#BringBackOurGirls Day- too many…

#BringBackOurGirls Day- too many…

So here we are in practically September, and we have not yet been able to #BringBackOurGirls.

View image on Twitter

Image is from tweet below

 

Lots of reasons are involved in this. Certainly there are huge political and social issues converging in Nigeria and ebola is jut not making life easier for these folks. It is hard to focus on these girls in the face of the violence going on here. The deaths from disease.

The whole country seems to be in turmoil. But we cannot forget these girls in the midst of all of this.

They matter.

They matter because they are 200 innocent girls that were just trying to better themselves through education and a political terror group is trying to take that away from all women in Nigeria.

This is wrong.

We must also consider the families. How would your life be in this situation? I have talked about this before and it is horrifying. I searched the web for relevant stories this week, and it was a very hard search.. I did find an article from July that focuses on these families. In fact 11 of the parents. They have died in related violence in Nigeria.

http://www.pri.org/stories/2014-07-22/100-days-mass-abduction-nigerian-schoolgirls-11-girls-parents-have-died

That was July.. what about the end of August? I am certain there are more dead by now. I am sure there will be more.

So from the girls’ perspective- you are captured, humiliated, certainly abused mentally and physically and if you are finally released to what you think will be the loving arms of your parents, you find that they are gone.

SO many angles to this story. So many small stories making up a complete picture of horrors. I feel for them.

I have no answers to this problem. I have no delusions that a few bombing campaigns or military invasion would fix this. I can only contribute my small voice each week to the hastag campaign. I can write letters. I can advocate for the education of women..

You can too. Please let us not forget these girls. Keep the hashtag and their story alive.

#BringBackOurGirls

#BringBackOurGirls Day- too many…

#BringBackOurGirls Day 129: What if?

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photo from Human Rights @HumanRtsV

#BringBackOurGirls Day 129: What if?

As I have done for the past few months, I have reviewed the news to see if any progress has been made to @BringBackOurGirls. But on day 129 there is a small new story about the Brits possibly dedicating some resources to finding the girls.

I love that this is a positive in this other wise dismal story.

SO many people are focusing on ice buckets this week,and a violent act that I will not name.. important stories as always, but the girls are taking the back seat.

I went to twitter for my inspiration today-

So there it is- what if it was your daughter there? This isn’t as simple as just running up to these guys and plucking your daughter back… you are helpless. You are confused and in pain. It must seem as though no one cares about you or this child.. You would certainly be angry.  Your heart would hurt every hour of the day thinking about how she might be mistreated or worse..

How can anyone sit still and think that this is just a media campaign? These are real girls with real families that are hurting.. and people are hurting them.

There are millions of people aware of this situation, and it must be some consolation that they care.. even if it is just a hashtag.. but it clearly isn’t enough.

There are still sit ins and protests occurring in Nigeria. They of course, have some other issues going on that are overshadowing this.  Tragedies.. all.

I challenged you to do more than send out the hashtag. Did you do it? I wrote to the President. I expressed my concerns as a mom and a citizen. I let our government know that someone HERE cares about the girls and would like to see action. Small step. Sure. But it is what I can do.

I will keep the blog posts going.  My challenge to you still is out- help #BringBackOurGirls.

 

#BringBackOurGirls Day 129: What if?

Torrential Rain in my yard

Torrential Rain in my yard

(even the bushes are falling over from the rain)

Living in the desert means we can go months without seeing a drop of rain. We get most of our rain in a few storms throughout the year…today we got ALL the rain in like 3 minutes I swear…

Streets are flooded, people have lost power and it is muggggy.

 

We are just not used to this weather. I have lived in this house for 13 years and cannot recall a rain quite like this before. Intense!

 

Although we need the water, we don’t need it all at once- it just rolls off.. lol.

What is the weather like in your neck of the woods today?

#BringBackOurGirls Day 121

#BringBackOurGirls Day 121 has not brought us new results. After the exciting news last week that the girls were spotted by US military, I thought for sure that my posts were going to have only a limited time left.. No such luck!

 

BBOG Poster

#BringBackOurGirls Day 121 is too long

The girls are still away from their families.

