saditycents











{January 17, 2018}   Am I Homemaker or a Lawyer?

This is the question I had to ask while filling out the statistical portion of a survey. Having a profession is unlike other careers in that you have a governing body that holds you accountable in and out of the office. Whether at work or not, whether working full time or not you are considered and held to the standards of your profession in most circumstances. So the question I had to ask myself am I a lawyer? I have the degree, the bar passage, the current and paid for license. By law and according to my governing body I AM a lawyer. But I don’t go to a firm. I don’t keep active clients. Since the birth of my daughter I have chosen motherhood as my profession. For now, I practice at clinics when I practice at all, and I spend more time at public libraries doing story time than at law libraries doing research.

Technically I am both. But what am I statistically?

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After having the baby there are a few inappropriate yet nevertheless persistent questions people feel obliged to ask:

  • How was labor?
  • Did you have an epidural?
  • Are you going to have more?
  • Have you lost the baby weight?

Of all the questions I find the last one the most insidious. Probably because I feel like it’s an undercover jab. It’s no secret I’m on the chubbier side and to me the underlying question I’m really being asked is, “Were you fat before the baby?”

It’s a tough question because you just want to enjoy this moment in life without being dogged by the insecurities and pressures of societies obsession with weight. Often I say, “No I still have more to lose.” But the truth is I only gained about 20-odd pounds with my pregnancy (granted there was weight from a precious unrealized pregnancy as well, but even that doesn’t account for it all) and most of it is gone. But I just call it all “baby weight.”

It certainly stops the judgement because many slim women gain 40 and even 60 pounds and are their trim selves in a respectable time after birth. My sister is one, on a bad day she might be a size 6 (and I’ve seen those jeans sagging on her). She gained about 60 pounds with her last pregnancy and lost it with nothing more than breastfeeding. So no one bats an eye at my fib. But while my exaggeration rids me of the pressure and judgment of the moment, it does nothing for the looming challenge to actually lose my so called baby weight.

I’ve scoured YouTube, blogs, and articles and the voice consistently lacking is that of the plus-sized new mother trying to lose weight. So where do you go for that support? Where do you find the gentle minded weight loss advice that tells you to love your body because it just gave life? That voice that says slow and steady is the way and to avoid taxing your body too much. After all it’s still supporting life via breastfeeding for some and in general as a round the clock caretaker. Yet, as a plus-sized mom I’m not afforded that. One, I’m looked at as a something that needs to be fixed. My entire mothering experience is centered around my weight:

  • Complications are assumed because I’m overweight.
  • Breastfeeding is encouraged to help me lose the weight more than nourish my baby.
  • Exercise is pushed far earlier than is necessary. Just because you can exercise at 6 weeks doesn’t mean you should go full throttle with all the needs your body has and is attending to for your baby.

I’ve said it before on this blog, I’m no expert, so the truth is, I don’t know where that voice is in the sea of opinions. I know YouTube videos feature previously fit women returning to their prepregnacy weight. News flash! Your body works to return to its normal weight one way or the other. That means your slim body fights to stay slim and it also means a plump body fights to stay plump. So skinny Minnie’s tips aren’t as salient to me because we don’t have the same starting place. Maybe I can be one small voice out there for several reasons:

  • The diversity of voices and experiences is lacking.
  • If I need the support someone else does too.
  • If I’m a voice of any worth it means I’ve succeeded in my own weight loss quest.

Until then, we’ll just keep calling it baby weight.



{November 6, 2017}   The Struggle is Real

Its almost 1 am and this nursing mama should be asleep instead I am awake. I can’t even say I’m wide awake, I’m just barely awake, yet there is so much to do. How does one balance it all? How do you function as CFO of our home, chef, property manager, laundress, and full-time child care provider. All while trying to eak out a semblance of a career (which has take a major back seat, I mean right now its not even in the trunk, its hitched to a trailer and holding on for dear life), lose weight, stay presentable (which means doing my hair every day) , and trying to actually interact more than just feeding  the aforementioned child. Sure teaching her French right now is a little much, but I also don’t want her just staring at the ceilings between feedings and diaper changes. How do you accomplish it all? Right now it doesn’t feel like anything can be dropped. Don’t manage the finances and rental property? Don’t prepare whole food meals for the family? Don’t do laundry?

