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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

I'm Back

My poor, neglected blog.  Things started out so promising, then life got crazy and I kind of forgot about blogging.  I'm back, though, and really inspired to do more writing!

What have I been doing, you may ask?  Well, my first born is now 3 1/2 and his little brother is 2.  Yes, it's really been that long since I posted anything here.  I am still working part time as a massage therapist, but I am also just beginning to homeschool my kiddos, so you can expect lots of posts about that adventure.

My other passion is bodybuilding.  I am definitely not a pro, but it is something that I have done for years and I absolutely love.  If it's not your thing, that's fine.  If you think that chicks with muscles are "ugly", "mannish", or "gross" that's fine, too.  I just don't wanna hear about it ;)    Anyway, after 2 kids, no sleep, lots of weight gain/loss and some really poor food choices, I am back at it!

So, to sum up, you can expect the usual posts about food, home, kids, as well as new stuff about homeschooling, bodybuilding and whatever other random stuff I feel inclined to write about.  For now, I have to go help my firstborn build a sidewalk in his sandbox, then teach him some more about cows.  See ya later!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Downside of Breastfeeding

It's 1:26 a.m. And I'm just crawling back into my nice, warm comfy bed. My husband is snoring away contentedly next to me, and my warm, fuzzy puppy is snuggled up by my feet. What could have possibly torn me from this warm, cozy snugglefest?

A crying baby.

At 13 months he almost always sleeps through the night, but occasionally he wakes up and it's my job as Nursing Mommy to go and take care of him. It's not a big deal. After all, I'm used to it. I'm also used to never being able to sleep in anymore. You see, as Nursing Mommy sleeping in is simply not an option. When the baby wakes up hungry it is your job to feed him.

Don't get me wrong though, I'm not complaining. I chose to breastfeed my son and I don't regret it for an instant. However, there are times when it would be nice to get a break and let someone else get up with him in the middle of the night. Particularly in those first few months when your baby is eating every 2 to 3 hours. This means that you only get to sleep for 2 to 3 hours at a time. It can start to make you a bit loopy.

Sometimes I envy those mothers who can trade shifts with their husbands. I get up this time, you get up the next time. We tried it, but it just never worked for us. My husband had great intentions, but he just couldn't offer what the little guy needed. Any time he went in to comfort our crying son it would only be a matter of minutes before my husband would come in to the room and announce "Mom! Boob! Now!" and I would have to get up and feed the little guy after all.

In answer to your next question, yes, we did try bottles. I would pump several times a day so there was always a bottle available. This never really worked for us either. Allow me to present you with a scenario: I would be sleeping, my husband would be up playing World of Warcraft. The baby would cry, so of course I was instantly awake. My husband would say, "It's OK, I'll get him." and I would try to fall back to sleep. Unfortunately, he would then have to heat up a bottle, which meant that the poor baby would be starving and crying for 5 more minutes. Meanwhile, I'm lying in bed wide awake thinking that it maybe would have just been easier for me to get up in the first place. Finally the bottle is warm and the baby is fed. He then falls back into a peaceful sleep. As I am about to do the same my body decides that I really should have gotten up and fed that baby in the first place. My boobs start leaking. Great. The only solution is to either feed the baby (too late) or get up and pump. So, I drag my ass out of bed and throw on my robe, get my pump, grab a bottle and sit down to drain the boobs. This takes about 20 minutes. By the time I crawl back into bed my husband is already snoring away. If I would have just gotten up to feed the baby to begin with then I could be sleeping already.

So, middle of the night feedings have always been my job. Again, I really don't mind. Usually the baby and I are only up for 15 or 20 minutes and then we both get to go right back to sleep. Lately, I've actually been enjoying when my little dude wakes me up in the middle of the night. Several nights a week I work late and don't get to put him to bed, so it's a few more minutes of quality time with him. To tell the truth, he doesn't even eat that much at his late night feedings. Sometimes he doesn't want boob at all, he just wants to snuggle. Sometimes I think he just wants that comfort that only Mom's Boobs can offer. He's self weaning now, so we don't have a lot more time like that ahead of us. So, for now I look forward to the inconvenience of being awoken in the middle of the night to spend some precious Mommy and baby snuggle time with my little guy. If this is the downside of breastfeeding then I'll take it.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Porktropolis!



