Saturday, January 21, 2012

It's A Boob and A Baby...What Are You So Afraid Of?

So, its Friday evening and I am kicking back relaxing. What that means is my three year old son is finally asleep so I can watch what I want on TV or play on my computer uninterrupted. Happy time for Mommy. I am having a lovely time and spent a little of it on Facebook. I came across a lovely picture of a new mommy feeding her baby girl. Now by my title you already know that when I say feeding her baby, I mean breastfeeding. And yes, the picture has some side boob and baby attached.

The comments attached to this lovely photo are thankfully overall positive. Which I will attribute to the fact that the people sharing the photo are sharing it because they think its lovely and it originated by someone who knows this new mommy and baby.

I am surprised by the negative comments. Not because they are negative, I expect that along with the positive comments. I am surprised because the comments are not anonymous. And lets face it, it takes a pretty brave person to wave their moron flag for all the world to see. Yep, I said moron flag. I really didn't want to argue with them on this lovely photo so I decided; Hey, I have a blog. I have been meaning to blog more. And I promised myself I would blog about things regardless of how offensive they may be to some people. So, I will use first names for the comments, their real first names. Not because I want to out or protect any one's moron flag from being identified, but because I simply don't want to get them mixed up as we go here. (although coming up with fake names would have been fun)

Oh, and those comments where someone said "I completely agree with such and such" and that was it. They don't even warrant being addressed. You have an opinion, are willing to say it out loud, but you can't come up with your own intelligent words on it? So I won't have one for you.

We will start at the beginning with negative comment number one.  Kori said, "Disgusting. Don't want to see that on Facebook".

So let me get this straight Kori, seeing a picture of a mother feed her child the way that nature intended is disgusting? Yes, you can see side boob. Yes the baby's mouth is on her mother's nipple (which you can't see). I have to disagree with you (shocking I know). I think this is the perfect place for this picture. Facebook is a social networking site for friends and families.
If a picture of a scantily clad (if that) clothed young (and often times not so young) woman with side boob, front boob, and her ass hanging out in a very suggestive pose is not considered offensive and we have to flip through those, then I can't see how this photo is disgusting. Did you post a comment on your last girlfriend's self portrait from above? Where you can see her belly button from the top of her shirt? Did you let her know that it was 'disgusting, don't want to see this on Facebook'? Yeah, didn't think so.

Negative comment number two: Jacee said, "I just don't understand why this needs to be on Facebook. I think breastfeeding is wonderful and natural, but it isn't for facebook pictures."

Jacee, somehow your comment concerns me even more than Kori's. You have made a deal with yourself that breastfeeding is natural and wonderful, however nobody needs to see it. If this picture were of mommy holding baby with a bottle in her mouth, I bet that would be acceptable to you. Why is anyone so afraid of this woman's boobs? She isn't concerned. She is happily nursing her new baby. Its not like this picture was posted in error or in a malicious manner. Have you looked in the mirror lately... with the lights on? You have boobs. Spend some time with them, they aren't scary.

Negative comment number three: Heather said, "unnecessary. I'm not even friends with this chic and her entire boob just popped up on my page. If you insist on sharing intimate photos like this then check your privacy settings! I don't choose to see your bare breast. Thank you."

Heather (not all Heather's can be awesome), first of all her bare breast and entire boob did not pop onto your page. Unless you are commenting on a completely different picture than the one on your updates. Miley Cirus showed just as much  (although she has less square footage) side boob and more in her magazine shoots. How is that acceptable over a woman feeding her child and showing some skin?
I believe that this woman is completely comfortable with her breastfeeding picture being seen, which is why her privacy settings allowed it to be shared. Your settings however are within your own control. If you do not want to see this woman's (side) breast,  then don't click on the picture to enlarge it and take the time to comment on it while staring at it. Yeah, you were staring at it...probably with your mouth open. Don't be jealous, if you ever have a baby your boobs will get bigger too. (Maybe I am onto something here...are all the women who find breastfeeding offensive just jealous because they dislike their breasts or feel they weren't blessed with enough?)

Negative comment number four: Amber said, "Absolutely beautiful thing, but this is something that should stay between you and baby. It's beautiful but should be kept private."

