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Monthly Archives: July 2013

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So there I was, scrolling through my Facebook feed when I happened upon something that really jumped out at me.

Click on the picture to read the full article.

Click on the picture to read the full article.

I read the article and thought “What the hell…”, but I didn’t have much time to really digest what I’d read because I needed to feed O some peaches. As I sat there spooning the peaches into his mouth (and watching them mix with slobber and dribble down his chin), I thought about what I’d do if I couldn’t afford diapers. My first thought was of those poor babies… No one deserves to start life that way. I feel bad when O sleeps all night and wakes up with a seriously soggy diaper. I can’t imagine scraping poop off and re-using diapers. Just…no.

As it turns out, Aragon is far from alone. Thirty percent of the women interviewed for a new study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics said they’d experienced a time when they could not afford to buy the diapers their kids needed. And a full 8 percent reported that they would “stretch” the diapers they had when their supply was running short by leaving a wet diaper on their child or partially cleaning the diaper and reusing it.

Read more: http://www.mommyish.com/2013/07/30/new-study-shows-women-too-poor-to-afford-diapers/#ixzz2aZWHs4lf

Honestly, my gut reaction was to join the “If you can’t afford diapers, you shouldn’t have a baby” camp. Just like anything else, though, there are so many ways this could have happened that I just don’t think that’s a totally fair reaction.

-Suppose you are married, your husband is the breadwinner and you stay at home with the kids. Your husband is killed in a tragic accident and since he had no life insurance you’re up a creek, basically.

-OR you’re a single woman, working a decent job and managing to meet your child’s needs. The company you work for goes out of business, or you get downsized… Since you were living paycheck to paycheck you have nothing saved up.

– Go ahead and insert the stereotypical, ‘irresponsible people can’t take care of themselves, add baby to mix and shit goes downhill’ situation here. A lot of people are likely thinking it…I know I did, for a second.

The thing is, I just can’t figure out what to think about all of this except that it needs to be fixed. Like, now. I’ve been told that government programs (Like WIC) don’t supply diapers, only wipes. That doesn’t make a ton of sense to me… I get that wipes are cheaper but diapers are kind of a necessity (unless you’re one of those diaper-free people…and in that case, um…good luck).

I also think there are alternative options to disposable diapers that need to be considered. Are cloth diapers fun to deal with? I doubt it very much, but they’re far more budget friendly than diapers. Same thing with wipes…you could easily use a washcloth. Disposable diapers and wipes are very much a luxury, not the only option. If it came down to it, I have tee shirts that I would be willing to use to keep O’s butt dry.

But I guess this isn’t about what I would do, or what I think of the situation. This is about those babies…

I’m saying we need to figure this out.

What can be done to fix this? I’d like to know what my readers have to say. If you have any ideas, let me know in the comments!

 

 

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Fun fact: I’m a former 4-Her… I devoted ten of my precious summers to 4-H projects and Junior Leader meetings and outings. I won’t say I loved every minute of it, because there were definitely some arguments about what I’d rather be doing (goofing off with friends) versus what I needed to be doing (putting together my Photography poster), but for the most part I really enjoyed it.

The best part of being in 4-H was the fair. Once I got into Junior Leaders I spent a lot of time at the fairgrounds and I have loads of fond memories of fair week.

The BF and I are really excited for when O is old enough to be in 4-H. We were also pretty excited to take him to the fair for the first time…

Well, until we got there.

I don’t think it’s much of a secret in my community that our fair has gone downhill.  I can remember when we used to have a little carnival, with rides and games… Not anymore.  In fact, there isn’t much left to our fair except for the exhibit hall, barns and the arena. We grabbed a quick bite in the pork producers tent, then walked the grounds for a bit to chat with people we knew. I bought a small lemon shake-up and the BF got a giant chunk of chocolate covered cheesecake on a stick.

montgomery co fair food

L: Cheesecake. On a steek. Also, the bf’s rad Hawaiian shirt. R: Lemony goodness

We decided that we needed to do better for O’s first fair experience. I mean, even he looked bored the whole time we were there. Lucky for us, the very next week was the Putnam county fair.

Now that’s a fair, guys and gals.

