Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy Birthday, Baby!

Happy Birthday, Bug.  I love you more than words will ever be able to express.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Review: GoGreen Pocket Diapers

So, I have had the pleasure of reviewing a pocket diaper from GoGreen Pocket Diapers.  Before I go much further, I will say that this is a sponsored review in that I asked if I could review them, and was sent a diaper for free.

Now that the disclaimer is out of the way, I want to tell you guys that this is really a nice little diaper!

I was sent a diaper and an insert in the "Twinkle Tush" design shown above.  (I don't have my own pics, so the ones to follow are from the website.)

Leah, the owner, is also an accidental mommy and was very recently a student, as well. I like to support family owned businesses, and also like to know a bit about the method behind the madness.  I inquired as to whether or not Leah had designed these herself, or if she had found a manufacturer she loved, and she responded with the following:

Somehow I ended up with a great connection to the factory that makes the diapers. I had bought some for my 3 kids (all in diapers) because I thought they were really pretty, and they kicked a@$. The ones I started using over a year ago still look/work new, and that is in contrast to some bad experience I had with the quality of my happy heinys. Subsequently, I developed a borderline unhealthy obsession with the diapers, and after saturating all of my friends' diaper needs, I had to find a way to get my fix :-) This whole thing is only a couple weeks old, and (since I can now make really large orders since it appears there is a market) the factory is putting our logo on the diapers of our specifications and working with us to develop our own inexpensive accessories (pail liners, wipes, etc). I hope to get to help design the fabric prints, I haven't asked about it yet but I have to take it one step at a time (language barrier and opposite time zone make efficient communication difficult). Basically, there is an awesome quality product that was out there and for some reason no one had access to it. Also, there is virtually nothing in terms of pocket cds under ~$20 and that's not fair.  End rant. Thanks for asking!

Customer service was remarkable, with lightening-fast shipping.

As with all diapers, they need to be prepped before wear.  There's a thousand and one different methods for this, but mine is a quick dunk in water heated to a boil on the stove, and then two washings.  Since I was doing diaper laundry that day anyway, I just tossed it in to wash with the rest of the diapers.

The construction is solid, the PUL is consistent, and YOWSA are they trim!

I put this diaper through hell, friends, and let me tell you... it held up beautifully.  I even forgot it in the car for a couple of days, and it cleaned up beautifully.  Can't say that with all pockets.

I really feel that these are better than the Happy Heineys and Bum Genius I've used.  They're comparable to Haute Pockets as far as bulk goes, and better constructed than all of the above.  The inside is a decadent sherpa that I just kinda want to roll in.

My only cons are these:  No crossover snaps.  For a one size diaper, I really like to be able to cross over when necessary.  The insert could use to be another couple of layers, but that's trivial.  That could be solved with a doubler without adding too much additional bulk.  I am emailing Leah to find out if a doubler will be in the works for purchase, or if she can request that the liner be a bit more absorbent.

Overall?  For under ten dollars, this diaper blows all the other pockets out of the water.  Nine out of ten stars from me!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Welcome to Florida in the fall!

A lot of people will say that we have no real season changes here - just moving from really hot to less hot - but that's not true.  Most years.

This year brings a very definite turn in seasons, and true to subtropical climates, it's very rapid. 

With it comes the standard round of illnesses - colds, coughs, sinus infections... Autumn Agues.

Oh, woe... what to do with sicky babies and sickie kids?

Well, do what I do - kick 'em outside to play the snot away, and then bring them back in and feed them well.

It is now well-known that it is not the weather itself that causes illness, but rather the effects of the body's adaptation to changes in temperature and atmospheric pressure that wreak havoc on all systems, including our immune system.

One of the best ways to assist the body in fighting back and retaining its strength during these adaptations is to feed it well.  This is particularly important for children, since their immunities are still forming and their metabolisms are lightening fast.

A very simple, tasty, nutritious meal is a thick stew, or pottage.  I like to make pottage with meat, but vegetarians and vegans shouldn't depair, since it's equally as tasty and nutritious without.  Here's a rough recipe... please keep in mind that I'm one of those cooks that doesn't measure, but rather goes on instinct.  If in doubt, always use less.  More can be added, but little can be removed without starting all over.  Additionally, don't be afraid to adapt or stray, or to tailor to the tastes of your family.  If you dislike one of my ingredients, don't despair about it.  Just change it up a bit!  Most importantly, enjoy yourself.  Enjoy prepping and cooking, and savor the meal.  It does equally as much for your spirit as it does for your health.

Beef Pottage ala Accidentally Mommy
  • Beef for stew, well marbled***
  • Beef broth, consomme, boullion or stock (I love love love "Better than boullion" concentrate.)***
  • Root veggies of your choosing - potatoes, turnips, carrots, yams - anything works, really.
  • One or two good sized onions
  • Garlic.  I like a LOT of garlic - but that's your choice, really.
  • Celery
  • Butter***
  • Flour***
  • Seasoning - my usual defaults are sea salt, ground mixed pepper (pink, black, white peppercorns,) ground rosemary, a dash of parsley, a sprinkle of herbs de provence mix, and sometimes a little paprika and turmeric, if I'm using lamb, venison or rabbit, or if I'm making it vegetarian with seitan, TVP or tofu.
Chop your veggies and toss them into the pot, covering them with your liquid of choice. This includes your onions, but not your garlic.

Put a dollop of butter in a pan, and brown the stew meat with your garlic and your seasonings.  I like to get it really brown, so that I can deglaze the pan later with either broth or red wine.  You could use olive oil here, but I feel it imparts a flavor that doesn't mesh so well with the rest of the ingredients. 

Deglaze the pan if you so wish, and add that to the pot, along with the meat and garlic.

Cover and let simmer for as long as you want.  Depending on the thickness of your veggies, it could take as little as 45 minutes or as long as two hours.  You can go even longer, if you'd like.  Just make sure your root veggies are at least fork done before moving on to the next step.

