Monday, July 28, 2014

I said I'd never do this...

I said I'd never get all crotchety about Breast vs Formula.

But I am.

I'm all crotchety.

Because Ms. AlphaParent (MsAP from here on out), up on her high-horse of bullshit,seems to honestly believe that Formula Feeding compares to SMOKING.

Go ahead, check it out.

I'll wait here while you (hopefully) get as steamed as I am.


Remember those papers you had to write in high school - in probably economics, or speech-writing or debate-team or some similar course/extra-curricular -  where you had to convince your reader of something, point-by-point?

If you didn't read MsAP's post (which may be for the better, as you probably have lower blood pressure than I do right now...) MsAP lays out her post exactly like a persuasive essay. (I can't believe I remembered that term from high school English!)

Once You Pop, You can't Stop! 
a.k.a. Point One from MsAP:
"Firstly, a common thread between formula feeding and smoking is consumption patterns. They both follow the addiction model: It’s easy to get hooked, and then you’ve gotta have it."

Well considering she didn't even spend another two sentences on that entire argument, I feel like this was the paragraph where she was mid-writing and thought "crap, I have 3 of the 4 argumentative points I need - ummmm HERE, let's just throw this in..."
Because, seriously? Formula follows an addiction model?
(If you were wondering why your baby was waking up crying throughout the night - it's because they were going through FORMULA WITHDRAWAL!  Oh wait - like they were hungry? LOLZ)

She tried to draw a comparison between tobacco companies dispensing free cigarettes for soldiers to formula companies sending out free samples.

One big difference - tobacco companies used a proven addicting drug (nicotine) in their product that relied on a grown adult's craving said product.
Uhhhhh - I'm pretty sure formula companies only hope to make a consumer brand-loyal, not to get their babies addicted to anything...


Paranoia Paranoia - Everybody's Coming to Get You!
a.k.a. Point Two from MsAP:
Apparently, formula companies are attempting to cover up their ill-health effects.  
 MsAP foresees a grim future for Enfamil's legal department:

"...lawsuits will be filed against formula companies claiming that they are responsible for the ill-health of the obese, diabetics, crohn’s sufferers, allergy sufferers, arthritis sufferers and asthmatics, to name but a few of the possible plaintiffs, who fed for a considerable period of their infancy on their products."

Some background on "Infant Formula" for thought:

Obviously it is a somewhat recent invention.... Hundreds of years ago, women who were unable to breastfeed (or were too upperclass!) used wet nurses (another woman who was lactating and was able to feed an infant.)
Driven by cultural changes and sanitation concerns, wet nursing began to die out in the early 19th century (in America and Europe) and began to be replaced with mixtures based on animal milks.  This slowly transitioned to mixtures based on evaporated milk, and guess what - by 1950 over HALF of all babies on the United States were raised on such formulas. [1]

Did you read that right?

Over FIFTY PERFECT of the babies in the United States.
The BabyBoomer generation was raised on formula.
And yea - google the health of Baby Boomers - honestly, four articles down is one titled "Vast Majority of Baby Boomers are Overweight."

Guess what - vast majority of AMERICANS are overweight.  Specifically, 69% (of adults age 20 and older) during the years 2011-2012, according to the CDC. [2]

Bare with me for the math here:
A 20-year-old in 2011/2012 would be born approximately 1990.  (zomg that makes me feel so old...)
Hm. 
Interesting, considering that breast-feeding rates began to pick up again in 1980 after campaigns and government reports cited its advantages.  And by 1982, 62% of moms began their baby's nutrition with breastfeeding.  Mothers continued to be influenced by attempts of breast-feeding promotions, and formula sales took a 10% dip in the mid-1990's! [3]

Doesn't it seem logical, given the increased breast-feeding rates through the '80's and 90's, that you can't really attribute modern childhood obesity to formula-feeding?  

Let's make it a little clearer:
With formula-feeding prevalent during the 1970s when these children (6-11 years old) were born, 7% of them in 1980 were considered obese. [4]

Get this - It's 2012.  

                        "Breast is Best!"

"Formula is akin to SMOKING!"  (haha)

                and now, 18% of children are obese.

