to think that I play with a whole lot of heart.  I still trip over my own feet and push and shove. Today, I surprised myself (and my team) when I ran off the field for a quick second to get a hair tie for a woman on the other team because her’s had just snapped.   But my favorite part about soccer now is that whenever life smacks me right in the face, and I feel that lingering sting all week, I know that on Sunday for at least one hour all that I am thinking about is winning the ball and getting off a decent shot on net.  As I write this, I’m sore from my match and I love this game.