I'll admit, I'm a Foodie. I'm also a bit of a food snob. I love good food. Any good food. And I'll eat just about anything. However, like most Foodies, I have a soft spot for pork products. How can you go wrong? From bacon, to chops to fried pork rinds I love it all. That's why I was so excited when I saw that there was a new BBQ joint opening up just down the road. I had to try Porktropolis for the name alone.
When my friend Don over at Mad City Eats mentioned that he would like me to contribute a guest review of the new pork house, I jumped at the chance. Check out my review here, and check out Porktropolis if you are in the Sun Prairie area!

As a side note, the Chocolate Bacon has been Pregnant Chick Approved by 2 independent sources.  Enjoy!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Perfect Gift



My mom has a giraffe.
My nephew has a tiger.
My niece has a polar bear.
A close friend has a beautiful gray wolf.

I have my very own star.

These are just some of the cool gift ideas for the person on your list who has everything.

My mom is infamously hard to shop for. Every year I ask what she wants, and every year I get the same response: "You know what I could really use? A new wind sock." Or some variation of that answer. I like to give thoughtful, distinctive gifts. Something that shows you were really thinking of that person and wanted to get them something special and memorable. A wind sock, though lovely and decorative, doesn't quite fit the bill.

A couple of years ago I had the idea to sponsor an animal at our local zoo. Henry Vilas Zoo is a small, free zoo in Madison, Wisconsin. It survives completely on donations. Through their website you can sponsor an animal. They have several different animals to choose from (it changes periodically) and it makes a neat gift. Mom got a lovely photo of "her" giraffe along with a certificate, information about her giraffe and a stuffed animal. (That I'm pretty sure became a dog toy. Everyone wins!) A lot of zoos offer this kind of program. Check around to see if you can sponsor an animal at your local zoo.

Inspired by the success of this endeavor, I decided that I would do something similar for other people on my list who are notoriously hard to shop for. Since my brother's kids aren't close to the Vilas Zoo, I explored some other options. The World Wildlife Fund Has a great program for "adopting" animals.

WWF has a huge selection of animals to choose from. For as little as $25 you can adopt an animal and get a neat adoption certificate, photo and a species info card. If you spend a bit more you get a plush animal, a gift bag, a framed certificate...you can spend up to $100 and get a really neat, personal gift.

My husband may be getting a Platypus this year, in an effort to help him overcome his fear of them. But that's another story.

There are other organizations that offer animal adoption programs as well. Or, how about a gift membership to the International Wolf Center?

Or adopt and feed a cat at the Wisconsin Big Cat Rescue.

Have someone on your list who just isn't into animals? Why not get them something a bit more "out there" and have a star named after them. Years ago I received my own star as a gift from the International Star Registry. It's still one of the coolest gifts ever. I have a framed certificate and a map showing me how to locate my star (I think I need a better telescope then what I have available, but it's out there, and it has my name on it!)

There are a lot of other options available as well, just do a little looking around. Most of the places that I have worked with in the past have gifts starting at around $25, so you don't have to break the bank to get a very cool, unique gift.

I'm off to see about adopting that venomous platypus. Perhaps even a Jedi platypus with a lightsaber.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Best Halloween Costume Ever

I love Halloween. Every year I try to come up with a really fun, unique costume. Since this is my first Halloween with a baby, I knew my costume would have to be even more special and memorable. I also knew that I would be carrying my little dude, so I had to find a way to incorporate that into my costume.
After a chat with my brother-in-law I realized what the perfect costume would be.

King Kong.


The actual monkey part of the costume was easy. I just bought a monkey costume. There are gorilla baby costumes out there, but the ones I found were just too pricey. I think I ended up spending $12 on the little monkey costume from Target. Done.

The Empire State Building part was a bit more work.

I started out with 2 shipping boxes. I made sure that the largest one fit snugly on my head, so it wouldn't move around too much. Then I added a Kleenex box and a toothpaste box. The embellishments on the top are just cut out bits of a Count Chocula cereal box. I glued everything together, cut out a hole for my face and started spray painting. After that it was just a matter of a cheap toy airplane from the dollar store, a plastic underwire from the notions department (to attach the airplane to the top of the building) and lots and lots of electrical tape.



My husband even had to try on the costume.


Our King Kong costume turned out better than I had hoped and we have had a lot of fun with it.