Ok this section has become a novel - and I only addressed the first possible side-affect MsAP mentioned in her future-lawsuits... It's probably in everyone's best interest (especially YOU there, who's already just skimming through the paragraphs thinking, "blah blah - I'm breastfeeding right now, can't be bothered to read!") to move on...


Da Nile - It's a River in Egypt! 
a.k.a. Point Three from MsAP

Remember all those lawsuits that, in the first section, were supposedly imminent?  Well, see - first the plaintiffs need to be able to prove that their afflictions were caused by defendant's product.  MsAP chose to compare nicotine companies covering up the effects that cigarette smoking has to formula companies doing the same: covering up ill-health caused by formula. 
*FacePalm*

We all know that there was once a time when the effects of cigarette smoking were not widely known or acknowledged (helloooo 1950's housewife - smoking (& DRINKING!) while pregnant!!)
I mean - physicians were promoting cigarettes:

But really - as early as 1953, a study was performed by Dr. Ernst L. Wynder:
He painted cigarette tar on the backs of mice. And guess what grew?
Tumors. [5]

Yes, nicotine companies pled the 5th when it came to taking blame for the number of lung-cancer deaths (the CDC attributes 90% of them to smoking!) [6]

But c'mon - was anyone really fooled when they said this:
Hola1 Hola2

MsAP claims that the effects and impacts of a lifestyle during gestation are not obvious, and even claims that you can't "look at a group of adults and tell whose mother smoked when they were in utero..."
I think the CDC begs to differ, as does the U.S. Dept of Health and Senior Services:
A woman smoking during pregnancy has increased risk for
  • Preterm delivery
  • Stillbirth
  • Low birth weight
  • SIDS
  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Orofacial clefts in infants
 I'm pretty sure that without surgery, you'd be able to pick these infants with orofacial clefts out of a group of adults:

And the number of people in your "group of adults" just decreased by the infants born still, or died from SIDS.

Ok Ok - this has turned into an anti-smoking campaign... (Which really, is an we should all be giving our time and attention to, not this bullshit anti-formula campaign...) so just stop claiming that fancy advertising and physician-approval-driven campaigns are just a ruse and a cover-up when it comes to formula...



And lastly, because I absolutely CANNOT leave this one unaddressed:

"Free Will... Or not..."
a.k.a. Point Four from MsAP

She opened her last argument (closing argument for you persuasive essayers!) with this (and this is what started to make my whistle go off, blood beginning to simmer...):

"Like smoking, formula feeding is a personal decision and an expression of one’s freedom."


I couldn't wait to get home and show my good friend Dee this.  Remember her?

She got married in September after a scary battle with breast cancer (complete with terrifying second lump discovered as soon as her hair started to grow back in - thank God it was found benign).
And then she had her little boy a few weeks ago (complete with elevated tempatures and blood pressure while still in the hospital).

I have to say, she was positively ecstatic to be informed by some trite little blog that she was merely expressing her freedom when she chose formula feeding by having her breasts removed (at 25 years old!)
Even huskies get sarcasm...

Yes, there are women that decide not to go the route of breast feeding, for convenience's sake.

There are some women that put a little effort in, and decide formula is just "easier."
There are women that bust their balls boobs in their breast feeding attempts.
There are women that, after busting their boobs, even resort to exclusive pumping for months (ahem AHEM)
THERE ARE WOMEN who never had the option to breastfeed like my good friend.
(Oh, what's that you say? she chose to get the double mastectomy? well, true.  But then she wouldn't even be here to have had her baby... dilemma solved, right??)

Sanity is frequently sacrificed, and the switch to formula is not always taken lightly; but a number of these above-mentioned women are ultimately taking the step to provide better care for their babies in the end. 
A crazed, harried mom who is obsessing over every little mL her breast pump is squeezing out (sometimes over a long pump session!) and is becoming borderline mentally unstable 
OH-MI-GAWD I CAN'T EVEN GET ONE BOTTLE SAVED!
 THERE IS NO WAY!!
queue awkward walk to bathroom with sloshing milk bottles...