Amber, Amber, Amber. Amber is like Jacee
Again, if mommy was using a bottle to feed her baby Amber would feel differently. Moms who bottle feed their babies don't have people avoiding eye contact with them, they don't get all quiet and a wonderful calm environment to feed their child. Mothers who bottle feed their children quite often hold conversations with complete strangers about their child. These strangers have no problem complimenting mom on her adorable baby and asking questions. Yet the mother who is working her ass off to keep that blanket in place so as not to offend you with the sight of her breast or her child attached to her breast is in the middle of something that should not be interrupted and must remain private.
I belong to the breastfeeding moms club, although my children are all past that stage of life now. I have some very shocking news for you, we don't work so hard to keep ourselves covered for ourselves. Our modesty levels were adjusted quite abruptly during labor and delivery. Did you know that at home we don't even use a blanket? GASP! Shocking I know. Yeah that's right, we honestly could care less if you saw our breast. We work so hard so as to avoid having to deal with arrogant and ignorant people who are so uncomfortable with themselves that they are offended by a mother feeding and nurturing her child the way nature (and many might say God) intended.
Although yes, we do enjoy the quiet time with our darling baby while nursing. I would like to inform you that in public, in the nice sitting rooms Nordstroms provides, and such it is perfectly ok to make eye contact with us, it is okay to think our baby is beautiful, it is okay to hold a conversation with us. We can talk and nurse at the same time. We are like super heroes...we can do many things all at the same time.

Our final two negative comments, number five and six both come from the same person: Joey said (and I am quoting here) "awe fuck it...those are some Tig ole' bitties...okay, I feel better". And then later on down the line Joey made another comment. So lets just do these together. He also said, "aight Im look for some babymakin photos...see if all u treehuggers think if thats 'beautiful'".

First of all, I am so confused by how people communicate their comments. Joey appears to not be able to spell or speak for that matter the English language. But he punctuated ole' ? (He must have a smarter than him phone.)
We are all so relieved you feel better for getting that important comment out of your system. I am sure that nobody else, including the new mommy realized just how large her breast have gotten. What would we have done without your crude observation? It is possible that many of these negative comments are related to self esteem and breast size as I said before. When a woman has a baby and begins the breastfeeding process nature gives her bigger breasts than she had before. And its quite common for a woman's breasts to be larger than her baby's head. There is skill involved with breastfeeding, if it were easy everyone would do it.
Oh, and I think there is a very big difference between the making of a baby, which is a sexual act and the nourishing of that baby, which is a nurturing act. Most of the negative comments made by men in general regarding breastfeeding are usually tied to the inability to see a woman's breast and not react sexually. I suppose for men who are unable to separate the act of breastfeeding from being sexually attractive it may be rather embarrassing, in which case would explain the hostility they express with a woman feeding her child.
As for treehuggers? Although many mothers who do nurse their children do regard themselves as super liberal people, there are many many women who do not think of themselves as such. You don't have to be a "treehugger" to want to provide whats best for your baby. The more uptight you are the less comfortable you are with yourself. So I guess you may be more careful and less sharing of these type of moments. And that may lead to people believing that only treehuggers appreciate breastfeeding.
Fathers who are accepting, supportive, and see the beauty of breastfeeding are not all super liberal people either. Sure there are those who are, but a man who is mature and intelligent (regardless of treehugging tendencies) knows and understands how much healthier it is for his child to breastfeed, both physically and psychologically.
Thanks so much Joey, for making it clear that flying your moron flag is normal every day type of thing for you.

(And a very special shout out to Brittany who said, "I couldn't have said it better Joey"... I highly doubt that.)

Now I am going to 'out' my brother in law here because without him sharing this picture, I wouldn't be up writing this post. And I must admit, his comment made me laugh. It made me laugh because he is 100% correct and says things so very well. I love him.

My favorite positive male comment: Dustin said, "lol angry about breastfeeding pictures on Facebook. Talk about white people problems. I approve of breastfeeding and also boobs in general. You should too! They are good for you!

So if you are reading this post here on my lovely blog and you are uncomfortable or disgusted by a picture of breastfeeding or a woman who is breastfeeding in public (doing her damnedest to keep that blanket in place while baby pulls it this way and that) maybe you should look in the mirror and ask yourself why? Why are you afraid of boobies? They aren't going to get you.

