Hey, look, I know things are a mess. I took a hiatus from blogging and decided to switch up my design before returning. Please be patient, because if you can wait out the mess it means REGULAR POSTING WILL RETURN SOON! :D

Hooray!

Thursday, July 30

Um, Excuse Me, But What Happened to My Baby?

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{my baby}

Grandma's dress 012 {my baby? seriously?!}

Kid, you need to slooooooooow dooooooown! You’re giving your mother heart palpitations.

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Tease

Yeah, I know, there was no post yesterday.

If you’re following me on Twitter you probably can guess why. If you’re not following me on Twitter {why not?} then let me fill you in…

Something’s coming! I have a big announcement coming up. It will probably happen by the end of the weekend, though I’m aiming for tomorrow.

Feel free to guess as to what the big news might be {no I’m not moving, pregnant, or going to prison}. I will tell you this, freebies and giveaways will be involved!

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Tuesday, July 28

Hate Mail

Dear A/C Installation Man,

I’m super glad you and your colleague came to my house today and installed our new central air conditioning unit {figures it would be on the coolest, rainiest day we’ve had in ages}. I no longer fear hot weather. Now I don’t have to worry about having a grumpy baby {or a grumpy me} because the heat made it impossible to get a decent night’s rest.

However…it it really necessary for you to drop your heavy crap on the floor {with a big, huge BANG!} thereby waking my daughter who had just gotten to sleep after being very moody for a very long time? Most people don’t just drop their stuff, they place it. It’d be really neat if you could do likewise.

Also, just because I’m a SAHM does not mean I’m an idiot. You don’t need to talk to me like I won’t understand what you’re telling me. I may have “Mommy brain” but it hasn’t affected my IQ thankyouverymuch.

But, other than that it’s been super!

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Monday, July 27

BAB Mini Challenge Week 2 Recap

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Some like it hot.

I am not one of them.

My house was slightly cooler than the chromosphere this week.* That does something to a gal’s desire to do activities which promote sweating. So I totally did not work out as much as I imagined I would. Plus last week I found that I had lost a bit of weight (more in fact than a nursing mom should lose in one week) so I might have possibly been resting on my laurels a tiny, itty-bitty bit {translation: I decided I could afford to be lazy which really isn’t true}. And while I started the week pretty strong in the healthy eating department by the weekend I was backsliding a bit.

However I did manage to stop myself after one bite of a cookie. It had a ton of sugar and wasn’t very good so I threw the cookie away and had a plain rice cake instead. {You may worship my super-human self control at your leisure.}

The highlight of my week was, without a doubt, the experience I had Friday. Mr. Dork, Mini-Dork and I had gone over to our friends’ place to play games with their family. The lady of the house told me how great I looked {and I wasn’t even wearing my girdle! Yes, I own a girdle. Now stop laughing!}. She said I must have been working very hard {yes, yes I have been}. It’s always wonderful to have someone notice my progress.

This week I’m going to try, again, to drink lots and lots of water. With the heat we’ve been having it’s super important to stay hydrated. I’ve been getting mild headaches and I’m pretty sure it’s because I need more water.

Aaaaaaaand…tomorrow I’m getting central air. {Yay! Working out will be much better!}

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*And boy, did it make me want an ice cold Corona!**

**Just a little nerd humor for you.***

***Yes, I’m a big nerd. I’ve accepted that fact and so should you.

Sunday, July 26

Let’s Talk About Sex, Baby

I’m confident that my mom is waaaay cooler than your mom. Really. She’s awesome! I love her more than I love thunderstorms, chocolate, and permanent markers {and trust me when I tell you that I LOVE permanent markers*}. And guess what. She loves me too. That’s probably why she reads my blog. {Hi, Mom!} And that’s cool. Because, seriously, if your own mother doesn’t want to read you blog that’s pretty sad.

My mom has always enjoyed my writing, at least, she’s always said I’m a good writer. And I believe her because A: she’s not the type to lie to me about it and B: it feeds my ego. So I enjoy knowing she’s reading my writing here on this blog. Except {and you know there had to be an “except”} there are certain things I feel weird writing about knowing she’s going to see it.

What kinds of thing, Holly?

Well, um, sex for one.

And that’s really, really stupid. I’m an adult now. My mom is an adult. And I’m fairly certain she doesn’t think Lucy came from the cabbage patch if you know what I’m saying. And I didn’t come from a cabbage patch either. So clearly, sex is something we’re both familiar with.

And yet…

I’m still embarrassed to write about it.