So now that the veggies are done, you're going to make a medium roux.  The trick to a good roux is making sure you're using equal amounts of fat and flour, and that your fat is a high-quality fat.  I use salted butter, full-cream spring butter, if I can.  If not, the best butter you can find/afford will work.  Hell, whatever you have on hand will work, too.  Melt the amount of butter you're using (say, 1/2 cup,) over low heat.  Slowly whisk in 1/2 cup of flour to the melted butter.  Keeping it on low heat, whisk constantly until mixture begins to turn a light tan color.  Then do it some more.  You're looking to get a pretty, rich carmel color and smooth texture.  Whatever you do, DO NOT turn the heat up, and DO NOT stop whisking!  You will burn the roux, and it will smell awful.

Once you achieve that golden carmel color, incorporate it into your pottage/stew.  I use the whisk to whisk it into the top layer of the stew, and then a long-handled wooden spoon to mix it the rest of the way.

Experiment, have fun, and eat up!

*** Better than Boullion makes an awesome veg*n veggie and a mushroom base.  TVP, Seitan, Tofu... use whatever you prefer to sub the beef.  If you're veg*n, use a corn starch slurry to thicken instead of roux.  (To make slurry, add cornstarch to cold water and whisk.  Gently temper in mixture to pottage, taking care to make sure you mix as you incorporate.)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The one where she gets all teary...

My baby starts kindergarten in the morning. I am busily gathering together the last minute necessities - re-packaging her peaches so she can open them up, chilling her apple juice, making sure her jacket and backpack and lunch box are labeled, jotting down the things I need to remind her teacher of when I meet her tomorrow.

I can't believe she's this old. I can't believe five years has gone by so quickly. My beautiful baby has morphed into my beautiful little girl, and in the next blink of my eyes she will be my beautiful big girl and eventually my beautiful adult daughter.

I don't want the time to go. I want to hold her close to me while she's still small enough to fit on my lap, and whisper in her ear for ever how much I love her more than life. I want to always keep her safe in the same way I did when she was tucked away inside of me, nurtured by the very essence of my being.

I can't, though. I must put away my tears and nostalgia and my fear of change and instead dust off my confident smile. I must soothe her trepidations with assurances that I will be there the moment the bell rings to scoop her into my arms and tell her how proud I am of her for being herself.

I don't want her to go.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Saturday Satisfaction: Questions for my readers!

So, I'd like to get to know you guys.  There's 64 of you who think that I write well enough/interestingly enough that you publicly follow me, and often comment.

Do you have kids?  Are they yours biologically?  Were they planned or unplanned?  For those of you who are new, I'll answer my own questions.

I have two children.  Kinder Major is five and will start kindergarten in a week.  Bug just turned nine months.  Both of them are my biological children.  I have not ever had step children or adopted children, nor have I had foster kids.  Someday, I'll be happy to welcome any of the three.  Kinder Major and Bug were surprise babies.  I was on birth control (perfect use,) with both of them.  Kinder Major is a DepoProvera baby, and Bug is an Ortho Tri-Cyclen baby.

What about you?  If you don't have children, do you want some eventually, or are you contentedly child-free?

Monday, August 9, 2010

So this is growing up.

You know, I've spouted often that part of being a parent is growing from the rebirth that occurs when you give birth.  I was smacked upside the head today with a reminder of the things I've spouted.

Just when you become complacent in your ideas and your grudges and your loves, the foundation is shaken, reminding you to never, ever be complacent.

Apologies can be given at the most unexpected times, and so can they be acknowledged, and even granted.  The day we stop surprising ourselves is the day we must sit down and realize that we are no longer truly living.

Be well, my darlings.

Monday, July 26, 2010

iHappy Monday

Because, damnit, it is three hours and seven minutes into Monday.  It is already a "Monday" kind of Monday.  And also, because I damn well need a happy.  Have for weeks, and it's finally beginning to culminate into a palpable presence.

Poltergeists are not the manifestation of the energy left behind by the others, IMO.  They are instead the manifestation of all of one's stress and worry and anxiety and even to an extent, sometimes, the sadness that has been left to fester under a facade of smiles and super-mama feats of incredible strength.

Why the hell am I talking about Poltergeists on iHappy Monday, you ask?  Because, as I was taking my iHappy photo, a distinctly humanoid-profile white spot appeared on my otherwise lovely shot of my art in progress.

So, I will leave you with a different iHappy instead.

Behold, the mock-up for my newest tattoo:

And one more, because I'm feeling vain.  New hairs and *gasp* make-up!

Friday, July 9, 2010

FlogYoBlog Friday!

FlogYoBlog time again!  Some of you know the drill.  For those who don't, here it is!

  1. Follow Brenda's blog. (if you haven't already done so.  And perhaps follow mine, as well.  Again, if you haven't already done so.)
  2. Grab the FlogYoBlog bubbly button and post it on your sidebar. 
  3. Link your First Name and/or Blog Name and URL (not your homepage) below. 
  4. Add a short description (max of 125 chars). It could be a description of yourself, your blog or a teaser to your latest post.
  5. Follow at least 1 linkyer/blogger (Pay it forward is the name of the game).
  6. The list will be open for linkyers on Fridays (Brenda has extended the linky for us non-aussies).
  7. A new and fresh link list will open every Friday. And you will have to link up AGAIN. The previous link list does not carry over to the following week.
  8. And lastly, have lotsa fun.  (And wine.  Let's totally have lotsa wine.  And chocolate this week, too.  Maybe some cheese.)

That cup isn't for drinking, my dearest.

I have been issued a challenge by the ever thoughtful and lovely Lori.

" you, should you choose to accept it- to write openly and honestly about the topic of menstruation, without Puritan instincts kicking in..."

I've debated and pondered this challenge, thinking about it as I lay on my bathroom floor, begging for death today.  (Food poisoning is a cruel and heartless mistress when you're in her clutches.)  It kind of amuses me that I can ponder blog topics while I vomit up internal organs.  Anyways.

While I lack Puritan instincts (as anyone who knows me IRL will tell you that, with a sigh and a shake of their heads,) I certainly have a hesitancy to bare it all about menstruation right now.

It has not always been like this - normally, I am all too happy to tell you precisely how much I bleed and how terribly I was once afflicted with cramps and leaks and stains and stress.  I will wax poetic about my menstrual cup and cloth pads, and try my hardest to get you to think outside of your tampon box for a few moments and consider that your period might actually be a satisfying thing.

