Saturday, October 30, 2010

hygeia rocks.

I have a confession to make.  Here goes:

I received a brand-spanking new Hygeia EnJoye breastpump to review.  And I totally forgot to write the review.  I suck. 

(Heh. I said suck when talking about a breastpump. ::snicker::)

Hygeia-WHO?  I admit (again, with the admissions, I know) that until I started talking breastfeeding on twitter I had never ever heard of Hygeia.  When somebody said breast pump, I would think of Medela, Evenflo and Playtex.  

What's the difference?  Thanks for asking because I'm going to tell you.

There's this little organization you may have heard of, called the World Health Organization.  Ring any bells?  Well. The WHO has taken a pretty firm stance on breastfeeding, and has even published a book entitled International Code of Marketing Breast-Milk Substitutes.   These people are serious about the breastfeeding.

Hygeia is the only breast-pump manufacturer who is WHO CODE compliant.  
Hygeia does not manufacture bottles or nipples.

The reason Hygeia has chosen to be faithful to the strict standards of the WHO CODE when doctors and medical facilities across the United States continue to ignore these standards is because Hygeia believes the WHO CODE protects women and babies.  Hygeia believes that full implementation of the CODE in the United States would increase our breastfeeding initiation and duration.

I happen to agree.

I love companies that stand up for what they believe.

About the pump:

The EnJoye™ Breastpump is a professional-grade electric/battery double pump that is designed for long-term and frequent pumping needs such as working mothers. The EnJoye™ is ideal for battery-dependent pumping.  The EnJoye Breastpump is also ideal for long-term and frequent pumping needs, for maintaining milk supply as well as to collect breastmilk single or double pumping.

The EnJoye has shown proven performance for moms with long-term and frequent pumping needs. Better yet? Your satisfaction is guaranteed and there's a THREE YEAR WARRANTY. Heck yes.  The EnJoye Breastpump is usually more affordable, more portable, and more convenient than other rental pumps.  It features the unique Hygeia CARE Button for Customized Audio Recording Experience so you can record your baby or other sound to enhance your breastpumping experience. The EnJoye Breastpump is a green breastpump, and can be shared by multiple mothers when each has her own personal accessory set.  The EnJoye can also be recycled when you are finished.  And it's safe, because all parts that come into contact with breastmilk are BPA/DEHP free.

You can find Hygeia on the effbooks and on twitter.  And for even MORE Hygeia, follow Kate on Twitter. She's an awesome resource for anything Hygeia-related, and also knows all the breastfeeding support people in the universe.  Well maybe not.  But the networking Kate does makes her a Breastfeeding Support Superstar.

And as it turns out, I never actually leave Elliott with anybody, so I didn't get much use from my pump.  So I passed it along to a mama from my MOPS group whose baby girl was born with Down Syndrome.  That girl needs a pump.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