"That's a nice clean, empty bottle," you say. 
NO IT'S NOT - that's the meager results from a 30 min pump session!!!!!
This harried woman (who starts to resemble "Johnnie" - "I JUST GOT 1 WHOLE OUNCE!") -
she is beat out by the formula-fed infant with a calm, composed (as much as you can be with dried spit-up down your cardigan you just walked out of the house in!) mother:
 You can't successfully care for your baby until you take care of yourself.  (And I don't mean the physical aspect - I mean, when did you last wash your hair of that dried spit-up?  God only knows how many times I left the house in the first few months without brushing my teeth...)


"Nature vs Nurture" 
a.k.a. MY closing argument
Truly take a group of adults, say my age (*gulp*) - approximately 30 years old (not there for another year!!).  We're talking births in the mid 1980's so let's say you've got a 59% chance of being a breast-fed baby. [7]
I was breastfed.  DH was formula fed.  Can you tell the difference between us?  (aside from the obvious Boys vs Girls parts...)

NO.  We're both private-college-educated adults holding executive/professional-level full-time jobs.  While we both resort to drunken potty-mouthed-foulness on the weekends, we can be eloquently spoken and well-verbalized (HELLO - have you been reading this paper that awesome me has written so far?!)
We're both physically fit (see ass-kickage in recent MudRun!) and enjoy a variety of (mostly) healthy foods.  But we both need corrective lenses - I'm a full-time contact wearer, and E's a part-time glasses wearer (his eyes are better - and HE WAS FORMULA FED! *GASP!)

A study was recently performed with 1,773 sibling pairs where one sibling was breastfed and another sibling was not.  Yes, overall the breastfed had marginally better scores in areas such as BMI, hyperactivity, math skills, reading recognition, vocabulary word identification, digit recollection, scholastic competence and obesity.
But when they compared sibling-to-sibling, which very importantly eliminates any independent factors such as parental education, household income and race/ethnicity, "the benefits were not statistically significant. The exception was that breast-fed children were at higher risk for asthma..." [8]

Did you read that last sentence?

BREAST-FED children were at higher risk for asthma!



Coming from a mom that has done both breast-feeding (and exclusive pumping! FOR FIVE MONTHS!) as well as formula-feeding, there is no right or wrong way to feed your child.

(OK there is - you shouldn't really give them like, lasagne and stuff when they're 4 months old!)


Seriously - I'm sick of all the shit about APing as the only way, and formula feeders are condemned to a life of idiocy... (just to name a few)

More important than whether you're using cloth diapers or not, is how we're doing as mothers.  Are your children happy and loved?

Then congratulations!!

 
Tony Hawk - you're doing it right!!




****Just an interesting footnote: as this "went to press" (3:30pm ET on 7/28/2014) the comment that I left on MsAP's original post on Friday 7/25/2014 still has not been published.  (A fellow blogger-friend made a comment within seconds of mine on Friday.  Hers was published...)
My comment [paraphrased] was a recap of Dee and her breast-cancer-leading-to-formula story. 
And a "Thanks for turning me off of your blog with one post."




[1] “Infant Formula” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., date last updated (24 July 2014). Web. Date accessed (25 July 2014). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infant_formula
[2] "FastStats" CDC Trend Tables. CDC: National Center for Health Statistics., date last updated (2013). Web. Date accessed (25 July 2014). http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/obesity-overweight.htm
[3] "Infant Formula Timeline" Baby Care Articles. ParentsChoice., date last updated (2013). Web. Date accessed (25 July 2014). http://www.parentschoiceformula.com/articles/Infant-Formula-Timeline-What-Should-we-Feed-Baby.aspx
[4]"Childhood Obesity Facts" CDC Adolescent and School Health. CDC: National Center for Health Statistics., date last updated (2013). Web. Date accessed (25 July 2014). http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/obesity/facts.htm
[5] "Tobacco Timeline: The Twentieth Century 1950-1999" Tobacco.org. date last updated (2014). Web. Date accessed (28 July 2014). http://archive.tobacco.org/resources/history/tobacco_history20-2.html
[6] "Health and Effects of Cigarette Smoking". CDC:  National Center for Health Statistics., date last updated (06 February 2014). Web. Date accessed (28 July 2014). http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/health_effects/effects_cig_smoking/
[7] "1984 Milk-Feeding Patterns in the  United Sstates" Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics. date last updated (08 April 1985). Web. Date accessed (28 July 2014). http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/76/6/1004.abstract?ijkey=0f032d204fd9278b048105a7c6f1b63307ac2c85&keytype2=tf_ipsecsha
[8] "Sibling Study Shows Little Difference Between Breast- and Bottle-Feeding" Time Magazine. date last updated (25 February 2014). Web. Date accessed (28 July 2014). http://time.com/9917/sibling-study-shows-little-difference-between-breast-and-bottle-feeding/

Friday, July 25, 2014

The Post where I tell you to Wait!

