Friday, February 27, 2009

Taking Turns...

yup. We are taking turns with the yuckies.

Rory seems to only have had a 24 hour thing. Canyon has been puking/fever for almost 24 now. Arden didn't eat dinner or breakfast, but had a biscuit with jelly for lunch... I'm thinking he isn't on the top of his game either.

Fun times.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Blueberry Pancakes...

Are off the menu at our house.

Cleaning them up 5 hours after they are consumed, out of the top of a bunk bed, is NOT fun.

Oh, and in case you didn't gather, Rory is sick.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Things They Say...

Yeah. The things that kids say...

Rory has been visiting local schools for the last 2 weeks and we have finally submitted the applications for the lotteries and have our fingers crossed.

One of the schools invited the incoming children to go to classes and walk through a morning at the school. So Rory and I (and Canyon) got up early, and spent a day in the class room.

The children were learning about money: how to count it, the presidents, what it is made out of, etc. It was very interesting and fun! It made me see that Rory definitely has the social skills he needs, more so than some of the other visitors who are in pre-k! I'm very happy about that.

The teacher, Mrs. R, was talking about penny-jars or piggy banks, and asking each child if they had one. Rory very excitedly told her he had a Grinch Bottle! While describing it to her, he said, "So, I just keep my money in a big beer bottle!" I about fell through the floor! All the other moms in the room thought it was hilarious... even the teacher had a hard time not laughing!

For the record, it is NOT a beer bottle!! But rather a large plastic soda bottle type bank. Sigh.

Now to Arden. He is pooping in the potty wonderfully. Not many issues. He has taken to looking at his excrement now. After he poops, he has decided that he has to tell me what kind of poop it is. Lately it is "Snake Poop!" It doesn't matter where we are, or who takes him to the potty, he comes out yelling "Snake poop mommy! Snake Poop! BIG Snake poop!"

Yup. So is my life. I definitely have boys; my life is full of potty humor and tattling on mom for having beer.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Trains, Tree Trunks, and Trout...

Well, 2 out of three isn't bad... we spent Saturday running about and having a blast!

Saturday was the last day for the local model train display, and it was fun. There weren't quite as many trains as I expected, but the boys had a blast anyhow! Even Canyon was enthralled!

The boys got to operate Thomas, and we got to see a number of hand made exhibits that were amazing!

One even had skinny dippers!

After the show we went to Big Creek for a hike/fishing trip. We walked out to Midnight Hole, and fished and played for a while.

We didn't catch any trout, or even have a bite for that matter, but we did have fun on the 3 mile hike!

Arden decided to try to walk up a tree that had fallen off the cliff, and Rory tried to crawl up it.

Over all it was a beautiful day, warm, sunny, and clear as can be.

I think I have spring fever... isn't it a bit early for that?

Friday, February 20, 2009

Sunday is about Boobies...

No, not about the Denny's Nurse In or the negative energy that everyone is putting into it.

We are all on the same side, all for BFing. But not all for the motive/method. But it is neither here nor there.

Rather than focusing all this energy on the negative and the bad, let's harness it for good.

I am going to be fasting on Sunday for the boobies. For Breast Cancer Awareness and Support.

Please join me in a day of fasting, and please, if nothing else, do a self exam.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

You think I posted LIBEL information about the Denny's Nurse-In? Really?

Crystal has contacted me and threatened me with Libel. Nothing I have posted about the situation with Denny's is libel, and I will continue to talk about MY POINT OF VIEW AND MY OPINION.

Some of this I already stated but, I feel like I should reiterate it. And yes, I have read the first-right stand being taken. This is a bit of a rambling rant.

I will not be going to this nurse-in, there are too many questions as far as the reason for it and where/when/how, etc. My biggest reason is that nurse-ins are for education and not punishment.

Denny's here in Asheville is NOT corporately owned so an apology from corporate is not going to happen. Each franchise will handle things their own way.

A national nurse-in is not going to achieve much when there is no real organization or firm reason behind it. An apology is what she wants, and she will "call it off". Is that what we are after? An apology for one person?