some items for your consideration

  1. Not a torn rotator cuff.  Instead, I got two thumbs up for a job well done (yay me!), from the Physical Therapist who diagnosed me with bicipital tendonitis, thoracic outlet syndrome, and bulging discs in my neck. Please do not attempt to be as awesome as me.  It will not turn out well.  Trust me on this. 
  2. Something that may have happened at the dinner table in the past week, possibly at my house:  someone laughed so hard that he or she (statistically a he, considering) pooped his or her pants.  Also?  The same person may have been making ridiculous noises until that verysame person actually vomited on the kitchen floor.  And no. It was NOT ME.  Statistics, people, statistics.
  3. I was THIS CLOSE to having a warrant out for my arrest.  Again, please do not attempt to be as awesome as me.  Living on the edge is only the teensy-est bit exciting.
  4. My hair is totally ginormous.
  5. The Mister has two musicals back-to-back, Les Mis this week and Oliver!!!!!!!!!!! (only one actual excitement point in the title) next week.  I'll see him sometime mid-November, which pretty much guarantees there will be no "Big Announcement" when our anniversary rolls around in December.  
  6. I almost had a fist fight with a roadside construction worker on my way to Physical Therapy on Monday.  This has nothing to do with Item #3 (see above).
  7. Elliott has become a maniacal social laugher.  Needless to say, the rest of the short people find this INCREDIBLY funny and have become maniacal ooh-let's-get-the-baby-to-laugh laughers, which had gotten old before it actually began.
  8. I posted a status on the effbooks about offering $10 and sexual favors to the first person who would come to my house and make my television and dvd player talk to each other.  Thank GOD the only person who responded was The Mister.  Because that would have been awkward.  And he's such a nice guy he declined the money.
  9. A friend of mine told me that the students who go Belfast Elementary School (Belfast, NY, not Northern Ireland... but possibly there, too, I don't actually know) are not allowed to run on the playground because some normal kid was (shocker) running superty fast and (shocker) tripped and (more shocker) got a bloody nose TWO YEARS AGO.  And forevermore nobody is ever allowed to run on the playground ever ever again.  I give them two thumbs up for being stupid.  (I did type 'stupid jackasses' but then I remembered my rule about something or other and decided to delete it.  Being a grown-up is hard work.)
  10. The chickens are scheduled for a nice beheading, and a hot date with the slow cooker.  Yee haw.
What's up with you?  And I'm serious, people.  I want to know.  Last time I asked you didn't even say anything.  So chop-chop with the typey-typey.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

it has been kind of a crappy week

So I hurt my right shoulder.  That was annoying.  I didn't even hurt myself doing something fun like having super-innovative s.ex.  Of course.  And then there was this.  Also annoying.

But the most SUPERTY CRAZY MIND-NUMBING STUPIDLY annoying thing was communicating with my doctor's office.  Now.  I know I have mentioned here before how much I really love my doctor and I love the way she does business and I love the fantastic customer service we have experienced in the past six years of being her patients.  If you are in dire need of a link to prove such pink-puffy-heartedness, let me know, and I will  look it up if I have been properly caffeinated.

During one of my superty-crazy-mind-numbing-stupid conversations, I did tell the office person that I wanted to speak directly with my doctor... and that never actually happened.  Which, in all honesty, is probably a good thing because I was blisteringly angry for a few days about the Big Nonsense, and I probably would not have been able to have a Properly Adult Conversation about the Big Nonsense. 

So.  Tonight after I put the short people to bed, I called the On-Call Service.  (One of the doctors at our practice is available every single hour of the day that the office is not open.  I like this feature.  Also?  I like that the doctors call you RIGHT FLIPPING THEN.)

Turns out my actual doctor was on call.  So I had her paged.  I would have waited until another night if a different doctor was available.

I talked to her about what is going on with my (still very painful) shoulder, and she agreed that the physical therapy appointment on Monday is a good idea, and then she said she would call me Monday night so that we could discuss what the PT said, and make some decisions about how to progress.  

This made me very, very, very happy because I haven't been able to actually talk about how to make me less broken since Tuesday.

Then I talked to her about how frustrating it was to deal with the office staff this week.  I made it clear I was not complaining about anybody in particular, I just wanted her to know that I had made WAY too many phone calls and nobody had called me back and there was a certain snippy-ness to some of the people I spoke with and how, basically, the customer service completely sucked.  

We talked about things for almost an hour.  She was very upset to hear that I was unhappy, and I mentioned that some of my friends (who are also her patients) were also displeased with similar issues.   She asked me about my perceptions of each of the providers in the practice, my experiences, what my children's feelings toward going to the doctor's office are... it was a wonderful conversation.

This is why she is my doctor.  She really cares about serving her patients.  And she uses phrases like SERVING PATIENTS. 

So.  Yes, it has been a pretty crappy week.  I still am having sharp, stabby pains in my shoulder, and dull, achy ick down the rest of my arm.  My fingers are still often numb.  I can't really do my (million) job(s) in my home.

But.  I finally feel like somebody actually cares enough about this little situation of mine to help me sort through it.  And that makes me happy.  Also, I am trying to find a way to describe the sudden wave of SUPER HAPPY that just washed over my little self, but it's the kind of super happy that makes it hard for me to form coherent sentences and recite the alphabet backwards and walk the line.  So I will just go to bed. 

