Monday, August 26, 2013

A Bittersweet Goodbye - to my milk

    Friday morning I watched the last drip drop. Mentally I thanked them for everything they have let me provide my three kids in their first year of life. I tried to pause that moment in time as the milky white drop swelled on the tip right before it descended. That was that.

    I am done breastfeeding. It is still incredibly bittersweet for me to say that. My 16 month old Baby Bear had long ago weaned and I was merely holding on for my own emotions. I still crave to provide the liquid life source that I am able to provide but I know with it being four days since I wont be able to. I fought the urge for the past fours days - timing it out perfectly with the huge distraction of hosting a surprise party for my parents 35th anniversary. If I did not have anything to distract me I think I would have slipped back.
    Fortunately, I was able to provide all three of my children with breast milk for the first year and then some of their lives. So much so that we purchased a deep chest freezer with the first born, then another one with the second!! I had that sucker filled to the brim! Same goes for my third.

    I was amazed with the emotions that surrounded me when the mere thought of stopping entered my mind. My heart would pick up and my eyes would swell with the threat of releasing tears. This was one thing that I could do for my children that no one else could for them. This was one thing that was pure. This was the first thing that they consumed. And it came from me.
    I would have continued to carry on but with our schedules, the move and the natural stresses my supply had gone down and I hadn't been able to get it back up - even with teas and liquid fenugreek. I had to face the inevitable. My time had come. 
    Like all avenues of life, eventually we must move on to the next step or phase. I had to move on. My baby is no longer a baby but a toddler. She is our last so this was my last breastfeeding experience. There are only about a dozen or so bags of frozen milk left to be used. When they're gone, its gone.

    So Friday morning as I watched the last drip drop and I thanked my body for allowing and letting me be able to provide for my babies, I was granted closure.

    Today I am starting a process of preserving a bit of my milk, the liquid life if you will. I will be posting my experience when completed. Some may think this is weird or strange, some may find this just amazing as I do. How much different is it than scrapbooking bits of hair or dried umbilical cords? I am excited to be able to do this and can't wait to share with you the outcome. 

    What feelings did you experience when you weaned? Did you miss it or where you happy it was over and onto the next phase?

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Sometimes you just have to GO for it!

    For months I have been stressing out what about I'm going to do. While the life long dream of owning and operating a coffee shop still seems light years beyond my reach I think there is another goal that is within my reach.
   I have joked a lot about how I could literally open up my own consignment shop with all the kid stuff we have and go through. Well.., I think its about time I stop joking and pursue this.
   On a whim this morning I googled "opening a store" and found out some incredible news that I thought wasn't an option. Since I was planning on opening a small little shop I didn't think I could qualify for a loan but it turns out I can and do! I am super elated!!
   Now I know the Hubs has heard me say all these things I want to pursue and has never really seen me do them - much thanks to the lack of time and dedication I can give it - so I was waiting for him to toss that towel in but he didn't. Phew!! Although I'm sure I'm not out of that hot water - maybe when the doors open he wont be tempted to say it.
    But the kids are older and this time I am even more driven. So here is to pursuing the dream - consignment shop owner status - here I come!! I am gunning for you!!
    Have you ever ventured into the consignment shop business? Any helpful pointers? Tips? Things to stay away from?

Rufflebutt - DIY'd

    I like to consider myself crafty. I was in 4-H growing up. I love to paint, take pictures, design, sew and more. I being able to take something and put a twist on it. That is exactly what I did with an Old Navy romper.
    I adored this light baby blue and cream striped hooded romper the moment I saw it on the sales rack - and getting it for under $3 made me love it even more.

    Normally I wouldn't do anything to it. It's adorable and soft. It looks great on Bear especially with her blue eyes and I have always been queasy with the idea that little girls should only wear pink, pink and more pink. But I remember I had found some ruffles in the clearance section months ago that I picked up for under $2 that would go along perfectly with the blue and cream.

    So one evening I sat down and sewed on the ruffles. As each ruffle was sewn on, I got more excited. Unfortunately I wasn't centered all the way with the first ruffle so to "save" them I staggered the other two ruffles. Baby Bear doesn't sit still I didn't fuss to much over it too much.

    I am pretty happy with the results considering I have an adorable, one of a kind outfit for just under $5. I must admit that I get giddy when people say it's cute - because then I get to do a little mama-diy bragging. I can't help it! It looks so adorable on Baby Bear!!

