Thursday, June 21, 2012

Greeting cards that can be used as wedding cards in a pinch

One thing that I wish I'd done while I was pregnant is stock up on everything I might ever need for at least a year, because Baby Darling really, really hates being in the car and in his stroller, so going shopping is a pain in the rump. (Yes, I said rump.) What keeps happening is that I go to the store and then Baby D starts to freak out, so I try to hurry, and I end up forgetting something important... like a card for my brother's wedding. I have a box of greeting cards at home that always has a card for every occasion except the one I currently need one for, so sometimes a girl's gotta be creative.

So here are Tova's helpful tips for greeting cards that can be used as wedding cards in a pinch:

Congratulations on your new baby...that you might have in nine months, unless you're on birth control, in which case, nevermind.

You're expecting! ...A life full of happiness as husband and wife.

In deepest sympathy... to all of the singles whose hearts will be broken now that you two are off the market.

Thank you... for the free food and alcohol that you gave us at your wedding reception.

Wishing you the best on your birthday... which is a few months from now, and also on your wedding day, which is today.

We'll miss you... while you're on your honeymoon.

Happy Anniversary... is what I'll be saying to you one year from now.

Thinking of you... because I am currently at your wedding.

Any more you can think of will, I'm sure, be extremely helpful to us all.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tova's got a beef with Enfamil

(Do people still say "got a beef"?) (Let me preface this by saying that I am aware that some women HAVE to give their babies formula. My mom breastfed my siblings and I as long as she could, but when she went back to work, her milk dried up even though she pumped, and she had to give us formula. I totally get that for some women, formula is a necessity. However, I think that for some* women, formula is something that they use because they are under-educated about breastfeeding  - either about how much better it is for babies or about how it works. One of my family members said repeatedly that she was unable to breastfeed her son because she "never made enough milk." Recently, I had a conversation with her and realized that she thought she wasn't making enough because her milk didn't come in the FIRST day at the hospital [milk doesn't normally come in until days 3-5], so she started giving her baby formula on day two.)

Anyway, this is something that I've ranted about to various friends and family members but have never actually put into writing. I really dislike the company that makes Enfamil. I think they are shady and take advantage of women when they are in a very vulnerable state. There. I said it. 

Here's part of my reasoning. I was 100% bound and determined that, no matter what, I was going to breastfeed Baby D. Breast milk is much better for babies than formula. For a list of just some of the reasons it's better, click here. One of the many things listed there is the following statement: "Children who are exclusively breast-fed during the first three months of their lives are 34 percent less likely to develop juvenile, insulin-dependent diabetes than children who are fed formula." My husband has type 1 (juvenile) diabetes. He was not breastfed. Do I know for sure that's why he has it? No, of course not. But statistically speaking, children who aren't breastfed run a greater risk of developing it. That fact alone would've convinced me to breastfeed come hell or high water, but there are also many, many more reasons to breastfeed.

So, I was absolutely going to breastfeed. I told my obstetrician. I told all of the nurses in the hospital. I made sure that everyone knew absolutely, 100% that under no circumstances was my baby to be given formula. I had a c-section, so I was in the hospital for four days, and my milk came in during that time. Breastfeeding was going well. When we were ready to leave the hospital, a nurse came in with a gift bag from Enfamil (and to be fair, she said they also had similar gift bags available from Similac.) On the outside of the bag, it said something along the lines of "Congratulations! Here's our gift for breastfeeding moms!" 

"Oh, how sweet!" I naively thought. "Maybe it's lanolin or gel pads for my very sore nipples! Maybe it's nursing pads! Maybe it's vitamin D drops for my baby!" It was none of those things. Inside was a can of formula and two pre-mixed bottles of baby formula with a nipple that screwed right on. (The only things even remotely helpful for a breastfeeding mom were a bottle holder and two small containers to store breast milk in. Since lactation consultants do not recommend giving breastfed babies a bottle for 4-6 weeks to avoid nipple confusion, neither of those things would be helpful for at least a month.) Basically, what Enfamil is banking on is that you will be exhausted; your baby will be nursing ALL the time (totally normal at the beginning); you will be sleep-deprived, hormonal, and very emotional; it will be 3am, and your husband or mom or friend will say, "Is there anything I can do to help??" And you'll have those handy pre-mixed bottles. You won't even have to mix anything! Just screw on the nipple, and someone else can feed your baby while you sleep. And that is shady. Because they KNOW that breastfeeding is better for your baby. It says so right on all of their formula containers! But you doing what is best for your child doesn't make them any money, and so they try to make it really easy for you NOT to do what is best for your child so that they can make money even if it means your child might be less healthy.

I was never even slightly tempted to use those bottles. I was, however, often tempted to hurl them against the wall. I was exhausted and overwhelmed, and it made me really angry that Enfamil would try to take advantage of that. I ended up donating them to a local food bank instead of throwing them, but Enfamil still makes me mad. 

And that is why Tova has a beef with Enfamil. (And Similac, but theirs didn't happen to be the bottles I wanted to take my anger out on.)

*originally, I had the word "MORE" here in place of "some." I removed it because I don't actually know if it is more, and I realize that could be offensive to women who can't breastfeed. Where I currently live, there is a pretty low percentage of women who breastfeed, and it seems to correlate with a lack of education. However, I realize that may not be the same everywhere.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day to all of the dads, and happy "Get rid of crap" day to me!

Happy Father's Day to the amazing Dr. Darling and my wonderful daddy... neither of whom read this blog. Happy Father's Day to the rest of you dads, too!