The go to answer is have your husband help more. But if he is already extremely helpful between classes and work and taking on a major portion of the cleaning all while dealing with Uncle Sam on a daily bases what more can you ask before you both are overwhelmed? Right now my solution is that I overload myself to keep from overloading him. It seems like men can’t handle stress at the level women can. I don’t know if there is an answer. There’s just the question at one in the morning. How do you balance it all? The struggle is so real.



{October 17, 2017}   REPOST: The BMI Truth

“1. The person who dreamed up the BMI said explicitly that it could not and should not be used to indicate the level of fatness in an individual…

3. It is physiologically wrong…

9. Continued reliance on the BMI means doctors don’t feel the need to use one of the more scientifically sound methods that are available to measure obesity levels.”

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=106268439.

https://academic.oup.com/ije/article/43/3/665/2949550/Commentary-Origins-and-evolution-of-body-mass



One word… Newborn

Yep, if you want to be stressed beyond belief and determined to cry on more than one occasion (even make your veteran husband want to cry), request a month long extension on your final out, get denied (despite a verbal approval) and be forced to move with a newborn.

Our trip should have taken 12 hours, 700 miles straight through. We decided to drive half way and spend the night. Under normal circumstances that would mean 6 hours a day, we figured with a baby that would mean a few more hours. We did not anticipate nearly double the time. Twelve hours to drive 350 miles… It was a looong trip.



Seriously this is about to be my slogan. I am blessed that this week I have had many random and not so random people help me and I am so thankful!
 
1. At the pharmacy, I went in to grab one thing and ended up buying several things (you know how it is). First, the store gave me free bags (they charge per bag where I live), because I didn’t intend to need a bag. Then the manager carried my stuff to the car so I wouldn’t have to juggle the baby and my purchases. Thanks Walgreens!
 
2. At the Chinese restaurant I ordered a meals to go. I told the cashier I was going to sit in the car with the baby and I would be back to check on the food. “Don’t worry about it, I’ll bring the food out to you.” Thank you!
 
3. My sister wakes me up for important appointments, knowing I sleep at random hours now. Thanks Sissy Charity Moore.
 
4.Finally, my husband insisted I take a nap while he took care of the baby, did laundry, and cleaned… just because (hence why I’m awake at 3 am LOL). Thanks Dadrick Johnson.
 
There were even more acts of kindness that I’ve appreciated. These are just a few. I can’t help, but think other moms could use the same help…
So, have you helped a mom today?


Our latest adventure, hubby going back to school, has taken us to one of the most affluent cities in the state. This place is gorgeous and I feel blessed to live here, but it is abundantly clear that the community was designed to price people out. 

According to Area Vibes the cost of living on average is 50% higher than the state average. More than ever fabulous budgeting is necessary. Even basic amenities cost more here. My task as CFO for my family is to not only make our dollar stretch, in a place where it seems status quo to throw money away, but to also make it grow. This is no easy task considering we are here as  students and veterans, meaning we are already way behind the income curve. 

To put it in perspective:

 Cost Of Living Index

Each cost of living index is based on a national average of 100. If the amount is below 100, it is lower than the national average. If the amount is above 100, it is higher than the national average.

Cost of living index

City: 157

State: 115

Goods & Services index

City: 136

State: 106

Groceries index

City: 125

State: 107

Health care index

City: 128

State: 119

Housing index

City: 215

State: 135 

I choose to look at this as a challenge to put my Sadity Cents to the test and get back to my roots. Wish me luck and follow along as I figure out life outside the military and in wealthy suburbia. 



Mommy and Daddy decided to give my first festival a try, complete with fireworks but that didn’t exactly work out how we planned. 

Everything was going great. We walked along the water and enjoyed the sights and sounds. 


Just as we found the perfect spot to watch the fireworks display something happened…

That half-decaf latte mommy had earlier kicked in; I didn’t mean to, it was a complete accident. Daddy lifted me so I could see the water and well, a wave of a different sort broke through, all over his white cargo shorts!

Needless to say we ended the night early and missed the fireworks. I guess we’ll try again next year. 😦

It was a long night!



One thing I am amazed by is how many decisions must be made in preparation for a new life. This list actually comes from my own preparation. I made a running tally (or tried to) of all the decisions, major and mundane that had to be made. These are just the ones I took time to research and really way my options.  Even with all of this I still felt under prepared. The bottom line is you will never be completely ready for a baby.  But if you are a list lover like me this may help you get started when you don’t know where to start. This list is in no particular order, just how they came up in my pregnancy. 