Despite the fact that I’m too wigged out to discuss it with my own mother I am convinced that when Lu gets old enough to ask me the question I am going to be the epitome of calm, cool, and collected. I will casually, and matter-of-factly explain it to her in an age-appropriate but accurate manner. And she’ll understand and be relaxed about it. And I’ll be relaxed about it. And I won’t be afraid to call it by it’s real name.

Or maybe I’ll stop deluding myself and instead start preparing her for life as a nun.

You don’t have to be Catholic to be a nun, right?

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*Really, I love all office supplies. If you can buy it at Staples I pretty much want it.

Saturday, July 25

My Bookmarks – Part 2

part 1

Other

Humor Me (comics):

O Canada! (links related to moving to and living here in the Great White North):

Trip (links related to our upcoming vacation):

Running:

101 in 1001:

LoLs (a series of sites that make me laugh out loud):

Hope you’ve enjoyed seeing just some of my bookmarks. Don’t forget to leave me your favorite links in the comments!

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Friday, July 24

My Bookmarks – Part 1

It’s not secret that I’m a bit of an internet junkie. What can I say? I love having so much access to knowledge, humor, social networking, and so on. I have so many bookmarks that I’ve had to create folders within folders within folders to organize them. And over the next few days I’m sharing some of my favorites from each category. Get your clicking finger ready! And here we go…

Family & Friends

Adam (these are pages bookmarked for Mr. Dork):

Mama Resources:

Sky Academy (learning at home resources):

Crafts:

Shopping:

$$$:

Brain in a Binder (pages for my home management binder):

Bitchen’ Kitchen (recipes and more):

Blogs

Groups:

Memes:

Writing:

Design Tutorials/Tools:

More to come tomorrow!

What are some of your favorite websites? Leave me their urls in the comments!

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Thursday, July 23

Weird Foods

I tried tamarinds this week for 101 in 1001. They came in a box from the produce section. And they look like, well...they look like turds.

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They have to be removed from their shell and have little stringy things that have to be removed (neither of which is difficult to do) and they have seeds. They taste like a cross between a date and an apricot, or at least, that’s the best way I can describe them. I don’t really feel strongly for or against them. They’re not bad, but it’s easier to just eat dates (which look a little less like turds). Though, I do think they’d make a great substitute for Tootsie Rolls in this cake recipe*. If you want to try them here are simple instructions on eating tamarinds.

Would you eat a food that looks like something the neighbour’s cat left in your garden?

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*I made a cake like this for a friend’s birthday once {complete with box and litter scoop (new) to serve it}. It was AWE.SOME.

Wednesday, July 22

Mama Math

1 husband + 2 jobs (temporary) = 11 hours per day

1 mama + 11 hours of baby duty x fussy baby = 0 time for posting

0 time for posting + 11 hours of baby duty = 0 sanity

1 mama x 0 sanity = 0 brain left for posting

0 brain left for posting + 0 time for posting = 0 posts

1 mama + 1 blog/0 posts = 1 very sorry blogger

Them’s the breaks folks! {I’ll try to do better tomorrow and I’ll try posting on Friday to make up for missed posts!} If you really want something to read check out my {updated} about page and tell me what you think in the comments on this post.

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Monday, July 20

BAB Mini Challenge - Week 1 Recap

*pant pant pant pant*

I ran…*pant*…one full mile…*pant*…for the first time…*pant pant*…since high school!

No lie. I ran a mile without stopping nor walking! It’s only the second time in my life that I’ve done that. {Yes I realize how pathetic that is.} I’m very proud of myself. I was even more excited when I checked my Nike+ data and saw that I ran the mile in about 11 minutes! 11 minutes! Holy cow! I didn’t know I was that fast! But then Bear reminded me that my Nike+ needs to be recalibrated because it isn’t measuring things quite right. Oh…yeah. I forgot about that. Sooooo I didn’t run my mile in 11 minutes. But you know what, I’m still damn proud of myself! Now I just need to be able to do an additional 2.1 miles and I’ll be ready for my 5K. Can I do it? I guess we’ll see…

Also? My eating is getting cleaned up again. I bet I’ll be eating super well by the time I go to Ohio…the place with the BEST DONUT SHOP IN THE UNIVERSE. Uh-oh. I foresee a problem.

Ohio weather is also miserable in August. It’s going to be hot and humid and I’m not going to have the luxury of an indoor treadmill to run on. But run I will. I guess I’ll just have to get up early to beat the heat.

I’m getting to know my BAB team {GO YELLOW!} through our own private blog. Seems like everybody is doing the 30 Day Shred. And I’m considering doing the strength moves again on my non-running days.

