Shout Out to Lansinoh

As a nursing mom who works full time, an absolute essential in my life is my breastpump. Without it, I'd swell up like a balloon and baby wouldn't get fed.

Over at "How to Have a Baby," I've written of some of my initial struggles to get a breastpump that really worked for me. My Lansinoh double electric was my third option. (The expensive Medela pump I had at first was a total failure for me. Ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch.)

So when my pump crapped out earlier this week, I panicked. My budget doesn't include buying a new one. But I need one. And then I remembered...the warranty.

I got on the phone to Lansinoh, and the line was ANSWERED by a REAL PERSON on the second ring. I was almost too shocked to respond to her cheery hello.

After a painless 5-minute phone call, I had a return number, and was promised that if I overnighted the broken unit to them, they'd overnight a new unit to me in return and I'd be back in business. Off to Fed Ex I went (thank GOD for my work discount) and off the broken pump went.

Yesterday afternoon, my new pump arrived. Not only is it a new pump, it's their new design. (My old one was purchased a month before their new design went out.) And it works like a charm.

Many, many, many props to Lansinoh for their awesome customer service. I only had to "make do" with my old pump for 2 days before moving back to a much preferred format.

I cannot say enough good things about this company.

YAY for Lansinoh!

Political FRAUD

I'm from Pennsylvania. Almost seven years ago, I moved to Texas.

Back in PA, there is some political FRAUD taking place right now. Long-time Republican Senator Arlen Specter has decided to flip to the dark side and become a Democrat.

Fraud. FRAUD.

The people who elected you, Mr. Specter, are your Republican constituents. As a former member of that class, I'll tell you that we always knew you were a pretty left-leaning Republican, but you were a Republican nonetheless. You were elected time and time again INSTEAD of a Democrat.

My dad, who you knew for decades, liked a lot of your politics. I'm glad he didn't have to witness this debacle, however. I imagine he's just flipped over in his grave.

So thank you, Mr. Specter, for abandoning your electorate in an attention-getting move that shows your willingness to pander to our new administration.

And may you be soundly defeated in your next re-election attempt.

I'm ticked!

Moving, Moving, Moving

Relax, we're not actually moving.

We're just moving furniture.


It's like we get bored every few months, and just have to change things up.

So here I sit in bed, contemplating my aching back, because I leveraged a desk from an upstairs bedroom to our bedroom downstairs last night by myself.

I know, yell away.

But dang it, I'm independent. I shouldn't need my husband to do things for me!

In any case, I often wonder what it is about me that prompts these kind of moves. It's like I have a gypsy instinct...I have to have constant change. In fact, I get itchy if I don't get out of Texas every so often.

I wonder what it will take in life to make me feel truly settled. Don't get me wrong...I love my life. But I just always feel a little bit antsy to change things up.

Which is also pretty bizarre...because I have an obsession with schedules and status quo.

But not when it comes to my surroundings, apparently.


On Not Writing

I love writing. It makes up a goodish portion of my total income, after my full time job. And I love writing fiction, as well. But I have this issue.

I can't write.

Ok, that's not true. It's just that with fiction, I can't type new portions of my writing. I have to write longhand, or it doesn't get out. Why?! I don't know. It's been going on for a year now, though.

When I try to write new fiction by typing, I just sit and stare at the screen. Eventually, I give up.

Longhand? I can't keep the pen moving fast enough. In fact, I can't write as fast as I think, so I end up losing thoughts. So then I use my phone to record some notes while I continue to write.

So it's GREAT that I can at least write longhand. But it SUCKS to have to transcribe. The last time I did major transcribing, I had an ENTIRE single subject notebook to type in. This time, it's about half that. Takes a LONG time.

Anyone else ever have this kind of block? If so, how did you get over it?

On Sleep and Exhaustion

I'm pretty sure that every friend that I have who has children has managed to find a way to tell me over the last few months that their child/children slept through the night by the time they were 3/4/5/6 months old.

