Friday, July 09, 2010

7 Quick Takes Friday {#4}

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1.) Mary is eating solid food now!  So far, just bananas (mashed up with a fork), but she  LOVES it.  Yes, she is eight months old and I'm just now getting going on fruits and veggies.  I like to breastfeed exclusively for as long as possible, and that time has varied with each child.  I didn't do rice cereal with Mary at all.  Anyway, I have a super cute story about Mary's first foray into banana eating, but I will save that for a later post.

2.)  Speaking of breastfeeding, I have become such a nursing advocate.  I love, love, love nursing and it is so good for my babies.  Nutrition (isn't it amazing that everything a baby needs is contained in our milk?), bonding (having that sweet baby so close several times throughout the day), baby-weight-loss (burning a whole bunch of calories just by sitting on the couch?  Yes please!), a natural way to space your children (and delay the return of that pesky once-a-month issue that I haven't seen too often over the past several years, thanks to pregnancies and breastfeeding), reduced risk of cancer (nursing babies for a combined total of two years during your life dramatically reduces your risk of various types of cancer)...yes, God's design is amazing.  No it is not always easy.  One of my babies took forever to figure out how to nurse.  So stressful.  All three times I began nursing it was incredibly painful, some of the worst pain ever for the first couple of weeks or so.  But then somewhere along the way it became very natural (and I stopped doubling over at every feeding), and when you look down at your sweet, contented little babe and realize that she needs you, and loves you, and you are participating in nourishing her and making her feel so safe and secure...yeah...amazing.  Miraculous.  Oh so worth it.

3.)  I'm thinking about all of this right now because of an article I read this past week, written by a woman who pretty much resented her time spent feeding her babies.  Her point was that doctors and the government should NOT be promoting breastfeeding because it leads to a woman's inequality in marriage, emotional issues stemming from being tied down to your child, etc.  Ugh.  She is of course entitled to her bitterness opinions, but really.  I'm sorry if her nursing her children somehow contributed to her husband treating her like a second-class citizen (sounds like she picked the wrong baby daddy), but that is simply not the reality for many (most?) nursing mamas.  Sometimes I think we women struggle so hard against God's design when wouldn't it be so much better to view something like our ability to nurse as EMPOWERING?  Yes, it's true, men can't breastfeed.  (Well, except for the guy in the above picture.  'Cause he's talented like that.)  We are not "the same" in that way.  Well, I say we ladies are the lucky ones.  It may mean sleepy nighttime feedings for us but it also means we get to participate in something positively amazing.  Not to mention, this doesn't have to dictate who holds the power in the marriage.  I say being able to produce food for another person is pretty darn powerful.  (And a GREAT excuse to get out of doing other various household tasks.  Really.)  But that's just me.

4.) I've also been pondering women's and men's roles as of late.  I used to belong to a faith community that taught that women and men have complimentary roles.  Created equal, but created to fulfill different roles.  I now belong (and have for the past couple of years) to a faith community that embraces the concept of egalitarianism: women and men, being created equal, are not limited to particular roles based on their respective genders.  The submission mentioned in the Bible is to be completely mutual.  Women are free to pursue any position whatsoever in the church, may teach men, etc.  Lots of implications, really.  And I have to say that I have seen some really healthy results of this egalitarian worldview working themselves out in church life.  For example, the concept of community seems to play out quite naturally when people aren't seen first and foremost as simply an embodiment of a gender role.  And, mutual submission is Biblical.  I think it works.  Allllllllllll of that being said, I am still not certain of the practical implications when it comes to the concept of raising children and motherhood and all of that.  I'm an at-home mom and that is something I really believe in.  Kevin and I are not, at this point anyway, interchangeable in this sense because I have no earning potential I'm the one who can feed the baby.  Natural law says that I ought to be home with my children right now, since one of them needs me to be there to feed her every few hours.  And why did God give women the exclusive ability to nurse a child?  And does this point towards some sort of role distinction that should be playing out not only at home but at church too?  Hmmmm.  It's interesting.  Well, to me anyway.  'Cause that's how I roll.

