Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Breastfeeding Controversy {WTF?!}

Breastfeeding has been all over the news lately, and I've been annoyed, to say the least, at most of the general public's views toward breastfeeding - that it should be done covertly, that it's shameful, that it's weird to do in public.  That's all wrong, and just makes me so frustrated!

And then I read the article today about military moms nursing in uniform and the outcry against them, and my patience snapped like a dead twig.  I've absolutely had it with all of this anti-breastfeeding in public nonsense. I applaud these awesome military mommas for being so radiant and proud of nursing their children (not to mention for serving our country while managing to raise said children) especially for making time during their on duty hours for their children!  And I applaud them for standing up for their photo shoot as well!

And F*CK all of the breastfeeding haters!  Pardon my French, but seriously!  Breasts are first and foremost about nourishing our children, not about sexuality. GET IT THROUGH YOUR HEAD: breasts do not equal sex.  Our society has oversexualized breasts to the point that the most basic of human functions (nursing a child, which ALL mammals do) has become something shameful.  This infuriates me (and I'm a pretty chill kind of gal).  I nurse in public all the time because Lily refuses to be covered up, so I've long since given up on trying to be "modest" (which is a complete oxymoron for me in the first place).  I even nursed her at the zoo once while we watched the giraffes, and the giraffes didn't mind one bit.  I'm sure they were actually pleased to see that someone else breastfed in public like they do.

Now go out and bare those milk-laden breasts with pride, ladies, and don't let the public outcries get you down!


Thursday, May 17, 2012

I Love Dogs {but not mean ones}

Today one of my friends over at SIMPLE shared a USPS article about dog bite awareness and the statistics of Postal Workers who have been bitten by dogs.
"The American Veterinary Medical Association (AMVA), the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) report that small children, the elderly, and Postal Service carriers — in that order — are the most frequent victims of dog bites."  
In their informational PDF on page 5, Sacramento (where I live) ranked #8 in the number of dog attacks on a letter carrier!  That's not something to brag about.

I am a serious animal lover, and I am not prejudiced against certain dog breeds.  However, I am mindful of the fact that all dogs are animals, and even those that are raised in a good home can snap and bite.  One day when we were on a walk with our dog Phineas, a large yellow lab came bolting out of the front door of a house and started fighting with my dog!! I grabbed Phineas by his harness and scooped him into my arms (thank you, adrenaline, for letting me pick up my 35 pound dog like he was a piece of paper) while Jim grabbed the other dog's collar and dragged him back to his house.  Thankfully this was before Lily was born otherwise it could have been her who got attacked!

And then there are the dogs who are just downright mean.  Over Easter weekend last month, a family with a pit bull moved into the rental property next to our home.  My first dog was half lab/half pit and I know plenty of sweet, good-natured pits, so I am not automatically scared of pit bulls.  However, this pit bull snarled and bit at the fence, causing damage to the fence in just the first 2 days of living there. Granted, the fence is not in the best shape because of its age, but still, that dog literally took a chunk out of one of the fence boards, and made one come loose.  My hubby has reinforced those spots.

Thinking maybe the dog just needed to adjust to his new surroundings so he was on edge, I asked one of the family members if the dog was friendly; her reply: "No, and he has an attitude."  Awesome.  Oh, and he isn't neutered either, which makes male dogs more aggressive according to the USPS document:

"Spay or neuter your dog. Neutered dogs are less likely to bite. Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) statistics reflect that dogs that have not been spayed or neutered are up to three times more likely to be involved in a biting incident than neutered or spayed dogs."

Our letter to the property manager asking them to reinforce the fence has gone unanswered.

And today I got the dog bite article from my SIMPLE mom friend, and now I'm all paranoid that the dog is going to come through the fence and bite my baby or my dog.  Fantastic.

I guess we'll be going to Home Depot for some more 2x4s this weekend.

Ultimately, I'm not afraid of dogs.  We go on walks and ride our bikes frequently, and when I see a dog, my first instinct is not fear.  But I need to remind myself to be wary, because it's more important to keep my daughter (and myself) safe than anything else.

Have you had bad experiences with dogs?  Share them in the comments section below.


Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Case for Beer :: Why You Should Enjoy It & Enjoy It Right {an infograph courtesy of The Frugal Dad}

Infographics are all the rage lately, and it's about time someone came up with a really awesome one about BEER! Read and learn:  

  Beer Infographic

Now let's all go out and get a nice craft beer and drink it at the correct tempreature paired with the appropriate food. I'm craving a nice Belgian Trippel with some nice spicy jambalaya... mmm... 


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Outdoor Spring & Summer Craft Idea :: Coffee Can Planters

I have a chain link fence surrounding my pool.  While it is a great safety feature, it's horrifyingly ugly! Chain link is so industrial looking, and very un-appealing to the eye (in my opinion).  So what's a lady supposed to do?  Adorn it with flowers of course!

Armed with 6 coffee cans that I got from a lovely woman on Freecycle, some fine grit sandpaper from the garage, a can of spray primer (about $5), a can of beautiful blue spray paint (about $5), a drill and 12 S-hooks ($3), here's what I came up with!  

Beautiful, durable planters for under $15!  Plus, I have plenty of primer and paint left over for another project. You could get away with doing this project for free if you happen to have the supplies on hand, or are able to glean them from Freecycle like I did.  If I had thought about it, I probably could have scored the primer and paint on Freecycle too, maybe even the S-hooks.  

First I removed the labels from the coffee cans, and chipped off the remaining glue on the can.  Then I rubbed down the outside of each can with sandpaper to give the paint a little something to hold onto.  I then washed and dried each can thoroughly.  Using newspaper as a drop cloth, I sprayed each can with one coat of gray primer, then two coats of blue paint, letting them dry according to the directions on the can between coats.  I drilled a couple drainage holes on the bottom and 2 holes on the back rim of each can, attached the S-hooks, then hung them on the fence!  Add a little dirt and some annuals, and voila!  Instant chain link fence beautification is complete!

I actually did this project last year, and totally forgot to blog about it (shame on me), so these photos are from last year.  Because the cans are made of metal and are positioned in full sun all day, it was essential to water them frequently, but they lasted from Spring well into Fall.  I finally took them down when the last of the annuals had expired. 

I'm super excited to pull these out this weekend and replant them!  I am considering purchasing some eco-friendly spray paint to coat the inside of the cans this year to prevent rust from ruining them.  But regardless, this was such a cheap project that I could just recycle the cans and start over from scratch, and maybe even choose a different paint color!