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Munchkin tries formula

My little Munchkin was born July 3, 2015. I knew while still pregnant (before, even) that I wanted to breastfeed if at all possible. When Munchkin was born, the nurses put her on my chest for skin-to-skin and said we would try latching when she was a little more awake, as I had an inducement and epidural for delivery. Needless to say, we were all surprised when she went immediately for my breast. So my breastfeeding journey began about 20 minutes after my daughter was born. 

At first nursing was sweet and special, and I was so grateful that I made my husband TR go to the breastfeeding clads with me. Even though Munchkin latched easily, I had trouble positioning her alone and TR’s help was invaluable. 

The next day, however, was freaking brutal. I must have used half the lanolin in the hospital. I had done enough research before Munchkin was born to worry that she had a tongue or lip tie because her latch was so shallow. When the lactation nurse finally got in to see me, she assured me that Munckin’s mouth was fine and I just needed to make sure she had a deep latch (gee, thanks). Munchkin was nursing almost constantly — like, every other hour. Any time she acted even remotely hungry, she was at the breast. You can imagine the condition of my nipples. Ouch. 

By the time it was time to leave on Sunday, I begged my husband to bring me the soothie gels I had ordered ahead of time because even showering was painful. Thank god I had listened to the mommy bloggers and brought my own towel from home to shower with. When I put those soothies on for the first time I almost cried with relief. 

The next two weeks were a semi-exhausted blur of cracked, leaky, bloody, sore, scabby nipples; almost constant nursing; and lots and lots of tears. I was definitely ready to quit nursing but kept going because we had agreed that I would breastfeed. I resented my husband, I resented my baby, I resented stupid social pressures that “breast is best.” I only got breastmilk for about two months as a child and I think I’m pretty damn awesome, so why was I so worries about breastfeeding Munchkin? 

I’m returning to work when Munchkin is 10 weeks, so I’ve known from the beginning that I would need to pump. Well, let me tell you, pumping SUCKS. I hated pumping more than I hated nursing, which left me feeling trapped. How would I feed my baby? In the midst of my turmoil, I had an epiphany: mother-freaking formula. I decided that Munchkin would have formula while at daycare and I would nurse when we are together. 

So now it’s time to introduce formula. Let me say that this has been an incredibly emotional process for me because it means that my time at home with Munchkin is coming to a close. 

Yesterday was her first full bottle. I may or may not have cried the whole time she drank it…

  
I don’t know about this formula stuff, Mommy…

  
This is her “Mommy, why are you pumping?” face

  
Flared nostrils = “This stuff isn’t so bad, but why can I smell the good stuff??” 

  
“It’s not so bad after all!”

  
Formula: it gets the job done. 

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It Will Get Better

Thanks to Adam Roberts at The Amateur Gourmet for Tweeting this fantastic video from Ft. Worth, TX city councilman Joel Burns, entitled, It Will Get Better.

I don’t know if you’ve paid attention to the spate of teen suicides in the last couple months — several teens who either were gay or were identified by peers as being gay died by suicide. If you aren’t appalled at the stories that come from these teens’ schools — the intense, prolonged bullying that these boys had to endure with a blind eye from teachers and school administrators — then you aren’t paying attention. School is supposed to be a safe place, and we all owe it to our students to do what we can to keep them safe. That means rooting out bullies and holding them accountable for their malice.

I know that teenagers have a hard time understanding that what they’re going through won’t last forever (both the good and the bad). When bullying or abuse is a factor, it can seem even more hard to bear. To students who are going through this, please find an adult you trust who can be an advocate for you. Try to build an alliance with schoolmates, if you can — it’s true that there is safety in numbers. Parents, be the hero your child needs. Teachers, do your job and protect the students in your charge. And to the bullies: shame on you.

Please believe me, and all the adults out there, when we say that it will get better. Don’t let anyone take your life from you. Find strength where you can, and reach out to others for help and support. We love you and want you to live, I promise.

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Spammy Phone Calls

For the last week or so, I’ve been getting phone calls from 412-area code numbers. I was actually able to answer the phone today and the caller asked for Whitney (married last name). If you know me, I’m not married yet. I did some Googling, but it was inconclusive.

I finally had the bright idea to call the number back. Turns out that I have been getting called by the Donor Services line at Outreach Associates. I Googled THAT and found this great blog post explaining exactly who these people are. I’m pretty sure they got my number from Habitat for Humanity when I made a joint donation for myself and TR. So really, that shit pisses me off. I do a good thing to donate to a great charity, and now I’m getting phone-spammed by Direct Advantage Marketing.

Interested in those phone numbers? They are:

412-773-8566

412-773-8565

412-773-8568

I’ll update this list if they call me again from a different number.

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Save Live 100.5!

Citadel Broadcasting is trying to shut down Birmingham’s best radio station, Live 100.5 (WWMM, Birmingham/Northport). This is absolutely my favorite radio station (ever?) and the ONLY reason I listen to radio. Today I sent the following email to the powers-that-be at Citadel to let them know exactly how I feel about this station and their decision.