If you are reading this post and do not think that breastfeeding is disgusting or needs to be completely private, welcome! I would love for you to kick back and stay awhile. The post preceding this one is a very light hearted conversation about Ninjas. You are the type of person I would love to have following and reading my blog.

Men, if you get aroused when you see a woman breastfeeding it probably means you were not breastfed as a baby. I am sorry you missed out on that. It may also stress the importance of breastfeeding our children to avoid this downfall. Hmmm.

For the woman who is reading this and completely disagrees, thinks that no one should have to see a mother nurse their baby. Not even under a blanket...because it repulses you, seek help. Please for yourself and for those poor people who have to live their lives coming into contact with you day in and day out. They are boobs, we were made this way, we were made to feed our babies with breast milk out of our boobs! There is something else going on with you if this truly bothers you and young  girls wearing next to nothing, taking pictures of themselves in the mirror, and posting them on Facebook never get your attention as unacceptable.

The toughest one is the woman who thinks breastfeeding is natural and beautiful however she thinks no one but mommy and baby should ever see it. Do you have some self esteem issues? No, seriously? Think about it, nobody has to know you stopped and thought about it. You can even leave me a nasty comment  to throw off anyone who might jump to conclusions. This is your opportunity to help yourself.
How is it more acceptable for you to look at pictures of friends, family members, strangers, and celebrities with their boobs and asses hanging out in suggestive poses? Why is a sexually alluring (well most on Facebook are not, they are just sad oh please tell me I'm pretty women who are in need of some serious attention) photo more acceptable than a mother feeding her child? And why do you care enough to leave a comment about the breastfeeding one and not the slutty pictures of your friends? Maybe it's time for a change, for yourself.

If by chance the lovely new mommy in the picture actually reads this (you don't know it could happen) Congratulations and enjoy your wonderful time with baby. Its a lovely picture.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Ninja's, Terrorists, and Comic Books Oh My!

Yesterday on the way to my doctor appointment for my messed up foot the conversation between my husband and I went something like this (you just can't make this stuff up):

Hubby: Honey, I know you want me to buy a Honda Accord for my next car, but I really think I want a Dodge Challenger.

Me: (Huge eye roll)

Hubby: What is it you don't like about the Challenger?

Me: I just don't see why you would want an unreliable vehicle that would immediatley lose more than half its value.

Hubby: Well what is it about the Honda Accord that you like so much?

Me: It's a reliable vehicle that will maintain its value.

Hubby: I just think the Dodge Challenger is more me. You know, its more who I am.

Me: (you can hear it coming can't you?) You mean your unreliable and  lose more than half your value immediately? (Yeah I actually said it with a straight face!)

Hubby: (Huge eye roll)

Me: (Now laughing uncontrollably)

Hubby: So how about we buy the Accord but they have to throw in a auction value American made sports car with it? Two for one.

Me: Many Honda's are assembled in America.

Hubby: I don't want to support terrorism. (chuckle)

Me: (laughing again) Japan doesn't have terrorists.

Hubby: Uh, yeah they do. Haven't you ever heard of Ninja's?

Me: Ninja's? Really? Ninja's aren't terrorists.

Hubby: Sure they are. They are sneaky little bastards that cause destruction, death and inspire fear.

Me: Ninja's opperate in secrecy, they don't claim responsibilty for their violence. Plus Ninja's aren't real.

Hubby: Just because they don't publically claim responsibility doesn't make them not terrorists. And they are too real.

Me: Ninja's are real? When was the last time you saw a Ninja attack? Or even heard about one on the news? No left over flying stars, no fleeing men in black...

Hubby: Did you not hear me? That's because they are sneaky little bastards!

Me: Ninja's aren't real, they are only in the movies. Like Superman and Batman.

Hubby: Superman and Batman are comic books. Ninja's are in ancient scrolls. They are real.

Me: Ancient scrolls are just another form of comic books.

Hubby: (uncontrollably laughing) So ancient scrolls are just comic books?

Me: Yep, one form or another.

Hubby: So what's the bible then? Just another form of comic books?

And I have to stop with the telling of the conversation we had at that specific point... This was a very real discussion we had on our drive. Just because laughter was free flowing doesn't make it unreal. I love my husband! And yes, he will probably start out with an 'American made' car to be replaced later with a Honda Accord when the 'American made' car breaks down repeatedly.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Bringing in the New Year...

