Wednesday, January 5, 2011

People-watching, Breastfeeding, and Babywearing at the Jacksonville Zoo

Ruca & Foo feed a giraffe

On New Year's Day, we took Foo to the zoo.  It was amazing, and I can't believe we didn't do it sooner.  Foo laughing his head off at the sight of a jumping kangaroo was one of the best things I've ever seen.  We will definitely be going back soon, especially since we only made it through half the zoo before Foo decided it was naptime.

There were a gazillion kids at the zoo, which for some reason surprised me.  I guess I don't usually go places with tons of people who have kids his age.

I noticed a lot of babywearers too.  I actually felt a little guilty that I wasn't wearing Foo, especially because it would have put him at a much better height to see the animals over the fences and guard rails.  But he just will not let me wear him anymore.  He too old and independent and just wants to run around like crazy by himself when we're out in public.  Which is weird because at home he just wants to hang on me all the time and sit in my lap and have me carry him everywhere, even if I go to the kitchen to get a glass of water. But out in public, he'd really prefer to be as far away from me as possible, especially if he is trying to dart into a parking lot or climb the stairs in our apartment building to the second floor or generally do anything besides hold my hand like he's supposed to.  But I digress.

There was a mama with a verrrry tiny baby in a Maya, and another mama with a mei tei carrier.  There were also a couple crotch danglers, as well as one of those giant contraptions that go on your back that looks like you're carrying your baby around in a laundry basket.

Anyway, we were wandering around the zoo somewhere when Mr. S [that's my baby-daddy if you're new here] tapped me on the shoulder and pointed off into the trees.  What is it - an animal? No, it's a little sign that says something like "nursing area," and about 10 feet off the path there is a nice big rocking chair with a table.

Now I know some people are peeved by nursing areas and feel that they basically quarantine nursing moms into an isolated area and send off a message like "boobs allowed here and nowhere else," but this was different for a couple reasons. For one thing, it's completely outdoors and in plain sight. There's no "privacy wall" or little room or anything to hide you away.  The chair is facing out towards passersby walking along the path.  I also like that they provide a giant rocking chair.

[Compare this "nursing area" to the "mother's room" at Babies R Us -- an isolated room across from the bathroom with a plastic sofa and overflowing diaper pails.]

I really wish I'd taken a picture, but what kind of crazy person stands in the middle of a zoo full of creatures and takes a photo of a rocking chair? I came really, really close to being that person....

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Getting Things Done. Sometimes.

Photo Credit: koalazymonkey
I am an incredibly disorganized person by nature. As a child, my nickname was "slob". If it weren't for Mr. S keeping me in line, I would be featured on the next episode of Hoarders.

It's not just organizing my tangible crap that I need help with though. I am equally awful at things like time management and planning. I am a habitual list-maker, but nine times out of ten, I spend more time making the list than I do accomplishing any of the tasks.

I stumbled upon an amazing system a few weeks ago called Getting Things Done (GTD, if you're hip.)  I had heard of GTD and its creator David Allen before, but I assumed it was just another standard how-to-become-a-corporate-robot book like so many out there. However, after seeing how popular it is on lifestyle design blogs and other geeky websites, I decided to look into it.

I'm going to get the book (one day soon...once I stop procrastinating...) but for now I've been absorbing as much as I can over at If you're interested, here's a good place to start.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Crunch Factor

Photo Credit: norwichnuts

Earlier this week, Mr. S. saw my "About Me" section on the sidebar and asked me what "semi-crunchy" meant.  Without thinking too much about the question, I answered, "You know, crunchy but not...way crunchy."  Then I realized he probably knew what "semi" meant but was lost on the "crunchy" part. This got me talking about granola, which made me think of Gretchen on Project Runway, and then I just got angry - but I digress.

There is a heaping ton of crunchiness among moms on the internet.  Sometimes it seems like everyone claims to be a little crunchy, but no one wants to own up to being totally crunchy.  I saw one mom's Twitter profile a while back where she described herself as "crunchy...but not crunchier than thou." (I don't remember who said that, but I kind of loved it.)

So, how crunchy am I?  Well, I love:
  • Breastfeeding.  Foo has been breastfeeding for 19 months now and will probably continue well into toddler-hood.  Our families started to deem this weird at about 9 months, so they probably think we're total freaks now.
  • Co-sleeping.  We didn't originally plan on co-sleeping, but once I had gone about three months without getting more than two hours of sleep at a time, we sort of fell into it out of necessity.  (Learning to nurse in the side-lying position saved my sanity). 
  • Organic foods.  We were really strict about this in the beginning.  When Foo started solids, we wouldn't let him eat anything except jars of Earth's Best organic baby food.  This ended up being not very practical and really expensive, so we've loosened up a bit.

On the other hand, I think I lose all crunchy cred for:

  • Circumcising.  I let Mr. S. make this decision since I felt he was probably more experienced with these types of things.
  • Vaccinating.  Foo gets vaccinated, although he is intentionally a little bit behind schedule.
  • Disposable diapering.  I work full-time, and in the beginning, Mr. S. was the full-time parent, so I let him decide about diapers.  Now that Foo is in daycare, it's hardly an option anyway.  If I were to be a SAHM one day, I would prefer to try cloth, although I hate laundry, so I don't know if it would last.
 Where are you on the crunchy mom spectrum?