No trip to the Putnam county fair is complete without a stop at the Legion burger stand. These are similar to White Castle sliders, but they don’t seem to pack the same…um…punch.

*toot*

legion burgers

L: The Legion burger stand at the Putnam county fair. R: Legion burgers!

I’m not ashamed to say that I polished off four of those puppies and I could have eaten more. Fair time is NOT a time to practice  eating in moderation.

After eating, we made our way to the carnival area. O got to ride the merry-go-round (with a little help from the BF) and he looked like such a big boy that I almost cried. We couldn’t leave without winning a stuffed animal, so O and the BF played a fishing game. O won a turtle because he’s awesome.

carnival

L: O’s first carnival ride (with Dad, ’cause mama would’ve barfed). R: The super cool turtle O won.

After a quick stop for some kettle corn (we ended up with the caramel apple flavor), we headed back to the car. On our way we had to stop at the truck pull for a few minutes to watch. I looked down to see O’s reaction as one truck was coming down the track, and the little guy was sound asleep. No amount of diesel pickup truck noise was going to wake him up!

truck pull

There goes a couple of polar bears…maybe a penguin…probably a baby seal or two. ‘MERICA!

We had a really nice time. My parents were with us (since my entire family is from Putnam county) and I know they really enjoyed being there.

It’s so amazing to watch my boy experience things for the first time, ever…and it’s also pretty great to see my parents as grandparents. When I got in bed that night, I know I drifted off to sleep with a smile on my face.

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I’m not very proud of this. In fact, I can’t even believe I’m going to write this post…But my blog is lacking in the food department since I’ve been banished from the kitchen (damned recovery). Still, I don’t consider this a recipe and I’m usually against cake mix. JUST SO YOU KNOW.

My mom told me about a cake she saw on Facebook… It contains a whopping two ingredients: Angel food cake mix and a 20 oz can of pineapple. I was skeptical, but I do like angel food cake and pineapple so I offered to taste-test for her. Oh, the things I do for those I love…

Anyway, she decided to make it this morning while I fed O his green beans. If you’re dying to make it, here’s how:

Start by pre-heating your oven to 350 degrees.

mixing

Mix one angel food cake mix and one 20 ounce can of pineapple. It foams, so use a bigger bowl than you think you need.

pour

Pour it into a greased 9 x 13 inch cake pan and bake for 30 minutes.

baked

We let it cool while we age lunch, then mom asked if I wanted a piece. Since my mother is the Sugar Nazi, there is apparently no icing. Still, I’m always up for a piece of cake…

finished cake

I’m sure the Facebook ‘recipe’ claimed this would be the best cake, like, ever in the history of cake. NOT SO MUCH. It was ok, and I will probably end up eating more of it because, cake…But it had a very different texture than what I was expecting. It also didn’t have the pineapple flavor that I thought it would…it was there, but in a pretty mild way. Mom used crushed pineapple, so there weren’t any giant chunks to bite into. That’s probably a good thing, given the weirdly dense texture.

So there you have it. Two ingredient ‘cake’ that is fairly decent.

Sandra Lee would be proud…and that makes me feel a bit ashamed.


When I mentioned that I wanted to do a Q&A post, I kind of expected to get a few repeat questions. I didn’t expect most of them to be pretty much the exact same question:

How did you lose the baby weight so fast?

I’m going to wait a while longer to do the Q&A post, but I felt like I should go ahead and devote a post to the issue of baby weight. The thing is, you can’t rush it. A lot of people will tell you that it took nine months to gain it all, so you should expect it to take a while to come off… And they’re right. Be patient with yourself. Eat well, get rest, and when you’re ready maybe get into some light exercising.

Don’t expect your body to snap back to what it was, either… You’re going to notice that some things are just different now. I had a c-section and then another surgery six months later, so I’ll always have a big ol’ gnarly scar that practically goes from one hip to the other. My boobs have also shrunk quite a bit. I’m not sure what size I am now, but it sure isn’t a C cup! If you have stretch marks or a little bit of floppy belly skin, don’t sweat it. You might be surprised at what will happen if you just give it some time. The way I see it, my body did a pretty great thing and my scar is proof of that. I’m not at all ashamed of how I look now, and you shouldn’t be either.