5.) Breaking out of the theme of the top four Quick Takes--which, let's face it, were none too quick--I feel like it's taking forever to transition out of sick mode around here.  I'm tired, I'm trying desperately to get back on top of the laundry and housework, but it's tough.  Wednesday I cleaned the floors and made dinner, and yesterday I cleaned the bathrooms, so I suppose that's a good start.  The kids are all healthy again too.  As evidenced by how they spent yesterday racing around in dress-up clothes, shouting, and "building" a playground outside with (heavy) bricks.  Yes, they voluntarily lug bricks around for fun.  No, this is not a form of discipline, although it might work quite nicely if they didn't LIKE carrying the bricks.  (Can I just say how thankful I am that my kids LIKE playing together?  They spend HOURS upon HOURS in the world of make-believe, or Barbies, or GI Joe.  All together.  Usually with minimal fighting.)

6.) Speaking of cleaning the floors, I bought this nifty difty Swiffer wet mop thingy recently and tried it out yesterday.  Typically I would use a mop and a bucket to clean our (extensive) hardwood floors.  But I thought I'd try something different.  I think I liked it, although I don't know if I prefer it.  It seems to leave a bit of residue behind.  Also, it could get expensive replacing the cleaning solution, though I'm thinking I could just refill it with water and my own cleaning stuff, to save money.  Basically I think this mop is probably better for small spaces.  If you have lots and lots of hardwood floors, what do you use to clean them?

7.) I've been having trouble getting to sleep lately.  This is so not like me!  So strange.  I have no clue why.  We switched bedrooms recently, and we sleep with the window open (no AC and Denver is HOT in the summer!), and the sounds of traffic and sirens on Broadway and the trains passing through probably aren't helping.  Oh yes, the trains.  They start up at 11 pm or so and keep coming...and blowing their is loud.  I actually like the sounds of civilization and the city, but lately it's been a bit much.  We have had a fan going a couple of times and I really could tell that I slept deeper.  However, as nice as white noise is, I don't like that I don't have the ability to hear my kids in their rooms.  On the other hand, it might be NICE to "not hear" Kaitlyn's night terrors.  Hmmmm.  :)

That's it for today, friends.  Hoping you have a great weekend! 


Rachel said...

My friend, Kollette, uses a spray bottle of vinegar and water and sprays the area in front of her, then she uses an oversized swiffer thingy with a cloth diaper-like pad, and cleans the floors that way. She has a lot of wood flooring and she says it only takes her 15 minutes. They also have several inside dogs so she does it frequently and then washes the pad in the washer.

Ginger said...

Yeah for bfeeding! I actually induced lactation in the hopes of bfeeding our adoptive son...he didn't take to it as he was already 6 months old at homecoming, but did receive the benefit of bmilk in some of his bottles for a few months. I've been so happy being successful bfeeding my two daughters (actually tandem nursing which let me just say had the #1 benefit of NO soreness when my latest was born because I was still nursing the other one...also I think made the jealousy factor non-existent). Personnally I love the connection with my kiddos and to me its a huge self esteem booster to see them thrive and grow on just my milk. Frankly after having to do the bottle thing with my son, I would forever choose bfeeding if nothing else out of pure laziness because its just so much easier to not have to mix up a bottle, clean bottles, figure out how many to bring on outings, etc (not to mention cheaper!). Anyway, thanks for being a positive voice for bfeeding!
On the subject of floors, our whole house (except bedrooms) is wood. I've never used a mop/bucket on my wood/laminate because to me its just spreading the dirt around. I've always used a big microfiber mop along with a spray bottle of wood floor cleaner(Home Depot has a nice one that comes with a couple of microfiber pads for mopping & another for dusting floors I believe). I'm now however switching over to all homemade & greener cleaners, so my spray bottle soon wont contain all those harsh chemicals. Honestly though, don't mop the wood that often, just sweep it a lot!

Brianna Heldt said...

Ginger that is so, so great that you breastfed your adopted son!!! And good call on the tandem nursing, I would SO do that just to avoid the soreness. Ugh. Kaitlyn has been my longest nurser so far, she weaned herself at 18 months or so. And I agree about the bottles. So much less convenient! Yosef and Biniam came home at 16 months old and we used bottles for their milk to promote bonding, so we could hold them like a baby while we gave them their milk. Even THAT seemed like a pain, I cannot imagine mixing up formula several times a day. Yay for breastfeeding!!!!

The Fearnsides said...

Brianna, I love reading your thoughts.

The more babies I have, the more I looove breastfeeding. One of my favorite nursing facts is that your body automatically adjusts the make-up of your milk to meed the needs of your baby. I.E. if you have a preemie, your body will produce more fat in the milk. It's totally amazing.

