Breastfeeding in public

My first picture in my blog, hooray!! I feel like I’ve come a long way in my breastfeeding journey. I read all these public breastfeeding-shaming posts of FaceBook, which really enraged me and set me off the “well, if that were me…” rant. Since breastfeeding a perfectly normal, I thought I would have no problem feeding my baby in public. Boy, oh boy, was I wrong.

And its not the fact that there were people that were verbally shaming me about my decision to feed my baby out in public. It was me being over-reactive, sensitive, and self-conscious of what other people may think. And, I know that is absolutely silly to feel that way! Granted, I wasn’t just whipping out my breast, out in the open, with no cover whatsoever. I was still courteous to those around me. Eventually, I started getting used to the idea and the act that it no longer bothered me.

Its unfortunate that our society has suddenly turned the other cheek on public breastfeeding. I always thought its like shaming people just for eating. Why do we have to force women to go into a secluded place (most of the time, it is literally a closet) just to feed their baby? If anything, this should really be the choice on the mother, if she’s okay with feeding out in the open. We certainly don’t expect others to go and eat in a secluded place because their choice of food simply offends us… Or, maybe we already do and I just haven’t heard of that one yet.

I can also understand that our society has also done a great job at sexualizing the female chest, and anything to do with that is just that. There is nothing sexual about breastfeeding, and really, its a fetish to those to find that to be a turn-on. Never have I thought, while breastfeeding in public, that I wanted to try and turn someone on by feeding my baby… My son’s hungry, and if he done’st eat, then he’ll just make everyone around us annoyed and miserable. So, let him eat. Also, its pretty obvious when a woman wants to sexualize her chest when all you can see is cleavage spilling out of her low-cut tops. As a mommy, those type of tops don’t look all that great with a nursing bra underneath.

Anyway, I feel like society needs to back off of moms that decide to breastfeed. Its their choice, not yours. From pregnancy to raising children, moms usually get the bad rap (dads, too!) and are subjected to other people’s opinions. While your opinions may be acknowledged, its still their choice on how they want to care and raise for their kids.

 

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2017 Government Shut-down

I figured this post was well-warranted since we are technically in “Government Shut-Down” mode as of midnight last night. The last government shut-down we had was in 2013, which lasted almost two weeks. Yes, those two weeks sucked for the military because our forces were basically cut in half without our civilian Department of Defense employees, and there was twice the amount of work for the active duty component; however, we knew (or I hope most of us knew) that once it was all over, we were going to get paid for the work we do and we would be back-paid for the time spent in shut-down mode… But even if we didn’t get back-paid, we are in the military, we made that commitment to support and defend the Commander-in-Chief, AKA the President of the United States.

Let me remind you of our Oath of Enlistment/Commission:

I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”

I, _____, having been appointed an officer in the Army/Navy/Air Force/USMC of the United States, as indicated above in the grade of _____ do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservations or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter; So help me God.”

Even though we do not get paid and we’re expected to work, this is what we signed up for. We are that 1% that signed up to basically be a public servant, and we just need to keep faith in our military system that they will be taking care of us.

There are plenty of resources available to help each other out. I’m not well-versed in the other branches, but I know that there is the Air Force Assistance Funds. This program is designed to helped Airmen out in times of crisis, just go to your Airmen & Family Readiness Center to discuss. Also, I know that USAA and other financial institutions are creating plans specifically to carry our military members through this shut down. Lastly, IF there are truly no other options and money is super tight for you, you can opt into a Thrift Savings Plan loans, granted you have a TSP account to begin with. There are so many financial resources out there to help you and your family out, you just have to be calm and think logically through this manner.

Again, we are considered to be public servants. PLEASE, do not think you can protest this shut-down if you are part of the military! In 2013, a handful of military members were discharged because they went AWOL because they refused to work without pay. You cannot do this, no matter how much you don’t like whats going on. Just keep true faith and allegiance to your government that they can hopefully come to some resolution and be down with this.

At this time, we just need to be hopeful and not blame what’s going on in Washington. There are a lot of things that we don’t know, which may be above our pay grades. The only things you see is what the media puts out, so don’t stress yourself out so much about what they’re saying because its probably not the full story.

#RemainCalm

My distaste for the #MeToo campaign

know this post will be one of my most controversial posts I’ll ever compose but, hear me out before you automatically turn the other cheek. After all, I do enjoy debate and hearing other people’s opinions on hot topics!