I'm vulnerable right now.  Vulnerability hits me hardest when I am conflicted, and now is one of those times.

I missed it quite a bit while I was pregnant with Bug.  Part of that was due, I believe, to my unhappiness with the circumstances I found myself in.  I won't lie or sugar coat the truth - I was angry, and I resented that little life inside of me more often than not.  It was a very real case of dueling emotions - one moment I would be mournful that I felt his kicks, wishing more than anything that I could go back to the day he was conceived and change it, so that instead of pointlessly buying a pregnancy test four weeks later to satisfy a question I already knew the answer to, I would be buying a case of back-up pads instead, experiencing one of the most bountiful withdrawl bleeds ever.  The moment that would follow that would be spent awestruck at the love that I had for him, and terrified about how strong it was despite my moments of resentment.

After I worked through my resentment, I found myself yet again wishing for menses.  Not because I was angry, but because I hurt.  Physical pain, emotional pain, the pain of wondering if he was well, the pain of knowing that my daughter was moving on in life as I sat and watched, unable to partake, for Bug's health and my own.

When he finally made his entrance, I bled enough to satisfy those months of wishing.  Granted, not quite the same, but blood letting is blood letting, in an odd and unexplainable way.  It was as if my body was making its own atonement to the universe for my negativity, and even though it fell on the delivery room floor (and the doctor's feet, and the nurses' feet, and splattered the walls, and their legs, and my legs, etc. etc.) and not into the earth, I felt a certain and strange peace.

I spent the next few months fighting the battles that were put in my path, and didn't once think about the absence of my menses.  When all had settled, I went in to be fitted with my little borg implant, my friend, my copper IUD named Optimus Prime. 

At the time, I had not resumed menstruating.  The day of the insertion, I found myself excited for the things to come:  No more pregnancy (hopefully,) no more artificial hormones flooding my system and giving me a false sense of security, no more terror at the thought of falling pregnant with a bad choice.  I was nervous, though.  Was I setting myself up for heartbreak?  Would I, who was blessed with the type of fertility that a rabbit would envy, somehow curse myself?  Or worse, would I be one of the percentage of women who fell victim to one of the nastier potential side effects and not be able to even ponder any more biological children?

I brushed it aside, I went through with it.  I remember thinking to myself, as the CNM parted my labia with an uncharacteristic gentleness that sticks out in my mind, "It will be okay.  Just breathe."  The insertion was fast and painless.  And... once again, my body offered up blood.  "Is it normal for her to bleed that much?" questioned the nursing student I allowed to sit in on the procedure.  The midwife simply smiled at me and said far better than I could have:  "Well, Miss AccidentallyMommy has her own thoughts on blood and bleeding.  There is no normal for her." 

Again, months melted away - a bit of spotting here, a few false starts there, but all in all - nothing that really screamed "You're back to where you should be!" to me.

I have had two "real" periods since then.  Periods where I could pinpoint my fertility without question, without temperatures or cervical length or dowsing with a crystal over my belly.

And you know what?  They have turned me upside down.

Gone is the time where I look forward to the days when I can break out the cloth pads and the cup that I so lovingly stored and missed so desperately, gone is that time where I can take geeky, suppressed-researcher joy in measurements and observations.

It's like puberty all over again.  A total rebirth into being me.  Leaks and cramps have returned, cycle days are unpredictable, and I find myself no longer at peace - I find myself filled with nerves and stress and generally being displeased.

I will come full circle again - there is no doubting that, that is the way life works.  I will stop being horrified with myself when I find myself debating the pro's of the disposable products that make me rash and itch, simply because they're so much easier in a time where nothing is any longer easy.  Gone will be the time when I find myself telling Kinder Major "No, baby, that's not a cup in the drinking sense.  Right now it's just decoration." because it can no longer handle the bounty that my body is offering up.

For now, though, I wait.  I wait for my patience and my re-establishment as a woman (in my eyes, above any,) to return to me.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Collectively, as humans, we seem to have forgotten the definition of the term "Human Rights".

An Iranian woman, mother of two, is to be stoned to death.  For adultery.  For loving someone other than her husband.

She was flogged publicly in front of her children, and now she's to be murdered slowly in front of them.

This is a harsh but truthful description.  Does it make you cringe?  Turn away?  Does it make you sad?

I hope it does.  It should.  Because if it does, then it means that you'll take action.

Read Jessica Gottlieb's post that outlines how you can contact your local government officials, and gives a better overview of the situation, including links to CNN, as well as an interview done with her son.

Tell your friends, your family, and post on Facebook.

Tweet the UN:  @UN when will you intercede on behalf of #Ashtiani? 


Friday, July 2, 2010

FlogYoBlog Friday! (I love Fridays.)

FlogYoBlog time again!  Some of you know the drill.  For those who don't, here it is!

  1. Follow Brenda's blog. (if you haven't already done so.  And perhaps follow mine, as well.  Again, if you haven't already done so.)
  2. Grab the FlogYoBlog bubbly button and post it on your sidebar. 
  3. Link your First Name and/or Blog Name and URL (not your homepage) below. 
  4. Add a short description (max of 125 chars). It could be a description of yourself, your blog or a teaser to your latest post.
  5. Follow at least 1 linkyer/blogger (Pay it forward is the name of the game).
  6. The list will be open for linkyers on Fridays (Brenda has extended the linky for us non-aussies).
  7. A new and fresh link list will open every Friday. And you will have to link up AGAIN. The previous link list does not carry over to the following week.
  8. And lastly, have lotsa fun.  (And wine.  Let's totally have lotsa wine.  And chocolate this week, too.  Maybe some cheese.)

    On learning styles and life lessons.

    You know, there's a WHOLE lot of talk of "creating a critical thinker" when it comes to nurturing young children.

    I'm of two minds on this.  On one hand, I agree that yes, we should encourage our children to think critically, and nurture their analytical skills while they're so open to it and so naturally curious.  On the other hand, though, I don't think that every moment of your child's life should be spent teaching some sort of lesson or thinking skill.

    I take great issue with mothers who sneer at me when I respond "she wasn't" to questions like "how high was Kinder Major counting when she was two?"

