Thursday, May 27, 2010

I am protected by the new law!

There is a law that went into effect (Amendment to FLSA in the Act signed by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010) that protects breastfeeding women in the workplace, whether they pump or feed their babies directly at the tap. It states that the workplace must also provide pumping/feeding breaks in addition to a private space (which is not a bathroom) in order to do so. The breaks do not have to be paid.

While I do have my own office with a door that closes and I have my pump, Elise has not been taking the bottle so well, as in only about 20% of the time. It was so frustrating on my first day back to get a call from the husband that she wouldn't take it (he tried, she cried, fell asleep, she woke up, and he tried again). If you have been a long-time follower of mine, you will remember that when Andrew was this age, I had a temporary accommodation to go home twice a day (at 10:00 and 1:00, the 1:00 being my half hour lunch anyway) to feed him. I was actually going to quit my job until we came up with that solution. It worked marvelously for us and once Andrew got a little older, around 9-10 months of age, I was able to spread out the feedings to every 4 hours so I could just go home at noon.

Anyway, fast forward to the present. I type up my formal request for accommodation and it gets approved and my supervisor (who also happened to breastfeed all 5 of her children) was more than happy to approve it and said that I was covered until 1 year after the birth of my child under Federal Law.

I am just so happy that the stress of this is gone. I don't have to sit here and wait for a call to see whether or not she has taken the bottle. Stress definitely affects how much milk one can pump -- I can attest to that. On Monday (my first day back) I was so full and by 9:30 I had to pump. I had just gotten a call 15 minutes earlier that she was refusing the bottle, so I was all stresses. I got 4 ounces out but I knew there was more in there so I stopped the pump, massaged the breasts, turned it back on and I managed to get a little bit more but I could tell there was more. Just then an e-mail from the hubby popped up on the screen and he stated that we would just have him bring the baby to me twice a day. I'm not kidding you, as soon as I read those words, the holy geysers of milk opened up and I got 5.5 more ounces (for a grand total of 9.5 ounces; I mentioned in the past that I have oversupply!).

Anyway, my supervisor said it didn't make sense to have him bring her here twice and have to feed out in the car (since my 2 1/2 year old is extremely hyper and just wants to run around) and that she'd feed better in the comfort of her own home. I concur, so that's the arrangement. :)

And it's nice that if anyone gives me slack at work, I can now state tht I am protected under Federal Law. I am also happy that I work someplace that was happy to accommodate me before even though the law wasn't in place.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Apparently I have Synesthesia

I came across some information on the internet (of course, right?) and discovered that the calendar I've had in my head my whole life is apparently not something I share with everyone else in the world, like I had previously thought.

Ever since I was little, I have always had this calendar (illustrated below in my not so great drawing) and every date has a spot. If someone says May 8th, there's a specific spot for that. If someone talks about a wedding on a specific date, I automatically "zoom" to that spot in my calendar. I can't picture doing it another way and I can't not think of the calendar.

I was amazed when I came across a thread of people talking about this calendar and some of theirs go counterclockwise just like mine. You will note that December is the only thing on top and the summer months are all together on the bottom. It's almost like a clock, but not quite. July "belongs" at the 6:00 spot because it's the middle summer month, yet December still belongs at the 12:00 spot. The "inside" is just hollow, by the way.

Photobucket

I also have an amazing memory. Not only can I recall many, many childhood events (I remember one time having my diaper changed and I was in the hallway between the two bedrooms; another time I was in my crib and I could hear my pulse when I was on my side so my mom came in and sang "Tomorrow, Tomorrow" to me), but my sister and I can both remember specific days: what day of the week it was, what the weather was like, what we were eating, etc.

I can remember birthdays, phone numbers, and for some reason the employee numbers at work (I do work in HR, but still, I don't try to memorize the 4-5 digit numbers, it just happens). I associate these numbers with faces. For instance, my friend, C. Her birthday is May 8th. Every time I see or think about her, my mind tells me "May 8" but it's not like it takes over my mind -- it's just there. I can remember that my 7th grade locker combination for the top and bottom lockers: 42-14-40 and 9-39-11. It won't probably ever go away. It's stupid trivial stuff! When I was in school, I could study by staring at my notes and I would memorize them and when I was taking my test, I could see the notes: the style of writing, when it got to a new page, etc. in my head. I could also memorize sheet music the same way: I would see when it got to the end of the line and to the top of another page. I mentioned my sister. She can also remember birthdays and phone numbers, but she also has another type of synesthesia: grapheme, or color synesthesia. Every number or letter for her is a certain color and it's been this way since childhood for her. She doesn't "get" my calendar and I don't have a color/number association.

Synesthesia is more common in women than men and it can be hereditary. There aren't any documented cases of men passing along the trait to their boys, so it is thought to be "X" linked.

More about Synesthesia from Wikipedia. If you click on the link, you will see that it is involuntary and thought to affect 1 out of 23 people (so not too terribly uncommon, but it's not like everyone has it either).

I also found some blog posts on Synesthesia. Here's the one that me going, "OMG, I am not the only one with a calendar in my head?": Link and another: Link

Anyway, I think it's cool!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The amazing power of the sun!

I love the sun. Not only does it feel good to bask in on a nice, warm day (and soak up some Vitamin D in the process), but the sun does amazing things for cloth diapers.

I continue to be impressed!

I have had several inserts and diapers that have had stains in them (my girl likes to eat, which means she also likes to poop, several times a day at that) and I have put them out on the clothesline, thinking to myself that they were stained for good. But no, every single time I put them out (even on cloudy and overcast days) they have come out perfectly white.

One of these times I will have to take some before and after pics so I can give a visual.

I have a feeling that when winter arrives and I am forced to use my dryer, I may cry. I mean, I can still sun things in the winter, but I definitely won't be able to dry them outside or they will just turn to frozen, icy diapers.

Also, Happy Mother's Day to all of my wonderful mommy friends! I hope you had a special day today.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

New Jeans!

It has been since 2007 that I have bought myself new jeans. Yeah, it seems once I had kids I have hardly bought anything for myself! I took it as a sign when one of my favorite pairs of jeans got so worn that there is was thread-bare in the butt, so I went to Old Navy today and took advantage of their sale (30% off everything; sale ends tomorrow). Can't beat $20 for a pair of jeans! I bought 2 pairs and I also got a pair of shorts. What is it about buying new jeans that makes you feel better about yourself? Retail therapy, I guess.

Oh, and on the postpartum weight loss side of things, I have 2.5 lbs. to go until I get to my pre-pregnancy weight and about 7 lbs. to get to my goal weight.