Wait - that is, for the epic Happy 1st Birthday Ben post... 

I know, I know - I told you last time you had to wait too...

There's just so many pictures, so much fun - so many details attended to by yours truly!  Things like Twelve@twelve that need my full attention, not me sitting at work (supposedly working!) and trying to smash together 12 things about my big boy...

For now, to whet your appetite:




Also -

darling, sweet, dear husband - I truly love you (most of the time!)

But my curiosity is demanding to know - how the F*%& did you live alone for the years before we moved in together?!


Because here's how a typical Mommy-getting-Ben-ready morning goes:
  • Wake up Ben, change Ben (usually just his diaper - he chills in PJ's for breakfast)
  • Feed Ben
  • Supervise Ben self-entertaining on the bathroom floor ("DON'T TOUCH THAT TOILET SEAT!") while I get made up
  • Get Ben dressed, pack anything he needs (for daycare its nothing, but for MIL's its EVERYTHING)
  • HEAD OUT!

And here's how a typical Daddy-getting-Ben-ready morning goes:
  • Wake up Ben, change Ben (ask me where the new diapers are - where you left them when you got home buying them last night!)
  • Feed Ben (ask where the clean spoons are - ummmm dishwasher??)
  • Ask where the clean sippy cups are (*Sigh..... dishwasher, dear...)
  • Play with Ben in the living room
  • Ask where Ben's vitamins are for MIL's (cabinet where they always are)
  • Get Ben dressed (ask what clothes Ben should wear)
  • Ask where Ben's sneakers are (you mean the ones that got left at daycare yesterday when you picked him up and somehow didn't realize he was barefoot? Those sneakers??)
  • HEAD OUT (ask where his car keys are! WHERE EVER YOU LEFT THEM, darling...
    

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Good, Bad and downright UGLY...

We'll save the good for the end - because after this crappy Monday morning, it'll look all that better, and will get me through the rest of the day/week!

**Well, we'll bookend with good:

First - awesome weekend - BEN'S FIRST BIRTHDAY PARTY!!
It was epic.

Will hopefully get through pics tonight! (For now, some scrapbook-editing my SIL did:

 First, on his actual birthday (Thursday) I had IL's over for cake, coffee and gifts (since, with 50+ people coming Saturday! we wouldn't be opening gifts in front of everyone.)

He got such fun stuff!


a drum set, a guitar, a power-wheels Spiderman quad!

(The hat was from daycare - he wore it the entire day, the car ride home, and all night...)








And just a party-teaser:

We spent all day yesterday recuperating, and this morning I could have slept another 4 hours...

Monday morning continued FABULOUSLY:

1. I went to head to DD to pick up breakfast (and only food - I pay my receptionist weekly to pick me up DD coffee every morning with the order she places for multiple co-workers) I discovered I left my wallet at home.
so no breakfast.

2. I get to work, walk in and see a replacement receptionist.  (reminder - see above re: coffee!)
so now I have no coffee, no breakfast, and no wallet to go hit up DD!
cherries on top - the receptionist is asking me if [program A] on the computer - have I noticed any downtime this morning?
uuuuh I JUST walked in, haven't even gotten to my office or a computer... Derrrrrr

3. When I do get upstairs, I realize I left some notes at home that E wanted me to type up and send to a patent guy for some brilliant invention we have going. (more on that once patent is pending!!)

4.  And then I noticed someone stole my stapler.

I hate Mondays.




But- but but - the Good amongst the Bad (no breakfast) and Ugly (NO COFFEE!) :

E's new company (he switched jobs back in April) is having a party on July 31st to celebrate their success.
A party on a PRIVATE YACHT.

in NYC Harbor.

