Friday, July 8, 2011

Dumb things we hate to hear when pregnant.....

So in light of being pregnant and obviously annoyed at many of the uneducated comments and remarks…..I decided to blog about stupid things people say to pregnant people. I mean really, if you are a woman and have had a baby you’ve possibly had (I wanna be a know it all and say that YOU HAVE HAD) someone say SOMETHING stupid and offensive to you. So here we go:
“When are you due?” In due season…I’m not a library book! Truly this question begins to annoy me at the end…..

“Were you big before?” B L A N K S T A R E…….

“Have you noticed your butt has gotten bigger?” No I stopped taking showers and bathing once I found out we were expecting…..S M H

“You are in for a lot of work…” Anything worth having is worth working for…..blech!

“Are you excited?!” No! (With a big ole kool-aid smile rubbing my belly lovingly)

“Triplets?” Once I bite your head off…yep!

“So this is number 4? Whew braaaave woman…” No whoever did you are brave….(forgive me Lord….)

“So is this your last one?” Why, is my name on your dependents list?

“Are you sure they didn’t leave one in there?” Are you sure you haven’t heard of postpartum rage?!

“You don’t know what it is?! I HAVE to know!” B L A N K S T A R E I thought this was about me…..sigh.

“You have all boys? I bet you hope it’s a girl this time!” No I was hoping for an octopus!

“Are you pregnant?” That’s it….!!!!! (pulls out gun)

“You’re getting your tubes tied after this?!” Wait…..did WE make this baby together?! Really….

“OOOOHHH!!! I know what you been doing!!!” (blushing)Thanks I enjoy it very much….just finished before we walked in here!

“Are you pregnant…or did you just have one?!” Looking at my other kids aged 7, 4, & 2…..sigh…really…

“Every time I see you, you’re pregnant…” Well now that you know what to expect, shut up.

“It’s hard being a single mom isn’t it?” My husband walks up with our other seven well behaved offspring. It’s hard being a parent P E R I O D!!!!!

“You look uncomfortable…you look like you are about to explode…You look so tired…you must not be able to sleep with that belly…” B L A N K S T A R E…..waiting for an opportunity to talk…

“Just wait……..” No you just wait til I waddle my behind over there….

“How are yall going to afford another child?” Since you brought it up, I need about…….

Well I could keep going…I hope you add some in the comments and add a lil punchline too!!! God knows I need it. Also, a very special “send my heart out to” two friends who had stillbirths and were treated with ill regard and respect by the medical community and even “us.” I truly CAN imagine, only imagine the pain you must have experienced….Love you both so much!!!

OK so remember these next time you see a life carrier……

Monday, March 14, 2011

Breastfeeding in Ghana

Welcome Carnival of Breastfeeding Readers!!!

This past summer I had the opportunity to travel with my family to Ghana, West Africa. This was a missions opportunity; my very first and my husband’s second. We were deeply committed to taking our children so that they could experience “being” in another country. I had always heard the stories of women “whipping” them out, not caring “…where they were…”, and etc etc etc. I frankly prided myself,

to a degree I suppose, on being a “good” breast feeder. Meaning I covered myself, ran to my car to feed my baby, or found some “safe” place to go feed them. But boy did I turn baaaaaad in Africa! I learned so much from Ghanian women. The women carry themselves with such grace, strength, & confidence. They are symbols of beauty. They are symbols of humility. They are women of innocence. They are women of courage. They are women of love. They are women of creativity. They are women who pull their boobs out IN PUBLIC and feed their babies!
I felt so stupid when I first saw a mom breastfeeding while sitting on the streets outside of the airport. I looked away, like “Oh, shoot! Sorry.” But she smiled at me. She held her head high; she looked down at her baby and stroked its cheek. She NEVER covered herself! She never covered her baby! She never rushed her baby! All while the police were right there outside of the airport. I kept watching her from afar. This intrigued me! She wasn’t exposing her breasts! She was feeding her baby! Everywhere I looked as we were in the city on the way to village, were babies on backs; babies on breasts. It was never ending. Mom’s with big babies, little babies, in between babies, and obviously preschool babies on breast or sitting at mom’s feet. Babies tied in the front with free access to breasts, while mom cleans, makes a sale, or does hair.
As we had church services, pastor’s wives sitting on front rows pulling out breasts feeding their babies. Ushers sitting down to feed babies; women praising God while feeding babies! Never once covering themselves; never once covering their babies; never once going to the back of the church or leaving. They were just feeding their babies!
Finally it happened….my little milkie baby wanted to eat…..IN PUBLIC! I was frantic! Not because of what people would say, because I KNEW I’d whip it out! But because I didn’t know what my husband would think. He was bringing the message this particular day. It was hot…..VEEEERY hot! I was thirsty. I was sweating. My babies were thirsty. They were sweating. We had one bottle of water to go around. She was having a fit! She wanted some milkies!!! I tried to offer her some water; but she refused. I looked at daddy in the pulpit and he KNEW. He mouthed to me “go ahead and feed her…” Oh boy was I excited! I get to experience PUBLIC breastfeeding! I unbuttoned my shirt, pulled out my breast; she latched on and melted in my arms. I was so happy! I felt so free! I WAS PUBLIC BREASTFEEDING! Then for a moment, a voice rose up and said “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! Put a cover over that baby!” It was her THE AMERICAN SHLONDA…. I quickly reached for something and covered myself and my milkie baby. It wasn’t long before she was nursing and angry! I looked at her and she was pouring in sweat!! I looked around and all of the women were looking at me (I just haaaad to sit in the front right?!). They were frowning like I did something wrong! They just kept staring; whispering to one another. They didn’t understand what I was doing. They were worried about my baby. They saw her under a cover…in HOT weather…sweating….wanting to eat. I felt bad, then. What was I doing?! It was my baby….EATING! It felt so right to be able to sit, where I was and feed her. She was happy….kicking her little feet…rubbing her milkies, LOL! I was soon that mother I saw my first half hour in Africa…..confident, head held high, looking at my baby, & stroking her cheek. I had arrived ignorant; departed as a Re-educated AFRICAN-American…..