If you are going to do this, you need to do it RIGHT. You schedule a sit down with Denny's, you explain the law, you discuss what went wrong, and what BOTH sides could do in the future. You try to come to a positive conclusion before taking it to the media and making a fuss.

You get national breastfeeding groups on board first, before the press.

Has anyone been informed of the laws as far as picketing? Has anyone secured a permit? Do we know that these things are happening?

No, no one knows anything, that is the issue.

More information is needed as to what steps were taken first, and what is going on.

Even Crystal is confused, she doesn't/didn't even know if corporate or local management issued a statement.

Nurse-Ins are radical forms of protest, and when used properly are great! But this doesn't seem to be happening the right way or for the right reasons.

Education should be the reason, not just an apology.

I have been discriminated against for nursing in the past, I know how she feels, and what is going through her head, but you have to expect equal and proportional reactions to how you act towards a group of people.

There are a group of moms who are going to try to host a day of "awareness and promotion of breastfeeding" in March at Growing Young Café that I will attend. They are in the early planning, but it is stemming from the discomfort from the Denny's publicity. I'll help them out and put together a Press Release for them as they figure it out.

My main concern with how it came about is Crystal's tendency to bare breast nurse. I'm saying that there are places where it is more appropriate to "bare breast" nurse than others.

It isn't that others are necessarily offended either. It is embarrassing for some people to see a bare breast. It isn't that nursing, or a quick flash, or even belly or partial breast is showing, but an entire breast.

My father is someone who nursed until he was well into toddler-hood, (my grandmother still boasts about that), but has such a strong respect for women, that he is embarrassed at the beach, when boob flashes on a movie screen, or when I wear something revealing. He doesn't mind me nursing, but if I am too "lenient" with my exposure, he will ask me to cover up because he gets embarrassed.

Had he been in the restaurant, and see her bare breast nursing, he would have been so mortified that he would have literally gotten sick. He gets nervous, begins to get the hiccups, his hiatial (spelled wrong) hernia acts up, and he will then throw up his meal. I have seen it happen, and it isn't a choice. He would have asked management to do something, then would have addressed her himself IF he was still able to speak, but so long as she was exposed, he would be too embarrassed/upset/sick to approach her or even to finish his meal.

I think of the public in general the same way I do my father. I have enough respect for him, and for anyone else, to be fairly modest. That doesn't mean use a tent, or a blanket, or even to bunch your shirt right on the baby's face, but try to cover most of the breast that is not in use. Don't FORCE someone else to be uncomfortable. Crystal herself says things about making YOU go away and things, these comments are disrespectful and rude, if she wants respect from people, those comments and attitudes aren't going to do it for her.

Crystal made comments that she was "looking for it" that day. Right or wrong, mis-spoken or not, this is an issue. Many people saw that quote on MDC, it was deleted, but I did find where someone referenced it in the thread and told her she needed to delete that b/c it made her look bad. I can copy and paste it into a JPG if you want to see it.

I am ALL FOR BFING in public, no matter how old the child, where you are, or who is there, however, we need to be mindful of others. RESPECT must be earned.

The point of this nurse in is NOT about education. It is b/c she wants an apology.


ETA: Denny's official stance:
“We at Denny’s work very hard to insure all guests have a pleasant dining experience. Breastfeeding is absolutely allowed in our restaurants; we do request that it be done with respect and discretion, as we are a family restaurant. We defer to our managers to carry out the company’s position.”

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Mostly Naked Serenading ??

Yup... Arden bestowed a wonderful gift of pants-less serenading on me this afternoon while we are out hiking...

How did this happen you may ask? Well, it starts with the fact that mom forgot to take the portable potty with us, that Arden won't poop in public, and we were out on a hike... I took off his pants to let him go, he decided not to, and then he refused to put his pants back on.

After a few minutes, Arden perched himself on a rock and began singing to me... loudly with a lot of dancing! It was adorable! I did snag a few photos (for embarrassment later in life) and a video~ but I won't be posting them here, lol.

Here are a few photos I took during our hike, I am editing a few more from the Nature Center now.


