Friday, February 24, 2012

We Are Woman

For those of you who were similarly upset about the angry-eye-requiring links from last week, there is a Nationwide Protest called We Are Woman that is being planned for April 28. Protests will take place in each state capital and in DC.

It's been a week since I've blogged. This week has been busy and today is going to be very busy. Basically, I can't find time to blog. So know that I'll be here intermittently.

And that's code for "I'll probably start blogging regularly right away," because every time I think I'm going to blogfade, I get a whole slew of new ideas for posts.

Don't worry, I don't think I could ever go away for good.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Friday mish mash

We had a great Valentine's Day. More pics here.


This past week, I released a pattern for knitted mittens. More info at my knitting blog. You can buy the pattern on Ravelry.



Feminism.
More nurse-in "coverage:" Conan (at the 2 minute mark).

Now get out your angry eyes.
No women were allowed to testify at the House Committee hearing yesterday on birth control coverage. What I'd like to know is how many men risk death by getting someone pregnant, because every time a woman gets pregnant, she risks her life. While the maternal mortality rate is very low in our country, it still exists. Women are deeply invested in contraception. Half of our country is women and that should have been represented (they are called representatives, right?). It is vital that women get to represent on this issue.

Virginia mandates rape of all women seeking a first trimester abortion. No. Words.

Where Mormonism and I meet

My Exponent piece last week, I am a Cafeteria Mormon and You are too.

My blog, With Your Mutual Approbation, was nominated for the "2011 Best Faithful Perspective Mormon Blog" Brodie award. It's pretty far behind in the votes, but I'm excited just to be nominated! You can vote for the 2011 Brodies here.

The rest of my life.

Lots of knitting.
Lots of bicycling around town. And on the days I don't ride my bike to the park or store or library with 60 pounds of children in the trailer, I go running. So lots of exercise.
Also, there has been lots of daydreaming about buy a house. Lots. Because we might. In the next month or so. EEK! And by "buy a house in the Bay Area" I actually mean "buy a shanty town." Literally. But hey, it's cool. It's what we can get with our meager savings right now. Let's hope it happens! And I really want to paint it cantaloupe with purple accents. And I'd love for shingles to come in magenta, but they don't. Sadness. McKay is against this color scheme for some reason. We'll have to arm wrestle for it.

And have I mentioned I'm on Pinterest? If you want to waste some time looking at stuff I like, go there.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Inquisition Monday: Bedsharing and Sex

A couple of weeks ago, LeAnnerz asked, "Hi just stumbled upon your blog today and I find it all very inspiring. I recently found out that I'm pregnant and my husband and I are very interested in the idea of cosleeping. We feel it will be a very unifying experience for the three of us. The only concern I have is how we will be intimate with each other in that sort of living situation. If it's not too personal, do you mind sharing advice on how you share a sleeping space with your children and still find time for intimacy? Is it unhealthy to be intimate with my husband while our child is in the room? Would love to have your input. Thanks!!"

And I was pretty sure I had done a post about this, but searching my archives, I couldn't find one. So if I'm repeating myself, forgive me.

First, no matter what your sleeping arrangements are, sex is going to be different. There is a baby to take care of, and childrens' needs don't limit themselves for the hours of 9-5. A baby who was happy and took great naps all day might end up getting sick and feverish later that evening and your plans for sex? Out the window. Sometimes you have to do a lot of pre-arranging of schedules in order to even be together for 20 minutes, let alone find time to have sex. And sometimes things you didn't even plan on affect your libido: breastfeeding, depression, anxiety, new family dynamics and expectations, and just being tired.

Having a child is a whole new ball game. It doesn't mean you'll never have sex again- after all, people have multiple children! But I will say, that it's probably not something you should worry about too far ahead of time. You're pregnant: let go of all expectations as far as sleep and help and wait to find out how your family's new life looks. And maybe it'll be rainbows and happiness from day one! I hope it is.

It's also important to note that cosleeping is anytime that you share a room with your children. A baby in a crib in the master bedroom is cosleeping. Bedsharing is the more specific circumstance where the baby is in the bed with the parents.

Now, how does sex work when you bedshare? Well, for the first two years of Margaret's life, we lived in a studio apartment. So if we weren't having sex in the same bed, we were definitely having sex in the same room as her. Sure, we could have sex in the shower, but that wasn't a good solution for us: we had to be somewhat aware of whether or not she was waking up and that's hard when the water is running. We now use a baby monitor for such times, but when we were in the studio, we didn't have one.

We are not the first ones ever to have sex in the same room or bed as our children. Remember reading Little House on the Prairie? How many rooms did the Ingalls' log cabin have? Lots of families have found themselves in only one room and still manage to have more than one child. It's like they're having sex in the same room as their children or something! (hint: they are).