    I have a few more projects in the making that I'll have to share when I get them done. Have you DIY'd any kid's clothes? Ruffles? Jewels? Iron-ons?

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Ever get that job discrimation feeling?

    It has been a few months since my department was fizzled out and I was left without a job. (I still get mad as hell about all of it - but there is nothing I can do but try to move on, my most recent.)
   I have been sending in my applications to many, many jobs. I have sent follow up emails since this whole thing is mainly done online now. Sadly I have not received any follow up messages or calls. Not a one.
   I did receive an email from one employer that I was really stoked about - simply put they went with someone else and apparently they had already been hired. Major bummer.
   I did express angst about my prior work environment that I had to "fight and claw" as the only working mother there. Not to forget the comments made about "being able to handle being away from my children". So it's only natural that I am feeling a bit of anxiety about possible job discrimination with my resume, more so my name marking me clearly as a female.
   Ironically enough I came across this shocking article about a gentlemen named Kim and his bought with job discrimination. He explains his quest for a job and how he ended up getting call backs - once he made one simple and in my opinion an ugly change to his resume. I say ugly because almost immediately he received positive results thus proving job discrimination is still alive and kicking.
    I do not hesitate one bit thinking that this is only taking place outside of the United States - if anything I would think that it is more common here than elsewhere.
    I am half tempted to alter my resume with just my first initial. I wonder if that would make any difference. Just thinking about it makes me frustrated.
    Have you ever had this feeling of being picked over because you're a working mum? What did you do?

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Cordially invited to High Tea

    Would you like one ice cream or two? We were fortunate to be chosen to host a MommyParties 'High Tea' Cadbury Ice Cream Bars party. Yum!


   Blue Bunny Ice Cream teamed up with Cadbury chocolate and created some delish ice cream bar treats. The flavors that were devoured by our esteemed guests were:
   Cadbury Royal Dark - Creamy Blue Bonnet reduced fat vanilla ice cream dipped in thick, rich Cadbury Royal Dark chocolate.
    Cadbury English Toffee - Creamy Blue Bonnet reduced fat toffee ice cream dipped in think, rich Cadbury milk chocolate with toffee pieces (Spoiler alert - this was the fan favorite!!)
    Cadbury Caramello - Creamy Blue Bonnet reduced fat vanilla ice cream swirled with caramel sauce dipped in thick, rich Cadbury milk chocolate.
    Cadbury Vanilla Chocolate - Creamy Blue Bonnet reduced fat vanilla ice cream dipped in thick, rich Cadbury milk chocolate.

    It was fancy occasion for all. The girls donned some beautiful dresses and a few of the boys came dressed as adorable gentlemen. They all had a blast playing tea party with the tea sets that were sent. We didn't use tea though, they enjoyed some nice, refreshing lemonade. The mums enjoyed some ice cold tea, too hot for hot tea.

    Everyone enjoyed their ice cream treats and like I said before the Cadbury English Toffee bars were hands down the crowd favorite! A few dresses fell victim to bits of chocolate that must have fallen off while being devoured. These ice cream bars are really yummy but just keep an eye on the chocolate pieces - they're sneaky.

    The kids had a blast playing Pass the Hat - one of the games that came as a suggestion in the party's planning packet. It's played like musical chairs but instead of running around chairs you pass the hat around and the person left holding or wearing the hat is out. They also enjoyed the Teaspoon Race. The two teams had to race back and forth filling up the tea cup with sugar cubes while balancing them on spoons. We used the larger spoons since our crowd was a bit on the younger side.
    What a beautiful and gorgeous party to be able to host while enjoying some delectably sweet treats!! In fact my eldest asked me when we were going to host another tea party again the next day! (I told her maybe once things settle after the big move - and she's trying to keep me to my word)

   Host your own High Tea party with some Cadbury ice cream bars! Don't have any tea cups or plates? Check out your local second hand store like Amvets or Salvation Army. You and your little ones are sure to have a deliciously fantastic time!
   Have you tried Blue Bunny's Cadbury ice cream bars yet? Which was your favorite? Did you side with our crowd on the English Toffee? Royal Dark was the runner-up.
**** Sadly my pictures are not loading up - Will try to reload soon ****

We received this party kit as part of a promotional program with Cadbury and MomSelect.