Saturday, February 14, 2009

More about the Denny's Nurse-In "thing"

This has stirred up a huge can of worms here in Asheville and across the country, and I have to say, a lot of breastfeeding moms are not getting on the bandwagon for the nurse-in, and I am happy about that. Some of this might repeat what I have said before on the subject, but I feel it needs said again.

I'm having a hard time with this nurse-in. From day one, I have spent hours reading all the articles, rude hurtful comments, and the posts by Crystal herself. She was "within her rights", but the thing is, there is a time and a place for everything.

Nursing should be allowed to happen at anytime and in anyplace, but we as advocates for nursing, need to be considerate enough of the others around us to make them a *little* more comfortable with the situation.

Just because something is acceptable in some cultures, does not mean it is acceptable here. And just because we have the right to do something, doesn't mean we should. (I don't walk around screaming at my kids and hitting them b/c the law protects me as a disciplining parent...)

Here are my main issues with this particular nurse in:

1.) Denny's (both local management and corporate) have not been given a fair chance to make things right and to educate the staff or make amends for the situation. You need to give them a chance to make things right BEFORE you start on a media rampage. Someone who truly is looking for change would not have made an immediate call to the media.

2.) People who are involved or want to be involved are not being informed of what is going on, and are actually being misinformed in some places. It is hard to support something when there is no information being given to supporters.

3.) There are comments that were deleted from MDC ( that were inflammatory by Crystal, implying this is what she wanted to happen. I truly feel that she is twisting things and not being completely forth coming about her intentions or the entire situation.

4.) There seems to be no organization, and if you really want to make an impact, organization is key. There are a LOT of little things that need sifted through before this happens/should happen. No one wants to see nursing moms separated from their babies and sent to jail.

5.) A nurse-in is NOT about punishment or "putting it in their faces". It is about education and information. And in order to inform or educate, we need to be mindful and respectful of those we are trying to educate. We really should not "all be ourselves. Do what we are comfortable with" by letting it all hang out and not using discretion, because the majority of the people we want to educate are going to be so uncomfortable we are not going to achieve what the goal is.

6.) I'm not sure what we expect Denny's to have done. They were losing business b/c of her actions, they had complaints from more than one customer... what should they have done, what could they have done? They were between a rock and a hard place and were trying to find middle ground. This is why we need to give them a chance to try to find a solution before jumping the gun.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Nurse-In at Denny's, my prospective...

Here is the short version of what I understand to have happened after reading and hearing MULTIPLE accounts:

A mom was "forced" to leave a local Asheville Denny's this week b/c of nursing in public. Observers say she was completely exposed, and at points was exposed and not nursing. She was politely asked to be more discreet b/c there were other patrons leaving and uncomfortable. She threw a FIT and would not stop screaming, and was asked to leave b/c of the screaming, not because of the breastfeeding... the police came. Denny's supposedly chose not to press charges on her for the disruption she caused.
I nursed my middle DS when he was 18-20months old, at that particular Denny's, with my parents, while very pregnant and never got a second glance... and we all know how hard it is to be discreet while you are that big and with a toddler...

I don't think that women should have to cover up, or even be forced to nurse a certain way while in public. A little flashing is inevitable. I have been places where I have had to pull my top down rather than up and have been more exposed than I liked... I'm rather large breasted, and that makes not exposing myself harder... but I manage to nurse and not expose the world to my droopy breasts ;) They just get the luxury of seeing my mama-belly rolls.

Having said that, we need to think about how we look to others who are not used to moms nursing in public, and how we can encourage others to feel comfortable around it, and to feel comfortable enough to do it themselves.

I too have been embarrassed by the lack of humility some women have while nursing (the mom in question is actually one of them). It is not necessary to expose your entire breast to a restaurant full of people while nursing, by being more discreet, you receive more favorable responses and teach young women and others that it is ok and easy to do. I also don't see the point in walking through a store with your breast hanging out of your shirt completely exposed withOUT a child attached to it. I have seen this mom in local stores with her entire breast out. There are times that a child is not even attached to it. She herself says that she "bare breast" feeds in an attempt to "make others see it is normal". But by doing this, she is defeating her own goal.