As far as the bed, we have a really large bed (California King, turned sideways to allow for even more width), we're quiet, and our bed is memory foam, so the movement doesn't carry very far and the kids stay asleep. Also, now that we live in a place that has more than one room, we have a baby monitor and can put the kids to sleep and then use the monitor to keep an ear out for the kids. But even having a baby monitor, we still have sex in our bed with our kids a few feet away. The bed comes with blankets and is warm and cozy.

Do I think our children will be scarred for life? No. They're sleeping! I don't want them watching or anything, but they aren't. Sometimes one of them will wake up and I'll have to switch out of sexy mode and into nursing-back-to-sleep mode and it can really kill the mood, but I've done it. And I'd have to do that whether or not we're in the same bed.

You can have a bassinet or let the baby sleep elsewhere while you use the bed. You can have sex on the kitchen counter. Or you could have sex with the baby 2 feet away in the same bed. It happens. I really want to tell you to take parenting as it comes. Don't let the "How are we ever going to have sex?" question overwhelm you. It's not a problem unless it is. And by that I mean, as soon as someone is uncomfortable, then change what you're doing. There's no hard and fast answer here. Some people are ok with it until the child hits a certain age. And that magic "age" is going to depend on the family; it's going to range from newborn to toddler or higher.

Raising my Boychick had a great post about this last year called, "Why do you care? Some thoughts on sex, judgment, and being a woman with children."

Any tips from my readers? Personal experiences?

Friday, February 10, 2012

A Greener Nursery Class

I think I've mentioned before that I teach the nursery at church. Because the kids are between 18 months and 3 years of age, we have a snack every week. My eco-conscience dreads this. Disposable products for 15 kids every week? Even after this idea I'm about to share, I'm still leaning towards bringing in reusable products; my eco-conscience is that strong.

But a temporary solution was this:


Coffee filters as bowls. The coffee filter seen here is holding an orange and muffin just so you can get the idea.

Coffee Filters are really really thin: so you aren't using a lot of "product" each serving (compare to a paper plate or even napkin). You can compost them or recycle them. And if you get non-bleached ones, they earth is even happier! No dioxin in the manufacturing!

They are perfect for holding little crackers and snacks. And for you thrifty people: you can get a pack of 200 for a dollar or two. Not bad.

So if you also have to dish snacks out to a nursery or day care or class or party or your own kids, think about using coffee filters instead of full-blown paper plates.

Or reusable plates. Those work too.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Survey on LDS Views of Breastfeeding

Sharing this:

My (Heidi's) sister is currently doing a study with the BYU Women's Studies center about social pressures and breastfeeding. The survey can be taken by anyone, but the target demographic is LDS women who have breastfed before or currently. It's a very short survey (about 2-3 minutes).

https://byu.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_9yFt3ubAP8ww4BK

It's very quick. Help her out!

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

News Coverage

The San Francisco Chronicle did a great article on the nurse-in in Menlo Park yesterday. The big group photo was included as well as a very cute shot of Margaret.

And then I was going to do a post linking to more news coverage worldwide, but Paala beat me to it.

She also took some more pics I didn't have yesterday:


This is the SF Chronicle one, if you didn't bother to click over:

And the kids occupied themselves while not nursing:


Monday, February 06, 2012

In which I am a good lactivist

NURSE-IN POST! Woohoo!

My FB status this morning:
If we can't see breastfeeding, we miss the chance to cheer on great achievements and silly child antics. We miss the chance to de-sexualize the female body and celebrate its utility. We miss the chance to give comfort to moms struggling with the difficulties of daily life. We miss the chance to be human with each other.

In the van for the carpool.


Margaret pulling the wagon of stuff.

Isaac had to nurse.

Sarah, the other organizer, making a speech. I gave a short one before her, but I can't take pictures of myself, so sorry about that!

People watching the speech.

Jodine making a speech. She flew in from Canada to be here!

Everyone in front of the FB sign. I'm tandeming. We had 60 people altogether!

Here is Petra and I. She works at the FB and I protest the FB, but we can still rock out together.

And I took this photo to make Jena a little jealous.

You can support breastfeeding even if you aren't lactating!

People chilling. The lady on the left is a knitter and I was able to swap Ravelry tags. Yay for knitters!

You can see more pictures at the event page on FB.

Also, check the news for coverage of the nurse-ins. Nurse-ins happened all over the place including Sydney, New York, Dublin and many more!

Sunday, February 05, 2012

In which I am a bad lactivist

"That's so beautiful."

May I say how much that phrase grates me? When I've gotten remarks on photos or blog posts about nursing, there have been a few, "Breastfeeding is so beautiful" remarks.