Happy New Year to everyone! Its been a great year, plenty of ups and downs...we have been blessed with more ups than downs.

We are bringing in the new year with a football Sunday! With playoffs on the horizon The Red Zone has been on all day. We are a Steelers family (to each their own) so home field advantage would be an appreciated luxury for all Steeler fans and players.

With the exception of today's post of our Christmas newsletter I have been pretty absent on my blog. The last half of the year has flown by. For some reason my desire and ability to sit and write has waned. With the new year, I am working on being more active in my posts. I have cleaned up the clutter and eliminated the unnecessary. I even have my daughter working on a new banner for my blog. On top of that she is also working on a story she has asked to post as a guest here. I am excited to read her story and hope we all enjoy it.

For some reason I have become concerned that my opinions and the way I write may lose me followers and/or offend someone. I don't know why. To be honest, that's not a normal me thing. Somehow I will overcome this feeling. One of my new year plans is to ignore and/or overcome this feeling and get back to writing much much more. Watch out, opinionated, strong Heather will be back with a vengeance!Aha ha ha ha...

To all my friends, family, and readers... HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Our Christmas Newsletter Christmas 2011

Below is an exact copy of our Christmas newsleter we included with our Christmas cards this year. The black writing is my wonderful husbands and the blue is my comments to his writing. A lot of this my readers already know about, but since I haven't posted in so long the second half events are new. This is our twist on the common newsletter many families send out that highlights how wonderful everything is. Well in our life not everything is wonderful...but its not all bad either. Enjoy!!!

Well, it is again that time of year.  Christmas cards, family newsletters and people creating the illusion that their lives are perfect.  Well, to hell with that!  Heather and I are keeping with our wonderful tradition of the realistic family update.  And this year, like last year, she is letting me write our Christmas letter to everyone (and adding her own thoughts in the blue ink).  Like Ricky Gervais says when hosting an awards show, ‘settle in, be prepared to laugh, and say what the hell?’

 In no particular chronological order. Mostly because Doug doesn’t recall our years events in the order in which they occurred.

Heather had a couple of surgeries this year.  We won’t talk about them, but one of them resulted in NO MORE KIDS!!! (No, I didn’t get a boob job or a facelift). In celebration, I drank a cold adult beverage and did some dishes after I made dinner and vacuumed the house. Because he is the best husband in the world.

Speaking of surgeries, I finally had surgery in an attempt to fix my knees.  It didn’t work.  But I do have a nice cane collection started! We are hoping to find a surgeon soon who is willing to do the replacements for him. The argument is that a knee replacement will only last 20 years (+/-). Hello? 20 years is a long time!

So the boy, (otherwise known as Ethan [or Eator when he is in destruction mode]) figured out that laundry baskets make for great step stools (this was in January).  In an attempt to get into the cookie jar he slipped, fell, and broke his arm.  In his defense, this tactic had worked dozens of times without resulting in Heather coloring a cast to look like Buzz Lightyear’s arm. Everybody wanted one! He was very proud of his Buzz cast and showed anyone he could. Now that I am thinking of it, we really should come up with easy cast skins and patent the idea!

After Ethan’s arm was healed up he had a traumatic dental visit. Poor little guy lost 3 teeth that we had spent the last 12 months trying desperately to save. We were going to the dentist every 6 weeks for fluoride treatments in an attempt to avoid general anesthesia for him. The dentist did his very best trying to get me to believe that I had done everything I could and it wasn’t our fault. Don’t know that I will ever be able to forgive myself for his tooth issues though. So if you have seen any of Ethan’s wide smiles now you know why there is only one big top tooth in his smile. (We just had our 6 month cleaning and the good news is that he doesn’t have any cavities this time, a win for us. Since he will always be prone to tooth decay, so the dentist says. Every visit scares me!)
Tessa, our eldest daughters’ half-sister, came to visit for a few days.  Her visit was awesome and a huge surprise for the girls. One that we managed to keep for over 4 months!  The only bad part was that it was too short for our liking.  The next visit should be more permanent if you ask me. We are trying to get Tessa to move out here so we can help her go to college. We can’t afford to send her to college, but we can feed her and provide her with a place to live while she goes to school.