Ineresting thoughts on gender roles in the church. I grew up in an egalitarian church and have been attending complementarian churches since being married. I love being challenged on some of my theological assumptions. It makes for a much more intellegent and personal faith.

Glad your family is getting better!


Samantha said...

Our new house has all hard flooring- tile and wood, except for the bedrooms. We use the canister vacuum (by we, I mean my son) first and then I bought a Shark vacuum when we moved in. It has worked pretty well, nothing works as well as hands and knees cleaning, but I don't have a back that can support that anymore! It steam cleans the floor and has washable, microfiber pads, so santizes the floor with just water, so you don't have to worry about chemicals or anything. I had a wet swiffer that I filled with water/vinegar, but I would go broke buying pads for it with as much floor as I have to clean now. I do use the dry swiffer pads in between cleanings because I was dumb enough to choose dark hardwood floors and they show ALL dirt and dust on them :)

Shana said...

I love when I hear that other women have pain in the beginning of breastfeeding. Not that I love that you were in pain, but that I'm not the only one who deals with that.

As for the floors, as you know I love my "Rosie". Very few mopping options pass the "paper towel test" when I'm done. I have a friend who has even more hardwoods than me, and she loves her steam mop. She did a ton of research and even returned a few before she found the best one. I'd be happy to find out the brand if you'd like. :)

Brianna Heldt said...

Shana yes! I want the brand name! And you are so fortunate to have Rosie. Maybe someday one of her friends can come to live at MY house...

(Also EVERYone said if the baby is latched on correctly that it WON'T HURT AT ALL. But then I had the lactation consultant see what I was doing and, sure enough, the baby WAS latched on right. It just plain hurts. Wishing someone would have told me!)

Janee said...

Briana, I was JUST going to comment and say exactly what you said in the last paragraph of your comment above. . . ."if the baby is latched correctly, it won't hurt" -WHATEVER!! I don't know if that's actually true for some people or just something people make up to try to get more women to try to breastfeed, but yeah. It hurts bad. Of course it's so worth it in the end. Levi's 17 mos and still going strong. I am going to have to wean him this fall before we travel and hate the thought of it. I'd love to keep my milk up and attempt BFing our new little one but it seems like there's no clear data that shows that it's safe to nurse an HIV+ child. I will definitely try to pump as much as possible but I've never been a very good pumper and I will be almost 2 yrs out from childbirth, so I'll probably need to do some herbs or something to help all of that along. Honestly, I am NOT looking forward to that, but I'll try because I think it's important for the baby.

We have hardwood in our kitchen and entry and I use a microfiber mop (from Costco) with washable pads. Not a perfect solution but I like that I can wash the pads and know they are clean. I've heard swiffers leave horrible build-up over time.

Angel said...

Hey sweet Brianna. I just wanted to stop by and say thank you. I've "known" you for years now... when I first found your blog it's because I was researching adoption from Africa and you had JUST brought home your sweet boys. This blog really helped me!! I just want to thank you for that. I'm grateful for you. Here I am all these years later adopting from Ethiopia. This blog was a part of my journey to Africa. HUGS! Your long time blogger buddy, Angel

PS!! SOOOOO YOU COMING TO T4A???? PEER PRESSURE! PEER PRESSURE!! Just being selfish cause I'd love it if you were there.

Brianna Heldt said...

Janee yes! I don't know why they say that either! I was horrified to discover this little "gem" about nursing. I've never been a great pumper either. I did it a little with Anna, but not at all with either of my other babies.

I have read a little bit about nursing an HIV+ baby...if I recall, I think yeah, there wasn't much CONCLUSIVE evidence, but people seemed to think it wasn't the safest. What a blessing it is for mamas able to breastfeed their adopted little ones!!!

Angel you are TOO SWEET! SO excited about your adoption!!!!! And, it is tempting...but expensive...I'm gonna think about it. :)

Angel said...

I hear you Brianna. That's why I had to pass up the alliance conference this year. This one's so close to me it's much easier. If you can't come we'll all tweet an absurd amount so you can come vicariously. ;o) Angel

Shana said...

The mom my friend has is the "HAAN the yellow one". I have used it once and it really was nice.

Brianna Heldt said...

Thanks Shana! I'm going to check that out!


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