And I know people are trying to be supportive, but it makes me really self-conscious. Because it sounds like, "They way you transfer milk into your child is really attractive." There's this unsaid idea that if I was breastfeeding in some other way (on my head? sitting in mud? if I was 100 pounds heavier?) it wouldn't be "beautiful."

It just really irks me. And creeps me out a little. Because even when I'm just trying to sit down, take a breather, and be a mom, someone has to comment on my appearance. Because as women, we don't get enough of that, you know.

Can I have 2 seconds when my appearance isn't being critiqued or commented on?

I also get the same heebie jeebies when someone goes on and on about how "natural" nursing is. "Breastfeeding pictures are beautiful because breastfeeding is so natural." That logic just doesn't work for me. Lots of things are natural and not beautiful and for some women, breastfeeding is hard hard hard unnatural work with lots of unnatural hoops to jump through, so yeah. Stop it with the "natural" business. You're creeping me out.

I just want breastfeeding to be breastfeeding. I want to be considered a person who breastfeeds, not a picture of a woman being "motherly" and therefore "beautiful." Stop making judgments on my appearance. Or my baby's appearance. Or my breasts. Or whatever you think is "beautiful" and "natural."

I'm on this earth to kick some ass, not to be pretty for you. Thank you. (I need this in a T-shirt).

And now, to get ready for the nurse-in tomorrow. Because my breastfeeding pictures speak 1000 words: sometimes "beautiful" but always "freaking awesome."

ETA: McKay said this post was a little weird and a little confusing. And I know that. I really don't know how to explain my feelings about this at all. I guess you could say that some pictures are National Geographic material and some are bottom-of-the-drawer-will-get-into-the-photo-album-someday material. And you share both with your friends, and it's weird when someone uses the same adjective for the bottom-of-the-drawer picture and the National Geographic picture. Or something like that.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

FB Nurse-in Press Release

Media - Event Notice January 30, 2012

World wide protests to call on Facebook to leave breastfeeding photos alone
- Daily image deletions and account suspensions continue
- Facebook has removed 257,000 supporters from the official petition group
- Protests planned at Facebook offices around the globe

The  Facebook v. breastfeeding showdown continues with moms around the globe planning to protest at Facebook offices February 6th. After once again having her account suspended over posting a breastfeeding image, Canadian breastfeeding activist Emma Kwasnica said she couldn't accept the company's apology until they truly fix the problem. Kwasnica spoke with Facebook staff last week and said despite some accommodations, the bottom line is Facebook says they cannot prevent breastfeeding images and account suspensions from continuing. This morning Facebook removed 257,000 supporters from the “Hey Facebook! Breastfeeding is Not Obscene” official petition group, which has been active since 2007. In a statement after her meeting Kwasnica expressed her frustration: "It is obvious to me now that Facebook really has lost control of their network, especially when their written policy clearly states they support the sharing of breastfeeding images, yet they say they cannot control the actions of their employees who keep removing breastfeeding images and who block accounts of the users who post them – usually “in error.” This is exasperating to me." Kwasnica says Facebook must simply leave all breastfeeding images alone. Late last week the Wall Street Journal reported Facebook is about to launch an IPO which would value the company at between $70 and $100B. Facebook's advertising revenues last year topped $3B. Facebook offers advertisers the ability to carefully target audiences. The so-called "influential mom" demographic is highly sought after. Some of the influential mom demographic is planning to flex their muscles by telling their friends and family on Facebook, and by telling the world at protests around the globe, they want Facebook to stop harassing breastfeeding mothers. Nurse-ins are planned Feb 6 at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California and at Facebook offices in other US cities including Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, Detroit, New York, Prineville, Oregon, and Seattle. Similar protests are planned around the globe in Amsterdam, Dublin, London, Paris, Toronto, and Sydney. For more information contact:
-----------------
Emma Kwasnica
604-215-0433
emma.kwasnica@gmail.com
Jodine Chase
780-938-5208
jchase@mediaworks.com
@jodinechase
Facebook Protest details: http://www.facebook.com/notes/fb-stop-harassing-emma-kwasnica-over-her-breastfeeding-pics/locations-for-facebook-nurse-in/324817760874621 or http://on.fb.me/nurseins
Link to official petition site: http://www.facebook.com/groups/2517126532/ or http://on.fb.me/HFBBFINO
Link to blog post with daily updates since Emma’s account went down Jan 8th. It includes recent images that have been deleted, screen snapshots showing the membership numbers in the official petition site before Facebook removed members, and more: http://www.jodinesworld.blogspot.com/2012/01/fb-harasses-women-for-breastfeeding.html
or bit.ly/Jan30fbbf



If you are local to the Bay Area, you can email me (hrfarley at gmail dot com). I am willing to talk to the press about my part in organizing this nurse-in. If you want to participate, I can get information to you about a carpool leaving Alameda and other information about gathering in Menlo Park, CA.