As far as losing weight, it’s perfectly natural to want to get back into your normal clothes and feel like your old self again. If you want to expedite that process I have one giant recommendation:

Breastfeeding.

Besides being the best thing you can do for your baby, breastfeeding is pretty great for mom as well. Check out this article from HealthyChildren.org for lots of good info. Did you read the part about burning 400-500 calories a day? Uh, yeah. Let me reiterate that: 400-500 calories a day.

So, you could circuit train, do one of these 30 Minute workouts, or you could try one of these cardio challenges…OR you could just feed your baby…for free, I might add.

I’m not saying you never need to work out, but in the beginning your focus should be with the baby and making sure to let your body heal, not “OH MY GOD I HAVE TO BE IN MY SKINNY JEANS A MONTH AFTER I SQUEEZE THIS KID OUT”. Anyone that tells you otherwise is an asshole.

So here’s the deal… Don’t feel pressured to get your pre-baby body back right away because chances are, it ain’t gonna happen anyway. I mean, you could get it back with expensive plastic surgery, but that’s a little ridiculous. You also don’t need a personal trainer, some wacky diet plan, diet pills, or whatever else those stupid ads on the right side of your Facebook newsfeed are peddling. Just breastfeed if you can, eat well, and remember that your body needs time to heal.

If you’re still not convinced…

November

The morning of my C-Section (in November). Please disregard the backwards writing…It was 3:00 A.M. and I was sleepy.

wpid-2013-07-03_06-42-22_316.jpg

The morning after my fibroid was removed, July 2nd. Yes, you’ve seen this picture before.

I weighed about 135 the day I found out I was knocked up and by the time I took that first pic I was up to about 165. When I took the second picture, I was at 130…Today I weigh about 126. With the exception of having the fibroid removed, all I did was eat a reasonably healthy diet (with a few treats here and there) and breastfeed**.

I hope that answers the baby weight questions… As far as the others, I will do a Q&A post as soon as I have a handful of different questions. We’re getting there…So if you have a question about anything, email it to me at willfullydisobedientblog (at) gmail (.) com.

**For my new readers…I wrote a post a while ago about exclusive pumping, which is how I had to do it. If you have a question about pumping that isn’t covered in that post, please send it my way!


When MTV got sick of your raunchy “Hey look, a hot blond with no brains and gas!” performance on Singled Out, you should have just dropped off of the radar. Unfortunately you went on to do a couple of tv shows, a few movies, and a lot of stuff for Playboy. Still you really didn’t find what I would consider legitimate fame… until your child was diagnosed with Autism. I think looking for someone to blame is a perfectly natural initial response when you get such potentially devastating news…But most people eventually get through that phase of grief. Not you! You found someone to blame, but that wasn’t good enough. You wanted everyone else to join your crusade against the evil villains.

Who are these villains?

Vaccines.

Disease-preventing, life saving vaccines and the people that administer them.

Bad modern medicine! Bad doctors! How dare you virtually eliminate polio, small pox, whooping cough…We’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore!

You were so mad you wrote a book (because Jen-X: Jenny McCarthy’s Open Book just wasn’t enough of your literary genius) about your “expert” opinions. I’ve never read it, but since you’ve had no medical training what-so-ever I would assume it goes something like this:

All of the babies lived in magical fairy land until one day the EVIL DOCTOR came to visit with his EVIL NEEDLES  full of EVIL DEATH SYRUP.  He stabbed the babies with his EVIL NEEDLES and suddenly the babies were Autistic. Well shit.

You went on any talk show that would take you, with this “OH, look how grown up I am now that I hate vaccines! No more farting on MTV or vajazzling my hoo ha for Playboy, I’m serious business!” attitude, wearing pantsuits and shit. The thing is, you just kept going…like, you’re still going.

And now The View has hired you. Like the American public really needs to be exposed to your batshit crazy rants against vaccines for an hour each weekday.

Not that I will be watching…but I certainly hope this is an extremely short-lived position for you.

                                                                                                                                                       Your friend*,

                                                                                                                                                                Ashlee

*No, not really

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Dear everyone else:

Think before you take anything Jenny McCarthy has to say seriously. Do you really want medical and childcare advise from this person?:

I rest my case.