All four girls combined have no grades lower than a B.  That is crazy.  When I was their age, I barely pulled off C’s because I didn’t care about my grades.  Glad to know they don’t take after me in that respect. We are so proud of them for continuing to do well in school. We do not harp or even oversee homework and such. They have managed to make it a priority on their own, and that’s the great achievement. We want to keep them on track to have college degrees as soon as they possibly can.   Speaking of college degrees, on night at dinner we were talking about school since Doug is so close to obtaining his bachelor’s degree. He was telling them how important it is to have a degree and said your mother has a degree. To which Toria replied, “yeah but all she does is cook and clean. So her degree doesn’t count.” Aren’t kids wonderful? Don’t worry, every time she asks me a question (above cooking and cleaning) I respond with “how would I know? All I do is cook and clean”.  She keeps telling me it was a joke, “jeez mom!”

Victoria was selected to be on the County Youth Council. It wasn’t an easy process. There was a 6 page application, teacher recommendations, an interview, and then the school board’s approval.  She is honing her leadership skill set early!  I honestly think she is just practicing for her world domination later in life. (President Victoria Robin *****).

Haley played soccer for the first time this fall. She did well. I don’t mean she was gifted at her physical talents and scored lots of goals leading her team to a championship. What I mean is she put in a good effort, was able to ignore the butterflies on the practice field at least 60% of the time, and had fun. Her team came in 7th out of 8 teams. This was Doug’s first time at being a father in the bleachers.  Micaiah (Haley’s step-father) and he only made a referee cry once (high school ref’s). But to be fair for guy to cry that quickly, he really must have had other things going on. J
We finally got a dog.  I don’t know what kind of dog he is, so I just say he is a golden brown dog (he is a hound mix. Looks like a Bassett/Beagle face with a coon hound body).  We named him, Tucker.  Ginger (Heather’s mom) said that every picture she saw of him, he looked tuckered out (and thank goodness, with 5 kids the family dog better not be bored).  And she suggested the name (It was also one of the first suggested by Macy).  Thanks Ginger!  J It only took us 4 full days of discussions, arguments, and bickering to name him. And the kids were almost as bad. Ha ha. We did get really lucky, Tucker is a rescue pup. He is so mellow most of the time. Ethan can be laying on the floor next to him eating a piece of bacon and Tucker will just stare at me with those sad eyes, not trying to snatch the food out of Ethan’s hands. And for those times he does get rambunctious, the squirt bottle works great. I have only caught Doug squirting Ethan 3 times, so far.

So, we had another visitor this year, Ginger, (remember the dog namer ? one of) came to visit.  She made me appreciate fresh herbs growing in the kitchen.  Believe it or not, it is quite a treat when Ginger is around. (I am so very thankful that my husband and mother get along.)  Maybe now that she has the “retired mobile”, we will get to see more of her (and John, her wonderful husband)!  J

Macy wore something that wasn’t purple.  No, seriously, it was a Tuesday.  Any day she doesn’t wear something purple is a calendar worthy event. (Yes, she is still diabetic. I get that question believe it or not. Many people don’t understand that once you have type 1 diabetes, you have it forever. She has been doing well with it though. Our big challenge has been low blood sugars in the morning, she can’t wake herself up and has had diabetic seizures. They are very scary! I am sure many of you have seen all of my diabetic awareness information on Facebook. The FDA is working on the approval of the artificial pancreas! It’s very exciting, even if it is still years away.

Heather started a garden this year.  I built her two huge planter boxes out of 2X6’s, stacked 4 high.  Her garden is about 24 square feet.  We got about 6 cherry tomatoes out of the whole lot.  WINNING!  Hahaha. They are wonderful boxes. We grew more than 6 cherry tomatoes, but I will agree that I need some gardening knowledge. I am hoping this next year will be better.

Ethan is officially allergic to peanuts. He went through the allergy testing at the beginning of this year. Regardless of how that sounds, it wasn’t all that fun. We now have to carry an epi-pen everywhere. So far peanuts haven’t been completely banned from the house. I made a deal with the girls and Doug. As long as they treat anything with peanuts in it like they would Drano, then it can stay. So now we have type 1 diabetes, asthma, and a peanut allergy in our home.