WOOHOO!!! A chance to get all dressed up and wear sparkly heels and a fancy dress!

(Another more every-day silver-lining: we have a new free-lance marketer who looks like this:)



(with black hair (he's from South America))






but DAMN can the man wear a suit...


So he comes in a few times a week, and it's usually unannounced - he'll just breeze into the office...










So I've started wearing lipstick.






Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Hump Day Hula

Hopefully you gals remembered - Husbands never want to hear about Mucus Plugs...

But an awesome update to that story:
Dee had her BABEEEE!!!!
so her 'plug came out Monday afternoon, no contractions had really begun until laaaate that night.
Tuesday morning (around 5am) she and hubby headed into L&D with very strong contractions, only to discover she was 3cm dilated.  (somewhat disappointing, but allowable at this point)

Except - this "point" lasted for the next 19 hours or so... she kept contracting, and never dilated past the 3cm... and then apparently baby C's cord was wrapped around his neck - so they got the heck into an OR and got that baby out safely via last-minute emergency C-section at 12:49am, July 9th!
(Which I thought was really kinda funny - the fact that of 4 women in our close group (and another 2 in the outer circles!) who have delivered in the past two-ish years - EVERY.SNGLE. one of us has had c-sections... and here I thought they weren't that common!!)

Anyway - E and I ran over on Wednesday's lunch break to see the little peanut, who wasn't really little at 9lb and 20" - big beautiful baby boy!
With a slightly rough next few days in MotherBaby Unit (fever for Momma that almost resulted in an 8-hr no-baby quarantine, followed by elevated BP for Momma that almost delayed discharge) the new family headed home Saturday evening, the same day that I ran my:

FIRST MUD RUN!
If you remember, some of the recent Buggy List 'ish was to hard-core train for this baby, which I kept up with for all of about 2 weeks.  And for which E predicted I wouldn't be able to do a few of the obstacles with my wimpy girl arms... well this chick KICKED-ASS and TOOK NAMES!
(We of course had to prep the boys with matching 'hawks:


we went through small mud ponds with OverUnderThingies (that was the official name on the obstacle map. ha! not really...) *Note - these images are all from previous mudruns hosted by Rugged Maniac

We crawled under barbed wire (it should be noted that ours was much lower than what is picture!!)

We walked across slippery 2x4's:

We scaled cargo nets:

We carried sacks of - well, not sure what exactly - but something heavy! (25lbs to be exact - and E was right - us "mommies have this! It's like toting a toddler!") *actual pic from our MudRun
 

We clamored up walls, and leapt over mudpits and fiery embers!








And the ONLY obstacle I did not FULLY complete was the rings - I swung once and fell in the water... lol




But dude - we ended on a kick-ass 2-story water slide: (these pictures are from our mud-run Saturday!)





































 Ben kept entertained at his DIY water table



































We partied at beer tents afterwards (one free beer with completion of the MudRun!) and overall had a pretty kick-ass day - WHEN'S THE NEXT RUN?!?!
(A Nice little "Before" shot followed by our MACHO MUSCLE MANIAC - aka "AFTER" shot!)




Tonight I'll be baking - a smash cake for Saturday's party, cupcakes for daycare tomorrow (although those must be store bought to easily provide that they're nut-free!) and 1 cake for tomorrow night's family bash as we celebrate  (OHMYF&*%CKINGGOD HE'S) one year:



and here's your WARDROBE WEDNESDAY:
 (and don't forget the pink lips - a rarity for me since I tend to never wear any lipcolor!)

Monday, July 7, 2014

Mucus Plugs and Husbands

so if you're not the one pregnant, don't ever mention a mucus plug to your husband.  (You know, even if you are the expectant mommy, he may not want to know the details of it falling out...)

My friend Dee is about to give birth!! (Some of you may be thinking, wait - didn't she JUST get married last fall? I mean, what was that - exactly 9 months ago?! Oh those lucky bitches that are all, "I can't wait to get pregnant on my honeymoon!")

Well - yes, she did get pregnant basically on her honeymoon.  But here's why it's all good:

Six years ago, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. 

At 25 years old.