    Kinder Major showed a great right-brain preference from a very early age.  She was drawn very strongly to music and color, and showed a vested interest in coloring and painting by 11 months.  I nurtured that creativity.  Instead of teaching her counting and numbers and her alphabet at such a young age, I taught her color names and allowed her to play in paint and with crayons.  We colored on "her" wall next to my bed at night.  We read books together that were filled with color and texture, we sang and listened to music of all kinds, we danced and played with blocks.  As she continued to develop cognitively, she proved to have a knack for engineering based on aesthetics.  Again, I nurtured that.

    A big part of attachment parenting is *knowing* your child and nurturing their innate abilities.  I don't feel that forcing "critical thinking" education on a child that doesn't learn that way is following that facet of APing.  I believe that every child is different, and should be nurtured as such.

    Now, please don't interpret that to mean "don't encourage curiosity and awareness" - that's not what I'm saying.  What I AM saying, though, is don't bully your pediatrician into making a referral for speech and occupational therapy for your 18 month old because they haven't learned their entire alphabet yet.  (True example.)  Don't fill your child's day with structured learning, either.  Allow your child to grow at their own pace, and to be a child, especially if they are still on the variable line between late infancy and early toddlerhood.  Hell, even later toddlers.  Allow them to be them, and allow them to grow as they will.  Our children are not meant to be clones, nor are they meant to be programmed to fit our personal agendas on what we feel the perfect child should be.  They are their own person, and should be allowed to grow as such.

    That is a life lesson that we all need to learn as we grow with our children.  Likewise, we should apply the same concepts to ourselves, since respectively, most of us are infants in our parenting lives.  We need to remember that we are all different, and allow ourselves to grow as we will, instead of as someone else (or even our pre-child selves) think we should.  We need to have confidence and faith in ourselves that we will thrive, and only with that confidence will our children form their own.


    Friday, June 25, 2010

    Whip it! Whip it good!

    FlogYoBlog time, baby!  Oh yeah!!!  *dances around in her Devo flower-pot hat*

    (If you don't know Devo, then you're sadly lacking in your education.)

    So, here are the rules, ripped straight from their maker!  (Who, incidentally, is one of the single awesomest Blogoddesses around.  For serious.  Would this face lie?)

    1. Follow Brenda's blog. (if you haven't already done so.  And perhaps follow mine, as well.  Again, if you haven't already done so.)
    2. Grab the FlogYoBlog bubbly button and post it on your sidebar. 
    3. Link your First Name and/or Blog Name and URL (not your homepage) below. 
    4. Add a short description (max of 125 chars). It could be a description of yourself, your blog or a teaser to your latest post.
    5. Follow at least 1 linkyer/blogger (Pay it forward is the name of the game).
    6. The list will be open for linkyers on Fridays (I've extended the closing time by the way, to accommodate the non-aussie peeps).
    7. A new and fresh link list will open every Friday. And you will have to link up AGAIN. The previous link list does not carry over to the following week.
    8. And lastly, have lotsa fun.  (And wine.  Let's totally have lotsa wine.)

    Thursday, June 24, 2010

    Dem Boobs, Dem Boobs, Dem... Dry Boobs.

    My boobs have been having an identity crisis lately.  It's a pretty significant one, I think.  The subject comes up daily, sometimes multiple times a day.  I try to avoid them, so that I can avoid that uncomfortable silence that inevitably follows their twin chorus of "Hi, we're your boobs, and we're having an identity crisis."  Seriously, how do I respond to that?

    Complete avoidance is impossible, though.  Our interactions are something like this:

    Me:  Hi boobs.  How are ya today?

    Boobs: We're sad.  Look, we're looking down at the floor with our pointy nipple-eyes.  We're having an identity crisis.

    Me:  Oh?  *uncomfortable silence*  Uhh... Umm... Why?  You're boobs.  Don't you generally do... boob things?  Like hang out?  I try not to put you in a bra, so you've got way more freedom than most of your other boob friends.

    Boobs:  Yeah, we know.  And really - we appreciate that freedom.  Our problem is that we're dry.  

    Me:  Oh, well I can fix that!  Here, have some nourishing lotion with vitamin E!

    Boobs:  No, not like that.  See, we see you feed the baby, and we know that the milk you're giving him isn't from us.  Because, you know, we're dry.  This is the fault line for our shattering identity earthquake.  We mean, logically we know that you're giving him artificial milk because you're taking a couple of medications that you really can't go without right now, but we feel cheated.  We dried up suddenly and traumatically, and we're quite upset about it.

    Me:  Oh.  Yeah, I can totally see that.  Oh look, brain and conscience are here!  Let's get them in on this discussion!

    Brain:  Hey Boobs!  Lookin' good today, ladies!  You've got some super-hot circulatory action goin' on.  No worries, you can totally thank me later.

    Boobs:  *stares*  Really, Brain?  Really?

    Conscience:  So, I totally didn't mean to eavesdrop, Boobs, but I heard everything you said, and I'm right there with you.  I feel SO GUILTY about all of it, your drying up and Jackie taking meds and Brain just being brain... it makes me want to cry.  I even feel guilty about the fact that Leg went off and got herself broken, which is why you dried up to begin with!  It's totally ALL MY FAULT.

    Brain:  Oh shit.  Look at what ya'll did.  Conscience is crying now.

    Me:  Okay, hold it.  This is not going to turn into a three ring circus.  Brain, do you have anything useful to contribute?

    Brain:  Well, that depends.  I do, out of deference for Boobs, go ahead and automatically make their pointy nipple-eyes hard every time the baby cries, as well as make them ache.  You know, 'cuz they're boobs.  That's what they're made for, amirite?

    Me:  Right on.  You just keep on keepin' on.  Not like any of us could persuade you to do otherwise.  Conscience, is there any reasoning with you on this one?


    Me:  *mutters*  Drama Queen.  *looks at Brain*  Can you take her out of here?  I'll deal with you guys later.

    Boobs:  Now do you understand, though?  We're boobs.  We were put on your body primarily to nurse your offspring.  Sexual pleasure and looking awesome are just fringe benefits.  You let us do our job briefly, and then it was abruptly and traumatically taken away from us.  Now we're bereft.  What are we to do?