*This post is in response to the Weekly Writing Challenge.*

 


If you remember this post, you’re probably thinking, “she’s tried this before and it didn’t go well…” You’re right, my first attempt at a chocolate mug cake was a disaster BUT it was because I didn’t have the right ingredients on hand.

Last night I was aimlessly scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed when I saw a status update from a friend. One that mentioned cake. Being slightly hungry but really mostly bored, I instantly wanted  desperately needed cake. Warm, moist chocolate cake with ice cream, to be exact. Since I made that birthday cake for the BF a few weeks ago, I had everything I needed to make a chocolate mug cake.

I found a recipe for a Two Minute Chocolate Mug Cake through a quick Swagbucks search and went to work. I didn’t have chocolate chips, so mine didn’t have any gooey fudge stuff in it. Still, it was a damn good cake for five minutes of work, including the two minute cook time.

Because I’m nice, I offered to share with the BF. Ok, also because there was too much cake in my mug and I needed room for ice cream. At least I’m honest.

choc mug cake2

choc mug cake

I know what you’re thinking… You’re thinking, “Hey, that looks good…but where’s the hot fudge?”

We didn’t have any.

I know.

BUT it was still pretty good! And now that I know it works, we may have chocolate cake every night! Not really.


Me: Um, babe…the gas light is on.

BF: …

Me: The gas light is on. *pointing*

BF: I see it.

Me: So…Shouldn’t we get gas?

BF: Naaaaahh… We can drive to Lafayette on that (about 30 miles).

Me: Nooooooo…Look, the needle is in the red. In. The. Red. The gas light has never come on in this car but I’m pretty sure that means we need to get gas immediately or we’re in dire straits.

BF (as he continues to drive in the opposite direction of a gas station): We’ll be fine! Hell, we could make it to Indy (60ish miles) on that! Well, Brownsburg (about 40 miles), at least…

Me: *angry face*

The BF merrily drove us home while I watched the gas gauge from the passenger seat, silently fuming because how dare he let my gas get that low.

The next morning, we got in the car and headed to my mom and dad’s house. No mention of stopping at a gas station and my gas gauge was still in the red. After he dropped me off I was convinced he’d run out of gas on the way back to our house.

That evening on the way home, I looked at the gas gauge and noticed that it now said I had half a tank.

Me: Thanks for putting gas in my car!

BF: We still could have gone to Lafayette on what you had.

Me (Digging through the glove box): Um, no. No we could not.

I located the owners manual and flipped to the section that covered fuel.

Me: OK. *reading aloud in an incredibly smug manner* When the gas light comes on and the instrument panel reads GET SOME DAMNED GAS (ok, not really what the manual said but close), your tank contains 1.6 gallons of fu…

BF: Hey…What’s the gas mileage on this thing?

Me: Shut up.

BF: Something like, 30 MPG highway, right?

Me: Not talking to you.

BF: So… With what we had yesterday…

Me: OK OK FINE YOU’RE RIGHT.

 

So there you have it, ladies and gents… Mark your calendars. I was mildly incorrect (did you think I was going to say I was wrong?) about something. I guess it had to happen once in my lifetime.

 

 


Today was my first post-op doctor appointment. I’ve been looking forward to it because I haven’t been out of the house much. Plus, I enjoy my doctor. She’s awesome.

If you’ve liked my page on Facebook, you probably saw the update regarding my rather poor clothing choice considering today’s weather. What can I say? I’ve never really been good at dressing appropriately for the conditions… I’m the same girl that wears flip-flops in winter, after all. Good news, though…We had one big storm that lasted about an hour and the rest of the day has been clear. Good thing my appointment was later in the afternoon!

At my appointment, I learned that Fred weighed almost three pounds. Now, I know that doesn’t sound all that impressive…But according to my doc, he was roughly the size of a 30-week pregnancy (O was born at 39 weeks). My doc and I both marvelled at the fact that my insurance company said my surgery was not medically necessary at first, forcing us to jump through hoops to prove it really was. The nurse that did most of the work to get it approved was there, and I offered to sing her Wind Beneath My Wings as a show of appreciation. She politely declined and left the room shaking her head. There was a smile on her face, though…one that said “Man, I totally wanted to hear her sing Wind Beneath My Wings”.

