11 is the new 15.

My daughter is going to be 11 this month.  However she both looks and acts 15.  I blame much of this on the YouTube videos she is obsessed with.  See for yourself at  JuicyStar07 .  Now these aren’t harmful by any stretch.  They just involve make-up and a young fashionista.  My daughter is not allowed to wear make-up out in public.  It’s just something she is playing with and having fun doing in her spare time.  But she spends a tremendous amount of time organizing her lovely new vanity and jewelry box.  I will have to take photos of this and add them in later (since I am at work).

She is particulary obsessed with M.A.C. cosmetics.  Something she will get to indulge a bit on our trip to NYC for her birthday.  It is fun and I can understand the “collecting” aspect of this newfound fascination.  And I will admit, I love that she’s so about organizing her room…so thank you to Blair Fowler (Miss JuicyStar07 herself) for that.

But I must admit, it makes me really happy when her friend comes over and they play with their dolls.  After all, those American Girl dolls need some love too.  And I need to see my baby acting like…well, like a little girl.  At least once in awhile.

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Proud mama moment.

Graduation day was bittersweet-as they always are.

However there was a lovely surprise.  After a not-optimal year and a teacher that was the worst she’s had yet…my girl got the Presidential Award for Academic Excellence!  For those who don’t know (which I didn’t until after), it’s based on overall grades being 90-100, teacher recommendations and above 85th percentile on our state exams.  More on how ridiculous those state exams are later.  What a proud moment for her!  Her dad’s parents were there and my mom and me.  Lots of pictures and a lovely, happy, confident girl.  And now, we’re off to middle school.  And I profess this adamantly, that little girl you see up there in that adorable dress?  Yes, the one that people mistake for a 14 year old?  She’s 10.  And she’s my baby.  Still.  Always.  Ask her.  She’ll tell you.

I’m here!

Hey everyone!  Now you’d think that since I had gone back to my old job I’d actually have been posting more like I used to…but it’s been so busy in the new lab and starting new projects…and learning all about parasites instead of viruses, that I’m swamped as ever!

But I’m going to start catching you all up slowly.  Last month I ran my first half marathon and scheduled my second!  What an experience!!!  I’ve always been a runner, but am now committing myself to competing more.

B is now TEN!  She’s still amazing, still the love of my life and I still am grateful every single day when I wake up and see that face.

I’m going to post more regularly, but I’ve thought often of you all and can’t wait to catch up again!  I hope all your babies are happy and healthy!!!  And you too!

Breastfeeding-At Least Please Try…

Ok, so I know this is going to generate some serious controversy, but that is not at all what I’m trying to do.  I’m just genuinely confused by something, and have been confused by it in the past, so I’m thinking my online blogger support team might be able to help me understand the rationale behind something.

Look at the photo contained in the link below and think for a moment, I mean really reflect, on the feelings it evokes. (I can’t link in or post the actual picture here right now, because of the ridiculous blocks this place has on my Internet-good thing I only have 26 days left here).

Anyway, for now, just click on it-the article is interesting too:

The reason this comes to mind yet again, is because someone I know just had their second child.  This person did not breastfeed the first daughter.  Now that in my mind is fine, it is one’s OWN choice after all, I’m not about requiring it to be mandatory.  But my question is about the fact that this person chose this option before ever even trying it ONCE.  As both an immunologist and a mother, I can’t understand it.  Maybe you can.  And you’ll help me to get it too.

First of all, I would not have been able to withstand the unending curiosity of what the whole process would BE like.  Second of all, in this era of all the moms who try to “one up” each other with all the advantages they give their child, it’s hard to believe that one would not at least give a little attempt…even a couple days of trying…  Trust me, it wasn’t a breeze for me.  Not by a long shot.  I had a hearty little eater in Miss B.  She latched on very easily, and she had an easy time of it.  However, I went through several rounds of infections, a few rounds of really embarrassing moments and one really, really gross incident that my ex-husband recalls all too well, where he came home from work to find me pumping bloody milk into a bottle while our daughter slept.  He asked me what I was doing and I said through clenched teeth “This little girl WILL be breast-fed for AT LEAST ONE  YEAR!”.  I threw out that milk by the way-I just wanted to keep pumping until I healed so that my milk would not dry up.  Ok, so even the ex will attest to my stubborn streak-which is even stronger when it comes to my little girl.  But it wasn’t just my obstinance that made me keep going this time.  I could not, in my right mind, give her that nasty tasting formula.  I tasted it out of that unending curiosity that I am made of and I nearly vomited.  For real  It.  Was.  Disgusting.  And yeppers, I tasted my milk and I’ll be damned if it wasn’t some really good stuff.  And I don’t even like milk!  It tasted like the milk at the bottom of a bowl of Lucky Charms!