I almost feel like this is all a reason to start a fight and that a scene was caused just to make a scene. Sensationalism is not they way to educate. My opinion is that this mom is wanting the attention and drama, and does each time she exposes herself the way she does.

I support a nurse-in for the fact that people need to be educated on the subject. Things didn't go smoothly on either side. However, I feel that we need to be mindful of those around us while we do this. By exposing ourselves unabashedly to prove a point, we are making it about us, and not the baby eating.

Again, please remember it is NOT about our right to breastfeed, but about the baby's right to eat. There is a difference.

People keep talking about other cultures where it is acceptable... we aren't in other cultures, and while I wish we could all walk around topless, we just can't here in the US. If we expect people/our culture/etc to be respectful of us, we need to at the very LEAST be respectful of them as well. Not to mention, most of Europe does not support complete exposure either...

The way to teach others is NOT through embarrassment or disrespect.

I personally am getting a feeling that she is searching for the sensationalism. There have been some reports from bystanders that her "account" isn't exactly factual. Right or wrong, did you know that Denny's chose not to press charges on her for the disruption?

I have been to nurse-ins, I support moms breastfeeding anywhere. I nurse in church, and I never use a cover. I feel that she was disrespectful. She was just asked to be more discreet, and wasn't respectful enough of others to do so.

While NC law is currently in our favor, incidents like this, and IMO this particular nurse-in, can change that, and the law can be repealed or changed to make it harder.

We need to think of the overall goal, respectfully encouraging breastfeeding in our culture.

(Please remember I am pro-breastfeeding and do it anywhere and everywhere my little ones needs or wants it, for as long as they want it.)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Buzz is BACK!

Buzz, the turkey vulture at the Nature Center, is back! They caught him recently after a while of being free. He is ok, and fairly healthy after losing 35% of his body weight.

We met some friends at the Nature Center and had a great time... Arden and Canyon acted like goof balls, while Rory was almost impossible to get a photo of...

The warm weather melted the ice covering the turtle ponds and we got to see a few of them as they warmed themselves in the sun...

The wolves made an appearance and showed off for the boys...

So did the bobcats...

They took turns on the tractor...

And got to see something amazing... one of the rattle snakes shed its skin while we watched!

Monday, February 9, 2009

No Fish Tacos...

We have been busy people this past week!

On Saturday we decided to go back out to the Lake for a much needed hike/fishing/boating trip, and I have to say it was a BLAST!

Carl and Vince took the older boys out on the boat, and attempted to catch dinner... but between making the boys PBJ, stopping to go to the potty, and entertaining them for 2 hours, no fish were caught. Not even a bite. They did however see a few schools of tilapia, which is promising for the future.

While they were on the boat, the Can-Man and I went for a nice hike, probably a little over a mile or so, and then came back to watch the boys from shore and knit.

After they got back to land, our friend R and her boys L & M showed up to play, and we had a blast! They played at the play ground and fed the ducks and geese. (No biting incidents this time).

Flat Stanley even made an appearance! I heard he is going kayaking today... ;o)

After a GREAT day like that, we decided that after church yesterday that we were going to go to Bent Creek for some fishing and hiking. The creek was low, but the weather was perfect! We only caught one fish, not enough for supper, but a nice sized little guy (brown trout); he is waiting in our freezer for some friends to join him...

The boys and I had fun walking and playing while Carl fished here and there... I think we need to go back this week and catch enough for the fish tacos I have been craving, but for some reason, not catching enough fish to make.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Went for a hike...

And enjoyed the beautiful day today! It was great! I can't believe how beautiful it has gotten after being so bitter cold!

We went down to the River Park today...

Rory got to wear his new scarf...

Canyon was along for the ride...

And I think we have decided that it is time for Arden to get a trim... he is just too pretty...

Now, if I can just bring myself to have it done... He is so cute...

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Playing in the snow... and sitting in the car...

We got a belated Christmas gift from some family members today and love it all! Here is Canyon in the absolute cutest outfit EVER!