I told doc I had considered having the thing taxidermied so I could give it to O…And that a friend suggested I have it bronzed and made into a keychain. She thought both ideas were pretty funny, though we both agreed that having it on a keychain might do damage to my steering column.

Unfortunately, I still have a bunch of restrictions. I was kind of hoping she’d say I could do whatever I wanted since I’m such a good patient, but I guess having your gut cut open so a giant fibroid can be removed takes longer than a week to heal. I asked about the bruising, because I was afraid I had the binder* on too tight…She informed me that the bruising all around my incision was from trying to get Fred out…that she had to use forceps and still struggled quite a bit. She was determined, she said, not to have to cut me vertically.

She relented when I asked (ok, borderline begged) if I could please do some extremely light exercise…So now I’m allowed to go on a short walk once a day. I’m officially done with the antibiotics, so now I can start working to re-build my supply to get O off of formula. Hooray!

***

Thanks to everyone that sent me a question for my upcoming Q&A post! If you have a question for me, send it to willfullydisobedientblog (at) gmail (.) com.

I did get a couple of questions about the binder I have referred to a couple of times… So I’ll just address that here:

wpid-2013-07-05_18-46-16_288.jpg

An abdominal binder is used after you have a baby to kind of help things go back to where they’re supposed to be. I had one after I had O and loved it… I asked for one this time to help with the swelling, as well as to maintain pressure and support for my incision.


Becoming a parent for the first time is a bit overwhelming… You’ve got so many things to think about and (try to) plan for, plenty to worry about, and to top it off you have a lot of stuff to buy. Well, that’s what everyone tells you, anyway. I had a lot of people telling me that I just had to have a wipe warmer, or that I wouldn’t be able to live without a changing table. It turns out that you don’t really need a lot to take care of a baby.

Here are 15 products that made my life a little easier during this almost eight-month (whaaaaa?! I can hardly believe it either) sink-or-swim introduction to parenting:

1. Gerber First Essentials Bottles

 These come in both 5oz and 9oz sizes. They’re inexpensive and work better than the pricier bottles we tried…And believe me, we tried a lot of bottles! Dr. Brown, Tommee Tippee, Playtex… Plus, it’s no big deal if you have to replace a couple that you’ve misplaced. Bonus: They fit my pump, so less stuff to wash. Hooray!

2. Boon drying rack

boon I love this thing. It’ll hold just about anything you want to let air-dry…Spoons, toys, pump parts… It isn’t dishwasher safe, but all you have to do is wash it in hot soapy water. There are two sizes, Grass and Lawn. If you’re limited on counter space, go for Grass. Munchkin also makes a good drying rack that’s a bit cheaper.

3. The Boppy Pillow

If you’re breastfeeding, this is wonderful! In the early days of trying to get O on the boob, I used this thing to keep him off of my c-section incision. Once I started pumping, I would occasionally set O down in the pillow next to me and feed him while I pumped (I still held the bottle, I just couldn’t hold O). Now, it’s O’s napping pillow. When he’s sleepy, he’ll crawl up to it and put himself to sleep snuggling his blanket. I love this pillow. You can find less expensive versions but I can’t vouch for them. I would consider getting the water-proof cover, also.

4. Ameda Purely Yours breast pump

Speaking of breast feeding…As I mentioned in this post, I had to start pumping exclusively when O wouldn’t latch. If you have to pump at all, do yourself a favor and go the double electric route.

5. The Bumbo Seat

bumbo I loved the Bumbo seat…as long as you SUPERVISE YOUR CHILD and don’t put him or her on a high surface while using it, you will too. O’s legs got too chunky to fit into the leg holes, but by then he’d figured out how to sit up so all was well.

6. Medela Quick Clean Micro-Steam bagsquick clean

I think I got two boxes of these at my baby shower and I have yet to crack open the second box. You can use each bag up to 20 times, so they last for a long, long time.

7. Sophie la Giraffe

O LOVES his Sophie. You might want to get two, just in case you accidentally kill her squeaker by submerging her in water. Oops.