And also, as mentioned before, I’m a scientist who once planned on going to med school.  All those hours spent poring over medical books and studying MCAT study guides affected me in many ways and I’m just a tiny bit passionate about the health and well-being of our children.  I get why women stop after awhile.  It’s not convenient I know.  I leaked all over my best friends bachelorette party when B was just days old.  I then proceeded to bust out of the dress for her wedding a few days later and wound up pumping in a janitors closet.  Yes. I leaked all over that dress too.  (Laughing as I type this).  There were times I wanted to quit and it was certainly bittersweet when B was done and started to walk up to me to get her milk (happy to be “free” of that, but sad to be “free” of that)-but I couldn’t have imagined it any other way.  I want the best for her.  Always.  And that won’t always be convenient for me.  So when you have a baby, don’t you feel that you should TRY to breastfeed, unless it’s medically not possible or there is some substantial reason not to?  I guess I just can’t understand why you wouldn’t even try it ONCE?  I’m going to censor myself now and cut this post off…because I’m sure someone will be offended.  But I just really want to know a legitimate reason that will make me understand why a mother wouldn’t just try it.  Once.  That’s all.

For me

Break into Spring!

Our neighborhood is fabulous for a growing 9 year old girl!  We stayed home for spring break, since we usually travel during February break, when it’s just dreadful here in NY.  Spring break is sunny and smells good and fun for bike riding and rollerblading and yes…trampolining!  I love that we have little girls B’s age next door, but I hardly see her anymore!  It shows me what its going to be like as she gets older and has this “life of her own”.  I know its the point of parenting to raise independent children who make the right choices on their own, but does anyone else feel a bit sad too?  I don’t feel quite as needed.  I think B feels it too…she pops her head in periodically and yells, “Mom???  I LOVE you!”.  Here we go-the beginning of her taking care of me.

Her Dad.

BsDaddy is present in her life.  Physically.  Financially.  Not really emotionally and certainly not spiritually.  The first two being the least important of the four in my eyes.  But not necessarily in hers.  Not yet anyway.  I make sure she knows that although he isn’t buying her material items as often as Mommy does, he is giving money to Mommy which allows me that extra spending ability.  And for her to be in expensive sports and activities.  She knows we both contribute financially to her lifestyle.  And she’s grateful.  Yes, even at nine.  That’s just how my girl rolls.

So, although he isn’t what I want him to be in her life-he’s there.  It seems to be enough for her-for now.  And I’m not going to rock that boat.

Although he could have been a bit more excited about her choice yesterday to do this to her hair:

And, as I keep reiterating to NewHusband, we can’t control what goes on in the other parent’s household.  Just like we wouldn’t love if they tried telling US what to do.  (But that’s hard advice to swallow when B tells me she tried to call me Friday night because she couldn’t sleep and she was alone downstairs at Daddy’s house and she worked herself into such a frenzy she had to go be sick in the bathroom.  And I didn’t get the call because I was on the lake where service is in and out, and she didn’t leave a message.  Although now, she knows to next time-TEXT your momma silly girly!).

This is much easier now that she’s nine and understands things better, than it was when she was three.  I used to cry my eyes out when she left for her Daddy’s. 

This post reminds me of that quote:  “Just because someone doesn’t love you like you want them to, doesn’t mean they don’t love you with all they have”.  So maybe, he’s loving her the best he can.

Friendship=True Love.

Have any of you seen this movie?  Especially any of you with daughters?  My nine year old daughter has liked this movie for a few years now.  It stars Emma Roberts (Julia Robert’s niece, who plays Addy on Nickolodeon’s Unfabulous) and JoJo (teen pop star) as two young girls whose strengths combine to make each one’s individual weaknesses more bearable.  They stumble upon a young mermaid and give her advice on how to win the affections of a lifeguard that all three admire.  Aquamarine has to find true love in the next few days, or her father will make her remain a mermaid, although she so desperately wants to be human.  The ensuing drama is oddly reminiscent of “Mean Girls”, with a bit of “The Little Mermaid”.  

But the ending, well this is one that you mamas are going to LOVE.  I won’t spoil it for you, but let’s just say, it’s not your typical Disney-fied movie where you don’t find happiness unless you get the prince.

And one of the lead characters has a strong, powerful single mom, struggling with her willful teenage daughter.  Granted, the other character lost both of her parents previously, but is being raised by BOTH grandparents.  Read this post for a great discussion of how mothers are underrepresented in Disney movies.  

Mamas, watch this with your girls.  It sends the right message.  The one we all talk about all the time.  And definitely a message about how much your friends can mean to you.  (Your virtual support groups too.  😉  ).

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