The families are in fear for their other children.

And a country full of turmoil continues its fight with terrorists.

Among the stories of celebrity suicides, ebola and other news, the girls have once again gotten the back seat. No news stories to report. Even the hashtag melting away on Twitter. There are no high profile images with signs showing their support.

 

We are losing our focus on these girls.

There were many posts on social media about how a hashtag can’t change the world. I think it kept attention for awhile, but without more of a follow up it cannot be sustained.

There ARE sit-ins and protests going on in Nigeria, but they are getting little attention.

So this week, I searched the web to find what else is being done, closer to home. I found this website and it lists a very specific set of actions to take that can bring the focus back to the girls.

I challenge you to go to the site and take ONE action from the list. Just one.

http://bringbackourgirls.us/action/

 

Put your money where your mouth is- if you don’t think the hashtag and social media action is enough- do something. One thing. For 219 girls. Today.

We need to #BringBackOurGirls Now. Today.

Leave me a comment if you took action. Anything at all.

#BringBackOurGirls

Cloth Diapering Without a Dryer

We have been without a dryer for about a week now-cloth diapering without a dryer is different to say the least. I am feeling pretty stubborn about buying a new one so the man has been troubleshooting ours to get it to work.

dipe

We have been finding ways to get our diapers washed and dried without an insane amount of fuss.

For one- my daughter has been sick for a week and has not been making a lot of dirty diapers for me. I am not happy she is sick but the coincidence has made the lowered volume of diapers a bit convenient.

Second, we can’t dry anything outside because of allergies and and insane amount of dirt and pollen in the air. We CAN use the garage though, and in Phoenix in summer that is just as good as a dryer without the tumbling. We do have access to the tumbling function of our dryer, so even though there is no heat, we can still use it for that.

So what did we find out so far?

1.Microfiber, velour, terry cloth and thick overnight inserts take forever to dry and they end up crunchy.

2. Flats are fabulous. They dry fast anywhere, and they don’t end up terribly crunchy.

3. Flips are always fabulous and it doesn’t matter if you have a dryer or not for these because we usually hang them dry anyway. We have about 10 I think and we find them more than enough for a toddler. We had a few more diapers in the mix as she has grown, but if you are on a budget Flips are where I would put money. They are one size, and easy to maintain and clean.

4. We have a few pocket diapers, and they do ok in this routine. Frankly though, I am not a fan of pockets overall, so I don’t suggest them. If you do want to use these with microfiber, you don’t have to worry about scratchy microfiber touching baby skin since it is tucked away.( I always hang my pocket diapers to dry anyway.)

See the Amazon widget for a link to some examples of what we are using.

So here is our set up.

1. We wash. We have a HE washing machine so the liquid is pretty effectively removed.

2. We take out the Flip liners and just hang them any old way in the bathroom. We keep a regular clothes hanger on the shower rack and I snap them all together and hang them there. It is like a big diaper chain. It dries within a few hours since our humidity is so low here. We can add a fan to the room if we need the diapers faster.

3. I separate out the flats and unwrinkle them. I try to get them as unwrinkled as possible and hang them individually, spread out on our dryer rack.

(see the Amazon widget for the one we use- we had one already that we used to dry hockey gear with. It works great for stinky gear and diapers.)

I can fit a decent number of these on here- probably about 20 easily. You don’t need clothespins for this type of process. You can add a fan to this area as well if you need to dry the flats faster- I find they dry easily overnight, so I don’t usually do that.

I do all the baby laundry together, so anything else she has in there I put on baby hangers and just dangle those along the drying rack. That stuff takes a little longer.

As a side note, we are of course drying our clothes and towels by line as well. Those go in the garage, on a make shift clothesline that the man set up for us. Everything goes on hangers out there too.. lol

4. We are still washing some microfiber inserts and thick overnight inserts. This I do not suggest with no dryer. I am hanging them in the garage, and I find they take FOREVER to dry. They are not soft and they are all stretching to weird shapes.. When I take some of them out they are literally as stiff as a piece of paper. Once we get a dryer again I am not sure if they will return to softness again.

