Stories from May 2011

I’m Not a Pervert. I’m Nursing.

Kate Chretien

Well, nursing is going on full swing and I’ve been thrust back in the land of nursing pads (yikes), nursing bras (double yikes), the dreaded pump (which I threatened to throw out the window or down an elevator shaft last time around), and hiking up my shirt all the live-long day.

But, there’s one thing I forgot.

The manual boob weigh.

Do you know what I speak of?

To remember (because let’s face it, mommy brain is not kind) which side I nursed last or to evaluate the fullness state of the girls, I will give them a quick lift with the hands. A spritely heave-ho.

I do this multiple times a day. I can’t stop doing it. It’s like nursing OCD.

I wish I could say I only do this in absolute privacy, like hiding in my closet, under the bed, or in the bathroom with the door barricaded, but alas, no. I do this, unthinking, while walking up the stairs. A covert nudge as I’m sitting down to dinner.  In the elevator at Target. EVERYWHERE.

I wonder if other women do this. You know, the ones nursing. Or not. (Whatever you like to do is your own business, just saying.)

A part of me worries that I will be caught red-handed, so to speak, and I might be taken for a pervert or believed to have some sort of weirdo addiction problem. I’ve even considered taking to wearing pins or t-shirts with helpful sayings that might help explain away the awkwardness. These are my top contenders: (Read more…)

So You Think Princess Can Dance?

Sarah Logan

This year, Princess is taking a dance class through an actual dance studio for the first time. In the past, all of her classes have been through Parks and Rec, and they ended the session with a casual performance for parents. Once she showed a sustained interest, though, I thought it was time to move on to a real dance studio. I was hoping to expose her to the arts, develop her sense of rhythm and movement, and entertain her for an hour a week. To a certain extent, that is what I’ve gotten—but I’ve also gotten a few things I didn’t count on.

As any of you who have been part of A STUDIO knows, their year ends with a recital.
I am not a stranger to this custom. I took dance classes for ten years, and there were recitals every year. However, I don’t know if it’s the studio I chose (for the time of the class and its proximity to my home) or just some sort of child-obsessed insanity fueled by reality TV, dance competitions and kiddie pageants, but recitals have EXPLODED.

Participation in the recital is not required at Princess’s studio. However, if you aren’t in the recital you may as well not take the class for the entire spring semester, because prepping for the recital is the bulk of the semester, beginning in March and lasting through the THREE performances (conveniently scheduled on Father’s Day weekend). Besides, I figured Princess would enjoy the recital, so why not. (Read more…)

The Military Move of Doom & Death by Homeownership

Lisa Douglas

The Army is moving us at the end of the month. Ever since we found out, we’ve been beyond excited about this move - big city, big possibilities for our family after living in the Land of Nothing Here at this post for so long. Despite our excitement for the area, this move is unbelievably stressful, even more-so than any normal move. We found out that Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, TX doesn’t have on-post housing for us for at least a year. One year on a wait-list with six children? Surely, they can’t be serious!

But oh, they are!

We looked at rentals, navigating through the tumultuous rental waters, only to find way overpriced homes in not too savory areas. So, with house prices and mortgage rates as low as they are, we’ve decided to buy our first home. This wasn’t the original plan, of course. We haven’t been scrimping and saving, or putting “Buy Our First House” on our Bucket List for 2011. And because we’ve suddenly turned to this decision in, what feels like, lightning speed, this situation is quickly careening out of my comfort zone, and rapidly approaching DEFCON 80 in SUCK factor.

Let me tell you, If you want to experience something that is going to make you grow gray hair faster than those that crop up while being a parent, g’head, buy your first home, and watch ‘em sprout.

This isn’t a peaches ‘n cream, Beaver Cleaver experience, folks. This isn’t what they portray on TV, “Oh look, honey! We’re homeowners! Look at our beautiful home with a picket fence and cute, non-shedding dog and neighbors we love!”

Oh hellz, no. This is an experience I’m not sure I ever want to do again, to be frank. (Read more…)

Nothing to Fear But Millipedes and Lemon Zest

Becca Sanders

The other day my daughter F. was digging worms in the garden while I weeded. “I found another one!” she shouted every few seconds. That kid knows how to find worms, I thought. Then I discovered that she was merely “finding” successively smaller pieces of the same big worm, which she was chopping up with her shovel. I hid my grimace as she held out yet another hacked off bit of worm for my inspection.

I also restrained myself when she ran up to show me a “cute brown caterpillar” which was actually a millipede. “Let’s just put this guy back in the grass,” I said, outwardly calm, while inside my brain squealed like a tea kettle: EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

I’ve always liked insects and the natural world, but my bug-love does not extent to spiders, centipedes, or millipedes.  Yet I don’t want to pass on my own hesitations, fears, and repulsions to F. I want her to explore her surroundings with an open and fearless curiosity (within the bounds of relative safety). I want her to dig in the dirt, collect “cute” bugs and try new and different things – including food — of all kinds without hesitation.

Because of this, I must hide my own particular distastes that have no reason beyond personal quirk. For example, I can’t abide egg yolk. Mash it up and make egg salad and I will dig in. But if it’s the cooked yolk of a fried egg, it’s a different story. There’s something about its sticky, gelatinous texture that makes my throat close up. But I try to set an example. I cut it up and put it on toast or swallow it with a sip of coffee, trying to keep my face in a smooth mask of acceptance. It’s hard enough to get kids to eat well; I don’t need them seeing me freak out about a bite of egg.

It’s easier, I think, to hide repulsion than it is to teach it. For instance, our autistic son H. has no clue that certain bodily substances are best disposed of with a flush. (Read more…)

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This Weeks Tip

You would think at our age that we wouldn’t have to worry about these things. But, as Kate will attest, even at *ahem* 27, untimely breakouts can (and will) happen. What to do? Apply an ice cube for 30 second. Then soak a cotton ball in eye drops and press it to the “spot” for 3 minutes. The theory is that the ice and drop combination will cause blood vessels below the surface to contract—leaving you looking, well, a little less like Rudolph.