Monthly Archives: January 2012

Warm Fuzzies On A Cold Day

Sofia concentrating hard I am of the opinion that if one is going to make a fool of herself on the ice, it makes it more bearable in a cute jacket. My cute (and now hairy faced) husband working it. Gabe skating all by himself Couple skating to some cheesy 80′s music. After one too […]

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Wendy M. - January 25, 2012 - 6:12 am

Good for you, Kara! I gave up after two attempts at ice skating…you really are brave to push yourself out of your comfort zone. You are setting a great example for your kids! (Oh, and I love the coat!)

adrienne w - January 25, 2012 - 10:51 am

Fun, fun! Ice skating is part of growing up in Canada. I did it all the time as a child. We did it outside on lakes as a family. I used to go to public skating every Friday night was an older child. It was fun. That being said, we’ve never taken our kids. I just can’t figure out logistically how to take 4 young kids skating! They have gone for school field trips, but didn’t really enjoy it, because with the adult to child ratio they didn’t have much help. But you have inspired me to give it a try somehow! We have many outdoor rinks and Denver and I even have our own skates!! No excuses! Except I’m sure I can come up with some…

camie - January 25, 2012 - 6:01 pm

That looks like fun! Camille has been dying to go ice skating but I told her I didn’t think there was one anywhere around.

Kara - January 25, 2012 - 10:56 pm

Thanks :). I am impressed with something you do every year (well I am actually impressed with a lot of things)….the polar bear plunge with your kiddos. What a great/fun mom you are Wendy!
I love that you own your own ice skates. Are you that cool person spinning circles and skating backwards :)?
This was in Southern Oregon… not sure of the closest place.. .maybe Salem, but for sure Portland.

Family Christmas Pics

A picture with the whole group. When you have 8 grandchildren ages 6 and under, it is logical that there will be nose-picking,crying, and lots of funny expressions in the pictures with them all together. Yes, all of our little family pictures were this funny. I just had to choose 1 of the many awkward […]

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kelsey - January 23, 2012 - 3:51 pm

I want pictures!

Christmas Pictures Part 1

Here are the first of the Christmas pictures with many more to come. Chris’ family has a tradition to go out into the woods to cut down their trees. I think that it is a lovely tradition, but I must admit that the unseasonably warm weather made it even nicer.   Oh, and after living […]

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adrienne w - January 14, 2012 - 12:27 pm

How beautiful! Looks like so much fun!

The Power of Play

A few months ago, I did a presentation after toddler story time at the library about the importance of play. I had just read “The Power of Play” by David Elkind, and I used some parts of the book in my presentation. It is really important to me that my kids have sufficient time to […]

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Elisa - January 9, 2012 - 6:56 am

Kara, I couldn’t agree with you more. Last night Sebastian and Alessandra were in the bathtub playing with their Lego creations. I was happy to here their imaginative minds at work and also that Sebastian is Alessandra’s role-model…as he is extremely creative. Despite the fact that they are 5 years apart…they still play together!!!!

Josh - January 10, 2012 - 10:30 pm

This is the reason we chose the preschool Jaycee is attending. The director believes in learning through play as the primary vehicle of early childhood education. Within a few weeks the director emailed us pictures of Jaycee in class. She had taken it upon herself to play with a few items of different colors. The picture we got was Jaycee making ABAB and AABB patterns on her own. It is easy to get lost in the “your child should know X, Y & Z by this age” that the bigger picture is missed. They WANT to learn and don’t need hyper structure to do it. Good post!

adrienne w - January 14, 2012 - 12:34 pm

I’ve been paying closer attention to my kids’ play after reading this. The tub is a great place for all of them to play (though obviously not together, because our tub is not that big). I find that Thatcher is drawn to simple building toys and vehicle toys. Also, all my kids love to play with any kind of animal toy, often their stuffed ones, but most of the time, they just pretend to be animals themselves, without any toys. I’m lucky that my kids don’t veg in front of the TV (even when I want them to ;) ). We’re also very lucky that Macartney and Thatcher attend an arts school that is very focussed on creativity and play, so I don’t feel that they are deprived of that at school. I remember going to a conference on the power of play back when I was in College. Loved it. So fascinating and has helped me a lot as a parent now. You offer lots of good things to keep in mind! You are awesome!