Ethan and Haley got a huge play structure thing with a fort, slide, rock wall, swings and a cabin.  I decided to put it together the day before I had surgery. While working on it I managed to lop off the top of my finger in the process.  My loving wife bandaged me up and opened the door for me and said, “Get back to it”.  Needless to say I didn’t finish it before I went under the knife. So I hired an incompetent handy man.  (Though, I didn’t know he was incompetent when I hired him.)  I had 1/3 of it put together in 4 hours with one hand.  It took these guys over 16 hours to finish it, and they didn’t even fully finish.  Haley and Ethan love it though, and the other kids get to enjoy it too.  When they come out of their rooms on those oh so rare occasions and go outside that is. The swing set was for Haley and Ethan’s birthday. There was a lot of combined help from grandparents which we really appreciated. Our next goal is to build a fence. Once we have a fence I won’t have to worry so much. That’s what I do, I worry.

Victoria started “dating” this boy Greg last year.  They are still “dating”. It’s very weird to me. Haley has 2 or more boyfriends at any given time. Jessie has yet to meet a boy worthy of her time and Macy, well Macy isn’t too impressed with the local choices. Daddy needs a shotgun! Greg is a good kid and he has a nice family, but it is scary to have Toria dating the same boy for over a year.

The Steelers lost the superbowl.  L Ah, it was still fun to watch.

Ethan has taken to stealing Heather’s Iphone and plays on YouTube all day long.  If she has ignored all of your calls since March, that is why. He is amazing on my iphone. He can navigate youtube and play games, while he does all of that we have an opportunity to watch things like football. I just received my new iphone from Fed-ex today. The ringer hasn’t worked in over 6 months. So, that could be another reason I may have missed your call. I am so excited to have a completely working phone! Give me a call.

Speaking of phones, Jessica’s phone committed suicide.   It jumped into a toilet. I laughed really hard until Heather reminded me that it costs money to replace it.  J then L  We are still working on getting that replaced, maybe for Christmas. Thankfully we have insurance on all of them. So it’s just a $50 fee to replace that one. We do need to get Macy a new phone, she has had the same one for over 2 years. That deserves a fancy new one (well no smart phones, yet.)

This next one I will never understand.  All the women in the house have colored their hair at least 6 times this year.  Pinks, Blues, Greens, Whites, Blondes, Purples…..  Yet I can’t find a nice shade of grey. Yes, we played with hair color. It’s much better than body piercings and/or tattoos. At least it slowly washes out. Jessie’s hair was my favorite, all of her hair was smurf blue. Haley has pink streaks in the front and for some reason it has lasted forever. Thankfully it’s adorable and it matches her personality.

The two movies that Heather and I saw this year were Cars 2 and Cowboys vs Aliens.  Both were amazing!  We don’t go to the movies very often, it’s just too expensive. For the cost of 2 tickets we can buy the movie when it comes out and everyone can watch it as many times as they want. Cars 2 was Ethan’s first movie. He loved it almost as much as the popcorn and soda he worked on during the whole movie.
As a father’s day gift, I got to go to the Baltimore Comicon, VIP style, where I met Stan Lee.  Stan Lee created the X-Men, Spiderman, Avengers and thousands of other comic book characters.  I got some memorabilia signed and my picture taken with him.  Doug wasn’t the only one who got the VIP service. His truck might as well as had its own room for the parking charges he incurred. But he had fun and got to do something he has always wanted to. Can’t get much better than that for a Father’s day gift.

And now I have saved the best for last.  The coup de resistance.  My adoption of Macy, Victoria and Jessica went through!   I am so very happy about this!  They are mine in heart, spirit, law and name!  We still haven’t gotten their new birth certificates yet. I envision one elderly lady in a back corner, who is responsible for all birth certificate corrections/changes in California (hopefully before they turn 18 we will have the right ones). It was a huge relief to have the adoption final. The girls did very well with their name change. Everyday for the first few weeks they would come home with a new way to make fun of ‘*****’. There wasn’t one that Doug hadn’t heard before. We are still working on Tessa. Doug told her she was welcome to change her name too. I think Tessa ***** has a lovely ring to it.

Well, that is about it for this year.  As always, have a nice day, holiday that is! We love you and miss you all. Have a wonderful holiday season!

~Douglas, Heather, Macy, Victoria, Jessica, Haley, Ethan and Tucker ~
P.S. We would have included Tessa’s name here, but she went back to California and didn’t stay…. Yet… J