Thursday, October 14, 2010


bad = torn rotator cuff
worse = torn rotator cuff at that time of the month

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

have i ever mentioned how i am the opposite of skilled with my left hand?

It's currently 5:30 in the morning, and I am awake.  I know, you're all Thank you, Madame Captain Obvious.  But really, people? if you do know already have a well-formed understanding of how 5:30 comes but once a day in my world, then you might want to dig a little further back in my archives.  (There's good stuff there, honest!!!)

And here is something that you should know before I continue: I am going to dispense with the whole FIXING MY TYPOGRAPHICAL ERRORS AND GENERAL CAPITALIZATION for the rest of this post.

It's a long story.

And it starts on sunday.  well, it started whenever the whole canning compulsion  began.  i'm going to blame it on the canning instead of on the stupids.

i got a ton of plums at teh market on friday for wicked cheap, and by that i mean 75% less than what plums were going for last year. so score and yeah, me!!!  but in order to can my plums, i needed to take the already canned stuff off my counter and put it on the shelves in the happy canning closet of bliss (aka basement).  so i loaded up a sturdy box with about a dozen full quart jars and hefted the superty heavy box downstairs and very carefully and lovingly put my pretty-pretty jars on the shelf.  and then i made another trip. and another and another and another and another...

to which i replied in my out loud voice, OKAY. and with my inside voice WHATEVS, MISTER. I WANT THESE JARS IN THE BASEMENT, LIKE NOW AND STUFF, AND YEAH. SO THERE.  mostly because i think i know things, and also because i am known to be a little on the stupid side.

and then i got bored moving jars because walking down and up the stairs twenty or so times is tiring and not really all that fun.  so i stopped.  because i was good and ready.

and now?  i cannot move my right arm so well.  and by SO WELL what i really mean is not at all.  and when it is all dark out and i should be sleeping because the number of the hour is a single digit?  i find myself unpleasantly awake because of THE PAIN!!!! IN MY SHOULDER!!!! AND MY ARM!!! AND THE NUMB!!! AND THE SHARP ZIPPY SHOOTERS DOWN MY ARM!!!

and so i went to teh doctor which has really not been a happy experience of late, but my NP was very nice and every time she would poke me and move my arm and it would show her that i was broken she would say somehting zingy and a little sarcastic and i can really appreciate that sort of nonsense.

diagnosis: best case scenario = bad sprain, tiny rotator cuff tear.  worst case scenario = big rotator cuff tear.  heat, stretching a little than ice, prednisone and 600 mg ibuprofen three times a day.  ALSO WEAR A SLING FOR AT LEAST A WEEK, POSSIBLY TWO AND DON'T ACTUALLY DO ANYTHING.

so this is going to be really awesome.  i know this for sure already, because i took my meds like a good girl before i went to bed except PREDNISONE + BEDTIME = TOTALLY AWAKE AT 4 AM TIME.

i was fortunate to make the discovery (after emptying the dishwasher with my left hand only... try that sometime if you have an hour to kill) that i can comfortably type on my laptop, which is happy because i was doing the LEFT HAND PECKING THING on our desktop last night and it totally sucked.

and now the mister's alarm is going off upstairs and nobody is in bed to punch him and tell him to turn it off.  poor mister.

so anyway.  here's what i really need:

  1. someone to come hang out and fold some laundry and wipe some keister and make some food and put away the stack of bowls that was too heavy to put up in the cupboard
  2. someone to punch my husband (very kindly adn with lots of love in their heart) and ask him to please turn his alarm off before everybody wakes up
  3. way better drugs than flipping prednisone and stupid ibuprofen. but maybe it's good that this hurts in such an unholy fashion because i will remember that next time i think about doing something.
alarm. still. beeping. maybe i'll call him.

Monday, October 11, 2010

power ballad.

This is a seriously powerful song.
The songwriter is gay, and wrote about her own experience.


It could be about me.
I'm sure I do not measure up.
I'm confident that I fail to meet the expectations.
I am human.

It could be about you.