I don't get it..., Facebook edition

    I might sound a bit old fashion here but jeez people!! Facebook is not a diary. You do not need to tell everyone everything. No - seriously. I do not need to know that just peed on a stick and you're pregnant. Hasn't anyone ever told you that you should really wait? (Sad but true) Believe it or not - I didn't announce that we were expecting until about 28 weeks! (Figured it would be nice to wait until I told my boss before making it public online -haha) I don't need to know all of your appointments and when they are and what they are for and how they went.
    I do not need to know all about your anxiety and how long you've been waiting to close on your house over and over and over again. You're not the first person to have to wait for banks and lawyers. If it's taking too long it's your own fault. You might have jinxed yourself posting things before it was official. I didn't post anything about our house deal until the ink dried on the papers. (Hindsight I might have jinxed us chatting about it on here - but lets get back to bitching about people on my Facebook.)
    My favorite (and I'm being sarcastic) is the people who make it be known their opinions and why they are correct BUT when you post something ie) a political view opposite that of theirs they threaten to remove you as a friend. REALLY??!! Get your head out of your a$$!
    Those are just the most recent ones I've seen that I just needed to vent about. What is one of your Facebook gripes?

Monday, August 5, 2013

It's back!

    I think I have been distracted with the move and settling into the new house to think about the incredibly gross loss of my job. Some things just don't line up for me still and I think that is what is most unsettling.
    I wish the HR department had been worth going to - he's just on cruise control until his retirement so he didn't question much of anything. Hell, it was hard enough getting a compensation check from him when I had to expense something for work.
   Let me give you a small background of who I worked with without getting into major details. I was hired to work for an amazing company that is based out of the UK. I loved what I did and the people outside of the North American office I worked with. Mainly, the president of the company hired family and friends of his church organization to populate the company with "yes men" - literally men by the way. Before my department was given the axe I figured out that there were 5% of the company that was not brought in by him - which included me. Further to that the majority of his guys lived over an hour away in Amish country within a block or two of each other and himself. But no one worries about gas when his people are in positions of power to get such perks as company vehicles and cell phones.
     These boys mainly bragged and boasted that their wives were at home with their bahgillion kids and were either just pregnant or just had a baby. *Funny note on that - seemed like whoever's wife just had a baby that person got a mysteriously perfect timed raise or promotion. I'm not blind, I can do the math.
    I was with this company for all three of my kids, did I ever get a raise after having a kid? Nope. BUT I did get an ultimatum from the president after having my second and even having my third. He actually sat down with me and said "If it's too hard I'm going to need to have a few weeks notice before you leave. I know my wife didn't want to remain working after she had our second baby. She just couldn't do it."  By the way, have I mentioned that I was the only female on the staff that was of child bearing age and capabilities? There were four other women but they are all in their 50's+.
    That last week I was trying very  hard to get together with the boy that was suppose to be working in my department but was still going to school. My manager was vague saying that it may not be worth fussing over - never at one point did I think my job was in jeopardy. I was wrong. Stupid me for not figuring out that it is cheaper to keep this boy as a contracted staff member than keep me full-time with all my benefits. Stupid me for not connecting the dots that his wife just had a baby and that he would outshine my working mom status. Did I mention that he was one of them? One of the president's "cult members"?
    Dang, as I am writing this I feel like this is a story that I am making up but it is oh-so true. The sad part is that I truly miss going to my job. I miss doing what I did for almost 7 years. I wish that the UK office knew what was going on in the North American office. I wish that I could have felt confident that if I had said something to HR that something would have been done.
    And I'm still mad as hell that the president and my manager didn't have the balls to tell me verbally that my department was being dropped from the company. Instead they chose to write up a letter and slide it over to me across the table sitting in silence as I read it with tears flooding into my eyes.
     I am trying not to feel like my current job search isn't being derailed by the fact that I am a female. Perhaps that is a feeling that has been embedded in me since working in the environment that I was in, even though I was proven more responsible than most of the males in the company. I truly hope that is not the case. I have what I feel is a fantastic resume and job experience history so why no call backs? And why can't I get past this roadblock of anger from being dropped from the company I worked for?

Friday, August 2, 2013

Do you think I'm wrong?