  1. Cloth or disposable diapers
  2. Breast feed or formula
  3. Gender reveal or surprise
  4. Midwife or Doctor
  5. Ultrasounds or No Ultrasounds
  6. Prenatal Vitamins – Deciding on whether to take them at all and whether natural nutrition is a better fit. Also deciding on the brand of vitamins.
  7. Delivery in a hospital, birth center, or home
  8. Decide on what to drink: Alcohol once a week or none at all. Quit caffeine cold turkey or just limit consumption.
  9. Exercise routine – if you are able to exercise. Otherwise setting a date to start again in the second trimester.
  10. Diet changes, if any at all.
  11. All natural remedies for nausea or medication.
  12. When and how you will announce the pregnancy
  13. Baby name – you think it’s easy but it isn’t. We had a boy and girl name picked out and still changed it once the baby was born. 
  14. Continue working or become a stay at home parent
  15. Journal or not to journal – most mom’s want some way to commemorate this life changing event. The decision comes in when you have to decide how you are going to track your changes; pictures, memory book, social media, etc.
  16. Crib, cradle, Co-sleep. Sleeping arrangements: Co-sleeping, allowing the baby to sleep in-room, or starting the baby out in a nursery from the very beginning.
  17. Whether or not to have testing done. There are so many tests now, glucose tests, screening tests, screening tests or amniocentesis to test for Down syndrome as well as other chromosomal abnormalities, genetic disorders, and neural tube defects. Believe it or not, all of these are optional and there are pros and cons to each.
  18. Doula or no doula.
  19. Baby moon, Staycation, or nothing at all.
  20. Baby shower or Diaper pounding
  21. Method for preventing stretch marks
  22. Childbirth class or not
  23. Permissible interventions. Making a baby plan is so essential. Not so much because care providers will read it, but so you can think through all of your options before the big day. That way you and your partner can advocate for your informed choices.
  24. How you will budget for a baby.
  25. How you will prepare your pets.
  26. How you will prepare your older children.
  27. Dental care. Will you continue using floride tooth paste, will you see the dentist, how will you avoid the increase of tooth decay that occurs with pregnancy?
  28. Postpartum recovery plan
  29. Baby registry items
  30. Maternity leave, paternity leave, extended break
  31. Childproof your home or making home improvements
  32. Breastfeeding or formula
  33. Fetal kicks counting  or no. I chose not to until the very end. It just added stress to an already apprehensive mama. As long as baby moved at regular intervals I called it good. 
  34. Additional classes: CPR, breastfeeding, hypnosis, etc. 
  35. Therapy or no: Sometimes you have unresolved issues you want to handle before becoming a parent.
  36. Pediatrician – Who, what, and where. Who are you looking for, what’s their practice philosophy. Where are you willing to travel. 
  37. Vaccinations, partial vaccinations, delayed vaccinations or no vaccinations
  38. Circumcision or no circumcision
  39. Nursery decor
  40. Preparations for the babies future; i.e. Life insurance or no, will or trust, college fund now or later. 

 

Resources:

http://www.babycenter.com/0_the-ultimate-pregnancy-to-do-list-third-trimester_10341209.bc

 

 

 



I have gone through most of this pregnancy as natural as possible and I figured the 4th Trimester was no exception. I had a lot of recommendations for different store brand aids to help with recovery, but I decided to go the natural and home made route. Not to mention that since I had a natural home birth, most of the items were not provided for me like they would have been in a hospital.

After birth the main focus for recover is to heal you nether regions, which have just been through a life changing experience so most of these items focus on that.

  • Peri Bottle – My midwife did provide this for me and told me to fill it with witch hazel and water to help soothe me as I used the restroom. I suggest you have one in every bathroom for easy access.
  • Earth Mama Angel Baby Mama Bottom Balm — I like the company in general and had heard amazing things about this particular product as a substitute to Dermoplast. It soothes after birth.
  • Witch Hazel and soft paper towels – Some people use Tucks Pads, but this is essentially the same thing. Have a large stock prepared either way you go. Layer them on you pads.
  • Pads – I bought Depends underwear at the recommendation of veteran moms. I later downgraded to very thick pads, and then later thinner pads.
  • Ibuprofen – It helps with pain and swelling without interfering with nursing.
  • Padsicles – I made mine out of aloe Vera, lavender essential oil, and witch hazel. I then froze a few and had them ready immediately for after birth. Here is a good post with instructions on how to make padsicles.

 

 

 



et cetera