NIP

Some of you may wonder what that stands for…. others may already know. It stands for nursing in public. It’s an abbreviation used on forums about breastfeeding. A video was shared on the Le Leche League forum that I watched today that was so powerful to me, that I felt like I needed to write this. I need to get my thoughts on “paper” and maybe, just maybe, someone would read this and re-evaluate how they view NIP, at the least give it a thought.

Breastfeeding is a subject near and dear to me, and the education of today’s society on it is very important. It’s a subject that is surrounded by plenty of controversy with “mommy wars” being fueled daily with “breast is best” slogans and “my child was fed formula and they turned out fine” comments. Mostly, I stay out of this. Although I do feel that breastfeeding is far superior to formula and that if a mom can breastfeed, she should. There is obviously a need for formula as there are cases where a mother cannot (realistically a VERY small percentage – but it does happen as I know someone personally who could not) or shouldn’t. Just take a look at the scorecard that the US received from the CDC for 2012. It’s appalling that such stats exist on breastfeeding and that the CDC actually has to campaign to increase the number of breastfed babies.

Anyway, back to NIP. I would love to walk into a room full of people and ask for a show of hands on who would be offended or embarrassed by a woman nursing her baby in public. I would not be surprised to see a large percentage of hands raised. But then, I would pose the question – who would be offended by a woman wearing a low-cut shirt with sizable cleavage? How many hands would be raised? I dare say nothing close to the previous question. In this over sexed society, the simple act of feeding a child the way that we were intended to be fed has become a lewd act that has caused mothers to be treated with terrible disrespect. There are stories of mothers being kicked out of restaurants, asked to leave stores, even You read the stories all the time how a mother was treated as though she were acting like a stripper while breastfeeding. Let’s be honest, people see more on a commercial for an upcoming blockbuster than you would see from a woman nursing her child.

This is not a battle that needs to be fought, yet woman are fighting it daily. What is wrong with a society that sees nothing wrong with a bikini clad 13 yr old on an Abercrombie wall, but wants to persecute a mother feeding her child?

Since I am on baby #2 with breastfeeding, I have found it somewhat liberating to not really care where I feed him these days. It has taken almost 3 yrs for me to feel comfortable feeding my baby at the table while we eat dinner out in a restaurant. When I was pregnant with #1 I did not ever think that would happen. There is an enormous mix of emotion that surrounds NIP for me… frustration, anger, sadness… those are with society. Then there is the simple satisfaction that my child is having his needs met in the most natural way possible. Should I feel uncomfortable? Should I be ashamed to expose my breast to feed my child? NO. Am I? At times, yes. It is a sad day that mothers have to feel this way. And the fact that only 3 yrs ago I was one of the woman who felt like breastfeeding should be done in the privacy of your own home makes me so regretful. In my life, there is only a small circle of woman who breastfeed, and only a couple that would ever NIP. I hope for the day that this changes. I hope to be a part of that change. Each time I NIP now I hope that some mother who is embarrassed to do so sees me, and feels a little glimmer of hope that she can do the same.

Here is the video that prompted this post… it is powerful to me and I hope that it is to others.

Just a note: in case you are not aware of some of what she is referring to – formula companies were going into third world countries (without clean water sources and little to no income) and pushing formula as superior breast milk. Mothers would stop or not nurse, causing their milk to dry up and then be unable to provide safe or enough food for their babies.

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Update on the kiddos

I have failed to do much updating on our new family member. I have really found that having an infant and a 2 yr old is quite challenging. It is so incredibly rewarding and incredibly trying. I am very blessed to have the children that I do. All 4 of them! So here is a little update on the younger 2.

Ashton: 2 yrs old

He is really starting to seem so much less a baby, and more a little man. It’s bittersweet for me. Of course, he will always be my baby, but he is growing so fast! He really enjoys music, and playing with his cars. He is always doing something, hardly ever sitting in one spot. His speech is becoming very clear, with us understanding most of what he says.