8. Summer Infant Day and Night Video Monitor

monitorSeriously, best thing ever. It even has night vision. Night vision, y’all.

9. The First Years Take & Toss infant spoons

takeandtossWe’ve tried a number of different spoons and these are by far my favorite. The bright colors make them easy to find if one ends up at the bottom of your diaper bag, they’re sturdy, and O took to them better than the other spoons we tried. They’re really inexpensive, so if you lose one it’s really no big deal.

10. North States Superyard Play Yard

Also known as the Sanity Saver 5,000. Baby proofing done in one easy step. You can also buy a door panel if you don’t want to hike a leg to get over the thing… Nice for short people like me.

11. Eddie Bauer Wood High Chair

Ok, I feel a little pretentious even mentioning the high chair… But the thing is sturdy. My kid already thinks it’s hilarious to beat the hell out of it with his fists, and he really enjoys slamming his heels into it. I fear a cheaper high chair would’ve already been broken. If the boy would only contain his squash puree smears to the lift-out tray, life would be perfect.

12. Cloth Diapers

 Before you ask, NO. These don’t go anywhere near my kid’s bottom… But they come in handy for just about everything else. Most of them are lint-free, so when you no longer need them for the baby you could use them as cleaning rags.

13. Munchkin Dishwasher Basket

basket

If you have a dishwasher, these baskets are lifesavers. No more losing various bottle and sippy cup parts whenever you wash a load… They all stay neatly contained. I actually have two of the kind pictured because I needed more room, but you can find different sizes or expandable baskets.

14. Bouncy seat

jumperoo

I’m not sure what the proper term for this is…But I do know that my boy LOVES this thing. We have one similar to the Fisher-Price jumperoo pictured above. I don’t let him spend a lot of time in it, but he loves to bounce while I’m cooking dinner or cleaning.

Obviously this is not an exhaustive list. I’m sure I’ll continue to think of things that made life easier for me…So perhaps this post is of the To Be Continued… type.

To make it easy, clicking on each picture will take you to Amazon, where you can get an idea of the price or even order the items. I didn’t purchase any of these items from Amazon, but I think I found some of them at better prices for you. I’m a giver.

Did I forget anything? What baby products made your life easier?

***

I’m thinking of doing a Question and Answer post in the near future. A couple of readers emailed questions about pumping, so I’ll answer those as well as any other questions I get. If there’s anything you want to know about me, or if you desperately need advice on a topic, or if you can’t make up your mind between that cute pair of stilettos or a new purse… Shoot me an email at willfullydisobedientblog (at) gmail (.) com.

Once I get a handful of questions I’ll  post the answers. I think it will be fun!


Yesterday I reached the summit of boredom when both the BF and O decided to nap. The house was alarmingly quiet and I couldn’t decide what to do with myself.

I realized it was time to take my meds and I’m supposed to take them with food. Chicken In A Biscuit and Easy Cheese? Don’t mind if I do!

In the middle of my feast, the BF wandered downstairs to pee…and almost caught me squirting the cheese directly into my mouth.  I froze, using the Jurassic Park don’t-move-and-he-can’t-see-you logic. Good thing he was mostly still asleep, because I think it worked.

Once he’d made his way back upstairs, I put the Easy Cheese up and shuffled into the bathroom. I don’t know what I was looking for as I stood there poking through the medicine cabinet, but I managed to discover this:

image

I remembered buying it the week before my surgery, but I had completely forgotten about it. Excited to have something to do, I ripped it open and smeared it all over my face.

image

After scrubbing it off, I was surprised at how good my skin looked. This stuff was pretty cheap (around $2.00 and I had enough left over for another mask) and it worked like a dream. Next time I’m in CVS I’m buying a full size container for sure.

Of course, I can’t leave well enough alone so I immediately stuck a couple of pore strips on my face. They sucked even more gunk out of my face. I’m not surprised, since I’ve been fairly lazy about my skincare routine lately.

I managed to finish everything before the BF came back downstairs, so he still gets to have the illusion that I just naturally have beautiful skin.

He was a little sad that I’d polished off the rest of the Chicken in a Biscuit crackers. I tried to blame it on O, but I think he knew…



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