Wordless Wednesday


Clever Cleavage

Meet Zoe!

I really don’t have enough good things to say about her. She is such a fun person with a family that sounds so wonderful I secretly hope that one of my children marries on of theirs, so I can be a part of it, too!

Now the unique thing about today’s feature is Zoe has no children…yet. They are still waiting for their referral. They are adopting a sibling set from Ethiopia.

Please pray for Zoe and that her referral will come in God’s timing (which hopefully is soon! ;-)..)  and comfort and prepare her during her time of waiting….because waiting for 21 months can’t be easy on anyone….It also says a lot about her character.

  1. Tell us about your personal breastfeeding experience with your children.
Well, I don’t have any. I know… weird that I’m showing up here to talk about this, but Jamie asked me to, so blame her.
I’m not a mother yet — my husband and I are in the process of adopting two children from Ethiopia. I did, however, grow up around a lot of breast-feeding… I’m the oldest of ten and my mother breast-fed every one of us. When I was young, breast-feeding was out of style. “Progressive” moms were using formula… you were considered old-fashioned and backward if you didn’t. My mother — never one to follow the crowd — thought this was ridiculous and did it anyway. All of my sisters have breast-fed their children. It was always a no-brainer for me… breast milk is healthier and the best way to nourish little ones.
I also know women who’ve struggled to breast feed for one reason or another and had trouble with low milk supplies, even after seeking advice and assistance. I never presume to know what’s gone into a woman’s decision about this. It’s true that some people are ignorant about the benefits of breast milk or about how to help themselves when it doesn’t come easy — there certainly needs to be better educated and support. But it may not always be possible or feasible for a woman to breast-feed, or to do so for a prolonged period of time.
2. What is your view of breastfeeding in public, and why?
It’s not only good for mothers and babies, but for the culture at large. Public breast-feeding makes it more acceptable, and gives more women the courage to do it. Public breast-feeding also helps restore healthier attitudes about the body and breasts — which are not primarily meant to be sex objects. As to whether one should use a cover-up or not, I don’t really care. Some women are shy about exposing parts of their body in public that are normally covered, and some are not. My view is do what you’re comfortable with and don’t judge others.
3. What is your view of sustained breastfeeding, and why?
I’m a supporter, though I’ll admit that I find it odd to see a 4 or 5 year old nursing… probably because it’s so uncommon in our culture that it catches my eye. I’m also a trained counselor so my antennae go up… I can’t help but wonder if it’s actually about the child at that point. But as a rule, I don’t disagree with sustained breast-feeding. It’s a mother’s decision how long she thinks she should breast-feed her child.
4. What is your view of adoptive breastfeeding, and why?
I’m a big fan — what could be a better way to boost your child’s immune system and give him or her good nutrition, as well as foster bonding and attachment? Especially if a mother is already lactating, this seems like a no-brainer to me.
I don’t see this as a viable option for me, however. I’m a health nut and don’t believe I should take medications to artificially induce milk production for children I didn’t birth. Also, we’ll be adopting two children at once so I know I’ll already be pretty overwhelmed. Instead, if at least one of our children is under two, I plan to find healthy breast-milk from another woman. If I can’t make that happen, I’ll make a homemade formula using a recipe from the book, Nourishing Traditions.
5. Is there anything you find unique about your breastfeeding story with your children?
I’m sure it will be unique to be feeding my adopted children breast milk or making homemade formula for them. I don’t know any adopted parents who’ve done this. (Jamie being an exception.)
6. Is there anything you wish you did different?It will always make me sad that I haven’t breast-fed a child… I certainly would have wanted to.
7.Is there anything you would like to add?

Women can be really tough on each other, which is too bad. When it comes to breast-feeding, we should never assume we know a woman’s experience or circumstances.

Want to learn more about Zoe? Visit her website: http://slowmama.com/

If you would like to be a featured “Clever Cleavage” mom, please e-mail me jamie(at)iamnotthebabysitter(dot)com

Confession Friday

Whenever I see volunteer political supporters, picketers, or anything holding a sign in support of something, on the side of the street, I’ll honk and wave in support. Even if I have no idea what the heck the proposition is, or who the politician is.

I know, it is bad. Brian is extremely embarrassed if he is in the car.

It’s nice to see people passionate about something. And when I honk everyone yells and waves back with excitement. What can I say? I like seeing happy people!

Giveaway: Tickets to the Aquarium of the Pacific

It’s my first giveaway!!!!!!

Our visit to the Aquarium was so much fun. You can read about it here.

The giveaway is for four tickets to the Aquarium for September 24th. This is a great day to go. It is the kick-off of their cultural festivals, starting with Baja Splash.

Want to win? Anyone can!

Just leave a comment! The winner will be selected using random.org on September 13th at 6:00PM Pacific Time.