Check out these other Carnival of Breastfeeding Posts:
Lan: Race & Breastfeeding
Why we need more Lactation Consultants of color
Breastfeeding & Race South Africa

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Things we do to save money....

I decided to blog this time on what Eric & I do to save money. I don’t think we are as “there” as we’d like to be, but we are doing pretty good to be young and “new” at this thing. Besides I have had a couple of friends ask me what we do and ask for pointers. So here we go….these are in no particular order or anything just adding them as I think of them.
1) I make my own laundry detergent. When I did the math of how much laundry detergent we used, based on the brand we were using, and having a new baby we are saving about $500 a year by doing this.
2) I breastfeed my babies. Uuuummm I’m not even gonna get into the cost of Similac and all of that. You can have that! Besides the tremendous savings that we experience, we help out fellow hard working brothers and sisters by sparing their tax dollars to support WIC. I know a couple of people may be mad reading this but I have a problem with the program in that it gives women vouchers for formula and doesn’t encourage them enough to breastfeed! Breastfeeding has tremendous benefits to both the mother and baby that I won’t go into here, but this program is a robber; not a giver or helper. It robs women of their God given abilities….women & babies suffer and lack bonding and the healthiest nutrition. Moooooving on!!
3) We cloth diaper. This one isn’t hard at all! Not as hard as I thought it would be. Eric was actually the one who WANTED to cloth diaper. He kept tell ME the benefits and all….but all I could see was those old fashion ones that my grandma used to pull out every now and then and was like “…uuummm, No!” One day we had a midwife appointment and we left our son’s diaper bag at home. At the appointment the midwife mentioned that she sold cloth diapers, so I bought one really with the idea that I’d never use it again. I was first amazed at how cute the diaper was! How soft it was! How colorful it was! I began to research cloth diapering and before long I started with the same ole fashions ones like grandma. We couldn’t afford the really nice ones like I wanted. I started with cloth diapering during the day and sposies at night. For tax season, Eric let me make a “small” investment and we ordered some prefolds and covers; later on he let me order more all in one’s. So now here we are with over 50 diapers and never bought one pack of diapers for our baby girl, who is 21 months.
4) We drive older vehicles. Eric and I like newer cars. We love them in fact…..but the cost of having them just ain’t worth it to us. We have a 1999 mini -van, a 1996 Honda, and a 2002 Nissan. We are praying about selling the Nissan within the next couple of months or trading it in for an older but newer than ’99 family vehicle or possibly just getting rid of it and having 2 vehicles for now.
5) We limit our eating out. Every now and then we hit a desperate season and eat out entirely too much. We praise God that he has given us wisdom to use coupons or hit places with specials when we have to eat out, for example: Subway, Zaxbys, Souper Salads. We go when kids eat free, or by one entrée get one free, or buy 4 for $20 specials.
6) We budget. I personally cannot believe how budgeting has saved us money! When Eric first suggested it I was a non-believer and was NOT having it! After talking to so many inspiring friends I realized that they all budgeted! I felt all left out! The first probably 4 to maybe 6 months were so hard. I mean I literally wanted to cry! You mean there is no more eating out for the MONTH?! Its like the 10th! How will we survive?! LOL! I was very dramatic and I admit that. During these times the Lord helped me be more creative in meal prep & planning. I started freezer cooking; changing our meals to more “fun” things like “make your own pizza” and things like that. I had to also start getting things like chicken fingers, chicken nuggets, keeping sloppy joe mix & ground turkey and we just started having fun.
7) I coupon. My last grocery receipt for the year 2010 showed that I saved over $400 last year at Kroger. Now that is NOTHING because I know that I didn’t really start couponing seriously until maybe August or September.
8) I stockpile shop. When I see things on sale that we use, I buy it and I buy lots of it. I could seriously stop buying deodorant, toothpaste, & toilet tissue for a couple of months and we’d be just fine. When I see things that we eat for sale, I load up and I have a pantry area that is designated for stockpile. We have a deep freezer so when pizzas, chicken nuggets, bread, veggies go on sale I load up on them and fill up the freezer.
9) I buy a majority of the kids clothes out of season. Doing this I save tons! I can get my boys a nice pair of shorts in the winter for sometimes $.98 at Target! I have gotten my preschooler jogging suit sets for $3.98 a piece at Target before. Last year in the spring I walked into Walmart and they had coats…winter coast on mark down for $1.50 each!! Not only did I get my kids one but I bought others to give out to other babies and kids that I knew who were less fortunate.
10) We keep our thermostat low. This one is hard for me! I just hate cold weather! In the warm months we try not to turn on our air until July if at all possible. We put on a lot of clothes in the cooler months and we let up windows and enjoy popsicles in the warm months!
11) I wash clothes on the cold cycle. Yes I believe this saves me money! I don’t even have the hot water hooked up to the machine. I have found that my clothes come out just as clean, yay!!!
Well this is just a few don’t want to bore anyone. I have lots of “things” I want to do to maximize our savings like make our own soap and deodorant…I would love to learn how to sew! I would love to plant a garden with lots of summer veggies in it to freeze for the winter and of course enjoy during the summer! So what about you? Do I do anything you do? What do you do? Can you suggest anything more to me to do? How could I help you make the first step to saving more money? Can’t wait to hear from yall!!