We also went to Lake Louise Park today to go sled riding while we still had a little snow...

It was bitter cold and as we got everyone in their snow clothes, Arden decided that he didn't want to go sled riding... and the longer I stood out in the cold air trying to get everyone ready, the more obvious it became that even Canyon and I shouldn't be out in the bitter wind...

So, Carl and Rory went sled riding, and Arden, Can-man and I sat in the van and watched:

I think we might be coming to an end on the cold and snow though... they are forecasting 50s and 60s for the entire week starting Saturday...

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


No, I don't think I will have photos... but we got SNOW!!

Every Tuesday we go out to eat a local place where kids eat free, making the whole meal in the $10-15 range which is a great deal! Often, we hook up with other local families and have a blast there and occasionally walk to the ice cream shop who has vegan ice cream for Rory.

Well, last night, our friend had to cancel, and it was snowing pretty good when we left the house to head to the restaurant. We had a great meal and decided that we would treat the boy's to some almond milk ice cream since they had been sick, acted so well at dinner, and deserved a treat.

By the time we got back in the car to head home, there was over an inch of snow on the car, and it was sticking to the road. Apparently they don't salt the roads here? We saw 3 accidents in about 1 mile and Carl even had to help push a woman who was stuck (well really, she was from Texas and just needed the moral support to give her car enough gas to get up a hill).

I knew that our main road before our house was going to be a block of ice, and was not surprised to see 3 cars pulled over wrecked about 50 yards onto the hill.

As I crested the hill (mind you we haven't had an issue) I stopped and started again to make sure the van didn't have too much momentum heading down the hill. As I am pumping the breaks coasting down the hill, a truck coming up the hill swerves and fish tails (very obvious 2 wheel drive truck). He stops in our lane... but I can't stop b/c of the ice and I start fish tailing and pumping the breaks isn't stopping us. So I head for the side of the road (not quite a ditch but just fresh snow and dirt) for traction and to fit around this truck... Well the truck decided that he was going to try to drive up the hill from a complete stop and begins to swerve again, but this time is rolling backwards b/c there is no traction.

We did get around the truck no worse for the wear, but man, it was a long drive home. I never knew 2 miles could take so long... I'm amazed at how uncomfortable people here are with driving in the snow.

I went to bed late last night 3am or so (A-man had a fever and was not sleeping) and I went to brush my teeth... no water. The pipes were frozen.

So this morning, Carl has been outside defrosting the pipe and sled riding with Rory. Arden, Canman and I are jealously listening to them have fun... but hey... we don't mind, we are warm, and watching Sesame Street ;)

Also, while I am waiting on my knitting needles for CanMan's hat, I started a scarf for Rory.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Knitting Can-man a hat...

Hope to be done in a day or so :) It is green.

ETA: I'm going to have to wait for my knitting needles to come, my circulars are too long.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Super Bowl, PBJs, and Fishing...

That is our day!

We went to a local lake to go fishing, (drove less than 20 minutes, have to love it!) We didn't catch any fish while we were there, but we had a great time!

A-man decided not to listen and started feeding the Canadian Geese bread... at first they really liked him and were nice... then he got bit on the hands a few times and changed his mind! LOL!

Rory and Arden had some great PBJ, with homemade jelly from Mama Ann. While we were eating, we sat and watched the Rowing team and some sail boats!

There was a great park, and we had a great walk.

I'm just so happy that there are places like this local to us, and easy to get to. I love that we have a family that loves to do these things :O)

Now off to watch the Supper Bowl and hope the Steelers take it!

Feeling Relieved, Happy, and Relaxed...

It has been about 4.5 months since I was able to feel this way. What is amazing is that until this week, I didn't even realize that I had been so stressed out.

It is amazing what the wrong relationship with someone can do to you. I befriended someone last year, and quickly, maybe too quickly, let her into my life. We were great friends, hung out often, and her little idiosyncrasies didn't really bother me much.

We even became so close that she asked me to attend her birth.