(off topic : I have a TWITTER account! This is new for me, well, in the sense I’m actually going to start “tweeting” -follow me! https://twitter.com/MsJamieLynne)

Secrets of the Mouse

I have a few friends recently who have told me that they don’t want to brave Disneyland with their kids because it is a disaster waiting to happen. I don’t blame them. After being there twice this week I saw bigger meltdowns than Fukushima and Chernobyl, combined.

I doesn’t have to be that way!

I’m spilling some of my secrets.

  1. Pick your day wisely! If you can go on a weekday and avoid summer months (too hot anyway) that is the perfect time to go. A weekday in September is practically empty.
  2. Parking: The main parking garage is not fun if you get stuck in a spot a mile away from the elevator (and Disney directs you to the spot). Most weekdays the parking for over-sized vehicles and handicapped is open to the public. When you get to the parking attendant ask if you can have a yellow strip and if you can park on the ground. They won’t let you do it unless you ask!
  3.  Coffee: Now you’re in and you want some coffee. Buy a cup of coffee anywhere in Disneyland and have fun walking around. If you’re needing another caffeine boost just give your cup to another vendor in the park that sells coffee. You get free refills the entire day!
  4. Disney’s California Adventure: This is a hidden gem. People hated it because I don’t think they understood how to use the park properly (hence the huge revamp)- If we come here during the afternoon I’ll bring the kids to the bar at Ariel’s Grotto (where there are constantly scuba divers getting ready for WOC) get a mojito and bbq chicken pizza. The boys love it, the food isn’t bad, and it’s cheap. (FYI: the bar makes their own tortilla chips! They are good)
  5. Is it hot? California Adventure has Grizzly River Run. You have to be 42 inches to go on it. If you’re with small children, or just want to relax and let the kids get wet -You can walk past the fastpass distrubution for WOC, down a ramp (you won’t find it unless you know it is there), where they have an observation area right where the rafts come down from the ride. There is shade (for you) and a “wet zone” for the kids. My boys love waiting for the rafts and guessing how wet they’ll get from each other.
  6. You want to buy your child a balloon, but you’re afraid it will fly away or pop? No problem. If that happens, just tell a cast member selling the balloons, and they will give you another one for free!
  7. Dinner: Napa Rose is a 5 star restaurant in The Grand California Hotel (connected to California Adventure). Some of the best food I’ve ever had (try the mushroom cappuccino bisque). At just a regular trip to Disney I don’t want to spend $200-300 on dinner. BUT…relax and eat in their lounge and ask for a kid’s meal. They are good portions and the food is the same caliber as their 5-star menu. The servers are great, just ask if you can order off the kids menu and they will always say yes (one of my favorite servers there was the one who taught me to do this and told me this is what she eats regularly). The price of each entree is between $8-$14 and you won’t get those prices or that quality in the park!
  8. Disneyland Fireworks:Don’t sweat parking out in front of the castle on the ground for hours (yuck)…Go to the Plaza Inn at Disneyland (Get there 15-30 minutes early to find a good seat). You don’t have to buy food to sit there, but you can if you want to!

And here is my list of in-park food that isn’t horrible:

Bengal Barbecue in Adventureland

Royal Street Veranda in New Orleans Square (Clam Chowder and Gumbo, only)

Sit-down: Cafe Orleans

And that concludes my list!

#27, Check!

Brian and I went to the Concours d’Elegance ! We can check number 27 off my Pre-30 Bucket List!

We had no idea what to expect.

Turns out it is a lot of fun. It is a party.

We go to the Los Angeles car show every year. This one is a way better version of that. It is on the golf course in Pebble Beach. They have free catering and alcohol everywhere…celebrity chefs, and just a more well-rounded event. We’re definitely going to try and make it next year!

Our first stop was a private event at the Rolls-Royce villa:

Brian selected the "Ghost" to test-drive

Brian trying not to crash the $250K car on the winding roads in Pebble Beach

Is that an umbrella, or are you just happy to see me?

Brian and Rocky (of RR)

this is where my eyes started to glaze over

Wait....is the a PURPLE car?!

Who cares about the engines when they have such fun colors

yes, that is definitely a purple car...

even with a purple rearview mirror

The bartender who was trying to cure my hangover from one drink the night before. I don't think he believed it was from one drink, but it was.

view from the villa

the cure for my hangover was more alcohol...and I woke up with another hangover...


