Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The New Yorker Discusses breast vs. pump

I read this article today ( I both loved and hated it. For those that are interested in the history of the culture of breastfeeding, it is a great article mostly. It provides a load of information about why and when breastfeeding trends changed over hundreds of years. It also is incredibly supportive of breastfeeding and its importance.

My problem with the article is that it seems to show pumping as a negative thing, as if it doesn't matter what is in the bottle, the bottle itself ruins the positives. The question it poses, and in my opinion doesn't really offer an answer, is "What matters more to the baby... the milk or the mother?". I take great offense to this as I think it is both. There are health, developmental, and emotional benefits to be had from both.I think it does a great disservice to breastfeeding to make it appear that a woman who must return to work and pump for her child is providing less benefit or being selfish. Some women must pump while at work. And, yes, some women choose to pump exclusively, even if they could nurse. But I feel that at least those children are getting the benefits of the milk then. They are missing out on some of the connection that is provided from being at the breast, but they are still gaining so much. I personally applaud any mother that provides her child with breastmilk, whether through pumping or from the tap. I think it is a great blessing and gift.

I understand that the article points out that a pump is not as effective as a baby and that it is an "artifical" way of feeding (when compared to the "natural" skin to skin way). I just feel that the benefits of the milk are so great that they outweigh this type of judgement. I don't think anything can replace the benefits of the child at the breast, but we are not a society that can be so black and white. I think we should support women and their desire to give their milk to their children, no matter how they go about doing it.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Wedding video highlights

After watching the Obamas dance the night away to "At Last" by Etta James, Aaron and I were feeling sentimental about our wedding. So, I edited together some highlights. I am working on a few more. Here are the first two though.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Our New President

Today wouldn't be complete without sharing my thoughts about the Inauguration of President Barack Obama. First, I have to just put out there that I am thrilled, touched, hopeful, and elated! (and impressed that they chose to dance to "At Last" as their Inaugural Dance... our first dance at our wedding!) :-)

I feel that President Obama embodies so much of what I have wanted to see in American politics. The ideas that other generations have criticized as being naive are now shared by the most powerful man in the world. Finally, someone is leading our country that seems to feel that integrity, respect, and honor are the best ways to show power in this world. Finally, someone that values the lives of all human beings, regardless of their location in this world or their ideological differences. I have so much hope for this man and his role in our country! I pray that he remains safe and energized and that the burden of his new post does not silence the power of his convictions.

I also have become a huge fan of Michelle Obama. Finally, a woman is in office who I can relate to. A woman who is educated, powerful, and strong, but also feminine and sexy. A woman who has been a working mother. Even though she has had the financial comfort to avoid many of the difficulties that most working women face, I feel she will be a true advocate for women, children, education, and human rights. I feel that she is a woman that I can look up to and truly respect!

I am so proud to see this family in our White House. I am thrilled to see a man and woman that appear to be a team, a dedicated mother and father, a loving couple, and a couple that are still so down to earth.

So, as they begin their new roles, here are some of the things I wish for them and from them:
  • I pray they remain safe
  • I pray they remain in touch... with each other, with us, with themselves
  • I pray they remain humble, compassionate, and sensitive
  • I pray the fire in them is not extinguished by the burdens of the jobs
  • I pray that their daughters continue to grow to be models to all young women
  • I pray the world sees our choice in them to lead us as a promise that we are a loving, compassionate people
  • I pray that the country gathers to support him and that he continues to earn that support and respect over the years
  • I pray that he proves wrong the critics and proves right the hearts of so many people that believe he IS the change we need!!!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Good friends

I have had so many blessings in life and I am thankful for them each day. One of the great blessings is my friends. I was able to spend the weekend with one of my best friends in the world, Tara, and became compelled to tell the world (or at least the 15 or so people that read this) why I am thankful for her.

Where to begin... Tara is a gift! First, she is one of the smartest people I have ever met. Seriously, she is brilliant. Her knowledge of theology and history is amazing. But even more amazing than her knowledge developed through research and immersion is her knowledge of the spirit of man. Tara has a way to know people, to see the best, to develop that in them, and to project to them a better version of themselves.

Over the last 15 years, I have had so many incredible conversations with Tara that have helped develop me into the person I am today. We have talked about everything and not always agreed, but I always have felt accepted and loved, no matter what. Some of my favorites were the ones when we were teenagers and I would come over to her house and talk until late into the evening.

Over the last 10 years life has taken us to some very different places and we have often gone for long times without seeing eachother or even talking. But there has always been a connection that never broke. Even after a full year we will pick right up from where we left off. There is no expectation, no guilt, just a true joy of being together again! That is incredibly special.

I joke that Tara is like a drug. She just makes you feel so good about life and yourself that you want more! When I leave a visit with her, I feel rejuvinated! I just hope that I can offer her the same in return.

Tara's friendship is a gift! And Tara is a gift in this world! She has dedicated her life to serving others and she gives herself to those in her life. I am so thankful for her in my life! Tara, I love you!!