 

5. Since we do still have the tumbling dryer available, I toss everything in there for a cycle and fill the dryer with my wool dryer balls. I have a few home made ones, but most of mine are Woolzies, which I reviewed last year, and  find to be superior.

The dryer balls really soften everything up and it has been great. If you don’t have the dryer, you can definitely get by with squishing up your flats to soften them. They don’t get nearly as crunchy as the microfiber inserts and such

Overall, I am only missing my dryer a little. I find the house is much cooler, and although it adds a short amount of extra work, it isn’t terrible. I do wash the loads a little more often so I don’t need to dry a lot at once. It hasn’t been as terrible as I thought it would be.

The man is going to be trying another round of troubleshooting after work tonight, so we shall see how that goes. Until then, I will keep “line drying.”

It CAN be done, and I will say I am CERTAIN if you go this route, you will be able to save tons of money both on diapers and electricity!

If you want to go one more step and go without a washer, I am betting you will find that possible as well. Don’t let the naysayers say nay!

Cloth diapering without a dryer can be done!

#BringBackOurGirls, Day 116

Rachel Daniel, 35 years old, held up a picture of her abducted daughter Rose Daniel, 17, as her son Bukar, 7, sat beside her at her home in Maiduguri, Nigeria, in May. Reuters IMAGE FROM WSJ.

We did not #BringBackOurGirls again.

My apologies for being late with this post. My daughter has had a very high fever this week, and she has been miserable and in need of attention. I cannot deny her. What parent could?

 

The parents in Nigeria are still waiting for their daughters to return. No news on CNN again this week. It seems some bombing is now the focus. Not so say it shouldn’t be, but I will not let my story slip away.

I set off to Twitter again to find my updates. There are fewer tweets. Fewer news updates. Less interest. BUT I did see this- and I am not surprised it didn’t make big news, although it should have. The Wall Street Journal has this:

U.S. Planes Searching for Boko Haram Abductees Spot Girls in Nigeria

http://online.wsj.com/articles/u-s-planes-searching-for-boko-haram-abductees-spot-girls-in-nigeria-1407263240

 “Recent U.S. surveillance flights over northeastern Nigeria showed what appeared to be large groups of girls held together in remote locations, raising hopes among domestic and foreign officials that they are among the group that Boko Haram abducted from a boarding school in April, U.S. and Nigerian officials said.”

 

Could this be true? The girls? Certainly now that this has been seen something can be done?

Or does this put their lives in peril? I can’t say. I want to think this is great news and for the first time in weeks I felt a twang of positivity.

 

My goal every week is still the same. To keep the story moving, to keep the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls alive.

To update my subscribers on Twitter, Facebook and my blog with the news of the week, however meager it has been.

And to keep reminding someone out there, anyone at all, that there is still someone thinking about these girls and their plight.

You can do the same. Even if you just share this post. Retweet some news.

I care.

#BringBackOurGirls

What Breastfeeding Means to Me

To continue my celebration of World Breastfeeding Week 2014 I am publishing 7 days of breastfeeding posts.

 

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logo from http://worldbreastfeedingweek.org/

 

On the last day of World Breastfeeding Week I wrap up my 7 part blogging series on breastfeeding with the What Breastfeeding Means to Me post.

Since the topic is still so close, I am sure over time I will want to add to this list, but for the moment I say this.

To me breastfeeding has meant that I know that I have given my daughter the best that my body can provide for her.

Every day for 27 months we shared an experience that a child only gets once in their lifetime.

She got food, yes, but it was food enriched with my cells, my immunities, and a little taste of everything I tasted.

It means that she is a child that is 99% of her height for her age.

She towers over some 3 and 4 year olds on the playground.

She is about 50% of her weight for her age.

Unlike her overweight parents, she is exactly the weight she needs to be. She is muscular and strong. She has beautiful skin and hair and bright eyes.  She has an attitude and knows what she wants in life.

She is independent. She really does prefer to do things for herself, and does not cling to mommy when we go out and experience the world. She keeps an eye out for me, but she is not afraid to explore the things we see together.