Dear People in Charge at Citadel:
Please don’t pull the plug on Live 100.5! This is the only station I listen to in the Birmingham market and is the ONLY reason I have a radio in my home. I listen to Live 100.5 as I get ready in the morning, in the car on the way to work, and when I get home in the evening. (If I didn’t work in an open office, I would listen to Live 100.5 at work.) I love all three DJs (though I do wonder when Chris gets a break, isn’t he also producing Dru’s show??) and especially enjoy the special shows like Tuesday Night Music Club, Sunday Night Social, and Reg’s Coffee House. Live 100.5 has dynamic playlists that cross a wide range of genres and therefore appeal to a wide range of listeners, including ME!
Please, please, please, reconsider your idea to kill this station. This is the ONLY station like this in central Alabama. If I wanted to listen to pop garbage, I’d click over to 103.7 The Q or Magic 96.5. I listen to this station for a reason, and if this station goes off-air, I’ll be one more person contributing to the death of radio as a genre. I’ll have no choice but to get all of my music directly from iTunes and bypass the broadcast medium altogether. Let’s keep that from happening, okay? I like hearing music that people in my part of the country like! I like the dialog that we listeners have with our DJs, and I like having the Dave Rossi vibe back in the Birmingham market. You know that this format in this market has been so impactful; think about what Dave did at WRAX back in the day. He was the launcher of a thousand careers! John Mayer would probably still be singing in dive bars if it wasn’t for Dave. That same spirit is carried on by Live 100.5 now.
If the number-crunchers at Citadel are concerned about market share and advertising returns, might I make two points? First, your target demographic is among those least likely to have landlines, making them virtually inaccessible to Arbitron and the like. In this ever-changing techno-culture, perhaps you should find alternate methods to determine market share using technology that your target demo is likely to access (say,email?  Facebook? Twitter?).
Additionally, perhaps your station and advertising manager at Live 100.5 would see better advertising returns/success rates if they had the freedom to be flexible in both advertisers and advert types. I generally do not think that the advertisers on Live 100.5 are relevant to the target demo — back-to-back ads for credit debt relief and buying out foreclosed homes? Advertisers like Levy’s Jewelers, Zoe’s, and Soca Clothing are more appropriate to your demo! As for ad types, I find the Levy’s ads that Reg and Chris read to be much more impactful than the 15- or 30-sec pre-recorded spots that run during the commercial breaks. I listen to the station partly because of the DJs, so I like hearing what they have to say about the advertiser!
Begging you… throwing myself prostrate at your radio executive feet… Please don’t kill this station. Let us keep this important facet of our thriving indie culture in Birmingham!
Thank you in advance…

(a loyal listener)

Please consider joining the group Save Live 100.5 on Facebook and letting Citadel know how much you love the station.

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Vive la vie de Boheme!

I finally did it. I finally updated my living room artwork! I’m pretty pleased with myself and thought I’d share the project with you.

It all started with my couch. It’s 14 shades of 1960s avocado, with exposed wood detailing. Maybe not the most beautiful couch, but it came from my Mamo, sleeps like a dream, and has great potential. But potential is for people with income, so my couch must maintain its avocado spectrum for now. Somewhere along the way I got these really awesome red/crimson houndstooth pillows on super-extra clearance at Pier 1. That meant that my new living room would have green, gold, and crimson. Hmm.

Avocado couch, crimson pillows, what's a girl to do?

When I moved back to Tuscaloosa last December, I knew I’d need some artwork that could help unite my living room, so I started poking around allposters.com for vintage ads.

I finally hit pay dirt: the 1896 Absinthe Robette ad

Absinthe Robette by Privat Livemont

The colors are rich and beautiful and perfectly fit in with my accidental jewel tone decorating scheme. I put the 24″ x 36″ print in a plain black frame from Hobby Lobby (1/2 off poster frames, what-what!), but it still looked lonely up on the wall.

I decided to paint 4 small (7″ x 9″) canvases with color-complementary patterns and write phrases from Moulin Rouge! on two of them. One features a swirl of silver text repeating “Beauty * Freedom * Truth * Love”  on a bright blue background. The other was a wanna-be tie-dye mess on top of which I had block-printed “Vive la vie de boheme.”  Not so cute. It’s been bugging me for a year or so, and tonight I finally felt like doing something about it. But what to do?

I knew I wanted to do something blue, since two of the canvases are “green” and two are “blue.” I started Google-ing for “Bohemian patterns” and came across a really basic paisley outline.

Simple paisley pattern

THIS was something that my simple hand could easily replicate! I re-painted the canvas with an all-over double-coat of navy blue, and then decided to use a different navy blue to paint the paisley pattern on top. Sort of a tone-on-tone.  I didn’t want to jank up my (really awesome) freehand paisley with some bad freehand lettering, so I decided to find a cool font to copy.  I Googled “1900s font” and came across this beauty:

Hispaniola

Isn’t that an AWESOME font? I did a couple practice runs on scrap paper, both to practice the letters and to work on the spacing. I decided to use a bright blue for the lettering to carry on the tonal theme.

It took some time, but here’s the finished product:

Vive la vie de Boheme

It’s kinda hard to see all of the detail, but I am SUPER-pleased with the outcome.

And here’s what it looks like grouped with all of the other Bohemia:

Budget Bohemian Bliss

Not too shabby, huh?

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NOLA and the Saints

If you know me, you know how much I love  New Orleans, and how much I hate pro football. A coworker sent me this article about how the Saints have helped to rebuild New Orleans from the inside out. I dare you to read this article without tearing up, or at least getting a little flutter in your gut.

Now, I know that the Saints have been a part of the New Orleans culture since they were born. I’ve met people in New Orleans who keep an artificial Christmas tree up year-round, changing the ornaments to suit the season at hand; they even had a set of Saints ornaments for football season. The Saints are as much New Orleans as red beans and rice on Monday: if you tried to take them away, you’d destroy what makes it such a wonderful, distinct place.

I go to New Orleans as much as a I can, and I eat as much good food as I can every time I go. Maybe next time I’ll take in a Saints game. Gotta say “thank you” somehow, right?

Dirty Coast's Church t-shirt

Dirty Coast's Church t-shirt

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Boots, Pt. 2

I had to go to plan B on the boots.

I ended up with these brown beauties

Franco Sarto Ranger in Chocolate

And for my black dressy boots, I got these:

Born Kit in Black

I am so excited about these boots! They look fantastic, and I will get so much wear out of these!

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