Speaking of running days, today is one of them! I wonder how far I’ll run this time…



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Sunday, July 19

And Now For Some More Bragging

A lot of you told me in the comments that I should brag away. So I will. First I’m going to brag about receiving my first blog award!

Rita, of Fighting Off Frumpy, has bestowed upon me the Honest Scrap Award because I blog with “candid honesty.”

HonestScrap

I’m very happy to receive it because it wasn’t that long ago that I made a commitment to blogging openly about the good, the bad, and the ugly in my life. It’s nice to be noticed. And if she hadn’t already won it I’d be nominating her too! Actually, quite a few of the blogs I’d like to give the award to have already won it. But there is one blog that I just recently started reading that I think deserves to be noticed for openness and honesty. That blog is

So Fawned by Desiree Fawn.

Desiree, you rock. Go ahead and pass the award on to a deserving blog {and don’t worry about linking back here unless you really want to}.

Now, as promised, here are more pictures {by Madchen Studios}.

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“Who is that pretty girl!?”

“Oh! It’s me!”IMG_9919

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“Maaaaama! Daaaaady! Don’t kiss me in public!” {grumpy face}

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{That’s a much happier face!}


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{Please don’t hate me in 14 years for taking naked baby pictures!}





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{I make you a tutu and this is the best picture you give us? Silly baby girl!}



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“Waaaaah! There’s a bunny in my bucket! Get out bunny! GET OUT!”

I’ll see you tomorrow for a Body After Baby update! Enjoy what’s left of your weekend!

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Saturday, July 18

It’s My Blog & I Can Brag If I Want To

I have a beautiful family.

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{click for larger versions}

All the photos were taken by Rachel at Madchen Studios. Visit her blog for even more amazing photography. These were our favorite shots. Tomorrow I’ll show you some others (including the ones in which Lucy didn’t cooperate)!

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Thursday, July 16

Now, Where Did I Put My Brain?

Are you a mom?

Yes?

Then you know all about “Mommy Brain.” It begins in pregnancy. Brain gets fuzzier, memory takes a vacation. It doesn’t improve much after giving birth because your mental resources are depleted by sleep deprivation and (if you’re a SAHM like me) having a person whose vocabulary consists of “AAAAAAAAH” as your only conversation partner for the majority of your day.

You know what’s even more fun than “Mommy Brain?”

“Mommy Brain” and ADD.

I have always been forgetful. When I was a little kid my mom used to pin notes for my teachers onto my clothes. It was the only way the teachers would get said notes. In fifth grade I got detention {twice} for forgetting to do my homework.* And the distractibility! Let me tell you about the distractibility! Lets say I ask a question. By the time the answer is given I’ve been distracted and totally miss it. Then, like an idiot, I have to ask again. Seriously. It can happen at any moment. I can be mid-sentence and…Oh! Did I tell you we are picking up our digital photo disk from the photographer tomorrow morning?

I’m really happy with how this last photo session went. I’ll be sure to post some pictures over the weekend! I can’t wait to get them printed and in frames so we can hang them all over the house.

Anyway, have a great weekend! We’re headed to Calgary tomorrow to get passports for Bear and Lu. I’ll be back and posting again Saturday!

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*Don’t even get me started on what I think of teachers who dish out the same punishment for innocent forgetfulness that they do for fighting/stealing/other rule breaking activities.

Wednesday, July 15

Vacation, All I Ever Wanted

November 2007.

That was the last time I saw my family.

August 2009.

That is when I will see them once more! This time with hubby and mini-me in tow!

To say that I’m excited would be like saying whales prefer damp environments (a huge understatement). When I tell you that I squealed like a little girl and ran around the house you should know I’m not taking artistic liberties with my story. I really did squeal and run gleefully through the house. I love my family. I miss them a lot. And this will be the first time Lu gets to meet them. So, yeah, kind of a big deal.

Also, a big hassle. Aside from the expected work of getting Bear and Lu passports (for which we’ll have to get expedited service) we apparently have to register our information ahead of time so the US knows who we are and that we’re coming. Plus there’s the added effort required for traveling with a baby.

And there’s the credit card company mucking things up.

Look, MasterCard, I appreciate that you’re trying to protect me from identity theft or whatever. Really, I do. But you know I live in Canada. So really, you don’t need to put holds on my card when I make a purchase with a Canadian air line. I promise it’s me. And when I call you to tell you that, and you tell me the problem is fixed, please make sure the problem is fixed. Because it makes me feel stupid when I try to book a flight four separate times and get declined each time. And I’d really rather not have to call you again and book the flight a fifth time. OK?