Nursing in Public

A few days ago, I read this funny article about nursing in public. I know that acceptance over nursing in public varies so much from family to family, town to town, state to state etc…, but I am wondering what all of your experiences have been with nursing around other people. Here are a few […]

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Wendy M. - January 4, 2012 - 6:35 am

I nursed both my kids and never really felt judged by anyone…I feel fortunate to be in Corvallis. I felt uncomfortable at first with my oldest…it was ME worrying, though…not anyone around me. I always made an effort to be modest about it. I do have issues with women who half-undress in public and sit exposed while their child runs around and comes back to snack. I’m sure it’s easier for them, but I think it’s the reason some people object to public nursing.
(My mom nursed me in the early ’70′s when it was still not really socially acceptable where we lived…she had no support from family, either. I’m so happy I didn’t have to face that and feel for anyone who lives in an area where they feel judged!)

Jennifer Hunt - January 4, 2012 - 7:12 am

Love your thoughtful post, Kara. I nursed my son for 15 months and am currently nursing my daughter (18 months). Sometimes I do it in public (almost always when she was younger), but I generally leave the room because she can hardly concentrate. I respect the right to nurse in public, but I still have mixed feelings.

I grew up in a family that was very closed about body topics. Not just nursing, but the body in general. I don’t think that’s a totally foreign thing. We live in a society where body is such a loaded concept. I have not always been comfortable with my own body, and therefore, uncomfortable with others’ bodies.

I think the problem with nursing has a lot less to do with someone using their breasts as nourishment vs. sex, and a lot more to do with self-love. There are many people who can’t face the concept of their own bodies. They have underlying beliefs instilled in them by society that they are totally unaware of. Those beliefs have very little to do with the proper function of a body. It’s difficult to have a sense of who you are and what your body truly is when you don’t realize your beliefs are based on misconceptions.

The whole of society won’t reach the same level of body-love, and it most assuredly won’t happen at the same time; therefore it’s hard to expect everyone to appreciate the beautiful power and nature of breastfeeding. So while I will breastfeed in public, I also have empathy for those who are still weeding through their own understanding.

Leah - January 4, 2012 - 8:29 am

Great topic Kara! I am still nursing my 14 month old. It is usually now only at bedtime, though I did nurse on a plane just the other day (for ear pressure during take-off/landing).
I have always made an effort to keep things covered. This was partly for my own modesty, but also because my breasts were so HUGE that there was really no way to be discreet without a cover.
Like Wendy, I really only have an issue when people are exposed or otherwise unnecessarily drawing attention to it. Or if it gets to the point where the kid can say “Mommy I’m hungry” and then the boob comes out… but that is a whole different discussion : )

juliette - January 4, 2012 - 8:45 am

The article is HILARIOUS! I especially like the part about pumping a gallon of milk.

Adrienne W - January 4, 2012 - 8:57 am

I think that is your baby is hungry, you should feed him/her. I nursed all 4 of my babies for at least a year, which was tough for me because I had a lot of problems with it at the beginning with each. When I nursed my babies in public, I usually went somewhere out of the way for various reasons. When my babies are newborns, the milk flow is sheer insanity for me. So I would draw a lot of attention if I were to do it out in the open. And some poor bystander would probably get sprayed! Plus, I found it less distracting for myself and my baby to be somewhere quiet. I think that nursing in public is your right and shouldn’t be an issue. But I also think that just because you can, doesn’t mean you need to be obvious about it. A little discretion goes a long way. And just because someone is uncomfortable seeing a women breast feed doesn’t mean that they think you shouldn’t be doing it. My dad and one of my brothers are clearly not comfortable when I breastfeed in front of them, but they realize that it’s their issue, not mine. They know that it’s normal and healthy, but I can tell they feel awkward. So I think that is courteous to reasonably try and cover up. There are a lot of factors that go into how people feel about breastfeeding and I think we should take that into consideration to some degree. but the bottom line is, baby’s needs come first. I do get a little annoyed by people who say that it’s such a special bonding time with baby and then go and make a show out of it, by posting pictures of it on Facebook and such or intentionally being indiscreet, because it is their right. Yes, it can be a bonding experience, but we don’t all need to be included in it. My opinion is that it shuldn’t be done to make a point. It should be about you and your baby. It doesn’t really matter what anyone else thinks, positive or negative. P.S. In Canada, it is against the law to ask a woman to leave or cover up while breastfeeding. Is that the case in the US?