Did You Know?
I would likely not be in the career I am in now if it weren't for Tara! Tara taught me how to make my very first basic webpage!! It was so much fun that I stayed up late most nights during my freshman year of college and learned more before deciding to make it my major!!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Farewell Dungy

I wanted to say something about our now former football coach, Tony Dungy. I listened to his retirement press conference the other day and honestly wanted to cry. I, and the rest of the city, will greatly miss him. Now, I know that this may seem overly dramatic since I never met the man, but there is a lot to love about him.

When he came to Indy he said he wanted to turn the community into Colts fans by winning the right way. And that is exactly what he did. He came into this city and won and won and won. He made the players into heros to our children. But the reason we all love him so much is the way he did it. Dungy always conducts himself in a manner of respect, humility, grace, and while remaining true to his faith. He also lead a team of men who were expected to do the same. In a world where, as a parent, you question whether sports are acceptable entertainment for your child because of the seriously poor choices so many of the athletes make, it is refreshing to find a team that walks the straight line. Watching them win is watching the good guys win. You have to respect the team and the hard work they put into their jobs and their community. Dungy raised athletes that are contributing to the community instead of taxing it. He set an example that I wish more coaches would follow. I get sick of seeing coaches acting out on the sidelines and showing disrespect to their team and the refs. Dungy was strong about what he thought on a call, but also respectful at all moments. He had a no excuses mentality that more people should take to heart in their lives.

I am hopeful that the new leadership of our beloved team will continue to maintain the legacy that he built. I hope that the Colts remain a positive example of what men are, of what sportmanship is, and of what "doing it the right way" can create. So, if I could tell Dungy one thing, I would say "You did it. You turned me into a Colts fan and you did it the right way. Thank you!"

Monday, January 12, 2009

Sick little boy

Maddox has been very sick for the past week. It has been miserable! He woke up last Tues night (after being totally normal all day) and got sick 12 times... every 15 minutes!! It was awful to see! He didn't understand what was happening to him and obviously felt horrible. For the next week he would be lethargic and cuddly almost the whole time. Occassionally he would show signs of improvement, but then would get sick again. We are taking him to the doctor today, and of course he seems GREATLY improved now. But, with the way this has been going, if we don't take him, he will get sick again tonight. I had fears that as soon as he totally weaned he would get sick and I would feel guilty... and sure enough! I have hated not having the breastmilk as a fall back. He has never been sick like this (most he has had was head stuff), but I still liked knowing that he was getting something that was easily digested, safe, and full of everything he needed. This time, I have been so nervous about dehydration, him not eating, etc. This was bound to happen eventually, whenever he did decide to wean, but I hate that my worries came true. For the most part he hasn't asked to nurse at all, until last night. He asked and cried. I couldn't even give in because it has been so long now. I felt bad for that, but held him extra tight and he finally stopped crying.So, it has been a VERY long week. I am anxious to get back into the office and back to a normal routine. Now, I will be waiting for Aaron to recover too, but then we will hopefully be a healthy family again.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

New tool... so cool!

I have added a new tool to the bottom of my blog. It is called MyThredz. It allows me to quickly update various areas of my life (right now I am doing Home, Work, Breastfeeding). It is supplemental to the blogging and is more of a snapshot of a day, rather than a thoughtful review of an event or thought like the blog. Let me know what you think of it!

Monday, January 05, 2009

New Site!

I am very excited to announce that I have created a new website for breastfeeding... Aaron sent me a message today telling me about a great site that makes it easy to create a social network site. So, I chose to play with the software and came up with this site. It is focused on women in the Indy area that are interested in breastfeeding; an extention of the mother support groups that are out there. I have invited many of the women I know, but hope that word gets out and more join. I am so passionate about this cause and I want to do all I can!! This is something that brings a lot of joy to me.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Creating a life of love

Today I was at a funeral service for a woman that I had never met, but I was there to support a family friend. I listened to the moving service and had many thoughts. First, I was taken by how wonderful this woman seemed to have been and was sad that I had not been able to meet her. And I was so touched by the people and stories there. I realized that I really want to live my life so that I create that type of love too. It was amazing to listen to her husband of 59 years speak so fondly of her and their life together. He called the need for him to provide her total care in the end a "total honor". He gave her credit for the successful career he had and their loving family. He spoke of her strength and even her moments of weakness. At 26, she had suffered from Polio while pregnant and spent the rest of her life in a wheelchair. He had once been counseled to leave her for his own sake and the sake of their 5 daughters, but it said that was just unacceptable. Instead, they faced their adversity together and ended up with a wonderful life full of experience and joy. She even went on an African safari with him! I want my marriage to be like that, that solid and powerful. There were so many people there. It was obvious that she had touched many. I hope that my life, too, will be marked by the love and support I show for others. The experience was very special and renewed a purpose in my mind to be that person... the supportive, happy, joyful, lively person that creates the love that this powerful woman did.
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