    My younger brother is getting married next year - actually they set the date already of July 4. So it will be a Friday wedding and it's on a holiday but I guess they're not planning on a red, white and blue theme.
    I helped him with his ring selection and his proposal. I was happy I could help him with that, even though he did the proposal in front of her family - haha. Seems like they have a holiday theme going because he actually proposed on Christmas. Maybe it's easier for them to remember "special" dates.
    Anyway, aside from being dragged to a bridal show with my mum and my soon to be SIL along with her mum and her sister I haven't been asked anything of helping out or assistance. (Yeah I said dragged because I didn't see the point of me going because I'm not paying for anything and I'm just the sister of the groom. I had to listen to her mum and sister make fun of her - not cool in my opinion. Let's not forget at that time I didn't know what my involvement was) I did find some old books from my wedding planning that I asked if they wanted and of course they took them with no questions. I did make a joke about what should be their wedding favors, which apparently her family thinks is great but we'll see.
    I know this post sounds like I am bitter about something but I don't think I am. I think I am more tired.

    I wont air out my grievances in this post but needless to say I guess I kind of miss my brother and I'm disappointed that he hasn't seen the new house yet (we've been here over a week now).
    I guess she is looking to having a large wedding party and to each their own. I had three girls; my Hubs sister, my cousin and my friend. That was well enough for me. I would have been happy even with just two which come to think of it - if I was to do this over again I would go with two or even one.  It's just silly to me the rational of why she's planning on having a large wedding party "because you can't have one cousin with out having the other" - umm guess what? Yes you can! Its your wedding, your choices. So insert again - to each their own.
    If you were to have asked me before Easter if I was part of the wedding party I could have confidently told you "no" since I was never asked. After Easter I could have told you "I guess so but I was never really asked". After eating my Mum asked her who was in the party and she said "Well.., you of course (as she points to me)" And my poker face was gone. I was shocked. I guess she just assumed that I would assume that I was part of the wedding party.
    While still in shock I kind of stumbled over my words and more or less left it as I would think about it while still supporting them as much as I could but nothing has come up since. I think my brother is suppose to ask my Hubs as well, and I'm not so sure if any of my kiddos are going to be part of the party. (I hate when people assume - HATE IT!)
    Listen, I have no problems with my future SIL and I am happy that my Brother is happy. The idea of romping around in matching dresses with other girls doesn't appeal to me. The idea of standing around for pictures also not appealing. The idea of planning a bridal shower with others, esp her sister doesn't appeal to me. The idea of a planning and attending a bachorlette party doesn't appeal to me. I was a bridesmaid once and that was well enough for me. I really don't want to spend money on a dress I will literally wear once and be stuck with to resell. I really don't want to spend time brainstorming when it seems her mum and sister have things already planned out.

    I will support them as much as I can. I can make a goodie basket as a giveaway for the shower. I can even do their engagement pictures if they wanted or save the date announcements. I can sit and assemble flowers or favors.
    Look - if my three kids are going to be involved I'm going to running around watching them. I wont have the time, energy or resources to make sure I'm dancing or taking pictures. And I'd prefer not to pawn them off on my parents to keep track of - it's more of their day with my brother and his bride than it is my day with him. (Btw I still don't know if my kids are being involved - haven't been asked. Maybe she'll just have her niece and nephew involved which is her choice and I'm ok with it)
    I haven't said anything since I haven't been asked or talked to about being bridesmaid but I'm not looking forward to it either. My mum thinks that it's my way of not supporting my brother but I see it differently. I think I'm being honest on what I can, can't, will and wont do.
    Do you think I'm wrong? Do you think I should just grin and bear it? Do you think honesty isn't the best policy in this case?

I want to be a Southern Belle

    Right now I'm watching Lifetime's Pretty Wicked Moms. I seriously can't take my eyes of it this right now. I think part of it is out of curiosity of watching these ladies with their kids. Another part is the Southern life style is something of interest to me.
    Perhaps I secretly wish that I was a Southern Belle. Compared to what I think is a Southern Belle, I would be considered a rough and tough New Yorker (even though I'm on the opposite side of New York state to be a true "New Yorker")
    I think the idea of taking care of the kids all while having a four course meal on the table and an extremely clean house all while being polished and dressed up with hair and makeup done is amazing to me. I love some of their antidotes and sayings.
    I'll add "being more like a Southern Belle" on my list of things to do for 2013. Don't get me wrong, my kids are taken care of and my house is - well we just moved so it's coming together but I could probably start mega cleaning this place up. I'll have to work on getting out of lounge clothes and actually doing my hair in something other than a balled up mess on top of my head. I'm going to go through my clothes and get rid of the ones that don't fit or don't wear.
    Maybe this is like watching an episode of Hoarders - it's that motivational kick to purge and clean. This is turning out to be a motivational kick to get things back on track? Sure, why not.
    What do you think of the Southern Belle lifestyle?