Elizabeth - January 4, 2012 - 9:02 am

I’m not a big fan of nursing in public because I know how uncomfortable it makes the majority of men. I’ve even talked to women (who don’t have kids) who get uncomfortable with it.

When I nurse in public, I almost always use a cover but that’s more for me than anyone else. I am overly-modest and I blame my mom (who is extremely modest) for that! =)

Shannon - January 4, 2012 - 3:33 pm

When my son was very young I nursed him in public, mostly in parks or outdoor locations. Like your kids, at about 5-6 months he became so distractable that it was nearly impossible to nurse him anywhere but in a quiet, out-of-the-way place and even then it could be a struggle to finish a session. I could never really get the hang of nursing with a cover, it was so awkward, and I just ended up wearing a cami under a tshirt (tshirt up and cami down) and doing my best to not show too much. I always think it’s great when women are breastfeeding, and I’ve never seen anyone do it in a graphic way or a way that didn’t mostly appear to be a mom cuddling her child. I kind of feel like people should just turn away if a mother nursing her child is bothering them, it isn’t as if they are being forced to look in that one small area where they might catch a glimpse of a boob. I’m still nursing my 18 month old, and I would never do it in public now. I already feel pressure to stop from those close to me (oddly the same people who were so supportive when I started out), I can’t imagine the response from nursing a toddler in public. My son does ask for milk (with words and signing), but it is pretty much just a nap/bedtime/morning thing for us now and when he asks at other times I’ll offer him cow milk, water or food or just give him cuddles if it seems he wants to do it just for comfort.

Michelle - January 4, 2012 - 4:06 pm

Love the article, especially when it pointed out that we see breasts all the time, but when they are being used their true purpose, then it is somehow offensive or rude.
I think each situation is probably unique, depending on the location and people present. But will generally nurse a child under 9 months most anywhere, if I can be discrete. (Thank you booth seats!)

Michelle - January 5, 2012 - 8:42 am

I feel exactly like you. I don’t really care if people are uncomfortable with me feeding my child. No one has ever said anything to me (although Elly is still only 11 weeks old, so I haven’t been out THAT much to places where people might feel uncomfortable). I would definitely have something witty or snide to say back to make them feel even more uncomfortable about their uncomfortableness. That’s probably childish, but in this case, I don’t care! :)

kara - January 5, 2012 - 9:58 pm

Love all of your comments!

Annalise - January 6, 2012 - 2:22 pm

I’ve nursed in public tons, and what’s funny is I have never received any negative reaction. And yet I imagine it, and I feel insecure. There is so much in the media about negative reactions that we go out expecting it. Reality is, the general public by and large will just ignore you!

Elisabeth@SimpleGreenishLiving - January 9, 2012 - 3:45 pm

I once nursed in an Olive Garden too, lol. Our server may have been a little uncomfortable but I didn’t really have a choice (other than to not go out to eat at a restaurant I guess, but we were out of town at dinnertime and I’d been wanting to eat an Olive Garden for about a year!). The craziest place I have ever nursed would have to be on a plane, or at Disneyland, or in a Banana Republic fitting room. The plane wasn’t bad, just a little uncomfortable, and no one knew what I was doing in the fitting room (except that I was in there for a LONG time). Disneyland was definitely the most awkward. Judah was almost one, it was HOT, and trying to keep us both covered was miserable…but Disneyland is probably the last place I’d go around flashing a boob so it had to be done! Definitely got some “looks,” though. Even though I’m still nursing Judah (at almost 18 months), I don’t really nurse him in public anymore – and I get the impression that the older a child gets, the more uncomfortable people tend to be. I’m curious how common extended breastfeeding is. I told a woman the other day that I was still nursing Judah and her reaction was priceless. Is it really that uncommon??