Wanted to take a moment to talk about my breast pump adventures, because oh my... after much education and wasted money I wish I could write my previous self a letter about how this all worked! Here's the saga:
I knew I needed a breast pump to go back to work, but I'm a cheap engineer so I asked some friends for opinions and they said the Lansinoh Double Electric was the best double pump for your money. It's $150 at Target, I found it online for $100. There were also dirt cheap used ones on ebay but I was weirded out by the idea of a used pump.
The Lansinoh was okay. My hospital gave me a Medela attachment kit, because that's what they do, so I hacked a bit of parts for my Lansinoh to work with my Medela attachments and that was much nicer. The Medela breast shields are so much better, the angles are flanged and it makes them very comfortable.
Well, on my sixth day back at work, the Lansinoh broke. Don't ask what went wrong, it would turn on but the suction gave out after every cycle. I freaked out, called a lactation queen friend of mine, and she let me borrow her Medela pump-in-style.
That was a GREAT pump. Faster duty cycle, stronger, easier adjustments, and it came in a nice little bag all self-contained.
By this time I had used two pumps and understood that used ones were really no big deal. Part of it is that I knew how they worked now... milk doesn't go inside the pump at all, or inside the tubes, it's all very nifty. The milk goes past the tube providing the suction, straight into the bottle. It does not run through the pump. So when you have a used pump, you have a lot of parts that do not and never have touched milk.
On top of that, after you've breastfed a little you stop thinking of breastmilk as a "bodily fluid" and think of it more as a food... the thought of even using attachments that another woman has used isn't that gross anymore, it's like using a fork at a restaurant that someone else ate from. It's been through a dishwasher since then so who cares?
So even though I'd already fixed my Lansinoh (there was a loose weird plastic part inside that I'd found when I took it apart) I bid on a Medela Pump-n-Style advanced on ebay. Not only was it a great pump, but it came with everything in the world I needed... car adapter, battery pack, storage bottles! I'd already spent $30 on storage bottles because the Lansinoh only comes with two to pump into.
Anyway sorry to be so long winded about this. The moral of this story is that:
1) I would not recommend the Lansinoh Double Electric pump, sorry to say it.
2) A $300 pump that you get used for $70 is better than a $150 pump you get new for $150.
3) Craigslist is better than ebay... even cheaper, and no shipping.
The year after I had my baby and spent all this money on pumps, the IRS came out and said we could use HSA money to buy them. Freaking hell... that might have kept me from cheaping out in the first place! Hopefully maybe it'll save some of you. For the rest of you non-HSA ladies, you have my story, take it as you please.
Sonic, I like the way you described the sound a letter makes.
I asked a few early elementary school teachers I know this same question and wanted to share a bit of what they had to say.
They recommended starting with consonant-vowel-consonant words (CVC) with short vowel sounds, and focus on rhyming families (i.e. bat, cat, fat) and even including first consonant changes that don't make real words, like 'gat'. Then later introduce CVC with last letter changes (i.e. bad, bar, bat). They said we could try sight words at the same time and told me to do a search for the Fry sight word list.
After those CVC words aren't a problem, it was suggested to start adding an 'e' at the end of CVC words to change the vowel sound, an the meaning of the words, so introducing long vowels (i.e. cap->cape). Then after all that, we can start adding two consonants together and two vowels together. From there maybe come up with homonyms together, which can be a great way to introduce silent letters (i.e. new, knew).
I would say its very important, because what you learn shapes and molds yours views that make you who you are.
Aum, my partner and I were just discussing this. He was surprised by my taking the hard line that stopping BC or poking holes in condoms or something like that is rape, making the woman a rapist. Which should result in jail time, so she should lose custody, which should go to the father and now he has the choice of keeping the baby or putting them up for adoption.
It's unfortunate that you can't prove such a thing, but hopefully if it was actually taken seriously women would be less likely to do it because it would at least be explicitly called rape.
I understand how the justice system and the family courts would look at it. They see it as the man's sperm made it to the egg so somehow he wasn't protecting himself, he made the choice, yada yada. There's no way to prove that the woman was manipulative, withdrew BC, or "poked holes in the condom" (I think that's unheard of, but anyway).
I topped baby off tonight. He straight up drank 7 ounces of formula after his prunes. If he's an infiltrator, he's eating well for it.
I am still dealing with the fact that your 11 year old is an actual 11 year old.
My father-in-law spends a lot of time with the kid, mostly by choice. I sometimes wish we had more of a schedule, because at the moment, naps and bedtime are the only semi-guaranteed breaks for anyone. My spouse and father-in-law both work from home free-lance, so they don't actually have a schedule for when they need to be left alone, but at least my father-in-law has more warning with jobs scheduled out in advance.
I'm sorry for your loss. Ectopic pregnancies are scary, and I would like to go punch that first doctor in the face for you.
PPD is awful too.
You can continue discussing with him the difference of a boy and a girl. Have him socialize too with the same gender. There's nothing wrong if you have go with opposite sex as long as he understands what/who he is.
So do you feel hanging out with the opposite gender at a young age can confuse a person's gender identity?
If a boy who has a penis asks if he's a boy and you don't just say yes, then that's straight up lunacy.
What he decides to do with that boyhood or how he dresses is up to him. But if you're born with a penis you're a boy.
Making it airy fairy when, statistically, scientifically, less than 1% of 1% of children born have true gender dysphoria, is immoral and wrong. It's also a sign of our troubled times.
This is just my anecdotal experience but...
I have experienced bullying based on simply engaging in normal children's play with girls. Insults were attacks on both me and the girls. But I NEVER questioned my gender as a male. So if a child asks me if he's a boy and was identified biologically as one, I am going to question what influences are on the child before I answer.