Yesterday, Dr. Darling and I had a garage sale (and by that, I mean Dr. D carried everything outside and then slept because he's working nights, so I sat outside in 90 degree heat with my friend Andi and both of our babies), and we made a whopping $75. Our neighbors only made $10, so comparatively speaking, we did really well. (Andi made $11 and then spent $6 of it on a burger and a milkshake at the ice cream shop near our house. Basically, she traded her junk for some lunch, which to me actually seems like a pretty good deal.) I was absolutely thrilled, though, because our main reason for having the sale is that we're moving (We bought a house! Yay! More on that another time.), and we had a bunch of stuff that we didn't want to lug to our new house, and our garbage pick-up is now done by trucks that have a mechanical arm that picks up the can, so you can't leave boxes of junk on the curb, and you can only use one can. So... it was either sell our crap or haul it somewhere.

We were formerly the owners of the world's most hideous ottoman, and man, we did not want that thing. A - It was extremely ugly (we inherited it from Dr. D's mom when she bought less ugly furniture.) B - It was huge. Like, two feet tall, three feet deep, four feet long. (I didn't measure it, those are just guesses, and math is not my thing, so maybe it was bigger or smaller.) And C - Our cats, recognizing the hideousness of it, scratched the sides up. It has been hanging out in our basement for three years, and I really, really did not want to move it to our new house or haul it to the dump. So I put it out in the garage sale, and Andi was like, "Seriously? No one is going to buy that thing." But towards the end of the sale, some lady bought it for her dog to sleep on! Not only that, she paid me $3! Woo hoo! Nothing beats having someone pay you to haul away your junk. Also, we sold a giant, abnormally heavy television, circa 1984, for $10, and a 30 gallon aquarium and stand that we used for a while until the Great Snail Invasion of 2008 kind of killed the charm of owning an aquarium. It was a really nice aquarium, so we marked it for $30, but when one of our neighbors was looking at it, I said, "I'll sell it for $10!" He asked, "What would Dr. D say about you selling it so cheaply?" To which I replied, "He'd say, 'woo hoo! You sold the aquarium!' " (Which is pretty much what he did say after I told him that our neighbor bought it.) I also gave away a lot of stuffed animals to children, so all in all, everyone had a good day. I still have boxes of books that no one wants, but I cannot throw books away to save my life (it just doesn't feel right), so I will probably take them to the local used bookstore... which will most likely throw them away. Still, at least I won't have to witness it.

Anyway, if you ever have stuff you need to get rid of, come have a garage sale with me. I will offer your stuff for free to random children, but at least you'll be rid of it.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Tova's Totally Awkward Tuesdays

Totally Awkward Tuesdays are dead, but something extremely awkward happened to me last year, and when it happened, I thought "oh my gosh, if I was still blogging, this would potentially be my most Tova's Totally Awkward moment yet." So now that I'm back (for the moment, at least), I figured I'd share it. You know, just so everyone knows that I never stopped being awkward, I just stopped writing about my tendency to embarrass myself (for mental health reasons.)

Anyway, I seem to have a lot of awkward moments that involve clothing  - like when my underwear fell out of my pants at work, or when buying a padded bra made a sales clerk think I literally had no boobs, or when an ex-boyfriend's mom told me that my shirt reminded her of kinky sex, or when I learned that one of my shirts was allowing my male classmate to see my nipples, or when I fell down the stairs while wearing a short skirt (it kind of makes you wonder why I don't just live in a permanent uniform of sweatpants and turtlenecks), so it's not surprising that this is another "Tova is humiliated thanks to her choice in clothing" kind of moment. (Also, for the record, none of these awkward moments have been invented or embellished by me. I really am just this awkward.)

At some point last year, I went to church on Sunday morning, and I was actually on time for once (shocking.) My friend Andi and her husband Matt, on the other hand, showed up late, but I had saved them seats. They had a newborn at the time, so Andi sat on the end to run out more easily if their baby started to cry, and Matt sat in the seat between Andi and me.

Now about my clothes - I was wearing a plain black top and a cool Indian skirt that I got at a little boutique a few years ago. It's a wrap-around floor-length skirt kind of like the one to the right.
Except that it doesn't have elephants on it and also looks nothing like that one. But the length and wrap-i-ness of it are right. It's basically just a long rectangle of fabric that wraps around my waist and ties with a ribbon. When the church service was over, Andi turned around to talk to some friends, Matt stayed in his seat, and I stood up to get ready to go. I stood there for a few minutes because the aisle was blocked on both sides, and I couldn't leave. After a couple of minutes, I picked up my purse to put it on my shoulder. But when my purse touched my hip, I noticed that I could feel the coldness of the leather... almost as if it was touching bare skin instead of a skirt...

I looked down, and... my skirt had come untied. And was no longer covering any of the right side of my body. And I was only wearing a thong underneath. And Matt, who was still seated, was eye-level with my butt. I looked at Matt, who looked up at me and calmly said, "I think you're losing your skirt."

My face was approximately 75 shades of red as I hastily re-tied my skirt. Later, Andi told me that Matt was 100% convinced that I had been wearing NOTHING under my skirt, because all he saw was skin, so she had to tell him that I usually wear thong underwear. As she put it, she figured it would be slightly (only very slightly) less embarrassing for me if her husband knew what type of underwear I typically wear than if he thought I was going commando at church.

Clearly, I've still got it. (Awkwardness, I mean.) If you feel like blogging about how awkward you are, post about it in my comments so I know I'm not alone in my intense humiliation.

(Side note - to make myself feel better, I made a mental list of all of the people at church who I would've been even more embarrassed to show my butt to. Unfortunately, the list wasn't super long, and I really have no way of knowing if the people on it actually did see my butt...)
In my opinion, we don't devote nearly enough scientific research to finding a cure for jerks. ~ Calvin & Hobbes