But still, all that hassle?

Totally worth it!

Do you live near your family? If not, how often do you get to see them?

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Tuesday, July 14

Pet Peeves – Mall Edition

I like the mall. Really. I don’t actually like shopping there (overpriced much?) but I like walking around (yay free air conditioning)! And I like to browse while feeling smug and superior because I’m too poor frugal to pay that much for a shirt, pair of pants, or [insert item here]. What I don’t like are the “kiosk zombies.” You know the ones I mean? They’re those sleazy guys selling merchandise from a kiosk (merchandise which is even more overpriced than normal mall goods), the guys you can’t walk past without them accosting you and saying things like:

“Would you like to have your hair straightened?”

“Have you ever tried this lotion?”

“Braaaaaaaaains…”

{OK, so I made that last one up.}

My normal methods of getting past them unmolested involve talking loudly to whoever I’m with and pretending I don’t hear them, pulling my hat over my face and pretending I don’t see them, or plastering a very angry “don’t-mess-with-this-chick-she’s-scary-and-definitely-not-buying-your-crap-today” look and hoping they’re not too stupid to ignore it.

I’m pretty proud of my kiosk zombie escape skills. But still, I don’t always dodge them. Next step? Bring a chainsaw.

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What’s your mall pet peeve?

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Monday, July 13

Body After Baby – Mini Challenge

You know how “they” say after giving birth a woman has no shame? Yeah…it’s true. I know because Samantha of Mama Notes is hosting a challenge within a challenge and asked for “before” pics. And I obliged. OK…so it’s not a bikini…but close enough! Eee gads! What was I thinking?!

food and bab 017 food and bab 016

About 3 years ago (shortly before getting married) I looked like this:

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Wow. I’m not sure what is more amazing…how much I’ve changed in 3 years or that I posted it for the whole world to see. Truth is, my feelings about my body are mixed. On the one hand I love my body. I love her for all she has done for me (like incubating and birthing my Lovey-Girl!). I love her for her strength and beauty. On the other hand I can’t honestly say I wouldn’t prefer to look a little bit more like I did way back when. I looked good. I looked healthy. And the strangest thing is that though I may not look it I’m actually healthier now. I’m stronger, eat healthier, and have more endurance. I want my outward appearance to better reflect my inner health.

The mini challenge is 8 weeks long. And my goals for that time are to run my 5K race without having to stop and walk, to stop eating junk (including soda*), and to do my best to make my body even healthier. I won’t set a goal weight because I can’t know what weight my body is capable of being now that I’m nursing (hellooo bigger boobs)! Plus I’m trying not to focus on pounds so much as health (remember?). I am however willing to do before and after weigh-ins. My before weight (according to my lame-o scale which is probably way inaccurate) is 156 pounds. That’s quite a bit for my 5’2” frame.

I’m really glad this mini challenge popped up when it did. I already told you how poorly I did the week before last. Well…last week was better food-wise, but awful as far as exercising is concerned. I need this extra motivation to get back on track.

The Fit By Labor Day Challenge begins today! Wish me luck!

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*With the exception of the occasional mojito.

Sunday, July 12

Flexing My Creative Muscles

Ahhhh…I’m feeling much better after yesterday. Bear switched his Saturday shift to today so he could take over Lucy duty. Then he sent me out into the world for a few hours. I stopped at the arts and crafts store where I purchased a sketchbook (because I left mine at home) and some new oil pastels (haven’t used those in years). Then I parked myself in a chair at Starbuck’s with an iced coffee and drew and drew and drew and drew! Can you say “cheap therapy?” It was awesome! And I can’t wait to do it again. I’ve always been an art geek but it had been a while since I enjoyed drawing. I disliked my BFA program so much that I not only quit the program I quit making art all together. It’s so nice to be getting back into my creative groove (even if my skills are a bit incredibly rusty). In fact you may be seeing more of my work very soon. Stay tuned!

Speaking of getting back into a creative groove. Fellow blogger The Masked Mommy is painting again. And she’s giving away an incredible purple van Gogh reproduction. I looooooove Vincent van Gogh! And purple is my favorite color! So if I win the painting I may very well pee my pants in excitement!

The Masked Mommy’s giveaway is actually one of the things that finally pushed me over the edge and got me making art again. Bear has been bugging me to start painting again too. And I want to, really, I do. But every time the mood strikes I know Lu just isn’t going to let me get very far. So, for a little while at least, I’ll stick with drawing and digital design; less mess, and less time spent setting up and cleaning up.

Do you have a skill you haven’t utilized in a while?