Ashton’s funny phrases:
He has begun prefacing his responses with ‘oh’, it’s quite comical.
instead of ‘I’ he inserts ‘my’. i.e – my do that!
his older brother has him running around saying “never!” only he doesn’t get that v in there so it’s coming out closer to ne’er!
He loves music, and requests that I sing certain songs, but doesn’t join in much. He requests – Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Three Blind Mice, Itsy Bitsy Spider and Row, Row, Row Your Boat. He also is getting into music that we listen to. His favorites are Imagine Dragons – Radioactive, Bad to the Bone, and Boys ‘Round Here by Blake Shelton.

His is such a smart little boy, and still very much loves his schedule! He loves to wake up in the mornings and snuggle in bed before getting up. And if his baby brother is awake, his first priority is to love on him and play with him. πŸ™‚ He is still a bit rambunctious with him and I have to keep a close eye, but it’s so comforting to see that he has grown to love his little brother so much!
Ashton’s sense of humor has always amazed me. He is already capable of playing jokes on people, and it’s honestly funny!
He loves his family so much. He has found what he needs and wants with each family member. His relationship with each one is very unique. It’s so much fun when we do things as a family and how he interacts with all of us.
And then there is his grandparents! He loves them sooo much. He has started listing them all lately. There is nothing that makes him more happy than to get to my mom’s house in the mornings and his grandpa is up and ready to play with him.

Brantley:

At 7 months this little guy has taken our house by storm. He started rolling around 4 months I think, and has.not.stopped. Seriously, he is crawling, pulling up and trying to stand on his own. At his 6 mo appointment his pediatrician mentioned that she believes he will be an early walker. We could tell very early on that he was ready to start playing and running with his older brother. He would sit on your lap and just flap his little arms as hard as he could and pull towards the floor and his brother.
He is the most friendly little baby, talking to who ever will stop and take a moment to have a conversation with him.

He is such an awesome little nursling and has made that part of our lives so easy on me. He has made it into our bed, and although I really don’t mind, it’s a little tough since Ashton is still there.
Brantley is a very happy baby. He always has time for a smile. And of course, he makes everyone around him smile!
He has had some first tastes of food, and has not been really interested in it until the last few days.

So far:
avocado
sweet potato
banana
peaches
potato

ETA: How could I forget that the first food that Brantley actually seemed to like was a pickle. Go figure, right?

I am curious to see what ends up being his favorite foods. Ashton’s was avocado and that kid will still eat a whole one!

Well that is a short update on the little ones. ANd I thought I would do a little update on the older 2 as well. It seems that the older that Ashton gets, the more I am taken back to when Hannah and Garrett were little!!

Hannah is growing into quite a young woman. She is beautiful and smart. Of course, she is a typical 13 yr old. πŸ˜‰ She is an avid texter lol. It amazes me how quick she picks up on techy things, that her whole generation is growing up learning all of the new smart devices. Hannah is going into the 8th grade, and after this year I fear will not seem like a little girl anymore. Another bittersweet moment. She loves to dance and sing, has a good group of friends and thoroughly enjoys school (for the schoolwork right??? lol).

Garrett has become an awesome young man in the last couple of years. Of course, he was always awesome ;), but the level of maturity that he shows sometimes just blows me away. This kid is so active, and seems to excel at any sport he plays. Baseball is his favorite and he is very serious about playing. Garrett will be starting 5th grade this fall, I cannot believe it will be his last year in elementary school. It seems like just yesterday he was a little white-haired 3 yr old looking at us and asking “Did you say?”.

The years pass quick, and I hope to savor the moments with these 4 as long as I can. I am so blessed to have 4 wonderful children in my life and look forward to all that the future holds!
Here is Mr. Brantley with Cindy bear at Jellystone park… he really knows no stranger!