    Me:  Oh.  Well, I... uh... *clears throat*  I'm really sorry.  I... I got nothin' else.  Can I offer you that nourishing lotion with vitamin E as a consolation prize?

    And with that, my friends, my Boobs simply shake their heads sadly and wander away, until the next time I feed the baby.  Then the cycle starts all over again.

    Logically, I know that relactation is not one of my most brilliant ideas.  Oh, I have no doubt that I could achieve it - and fairly easily, at that.  But what would it accomplish?  I would need to wean off of three different meds, and risk at best some very painful and at worst some very dangerous consequences.

    Bug, I suspect, couldn't really care less.  There's still ample bonding and skin-to-skin during feedings.  Also, he's leading himself to solids, so it may be a non-issue here very shortly.  Health-wise, it's a non-issue completely.  

    So where is the sense in all of this wistfulness and mourning over our lost breastfeeding relationship?  Why can't Boobs just suck it up, rub some dirt in it, and move on?  Why can't Conscience just get over her guilt?  Why can't Brain stop leading the mutiny on the bounty?

    Because - breast is best.  For all parties involved.  People will try to placate us with "Well, at least you got *some* breastfeeding time in," but that won't help.  I don't disagree, and I *AM* thankful for the time we had.  But I would be a dirty liar if I said I didn't wish with every bottle of formula I make that it had been longer.  That we were still doing it today.

    I learned to forgive myself with Kinder Major - she wasn't breastfed at all.  I will learn to forgive myself with Bug, too.  It's just going to take time.  Time, and a lot of "why relactating isn't a good idea" talks with Boobs.

    Ladies, don't take your Boobs for granted.  And for those of you who haven't/can't/didn't (for whatever reason) breastfeed who are having similar talks with your Boobs... well, best of luck to you.  I hope you can make more headway with yours than I have with mine.

    Wednesday, June 23, 2010

    Wordless Wenesday: Singin' (and dancin') in the rain!

    What memes may come...

    Some of you may have noticed that there has been very little content and a whole lot of memes here, lately.  For that, I offer my deepest apologies.

    It is simultaneously end of block/beginning of block for my classes.  (We go in nine-week cycles of two three credit classes.)  That means I was busily cramming in an attempt not to bomb my finals, and now am scrambling to set a decent, productive pace.  Devoting that much brain power to school leaves me with very little energy for original thought.  I've neglected other things as well, so don't feel singled out.  The Need-A-Bag? project hasn't seen me in three weeks and won't see me for another week to two weeks at the least, I've got a good five or six loads of laundry that have been sitting forlornly in a corner for two weeks, and I don't remember the last time I painted my toenails.

    I promise, there will be more original thought and rant and rhetoric and all the other fun things that make Accidentally Mommy so awesome, just... not right now.  Right now, you get memes.  Mostly picture ones, at that.

    Love and kisses!


    Monday, June 21, 2010


     Brenda over at Mummy Time (responsible for bloggy debauchery such as FlogYoBlog,) has brought us another awesome meme:  iHappy Monday.  Okay, so, this one is simple and awesome.  Grab your iPhone (or other camera phone, she's been feeling generous...) and take a few random shots.  Or, pick a few random shots from your camera roll.  You know, whatever.  It's all flexible.  Then, once you've posted your pretties, surf on over to Bren's specific iHappy Monday post and post yourself a thumbnail on her linky.  And check out everyone else's.  And smile.  We're all doing this for one main reason - to share smiles.  God knows we need smiles...

    Beer, kids, and kittens.  Yep, that's pretty much what keeps me happy. ;)

    Thursday, June 17, 2010

    The latest lack of Physician Integrity when it comes to Genital Integrity, or "How Cornell University has just lost all of my respect and gained my ire."

    Before I go much further, I want to make one thing very clear:  I am an intactivist.  I am quieter about it than most, because that's how I work, but I am one none-the-less.  My intactivist standpoint extents to ALL children, not just boys.  Genital mutilation is genital mutilation is genital mutilation.  The blighted anthropologist in me recognizes religious and cultural values placed on genital mutilation, but the mother and humanist in me refuses to say that it's acceptable.

    My son is intact.  I have spoken to many parents about keeping their sons intact.  I have held partners as they wept over the cruelties they suffered as infants and the complications and pain they endured as adults.  I have held mothers as they wept when they realized the enormity of what they unwittingly allowed to be done to their sons.  I have gone the gambit from debates with rabbinical figures and physicians who refuse to acknowledge the current (and correctly) changing world-wide stance to anonymously penning heated editorials on the subject.  (Which, I am proud to say, I will be anonymous no longer.)

    In a culture that is so hell-bent on sexual revolution and progression, we defile and maim the most sacred symbols of humanity with nary an eyeblink in most situations.  Male infant circumcision is routine and clinical in most cases, done without anesthetic in all cases, and carries hundreds of possible complications including the very real and very rarely spoken of, most devastating complication of them all:  death.

    There is a growing number of us that are working our asses off in grass-roots organizations to bring to light the atrocious and barbaric practices still going on in our "first world" country today.

    Recently, we were shocked and appalled to see that the AAP was considering changing their standpoint of Female Infant Genital Mutilation. In a movement they termed "an attempt at harm reduction," they considered implementing a new wording in their policy on FGM to allow physicians to perform a "ritual nick" on femle infants to satisfy religious and cultural expectations and to avoid the exportation of infants to countries where full FGM was expected and routine.  After huge public outcry, the AAP backpedaled as fast as their little legs could take them and not only retracted their proposed changes, but also scrabbled to make "clarification statements" on their position.

    Now we are slapped in the face with news of a researching physician at Cornell University who appears to have been practicing his own twisted form of FGM and abuse, all in the sanctioned name of research.  Dan Savage added his very public recognition to a piece by bioethicist Alice Dreger that outlines exactly why Dr. Dix Poppas is a monster. 

    It's not just that he's using pediatric subjects to further his research on a "nerve-sparing" technique of clitorectomy performed solely for archaic cosmetic and social purposes.  He's also (with the consent and observation of parents,) following up annually with these girls to "test their level of sensitivity," using either a hand-held vibrator or hand-held cotton swab.  Himself.