So here I am, with a six month old. Almost 7 months old, really. Not sleeping through the night. Still up 1/2/3 times. Completely inconsistent bed times. Completely inconsistent nap times. Completely inconsistent get up times. We've tried to do the same things at the same times every day...and we've been consistent in trying.

Side note...if you know me, you know how type A I am. Trust me when I say that we've tried and tried and tried and tried.

In any case, if she's not ready to get up or go down, she completely resists. Like we're talking flat out fits. Screaming, shaking.

So she ends up going to sleep at night, napping, and getting up in the morning when she wants, resisting all scheduling attempts.

And naps for *maybe* 45 minutes at a time. Sometimes stays down for up to 4 hours at a stretch at night...but sometimes half that or less.

I'm feeling a little frustrated. Anyone have any advice to offer?

Mystery Mouseketool

Anyone watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse with their kiddos? I had a post up on my Twitter earlier today musing that, just once, I wish that the mystery mouseketool was a taser.

Anyone ever have that wish?

How about an electrified collar? Maybe an EASY button, since Mickey et al would be totally screwed without the Handy Helpers.

I wonder about the lessons this show teaches, quite honestly. I took along some DVDs of Mickey episodes when we went to my mom's house earlier this month, and she remarked that they don't seem as, ah, challenging as the Mickey of 20 years ago.

It just seems that some curious episodes are aired. Like the one with Donald and the Beanstalk. He gave away his chicken. Then stole it back. Um, are we really teaching our kiddos to steal?

Ok, so I'm being a little tongue in cheek here, but really, to get back to my main point, it's time to taser Mickey! (And time for our household to find new kids shows to watch!)

What's your favorite show to watch with your kiddos?


I'm just marveling about how nice it was not to scramble to get my taxes done this year. I got them all done back in February, instead of waiting until the last minute like the last three or four years, and that's just a HUGE BONUS. Especially coming home from mom's house and not having to do that. YAY for me!

Mom's House

Chris, Catherine and I just spent 10 days in PA trying to whip my mom's house into shape. We were *moderately* successful but will need to go back again to finish sometime in May or June. Until then, here's a recap of our time there, a la my Twitter updates...

  1. Happier than I can say to be ack in DFW, but wishing baby girl and I weren't sick as dogs. Doc for both of us tomorrow.
  2. Hubby didn't appreciate me singing the Rocky theme when a wrong turn brought us in view of the Philly skyline instead of the rental cars.
  3. 20 miles left to PHL...then only a couple hours to DFW. Home by nightfall and thank GOD for that!
  4. My fun day: just got burned by battery acid when one of the batteries in my pump exploded while in use. Are you KIDDING me? Ow.
  5. Baby and I are both extremely sick...but at least we're headed back to Texas this afternoon.
  6. My sanity is waning...and now all 3 of us have the flu. Time to get back to Texas! Yard sale then a chaotic Easter then we get to go home.
  7. Mom: "You can take anything you'll all be yours someday, anyways." Me: "Ok. Can I have that?" Mom: "No, that's mine." OY!
  8. Getting ready for mom's yard sale tomorrow...come buy LOTS!
  9. Pa trip, day 8. Time for a "come to Jesus" mtg with mom: no one needs 6 sets of pots and pans, 3 blenders or 36 boxes of 1980s magazines.
  10. Another day drawing to a close...another couple rooms done. Countdown to Texas: 4 days.
  11. My time limit with mom is 5 days. Today is day 7. My patience has run out, and is down the street, around the corner and mooning traffic.
  12. Just put together *another* bookcase. I'm getting to be a pro!
  13. It's official...I'm sick. Argh.
  14. Mom disappeared into the kitchen 2 hours ago, muttering about cooking dinner. Two plates of leftovers just hit the table. WTH?!?!
  15. In Scranton on a Wednesday for the 1st time in 5 years and am foregoing Wing Night to continue cleaning out mom's house. Oh, the humanity!
  16. I think my mother has more kitchen crap than most restaurants. Hope we can sell a lot of it.
  17. Dude. Mom's neighbor just volunteered to buy her house, if she wants to sell. Now to make sure she doesn't screw this up!
  18. Victory! Mom agreed to let us have a yard sale for her on Saturday so I placed an ad in the paper before she could change her mind.
  19. Cleaning out mother's house is a mix of the Twilight Zone and This Is Your Life.
  20. On my laptop for the first time since Thursday night...internet MUCH faster than on the phone, but not many wifi spots around here!
  21. And so day 1 in PA comes to an end. Sanity still intact but in tons of pain after cleaning out mom's garage in COLD weather.
  22. A great big thank you to the agents and TSA folks who were super helpful at DFW. Waiting out ATC to PHL.
  23. Anyone else clean compulsively before going on a trip? My thought is "if the plane goes down, don't want anyone going in my dirty house!"