Well, towards the end of her pregnancy I began to realize that we were not really a good match. The relationship had become completely one-sided and she wasn't the person that she was "pretending" or "portraying" herself to be. I didn't want to hurt her or bring it up while she was in and out of labor at 34-36 weeks, and after her birth she was so fragile that I couldn't talk to her about it.

I would talk to her and share things, and when I would mention the conversation, she would act like she had no idea what I was talking about. There was even one day, probably one of the hardest I have ever had, when she called... I started to tell her what was going on and why I was in tears, and when I did, she interrupted me and told me I had to listen to how mean her Mother-In-Law was b/c she didn't want to lend her money... She kept going on and on, and after 5 minutes I told her that I just couldn't do this right now, that I didn't have it in me at the moment to be supportive of anyone, that I needed to try to hold myself together, and in turn, she got huffy and got off the phone without even finding out what was so wrong in my life that I couldn't be there for her problem.

I was always there for her, always. We ate dinners together, during the gas crisis I traveled over 100 miles round trip with gas for her, I helped her with her hair, I listened to her talk about her husband, his family, her other friends, the random people online who were after her... and the list goes on.

For the last four months, she started to try to become more like me, she called me 4-6 times a day, sometime more, she commented me online ALL THE TIME, and began to do the same to my friends... I don't mind that she was making friends, but she began to complain about my friends behind their backs, and to be more and more negative.

Over the last 3 months, I began not having the ringer on when I had my phone with me, just knowing that someone (probably her) was calling made me anxious.

Over the last 2 weeks I have been on-edge so much that I have had nothing nice to say to my family or anyone, not even my children, and after a late night Y!M conversation with this person I realized why. It was her , it was our relationship. She had NEVER heard a thing I said, and was becoming more and more unstable, and unreasonable... I actually wonder if she doesn't need help from someone.

Well, how do you break up with someone who has become a good friend? How do you deal with it?

I was feeling so much stress, and she was taking so much of my energy, that I had nothing left to give to those who needed it the most, (my family and myself!)... So I did it, I deleted her from my life. I know it sounds harsh... and it is, but I have no ill will towards her, I just couldn't be in a relationship with someone who couldn't even remember what my goals and dreams in life were, where I wasn't happy, and with a person who made my life become four times more stressful than it needed to be.

In our last conversation, she was completely unstable. She accused me of only being her friend so that I could find a way to attend her birth, and to use her. She accused me of never supporting her, (when I told her that I didn't know how to help with cases of incest and that she needed a psychiatrist) and of not caring about her dreams (which I did help her with understanding the legal side of Midwifery in NC an the different opinions on legislation and regulation). She claimed she had no idea our dreams were similar and I hid mine from her. She was upset that I commented to other people's blogs more than hers, and that I didn't write on her page as much as she did mine... The conversation went from bad to worse, and it became painfully obvious by the end, that I couldn't reason with her and that she wanted more than I had to give.

I sent her an email to officially end the relationship... I know that it seems harsh, but I didn't know what to do, and I wanted to leave it on a positive note, and not negative, which is what I feared from a phone or IRL conversation...

"I am sorry that you feel so unsupported by me. That was never my intention. Obviously you have a lot going on in your life right now, and I feel that perhaps it will be better for you to focus your energy on that rather than on me. I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors and I am sure I will see you around. I am sorry that our friendship is not what we hoped it would be."

The minute I pressed send on the email, I felt a rush of relief... I can actually breath! While I am sorry for the loss of a friend, and I do really wish her the best, I realized that I am happy for the first time in months and that I was not being the person who I really am. The stress over that relationship had made me into someone that I didn't want to be. I was being mean to my husband, kids, and ignoring other people in my life because I had no energy left.

I guess I am writing this note to process it out-loud and to remind us to be careful who we surround ourselves with, because those people will effect all aspects of our lives, not just part of things. This person is no longer on my friend's lists, is on ignore on chat groups, and I can't see anything she posts. I am not writing it to make her feel bad or for any other reason like that. I wrote it to process my feelings and to apologize to those of you who I have neglected as a friend and loved one... I am sorry. I am back to myself, I haven't lost my temper in days, and can't wait to talk to you all.

I love you all.