    As an intactivist, I am enraged beyond words.  As a parent, I am horrified and devastated.  As a woman, I am left feeling violated just by reading his research.

    This is a man who has continued to cut on female children for zero purpose.  Unlike MGM, there is NO DATA LEFT AT ALL that even remotely supports the use and research into routine clitorectomies.  (Unlike MGM, where there are still a lot of incorrect notions from the last 50 years to dispel.)  NOT ONLY has he continued to cut these girls in the name of science, he is also doing what would equate to molestation in any other case, on a routine basis, with the approval and indeed the witness of their parents.

    I ask you, my readers, to get involved here.  Spread the word.  Cry out to the powers that be that Dr. Poppas is commiting a vile crime against these children.  If, while you're at it, you want to join us on the rest of the intactivist front, that would be awesome, too.  Rome wasn't built in a day, though, so I very much believe that we need to target as many individual atrocities as we can while trying to educate people on the bigger picture.  Dr. Dix Poppas' "research" is, without a doubt, a prime example of one of those individual atrocities.

    Will you stand with me?  Will you express your outrage to Weill Medical College and Cornell University?  An email, a phonecall, a letter.  Spread the word.  Above all, stand with me to MAKE HIM STOP.

    Friday, June 11, 2010

    Give-Away update!

    I have not forgotten my promise, darlings!

    I am, however, waiting on a couple of artists to decide what they're going to offer up to you.  And, because I'm a benevolent mail-order goddess, I am going to make the give-away seven items instead of five.  It is (and has been) open internationally, so all of you may enter.

    Right now, there are three definites:  AM's must-haves for baby kit, AM's must-haves for munchkins kit, and AM's must-haves for mommy kit.  We have three artists - one that does beautiful hand-painted scrabble tile pendants, one that works with clay, and another mixed-media.  All are stay/work-at-home mamas.

    Stay tuned, it's coming!  I promise!

    Cat 'o 9, please! (FlogYoBlog Friday!!!)

    If you're new, there's an awesome linky party started by Brenda over at Mummy Time called FlogYoBlog Friday!

    The idea is to link up, blog hop, network, make friends, make faces, make pie... wait, some of those things are not like the other.  Or are they?  *imaginary strokes imaginary beard and ponders friend-face pies*


    Here are Brenda's rules!  We must all play by the rules, lest we get punished.  (The flogging will continue until morale or obedience improves!)

    1. Follow my (and/or Brenda's) blog. (if you haven't already done so).
    2. Grab Brenda's bubbly button and post it on your sidebar. 
    3. Link your First Name/Blog Name and URL below. 
    4. Add a short description (max of 125 chars). It could be a description of yourself, your blog or a teaser to your latest post.
    5. Follow at least 1 linkyer/blogger (Pay it forward is the name of the game).
    6. The list will be open for linkyers on Fridays (I've extended the closing time by the way, to accommodate my non-aussie peeps).
    7. A new and fresh link list will open every Friday. And you will have to link up AGAIN. The previous link list does not carry over to the following week.
    8. And lastly, have lotsa fun.

    Thursday, June 10, 2010

    Things-that-are-awesome Thursday!

    This Things-that-are-awesome Thursday brings you a place!

    My long-time friends Bev Webb and Fredo Gonzalez have decided to be REALLY grown-up, (like, to an extent that I can't wrap my brain around, because I totally don't feel like a grown-up, even though we're all the same age,) and have opened Gainesville's newest beer bar!

    The Midnight boasts more than 60 bottled beers from around the world, Seven beers on tap (with more to come!) and a full, diverse list of wines.  There are also non-alcoholic beverages available for the designated drivers.

    Swamp Head Brewery's Midnight Oil - a delicious coffee oatmeal stout from Gainesville's only brewery! 

    The atmosphere is intimate but fun, and I can easily foresee The Midnight becoming the "Cheers" of the Gainesville area.  Popcorn is served instead of peanuts, and a food menu is going to be implemented in the near future.

     Left to Right: Pages one through four of the "short" menu.  The "long" menu also includes the history of the different types of beer, as well as tidbits on the different breweries and special brews.

    While it is a very friendly place run by wonderful people, the atmosphere is definitely not "family friendly."  It is, however, the perfect spot for a mom's night out, or a mommy and daddy date night, since it is definitely targeted towards the mature younger crowd.  (Read as:  You probably won't find the ridiculous hipsters, nor will you be surrounded by the frat boys and sorostitutes you would otherwise be subject to at the rest of Gainesville's drinking establishments.)

    The specials board!
    Even if The Midnight weren't owned and operated by friends of mine, I would still give it this glowing review.  The prices are right, the ambiance is awesome, and one other VERY cool thing that I have yet to find: They take suggestions!!!  Can't find a beer or wine on the menu that you'd desperately like to see?  There is a suggestion box, where the suggestions are seriously entertained on a regular basis.

    Bev Webb, proud co-owner, GM, Bartender and all-around awesome lady!

    For those of you in the area, please - check it out.  You won't be disappointed!  For those of you not in the area... come visit. ;)

    Tuesday, June 8, 2010

    My thank you speech...

    Got eaten by the homework monster.

    KB over at Wander Lust bestowed upon me my first (and very, very special, for a number of reasons,) award.  Like I said, my thank you speech got eaten, but KB... Well, there aren't any words.  Thank you for your support. 

    Behold, the "Don't Even Fuck With Me" award!

    And now, I would like to pay it forward.  There are a couple of amazing women that stand out in my mind who've been dealing with their share, and I think they need to know (in shiny graphic format) that I've got their backs.

    KB, this one's for you too, honey.  Wander Lust

    Bonnie, you're stronger than you know.  Your courage to say what you did proves it without a doubt.  Violator

    Saturday, June 5, 2010


    I've neglected Things-that-are-awesome Thursday, and FlogYoBlog Friday.  I also have an award that I am deeply honoured to receive, but I am choosing to wait before publicly receiving it and sharing it.

    I have had a week full of introspection about where my life is as an individual, because as a parent I'm really kind of right on track.  That prevented me from blogging on Thursday.