Try this:
Pray about people, things you don't like...
things you don't understand...
Not that God will change them, 
but that He will soften your heart.

But if this God to whom you pray
is the same God I was raised to believe in
you'd better take it up with Him

This is me, here we are
I know I may not be everything you wanted
but this is all I've got

This is me, talk to God,
He's the one you really ought to ask these questions
because I am all his fault
This is me

( Thank you, Jen Foster.)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

i wear my babies

it keeps him close
it keeps us close
i can feel him breathing
when he lays his sweet tired head on my shoulder,
i can smell his babyness

he can see the world around him
he's not stuck staring at everybody else's knees
his big brothers can't poke his eyes out
i can hold his big brothers' hands in parking lots

he can hear my heart beating
we can communicate
i can kiss his sweet head
and whisper sweet everythings into his curls

sometimes i wear them two at a time
sometimes one of them is not happy about that
almost four is not too big to be held or worn
or snuggled and kissed by your mama

i wear my babies...
in a ring sling i made myself
in a sakura bloom ring sling
in a neobulle wrap
in a hotslings pouch
in a mei tai i made myself
in a podegi i made myself

and i will wear them until i can't wear them any more.
and no recall
or government regulation 
can stop me.

babywearing is safer than riding in a car.
recall that.

Friday, October 8, 2010

completely fictional story about a family's decision to homeschool

Once upon a time, in a far away land, lived a slightly crazy, often loud but still pretty alright family.  There was a Daddy, a Mama, a daughter, and two sons.  And, SQUEE!!! Mama had a baby in her belly.  

The whole family was excited because it was time for the daughter, Miss Jo, to go to Kindergarten.  They talked about Kindergarten.  They shopped about Kindergarten.  They visited Kindergarten.  They blah, blah, blah, etc. and etc., about Kindergarten.

And then Kindergarten began.  Grandparents came from far and wide to watch Jo get on the bus for her FIRST! BIG! DAY! of KINDERGARTEN!!!  Cookies were made to celebrate the end of the FIRST!!! BIG!!! DAY!!!  

And Kindergarten was totally awesome for one whole week, which really means three days, because in this far away land, the first week of school is three days long.  Jo's best friend was in her class.  All of her preschool classmates were in her class.  Jo's teacher came highly recommended, and was someone with whom the slightly crazy, often loud family was well acquainted.  

Success was predetermined.


Miss Jo started behaving really badly at home.  And "really badly" means the complete opposite of any behavior that was ever permitted or encouraged by the Daddy and the Mama.  There were tears and tantrums, refusal to eat or go to bed or bathe or use the proper, ummm, place (ahem).  And that was just after school.  Before school was terrible, too.  Miss Jo was so tired from school the previous day and not eating proper meals and refusing to go to bed, and she had a miserable time getting up in the morning.  It probably didn't help her that both her Daddy and her Mama were not morning people either. 

Miss Jo's grandmother started coming over before school every day to lend a hand.  Miss Jo's Mama was getting pregnanter and pregnanter and the two little brothers and Miss Jo's tantrums were too much. 

Mama called the school and Miss Jo's teacher and talked to the school psychologist (who refused to see Miss Jo because Daddy once did sound for her brother's band ~ hand to God that is the truth) and then talked to the school social worker who began to see Miss Jo on a regular basis and when she would get around to returning phone calls and reporting back to the Daddy and Mama would say that Miss Jo responded in a totally age-appropriate manner for every activity.  Everyone at the school seemed dumbfounded by the Daddy's and Mama's concern about Miss Jo, because she did perfectly well at school.  Perfect.  They all said perfect.

This was somewhat of a relief to the Daddy and the Mama, to know that there was *actually* a time when Miss Jo responded appropriately, but still they were baffled.

Miss Jo's teacher tried very hard to work with Miss Jo during school (and even after school) to help convince Miss Jo to behave better at home.  Teacher was a trooper.  But nothing helped.