Next up we went to the golf course to check out the show:



Clever Cleavage

Meet Mandi!!!!  Head of a cloth diapering group where I’ve met so many fun moms. She’s also hilarious……


1. Tell us about your personal breastfeeding experience with
your children:
I have exclusively breastfed all three of my kiddos. My first
and second babies both nursed perfectly for about a year, at
which time they lost interest. My daughter is a whole other
ball game! She was in the NICU for 10 days because of meconium
aspiration/ingestion. She couldn’t even digest food for the
first few days, so she had to have IV nutrients. After that,
she couldn’t breathe well enough to suckle, but was given my
colostrum though a feeding tube. Once she could suckle, she was
nursed, and had only my breastmilk in a bottle when I couldn’t
be there (I had a 2-year-old and 4-year-old at home who also
needed me, otherwise I would have been there in the NICU 24/7).
When I brought her home on day 10, she was doing great, but had
a very strong preference for the bottle. She knew how to nurse
but would get pissed (that’s the only accurate word for it)
that the milk wasn’t immediate like it is with a bottle. So
each nursing session for the first day-and-a-half involved 10
minutes of her suckling for 2 seconds, then screaming for 2
minutes, then suckling for another 2 seconds, then screaming. I
was so frustrated, as was she, but I knew if I gave her the
bottle she would never get the hang of nursing at the breast.
After about 10 minutes of this at each nursing session, she
would finally stop protesting, and suckle long enough for the
milk to come down. By the 2nd day she was a pro, but I can see
how easy it could be to say “forget this, I’m giving her the
bottle!” Luckily, I am incredibly stubborn. 🙂 She is 2-years-
old now and still addicted to “buboo.”

2. What is your view of breastfeeding in public, and why?
I think it’s wonderful, and I wish more women felt comfortable
doing it without a tarp. That being said, of course I would
much rather see a woman nursing her baby with a cover, rather
than being too embarrassed and choosing not to nurse at all. I
just wish our culture was one where women never felt like they
had to give it a second thought. I can’t wrap my brain around
how it’s okay for every skank in America to walk around with a
strip of fabric barely covering the nippage, yet people freak
out at the though of a breast being visibly used for it’s
biological purpose of feeding a baby. And don’t get me wrong…
I’m totally cool with skanks walking around half-naked – no one
should take around their right the be skanky. I just hate the
double standard.

3. What is your view of sustained breastfeeding, and why?
I think it rocks out loud! I fed each of my babies until they
stopped on their own (and I’m still nursing the 2-year-old). As
far as why… I guess it just makes sense in my mind.
Anthropologically, we are not meant to be weaned at a year. I
wish my boys would have gone longer. I won’t lie, though, I do
have moments where I just want my body to be completely my own

4. What is your view of adoptive breastfeeding, and why? (you
may skip this if you feel you do not have adequate knowledge of
the topic)
I think any adoptive mother who breastfeeds any amount, whether
already lactating or by re-lactation, deserves some kind of
special trophy! And a spa day! The gift of giving a child a
loving family and safe home is one beyond measure, but to add
to it the many unique gifts of nursing… WOW!

5.Is there anything you find unique about your breastfeeding
story with your children?
My boys are only 19 months apart, so I did breastfeed the first
while I pregnant with the second. Also, I think the odds
stacked against my daughter and I with her NICU stay and her
preference with the bottle in the beginning. I feel very proud
that I can say even with ALL of that she never had any formula.
That’s not to say that someone with the same circumstances who
does end up needing or choosing formula has failed in any way.
It just makes me feel proud, like a conquered a great challenge!

6. Is there anything you wish you did different?
You know, not really. I’ve loved my nursing time and I can’t
really think of anything I would change.

7. Is there anything you would like to add? Feel free to answer
questions you feel readers would like to know from
breastfeeding moms.
Obviously, the ideal would be 100% breastmilk, all the time.
But I always impress upon my students that I would rather see a
mom breastfeed for even ONE feeding a day, rather than NONE.
Ideally it would be exclusive breastfeeding, but even SOME
breastmilk is something to be very proud of in a society with
such low breastfeeding rates. 🙂

Mandi Woolery is a mama to three breastfed kids, as well as a childbirth educator and birth doula in the Inland Empire area of Southern California. Visit her website: http://peachykeenbirth.com/


If you would like to be a featured “Clever Cleavage” mom, please e-mail me jamie(at)iamnotthebabysitter(dot)com

Confession Friday

I’ve had a nose job! (TWO!)

Well, it’s not what you think. Actually, it is.

My nose was broken by a potato. (No Anthony, you will never live this down…)

After all the laughter in the emergency room passed, they told me it wasn’t broken. Turns out it was, we found out weeks later, but it was too late to fix it.

So Anthony gave me the dream of every 15-year-old girl in the world…an excuse to get a nose-job.

original nose

unfortunately, these are the only pictures I have of my "botched" nose job. The fact that these pictures exist is a confession in itself. Faces have been blurred out to protect their dignity.

No one (including my plastic surgeon) was happy about what became of my nose, so we worked on changing it back to the original.

my current nose 😉