    Friday morning brought news of the tragic passing of a schoolmate that while I wasn't particularly close to, I had at least one class with every semester, for four years.  The short of it is that she ended her own life.

    This news had an unexpected effect on me.  I've lost other classmates before, and as with this one, we were friendly but not close.  I certainly mourned their passing, and felt a deep sympathy for their families and friends.  They're ALL tragic in their own right - we're young in the grand scheme of things.  Some left behind children, all left behind an aching void in the lives of those they were close to.

    Heather's passing, however, left me a bit lost.  Here's why:  I've been there before.

    I've toed the edge of the depthless chasm she ultimately stepped off of.  I know what it's like to be enveloped in that darkness and that hopelessness.  I even know what it's like to slip, though I'm incredibly blessed that there was miraculously someone there to throw me a rope when I had slipped over the ledge, before I hit the bottom from which I couldn't return.

    I was angry when I learned of her death.  I was angry that I hadn't reached out to her long before now, and I felt immensely guilty, knowing that I may have been able to, through my complete understanding of where she was, help her.

    Of course, none of these feelings were valid logically, because I also know that when you set your mind to make that movement off the ledge, you mean it.  I also know well that she had many friends and family who had tried to help her before.

    What can I say?  I'm semi-Catholic.  Guilt is what I do.

    I've decided that in addition to my other philanthropic pursuits, I want to give a little piece of myself to one more thing, on a more personal level.

    I want every one of you, readers, to know that *someone* understands.  If you ever find yourself so overwhelmed and exhausted that you're considering just giving up, know that there is someone who knows exactly where you are, and that they care.  That I want you to make a bet with me and put up a fight, even if it's just to prove me wrong.  Get angry, take solace, do whatever you must do.  Just don't give up. 

    I can always be reached at, and I often check here for comments multiple times a day.

    Ultimately, there is no situation so bleak and hopeless that there is nothing left to live for.  Someone will always care for you and be left feeling bereft at your absence, even if it is just an anonymous Accidental Mommy on the internet. 

    If you're so close that you don't think you can wait for me to check my email or my comments, there are other ways to find help and hope. is the address for the Kristen Brooks Hope Center and the home of HopeLine, a 24 hour anonymous suicide prevention hotline.  The telephone number is 1-800-suicide.  (1-800-784-2433). 

    I mean it when I say that I love you.  Every single one of you.  It may not be on the same level as your most intimate friends and family, but it IS love, and love should always count for something.

    Be well, my friends, and be kind to yourselves.  You're always worth it.

    Tuesday, June 1, 2010

    It's Okay Tuesday

    Borrowed from the ever-lovely Claire Marie, it's "Hey, it's okay!" Tuesday.

    It's okay... to let your five year old run around the house half-naked.  She's comfortable in her skin, and knows she has to wear clothes in public.  Why not?

    It's okay... to use a bottle glass of wine as a self-bribe to get things done.

    It's okay... to look the other way when the kids let the dog finish their dinner, once in a while.

    It's okay... to mourn the loss of your favorite vibrator, due to old age, as though you would mourn the loss of a friend.

    It's okay... to pick your kid up from school in pajamma pants once in a while.

    OH. MY. GODS.

    Are ya'll sitting down?  Hang on, I need to.

    Okay.  Now I'm sitting.

    I have 51 followers!!!!!  I'm absolutely, completely, totally blown away.

    Thank you, every single one of you, for listening to my ramblings.  I can't believe that even one of you would, but 51 is unbelievable to me.

    I will be getting the give-aways posted this week, and if there's anyone that would like free promotion by offering an item for the give-away, I'm happy to do more than five items to promote you as a "thank you" for following me.  Email me at if you're interested. :)

    Monday, May 31, 2010

    VERY personal post.

    I was going to leave the blog uncluttered today, out of respect for the significance of the day, but there's something that I just can't sit on any longer.  I don't know if I owe this sudden bout of emotional turmoil to PMS or lack of sleep, but whatever the cause, it's here.  I cannot smother it, I cannot deny it, I cannot continue to pretend I don't feel this way.  Not today, anyway.  I'm sure tomorrow or the next day I will be able to go back to fooling myself and everyone else into believing that I'm thick skinned, since I hate admitting that I have any vulnerabilities left.

    I have a lot of pregnant friends and acquaintances.  Like, at the start of 2010, 15 people I know were/are slated to deliver.  Six have, already.

    Not a single one of them is single.  They have loving, supportive partners who have a vested interest in that little budding life.  Doctors/Midwife appointments are attended together, none of these women long for affection or intimacy, and their pregnancies are celebrated and revered by their partners.

    While I am joyous for them, I am also slightly... envious?  Hurt, for certain.  It's not a feeling that holds any malice or ill-will, merely a very personal pain that I usually keep shrouded in the shadows.

    Neither of my children got to experience such reverence in-utero.  I was never told I was beautiful, never held, never had my growing belly kissed, never made love to.  My aching, swolen feet were never rubbed with care, my shoulders never massaged.

    I was an island.

    Sure, I had family and friends who showered me with love and support, but that love is a different animal.

    I don't know what it's like to have a partner treasure the life growing inside of me, to be proud and joyful that we created it together.

    Granted, that is partly my own fault; Kinder Major's father was not someone I was ever interested in a relationship with, and he was in fact was staunchly against my decision not to terminate.  I went into the pregnancy with her knowing full well that I was on my own.  With Bug's father, things were rocky at the best of times, and abusive at the worst.

    However, recognizing that I entered into these pregnancies alone and of my own volition doesn't remove the sting, the longing to know what it's like to have someone to love, to love me, to love us.  I daydream about what it's like to have someone join me in the awe that is listening to that tiny heartbeat, that wonders that are those first visible and tangible kicks and wiggles.  Someone to hold me and dream of what is to come with me.  It doesn't take away the fact that I spent those months alone, untouched and kept company only by the deep, aching need for the simplest affection.

    I'm unsure of what the future holds.  Once upon a time, I dreamed of a large family with a partner and many children.  Now I fend off nightmares of making yet another mistake when judging the character of another, of letting someone else close who will only serve to hurt me and my children.  My longing to have someone hold me now, for even a few seconds, so that I might feel protected and safe is far overshadowed by my fear of exposing that vulnerability, and my refusal to let anyone see how weak I really am.