College MeMe

Hi, folks!

We're back from our 10-day trip to PA and I'm down with the sickness...bronchitis and an upper respiratory tract infection, that is. Until I get back into the swing of blogging (which first requires more than 5 minutes in a row of coherent thinking), here's a MeMe to tide you over. (stolen from Carrie Lofty)

1. Do you remember your college address?
Unequivocally, no. I have no idea what any of my college addresses were.

2. Ever lived off campus?
No. I lived in two different dorms and 3 different on-campus apartments.

3. Are you happy with the major you picked?
Yes - political science. Granted, my major has ZERO to do with what I do for a living, but I loved loved loved studying it, and the greatest skill it taught (along with my minor - history) was project and research management.

4. Did you have one or more serious relationships?
I started college with a serious relationship...and ended with a serious relationship. Different guys. Neither are my husband.

5. Did you ever take a P.E. class?
Of course. And I firmly believe that no matter what major people pursue, at least 1 physical education class should be required. The skills I learned in my lifeguarding class (freshman year) and my weight training class (sophomore year) are invaluable. And with the weight problems that are pervasive in this country, every chance that is made available for students to pursue more healthy habits is necessary.

6. Ever have a run in with an RA?
Yes. Freshman year. Slight amount of shouting in my room when the Yankees beat the Braves in the 1999 World Series. Hate the Braves. Go Yankees! And then I became an RA...but I was a cool RA! :-)

7. What sporting events did you like to attend?

8. Any wild parties?
Wild is a sliding scale.

9. What were your schools colors?
Maroon and gold.

10. Did you ever graduate and if so in how many years?
Of course I did! Three years. (No, that's not a typo. I took 21 credits each semester, plus tested out of a bunch because, well, I was bored.)

11. Name one ritual with your friends?
Denny's and road trips.

12. Any cool concerts held at your school?
Yeah. Although I can't remember specifics now.

13. If you could go back would you do it again
No. I was bored out of my mind most of the time.

14. Is your job now at all related to what you went to school for?
Ha, no.

15. Can you recite the entire Greek Alphabet?

16. Ever skip class to hang out with your friends?
Once or twice, but usually had too much going on in class to miss.

17. Did you have a pet?
My roommate had a Bloomsburg Fair gold fish who WOULD.NOT.DIE.

18. Favorite party place?

19. Did you marry someone from college?
Yes. Just not from MY college. (You didn't specify. Ha.)

20. Use your leftover money for laundry or to go out?
Leftover money? Are you kidding? I had two jobs the whole time I was in school and had tuition and bills to pay.

21. Worst drink you ever consumed?
Three Wise Men. Will NEVER forget that. UGH UGH UGH.

22. Year you graduated?

23. Still keep in touch with college friends?

25. Any regrets?
Should have finished my second minor - missed by 1 stinking class, but had no way to work 1 more class in without spending another semester there.

26. Play a sport?
I take it that Beer Pong doesn't count?

27. Did you have a nickname?
Oh, a few.

28. Cafeteria have a nickname?
Not that I'm aware of.

29. Favorite late night snack?

30. Favorite breakfast?
Those cheap breakfast sandwiches.

31. Favorite professor?

32. How far was your college from your hometown?
An hour.