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And here is what Jeff received for Father’s Day this year πŸ™‚

Fathers day 2013

Christmas..is long gone, so I am very late…

One thing I have learned since starting this blog, it takes a ton of time to keep up with all of the posts. I actually have, um, 10 draft posts? I start them with a heading, so that I will remember the idea, and then go back later and finish them. Yea, you see how that is working out for me right? Maybe I need to add that to my resolutions for the year: ~compile a list of posts and actually complete them. Anywho, I decided that I shouldn’t just let this one go by the wayside completely. I snapped some pics on Christmas day that I should share. My camera battery was dead(go figure!) so had to use my iPhone for most of these.

So without further adieu… just a quick look.

Here are the kids heading out of Hannah’s room to see what Santa brought… gotta love the look Ashton has, I don’t think he quite knows whats up just yet.

And Ashton and Garrett trying out Ashton’s new basketball goal…
side note: downfall of nighttime cloth diapers – they aer HUGE lol. Poor kid.

Ashton’s new “hhuunnn”(think the sound a motor makes) lol or as we say it, tractor.

Hannah doing what 12 yr olds do best πŸ˜‰ sitting at her new vanity. You can see how that was redone here.

And even the dogs got in on the action…Cloe’s new coat and playing with Lizzie’s new toy. Crazy dogs.

Ashton trying his hand at music…he loves to make noise!

And even though they were being silly, this pic does show that they love each other. Despite what they would tell you after riding in the car together, sitting next to each other for more than 30 minutes. I like this one…

Ok, so there are some late pics, and I will do what I can to get some more current ones up soon!

Hope everyone had a great holiday season. I know I did. I am so blessed to have the family that I do.

Christmas tree decorating 2011

Well, it’s Ashton’s first Christmas that he actually can participate. This will be the 7th year I have spent Christmas with Jeff and the kids. I just can’t beleive how much time has passed…it always happens so quickly. So I thought I would give a quick recap of our day decorating the Christmas tree. πŸ™‚ My mom, the kids, Jeff and I spent the day Sunday putting our decorations out. Love this time of year! And love that mom made a pumpkin roll..oh and we ate the whole thing on Sunday lol oops.

Our tree with led lights… I didn’t realize I bought cool and warm..lol this go was a fail, I switched it up and made them blend better.

Here is one of our helpers for the day…

and Mr. G man… always ready to pitch in!

Oh and apparently someone caught me on camera… lol not a camera friendly day for me.

Jeff getting decorations out..one of the kids must have caught this pic… that tongue sticking out? Apparently that is a McMillion thing, and he passed it on to Ashton. lol

Ashton putting his frist ornament on the tree… he totally got it. He stepped up and dropped it on. How, I am not sure, but his ornaments caught on a branch and stayed on! πŸ™‚

And we figured out that the tree was poking his belly… so on goes a shirt for another ornament!

See… they do like each other.. the holidays even bring siblings together πŸ˜‰

Hannah’s little helper

Ashton was enamored with that little santa.. Garrett would wind him up, and Ashton would just laugh and laugh

The boys getting the beads untangled…er, Garrett getting the beads untangled, looks like Ashton might be tangling them

All decorated!!

I think this is how the kids see the tree… or maybe little people like Ashton… lol just not so blurry (kids with cameras…whatdoyado?)

And my little cutie pie… just being himself.

Oh and that ball? Ashton spent an extensive amount of time making laps through the house with it, his little head was wringing from sweat and he was even breathing hard…lol We think he was imitating Garrett runnign up and down the court with the basketball ?? who knows what goes on in a toddlers mind?

After we are done, settling in for the night… Garrett reading a book (oh he will shoot me for this pic lol)

And Hannah painting her masterpiece, that intend to frame and hang!

And Ashton putting a hat on Lizie… life is complete.

I thought it would be fun to look back to Christmas in 2010 and see how much they have changed… WOW!!! Even Hannah looks soooo different!

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