    In the mean time, I will tuck this away once more, now that I've let it peek out briefly.  I will watch my friends and acquaintances travel their paths.  I will rejoice with them, I will give my support and love as a friend freely and unfettered, and I will live vicariously through their joy. 

    Memorial and Decoration

    It's Memorial Day here in the states.  In yesteryears, it was referred to as Decoration Day.

    Me?  I prefer to call it Decoration Memorial.  Fair warning, this post may be disjointed and ramble; I lose all eloquence when I'm lost in thought.

    So, why Decoration Memorial?

    Decoration because of the joy I feel that they are being recognized as the amazing individuals they are.  (And yes, I mean to refer to them in the present.  Their presence continues on as long as we gather together to make sure they are immortalized.)  Decoration because of the memories they have left their families and friends, memories of family gatherings, laughter and love.  Decoration because I realize how blessed I am to have such brave individuals such as themselves that have fought to defend the freedom and safety that the rest of us often take for granted, fought to ensure the same liberties for my children.

    And yet, it is still a Memorial.  Memorial because they needed to sacrifice themselves at all.  Memorial, because those families and friends are left with a permanent rift in their lives, missing forever sons and daughters, husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, best friends, confidants.  Memorial because the world is short that many more good people, people who were brave and loyal, who loved their country enough to take such a leap into the unknown that comes with defending that which they hold dear.

    Today, while many people hang out to enjoy the first day of the social summer, playing in the sun or making memories at parties and gatherings, I sit here feeling a bittersweet sense of pride as I ruminate on those I've known and lost.  School chums, family... I've lost my share.  I've also known my share that didn't perish, and I watch them grapple with the conflicting feelings of pride and guilt that they made it back and the family - yes, family - they risked their lives with, didn't. 

    I ask simply that you take a moment out of your celebrations and think a good thought of thanks.  Send it out into the universe in whatever form suits you that you appreciate their valor. 

    Thursday, May 27, 2010

    Flog it, Baby! (FlogYoBlog Friday #4, I think?)

    Okay, so, it's Friday in Oz, which is where this blog hop is hosted.  Also, I'd like to think that I will be in bed early tonight, so I'm posting this now instead of after midnight!  This is a list of totally awesome bloggers - go forth, add yourself, read others, enjoy!

    1. Follow my blog. (if you haven't already done so) (And Mummy Time's, since this is her baby.)
    2. Grab Brenda's bubbly button and post it on your sidebar. 
    3. Link your Blog Name and URL below. 
    4. Add a short description (max of 125 chars). It could be a description of yourself, your blog or a teaser to your latest post.
    5. Follow at least 1 linkyer/blogger (Pay it forward is the name of the game).
    6. The list will be open for linkyers on Fridays (I've extended the closing time by the way, to accommodate my non-aussie peeps).
    7. A new and fresh link list will open every Friday. And you will have to link up AGAIN. The previous link list does not carry over to the following week.
    8. And lastly, have lotsa fun.

    Babywearing Bliss

    Photodump of Babywearing pics.  The stars of the show (as always,) are Kinder Major - 5 years, 44 lbs and 44" tall; Snow White - 2 years, ~30 lbs; Bug - 17 lbs, 27" tall.  Carriers pictured are: Grey stretchy knit wrap (Affectionately called the "Meby" in my house, standing for "me-made moby,") Cream and blue Kiddie Winkles Designs woven wrap, a black organic "Iris" Ergo carrier, and a grey "Galaxy" Ergo carrier.)

    Things-that-are-awesome Thursday!

    Woot, it's Thursday!

    I have two things that are awesome today.  Number one is a blog I'd like to draw attention to:  The Accidental Environmentalist, home of the Need-A-Bag? project.  The N-A-B? project operates on the same premise as the Need a penny? Take a penny! tray you see everywhere.  Set up at farmers markets, we offer free re-usable shopping bags.  Need a bag, take a bag.  If you want to bring it back next week, great!  If you forget, that's okay too!  We also like donations, both of bags and money.  We're not non-profit, though, and we certainly don't expect donations.  We just don't turn them away if they're offered.

    Today was the N-A-B?'s maiden voyage to the High Springs Farmers Market, captained by yours truly.  N-A-B? has a permanent spot at the Alachua County Farmers Market on Saturday mornings, as well.

    We're looking for locals to franchise out to the rest of our county's farmers markets, but I'd like ya'll to consider implementing something similar in your area.  Here's the short of it:  Pick up spare bags from friends, family, strangers, yard sales and thrift stores.  You don't want to go and buy new bags specifically for this, but buying used ones from thrift and yard sales is fine.  Wash them, tag them with your mission statement, and offer them to the shoppers for free!  Lather, Rinse, Repeat the weeks following. 

    Please comment here or email me at if you want to know more, and I'll give you the rest of the details. :D

    The second thing that is awesome this week?  You.  Yes, YOU.  I want you all to know that I appreciate your presence, your comments, the time you take to read my posts - all of it.  I think you're awesome.

    Wednesday, May 26, 2010

    Hump Day Happiness

    I'm just all sorts of meme today, it seems.

    Truth be told, I'm having a crap day.  As I was sitting here, wallowing in self pity and tea, I saw that Naomi over at Under The Yardarm started a McLinky for Hump Day Happiness.  (Go to her blog to enter and read.) Then I clicked through them, and realized that the time for wallowing was done, and I needed to quickly remember why life doesn't suck.  Then I needed to post it for ya'll to see, share, and perpetuate the meme.

    So, here we go.  Happiness on this humpday is...

    • A baby who smiles, in spite of getting two teeth in within 24 hours of each other.
    • A daughter who is so empathetic and kind that she doesn't hesitate to say to the cashier at the grocery "You look like you have a sad face.  Please don't be sad, I love you!" at five years old.
    • Knowing that I have a bottle of wine chilled and waiting for me as a reward if I get my homework done in a timely fashion tonight.
    • Amazing, supportive, friendly people like you to surround me, and remind me that I'm not alone.

    Wordless Wednesday: Front (rose/flower) garden, 2010