Day after day, Mama and grandmother would exhaust themselves getting Miss Jo on the bus for school.  When the bus pulled away from the driveway, the Mama and grandmother would collapse on the sofa, regroup, and plan how to do it better the next day.  EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

And it never got better.  Never.  The entire school year was misery and battle and struggle and stress and crying and punishment and sanctions and grrrrr.  And that is not how the slightly crazy, often loud family wanted to live.

The Daddy and the Mama didn't send Miss Jo back to public school for first grade.  They sent her to a play therapist instead, and learned SO MANY THINGS about their child.  First and foremost, Miss Jo had some really serious anxiety problems that were magnified by being forced away from the safety of her home.  The play therapist told the Mama at every visit that keeping Miss Jo home was the right choice for Miss Jo.  And at the end of the first grade year, the play therapist recommended keeping Miss Jo home for second grade.

And so they did.  

The End.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

about that.

Henry the Greatest Three Year Old EVER woke me up at precisely 2:26 a.m. to baffle me with the following Clearly Deep Thought:
What if there were no Grandmas, but Grandpa's name was Grandpa Martha?
People, that is the kind of nonsense that keeps me on the meds.  And what do you say to that Clearly Deep Thought, anyway? 
What? Did? You? SAY?
That.   Up there.  That is one of the few appropriate replies to anyone who wakens you from as sound a sleep as you ever are able to get, at precisely 2:26 a.m.  Because using those precious hours of the night to teach your child about the proper use of the EFF WORD in each part of speech?  Well, friends, precisely 2:26 a.m. is not the time to do that.   

And it's not for lack of trying.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

looking for printable halloween activities?

The short people are WAY into coloring lately, and I was glad to be able to check out these super fun Halloween printables.  The illustrations are simple but engaging, and if I could just get my printer to work I' would totally show you what good little colorers I have.

Want some free stuff?  Here's free coloring sheets and a coupon.  

Don't say I never gave you anything.  Muah.

Disclosure: I got all of my printables for free for writing these words. And yes, this *is* my opinion. So there.

This Product Was a Free Giveaway

Monday, October 4, 2010

oh dear.

I just changed things up. I'm not convinced I am quite fond of this look. It's all very BEIGE and QUIET and my header looks LAME-O.  I should totally have a contest for best new header for this here bit of the interwebs.  


I will pay you in pickles and bread and jam and cake if you make me a NON-LAME header. 

Lots. of. pickles.

UPDATE:  New layout and new header. Still a great big meh.

UPDATE TO THE UPDATE: newest header has possibility.

Friday, October 1, 2010

where you'll find us

Growing up we called it Mumford, which is the name of the town, and not the place.  Its really real name is the Genesee Country Village and Museum.  

What's here?
Living history.  Tradesmen (and women).
Farmers. Weavers. Dyers. Blacksmiths.
Potters. Brewers. Artists.  Artisans. Historians.
Educators. Volunteers. Employees.  And critters.

strips of tree waiting to become a basket
the blacksmith
wagon wheels

beautiful cobblestone
the cooper's shop.
a cooper makes barrels. i didn't know, either.
barrel rings
waiting for a fix
Wee Man and HB crunch an apple
Miss O took a costume... that's her on the far right.

This weekend is the annual 19th Century Agricultural Society Exhibition.  I entered bread and butter pickles, dill pickles and grape jam.  I can't wait to see the other offerings.  When we dropped my items off today, the cooper was entering some barrels, there were people with gorgeous cut flowers, baskets of produce, pies, breads, pottery... so many beautiful things!   The short people are most excited about the exhibition hall full of chickens (at least it will be warm and dry in there!)  

Check out their blog and fan them on the effbook.  Better yet? Stop by this weekend.  I'll be the mama with the apple green stroller and the kids you recognize.

Disclosure, not that I need it, but in case you're wondering:  we are members of the Genesee Country Village and Museum, and we bought our very own membership.  Miss O earned the money for her class by doing extra chores, picking strawberries and baking bread.  There is no compensation whatsoever involved in this post, we just really like it there and I think you should go there because it's flipping cool.  And I'm probably not going to win any of the food competition anyway, and if I do it has absolutely nothing to do with the blogging.  They didn't even know I had a blog until now (hi, GCVM!).