And then tested positive for the BRCA gene (which confers high risks of breast and ovarian cancer) and was basically informed that, while it was currently only present in one breast, she had a very high chance of recurrence in the second breast.

So she had a double mastectomy.  Followed by months in pain as expanders prepared her muscles/tissue for reconstruction. 

Her hair fell out from the chemotherapy.  (I was so proud of her when she first went out sans wig, even if it was just to the liquor store across the street from my apartment on that hot sweaty August day.)

She bears long scars on her chest, which impacted her wedding dress shopping - certain strapless styles revealed too much of the jagged scar.

But there she was last September - absolutely breathtaking in her long mermaid gown - and grinning from more than just wedding-day-giddiness. 
She had just hit 5 years' remission, and was cleared to TTC!

The type of breast cancer she had prevented her from ever using any type of hormonal birth control again, so she and her brand new DH had been TTA the good old-fashioned way (no not abstinence! They'd been together for over 10 years! lol)

So they pulled the goalie.  And we drank together at our favorite Malaysian restaurant when Cycle 1 ended in a bust.

And then she came to my house towards the end of Cycle 2 with a grin on her face, that dead gave it away when she turned down a glass of wine.

I felt like I was pregnant all over again as I ticked the weeks off the calendar with her (she was only 6 weeks when she shared the news) and celebrated a good NT scan.  We cheered to our boys growing up together after her A/S scan.

Last week her EDD passed. 

Well finally today - her mucus plug passed as well!

So back to what I was saying, your husband most likely does not want to hear about ANYONE'S mucus plug, even if it's yours....

Me: D's (tmi alert?) mucus plug fell out
lmao felt funny typing that - but she's starting to cramp - sounds like labor's begun!
  
E wtf
 just say she's goin into labor
wtf
 
Me:  hahahahahahahah sorry
 
E i dont care what her fuckin mucus plug does
ever
 
Me well it could be a looong time (like, 24 hours)
 
E EVAR
how's ur mom's anal sphyncter
 fuck.
 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Seriously REALLY "Full Circle"...

Waiting.

No, not the movie (which is SO TRUE about wait-staff! and  the restaurant industry! I mean - anyone work at a restaurant and NOT have an underage hostess that the creepy older manager hit on?!)

It starts with Waiting to O.  You're chasing those elusive CH's - wishing the day away til it's temp time again and you can see that nice post-O temp to confirm.

And thus begins the dreaded 2WW.  14 days (Or 11 if you're like me and like to test slightly early - my LP averaged 12 days anyway! OR 8 days if you really like to test early - I tried to avoid this as any BFN I got I'd be like, but it's fiiiiiine because it's waaaaaay too early for this test to be accurate! and then the awful hope would be prolonged...)

And then, a different kind of 2WW last summer - when, because he was a scheduled C-Sec, I had a set 14-day countdown... (which got cut short - NOT due to my impatience, but due to his impatience!)

And lo-and-behold, I was nonchalantly procrastinating at work (sh!) and was Bumpin' and saw this:


14 Days...
a 2WW until this guy is
ONE YEAR OLD...

Hola1 Hola2 Hola1
His favorite: "Squishy"                              He's beginning to <3 Mickey!                        Mommy and Me




Some fun from last weekend DTS:
Hola1 Hola2 Hola1

Kid couldn't get enough of the beach... (literally. He made multiple attempts at SANDwiches (HA! get it?! SANDwiches?!) that, yup, went in the mouth...)

Hola1 Hola2 Hola1
He also LOVES LOVES LOVES the water - and thankfully it was a decent temp for him to play in...
(and holy ZOMG to E's farmer tan right?! He saw this pic and was like, TELL ME I DIDN'T LOOK THAT BAD! *I'm looking closer now, and that pic is just so not flattering as he does not have the beer gut that he appears to possess in the pic... lol*)

And after a long day at the beach (where I slathered SPF 50 on Ben every hour or so because, #badparenting - I forgot his rashguard shirt thing, as well as an umbrella - we had to rent on the beach!) these boys were tuckered out:

We'll be spending Friday (hopefully) at my IL's pool (forecast of rain?! boooooo) followed by a big family BBQ in CT on Saturday (here's hoping we can time the drive with Ben's morning nap!)

Happy 4th!