A new Mothers Milk Bank needs your votes and a breastfeeding photo contest

Two breastfeeding-related things today:

  1. Tanya at Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog needs your vote to help get a new milk bank set up in New England. Please take a look and vote for this wonderful cause. Thanks!
  2. Tulipgirl recently posted about the World Breastfeeding Week 2008 Photo Contest. Deadline to enter is Feb. 29. I hope to submit a few pictures myself and encourage all of you fabulous photographers out there to do so as well.

She’s Lump

Remember that song from the ’90s? “She’s lump, she’s lump – she’s in my head.” That song has been stuck in my head lately and a few days ago I told my sister that it was my new theme song.

Long story, short: I’ve had a couple of lumps – one in my neck, one in my lower back – for a while (months or even years). The one in my lower back started bothering me recently, causing back pain whenever I’d bend to pick up a kid or toys or anything. I decided I should get it checked out and, while I was at it, should have the one in my neck checked out as well.

I went to the doctor (family practitioner) on Monday and found out that the lump in my neck is actually a normal-sized lymph node. Huh. I thought it felt large to me or in an odd place for a lymph node, but the doctor assured me it was normal. She said I could have a blood test to make sure everything was fine, but since I’m going back for my yearly physical and pap (whee) in February, I told her I’d just have blood drawn then. FWIW, I had two inflamed lymph nodes in my neck (that never went back down to normal size after I had an illness) removed about 10 years ago. They were benign.

As for the lump in my back (“It’s not a too-mah.” – Kindergarten Cop) – it’s actually a ligament that won’t relax. It’s wound up tight and is inflamed, etc. She recommends I start doing some stretches, more walking, and/or yoga or pilates to strengthen my core. And of course, bend at the knees when I pick up the kids or anything else (oops – hadn’t been doing that), and be more aware of my posture (which quite frankly is shit most of the time these days). She said while the pain is just an annoyance now, it could definitely get worse if I don’t start doing something about it. *Sigh*

So all in all the news was good in that I don’t have any tumors or anything (which definitely was a worry in the back of my mind). But I do need to take better care of my back and work on getting that ligament back to normal. Anybody have any suggested yoga poses to help with that?

The one good thing about this ligament issue is it’s giving me an excuse to hire someone to pick up all of the frozen dog poop in the backyard (that’s been accumulating and stuck in the snow for the past two months). Woot.

The fun (for me) news from my doctor’s appointment was that the doctor I saw (not my usual doctor) was 8 months pregnant. I hadn’t known she was expecting, so I made a comment along those lines and congratulated her. While she was updating my chart (I hadn’t been to the doctor since well before Julian was born), she noticed that it said I had HELLP syndrome with Ava. She asked me if I had it with my son and I replied no. She said she was just asking that for personal reasons because she has HELLP with her first and is, of course, hoping to avoid it this time around. I went on to tell her that not only did I not have HELLP, but that I had an amazing home birth and a surprise footling breech baby as well. She got quite excited over that news and commented that my midwife must have been very skilled. So I told her a bit more about the birth. I could’ve sat there and talked pregnancy and birth all day, but I knew we had to get on with my appointment, so I bit my tongue. I have to admit though that I enjoy telling doctors, especially those who attend births like she does as a family practitioner, that I had a breech birth. I think it’s good for them to know that breech births CAN and DO happen vaginally and that just because a baby is breech shouldn’t mean an automatic c-section.

OK. Off to go Google “pooper-scooper” now. ;)

Waterbirth International needs help to stay afloat

I’m writing over at BlogHer today about the financial crisis Waterbirth International is facing and what all of us can do to help. I hope you’ll take a look, do what you can, and consider spreading the word on your blogs, message boards, etc. The fact that this organization, that’s done so much over the past 20 years in the United States to make water birth a more accessible and acceptable option for women, is facing the very real possibility of closing it’s doors is truly heart breaking. There’s so much more they can accomplish if given the opportunity. Please check out the article. Thank you. :)

Also, more coming later today about my health. I had a doctor’s appointment yesterday to have some things checked out that had been bothering/worrying me. I got mostly good news, but I’ll explain more later.

Best Shot Monday – 1/14/08 – First haircut

On Saturday we took the kids for haircuts. It was Julian’s first “real” haircut other than the time I haphazardly trimmed his bangs a couple of weeks ago. He did a lot better than I thought he would (no tears, no need to be held) and was content the whole time. It’s amazing what a difference a haircut makes. He looks like a little boy now for sure. (Sniff, sniff) No more crazy fly-away baby hair. ;)

Here’s my pick (a storyboard) for Best Shot Monday this week:
Julian’s first haircut - 1/12/08

Here is what was left behind in the chair after Julian was done:

Julian’s first haircut - the aftermath

And here are the two kiddos Saturday night, just being sweet on each other:

Things that make you say awwww - 1/12/08

Our weekend was a good one. Besides the haircuts on Saturday, we hit up Target for some great deals on kids’ clothes on clearance (for next winter) and got a Baby Trend Sit and Stand LX double stroller also on clearance. It is the first NEW stroller we’ve ever purchased. The other ones we’ve accumulated over the past 3 1/2 years have come from consignment stores/sales and, invariably, ended up having something wrong with them. I’m looking forward to getting some good use out of this one. After Target we went to Costco where the kids enjoyed samples of yogurt and fresh fruit (lots of it), then picked up some lunch and had a picnic on our living room floor.

Saturday evening I met some friends for dinner at a Mexican restaurant. It was also a surprise baby shower of sorts for one friend who is due with baby #3 due in March. It was great to see everyone and had been too long since we’d all gone out together. I think it’s safe to say a good time was had by all. I know I really enjoyed catching up with them and just sharing stories about life, husbands, kids, etc. We hope to try to get together like that more often. The adult company is definitely needed and enjoyed.

On Sunday, I slept in while Jody got up with the kids. Then I spent some time cleaning and working on the computer while Julian napped and Jody and Ava went out to run errands. My sister came over in the late afternoon and we went out for a walk with the new stroller. Then I made dinner and we all ate together. It was a nice relaxing day.

How was your weekend?

You can see more of Best Shot Monday over at Mother May I.
Best Shot Monday

Green Tip of the Week #8 – Styrofoam

This great green tip comes from Nature Deva (not to be confused with Nature Diva). :)

The UPS store (all locations, I believe) will accept any size Styrofoam – packing peanuts, small or large chunks, large sheets, etc. – and will reuse it for packaging. The next time find yourself with a box full of packing peanuts or buy something that has been packaged in Styrofoam, consider dropping if off at UPS where it can be reused and kept out of the landfills.

Thank you, Nature Deva!

And if you missed my post last week about a great new GREEN review site, head on over to Green Mom Finds to check it out.

Have any green tips you’ve recently learned? Please email them to me and I may include your tip with a link to your site or blog in a future post. :)