We got 27 months of close time while nursing. Even though there were some bottles in there after the first year, most of her meals were close to me, on my lap, lying next to me. Skin to skin and touching. This means she has a strong bond to me and I to her. It is not the same as a bottle. It is not just food.

Being an extended breastfeeder means we got to do something a little bit special. 25% of babies are not breastfed past a year. We are a small population. We worked hard to get here, every one of us, and we like to toot our horns a bit. Sorry. Someday I hope that will not be special. But I am doubtful. Prove me wrong!

Breastfeeding was something I wanted to do but really for the most part I did not enjoy it, especially the first year. I did it anyway. I did end up enjoying it and now I am sad that it is over. I am still processing all that.

Sometimes I cry. Sometimes I check to see if I still make milk, and HEY- even after a few weeks, there is still a little something there.

Sometimes I offer it to her, although she just gives me these weird looks like I am asking her to eat a turd. That makes me cry a little too. I guess I will stop that now..

As for now, I feel the sadness that for the first time since she was conceived, my body is back to being my body. Not supporting another person. Not feeding her from mybeing. Not growing her from my body.

I  feel happy that I was able to take this journey and share it with her.

I also feel sad.

 

Top 5 Things I learned While Breastfeeding

Top 5 Things I learned While Breastfeeding

To continue my celebration of World Breastfeeding Week 2014 I am publishing 7 days of breastfeeding posts.

 

logo

logo from http://worldbreastfeedingweek.org/

 

If you have been following along, you know that I breastfed my daughter for 27 months. She decided to wean last month while we are on vacation. I am trying to `find ways to commemorate our time and also to reflect on the experience. Here is a list of the top 5 things I learned in my 27 months of breastfeeding.

1. Everyone has an opinion on breastfeeding.

Face it people, we are in a judgeymcjudgerson society.

If you tell someone you are breastfeeding, they have an opinion and they are going to share it with you. Whether you want to hear it or not. You will get some weird advice- toughen up your nipples with sand paper. (OMG WTF?) Breastfeeding will ruin your marriage. If you don’t supplement with a bottle your baby will starve.

One piece of advice I did not get- toughen up cupcake, everyone is going to have an opinion on breastfeeding.

 

2. Breastfeeding is hard, but also easy

I was fortunate to have an incredible birth team and a great lactation consultant who also happened to be my Doula. We took all the classes and we were very well informed. We had a hard time at first, but once we got the hang of it, say, after a year or so, it was easier.

Ok. WHAT?

I think the frequency of feeding was rigorous to say the least (every 2-4 hours), but the actual act was not hard once established. We did it 27 months, it was barely a thing once she started sleeping. It was MUCH easier than bottles. It is not easy or hard for everyone.

3. People don’t always want to know you breastfeed and certainly don’t want to see it

Most of the people that don’t want to see or hear about this don’t have kids or are not around kids and don’t like kids.  Others just don’t want to see it. No matter. It will occur.  If you need to do it, do it.

4. I was not a big public nurser, and had no desire to

I didn’t nurse in public more than a few times (other than my breastfeeding support group). And those times were pretty much still not public. I am sure no one was around. I pumped and brought milk, and I scheduled trips around feeds. I fed my daughter in cars and fitting rooms and it was ok. I never fed her in a bathroom stall. She was never denied what she needed, but I just never wanted to deal with the drama that I read about online.

5. You DO need support to breastfeed

After having a baby you are depleted, emotionally and physically. Hormones turn you into someone you don’t even know anymore. If you decide to breastfeed, and you get all the classes and training, you still need support at home.

If someone is pushing you to supplement, you may be tempted.

If you are having a hard time  getting going, you will be tempted.

You sometimes need to hear that someone else went through this, or you may even need a medical intervention like to repair a tongue tie or lip tie.

There are people out there to help- sometimes online in support groups, sometimes in the form of solid research like http://kellymom.com/ sometimes a live support group, sometimes a mate or friend.

Get that support, however you can if you want to keep going. It is out there, and can be 100% free. But don’t give up!

 

Those are the top 5 things I learned while breastfeeding- what are yours?