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Saturday, July 11

Mental Health Day

I know that lately I’ve only taken Fridays off. However:

Teething baby + a million things to do + only ever having time to myself without baby once or twice since her birth + Bear having today off instead of tomorrow = MAMA NEEDS A MENTAL HEALTH DAY

So, please, see my latest posts or visit the “best of” section.

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Thursday, July 9

Mommy Wars- The Battle of the Breast

What is one of the single most divisive parenting issues you can think of?

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The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends infants be exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months of life and continue to be breastfed while being offered complementary foods to two years of age and beyond. But in 2003 in the US only 14.2% of 6 month olds were still being exclusively breastfed. Naturally lactivists cite these recommendations and statistics quite often in the quest to increase those numbers.

Imagine having this information, knowing all the amazing benefits of breastfeeding (for babies and mamas), and making plans to breastfeed only to have those plans completely fall apart. Now imagine trying to deal with the frustration and disappointment that would cause all the while wondering if other moms are criticising you behind your back for “giving up when the going got tough.”

I’m one of those lucky moms who have a relatively easy time breastfeeding. There were some horribly painful latch issues in the early days. But we worked through them and things are smooth sailing now. I’m also a big advocate of exclusive breastfeeding. But lately I’ve found myself frustrated by the way breastfeeding moms and formula feeding moms interact. It seems some nursing moms think the formula moms gave up too easily. They blame the moms for breastfeeding failure and harbor feelings of superiority. While some of the formula moms think the nursing moms are “breastfeeding Nazis” {an extremely offensive term}, or that they’re simply making too big a deal about the whole issue.

This has got to stop.

It’s my belief that most moms who don’t succeed in nursing their babes are not to blame. Are there moms who never even try, or who give up for really selfish reasons? Well, sure. There probably are. But there are also moms who don’t use car seats or who leave their babies in hot cars. That doesn’t mean they’re the norm. So if the moms aren’t to blame, who is?

Society.

What do I mean? Or, rather, who do I mean when I say society? I mean doctors, nurses, businesses, even lactation consultants! I mean everybody {yes you, and yes me}! See, here’s the thing. Breastfeeding is natural. But that doesn’t mean it comes naturally. It has to be learned. Moms (and sometimes babies) need help figuring out the mechanics of it as well as needing the right information and support.

I’ve discussed the factors leading to breastfeeding failure with a lot of moms. And I’m horrified by the accounts of doctors, nurses, and lactation consultants who dish out information that it just plain wrong, information that contributes to problems instead of solving them. How many of us mothers have been told we need to feed our babes for a certain amount of time on one breast then switch to the other? The nurses at the hospital tried to tell me to do that. Trying to follow their instructions nearly drove our family crazy. But I was lucky enough to read the right materials and learn otherwise. Babes should be given an opportunity to empty one side and get all the rich, fat hind milk. Then, if they’re still hungry, they should be given the other side. Babes who are limited in time on each side may not gain weight at the expected rate, leading moms and doctors to the false conclusion that mom’s milk isn’t rich enough which leads to the go-to advice to supplement with formula. Some hospitals and doctor’s offices even dispense formula samples to new moms when they’d be better served by a free copy of The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding.

But misinformation isn’t the only hurdle moms face, lack of support can be just as detrimental. There are two forms of support I think every mom needs, practical and emotional. Practical support comes from dads, family and friends. It can be anything from fetching a glass of water while mom is nursing to loaning out your best breastfeeding book to a new mom or sharing your favorite web resources. Emotional support comes largely from friends and family but really needs to come from everybody. Nursing moms, especially those who are struggling, need encouragement (even a thumbs up from a stranger can lift a mom’s spirits) and acceptance. In other words we need to stop bickering about whether moms should cover or not cover when in public and focus on supporting them now matter how they choose to breastfeed.

So why are we divided? I think part of it is that sometimes we lactivists (myself included) forget that breastfeeding moms face a lot of hurdles aside from the physical setbacks (such as inverted nipples, thrush, etc.). I’m here to ask that we keep that in mind and refrain from harsh judgements. But I might also ask moms who did not have success and switched to formula to keep in mind that when lactivists proclaim the benefits of nursing we aren’t trying to make you feel bad. We’re just trying to convince future moms to give breastfeeding a go, a goal I think we can all get behind. But as long as both sides view breastfeeding as an issue that divides us instead of an issue we can face together we will be too busy fighting in the mommy wars to ever make a positive change. Love certainly isn’t all we need to increase the number of breastfeeding successes but it’s certainly something we can’t do without.

As always, feel free to share how you feel in the comments!

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