Before I joined the military, my aunt and I had a very heated argument about my decision to enlist. It wasn’t about the fact that I was enlisting, it was the fact that I’d be entering a male-dominant world, and she was concerned about my safety. I already knew what type of domain I was stepping into, and I knew that I could also take care of myself in those types of situations… And, unfortunately, yes, those situations have happened to me. I’m not immune to sexual harassment and I’m not special to avoid those situations. I’d like to say that I’ve left those situations “unscathed” in a way, and I prefer not thinking about them, but its campaigns like #MeToo that remind me of the situations and how very wrong we’re approaching it.

The massive “witch hunt” that’s circulating Hollywood right now is no different than what occurred in the Air Force in 2012, when a lot of former trainees came forward with sexual assault allegations against their training instructors. Then it transformed into a wider issue, spanning all over the Air Force. Now, I’m not discounting everyone’s story because I understand that initially coming forward can be scary – you get a lot of doubt stuck in your head that maybe you’re exaggerating things, maybe people won’t believe you. Its unfortunate that those who have real and valid claims are overshadowed by people who are more open and probably not speaking the whole truth… and the actual truth behind their claim is to get some type of recognition, beit positive or negative. It doesn’t really matter at that point, it’s attention; however, in no way am I discrediting anyone’s story or situation, but I feel that they should be treated in a more private manner.

Maybe I feel this way because I’m somewhat of a private person myself, but I’m more than willing to share my experiences on a personal level if you asked me. I hate attending sexual assault prevention classes or the like, mostly because there is, at least, one individual who opens up like a canary; sometimes, they don’t even need prompting to begin sharing their story. Can you call it bravery when someone is completely open about sharing something so private in open forum? For me, the answer is no. Yes, we all like to share some sort of experience to make ourselves relatable, but in this day and age, I just feel like people need validation – that its almost cool to be the victim of any sort.

IF we are empowering people to stand up and speak out against their assaulters, shouldn’t we empower people to every prevent this from happening? Again, I get it, we’re not always able to protect ourselves from the unknown. Hellknow that considering that it happened to me twice already… but we should probably slow our applause when someone is so open and detailed when it comes to remembering their experience. Give them the tools to be successful, and I’m sure we can protect ourselves.

Another thing about how we’re treating sexual assault in this day and age is that we’re empowering the victim and shunning the perpetrator but, what if the victim is not telling the truth? What if the stories, the accusations were false? At that point, when everything’s said and done, it doesn’t matter if the accused did or didn’t commit any offenses. Their name has already been dragged in mud and there’s no coming back to that. We should also be more selective in how we go about pressing charges against the accused instead of lighting them up ASAP.

I’m truly sorry if this happens to offend someone, but like I said earlier, I am willing to discuss/debate on my point of views. How are you feelings about how we’re treating sexual assault cases?

Co-parenting is not competitive parenting

When I was going through my very bitter divorce, my ex-husband painted a picture of being the “perfect” parent for our son; therefore, the courts should agree with him that it would be in the best interest of our son to remain with him… This part, was at the beginning of our divorce, when we had to attend mediation for the sake of our son. When the situation got serious, as in, yes, we are having this divorce, it was like he just “vanished”. No response to the courts, and costing me a very pretty penny because I “lawyered” up just in case.

When our divorce was finalized, and he learned that I changed the parenting time schedule to him only having our kid every other weekend, he flipped out and called me every derogatory word associated for a woman. The “new” parenting time only lasted a couple months before he decided to leave the country… Yes, country. So, instead of having time with his son every other weekend, as planned, he decides to just leave. As what every “perfect” parent would do, I assume.

Now, let me put things into perspective – yes, he is overseas for his job, but he is not in the military. We agreed that he would call every Sunday to speak to our son, but he has gone weeks and months not even e-mailing me or trying to reach out to our son. Video-chatting and phone calls are not the only way that he could reach out to our son, because he also has our address, which means he could, at the very least, write to him.

Any way, compare this to my experience when I was deployed for six months, and faithfully reached out to him every week to speak to my child. Mind you, at the beginning, I actually spent every free moment I had, texting and calling my ex and my son, just to see how they were doing. That was short-lived because my ex insisted I called them only on the weekends to “save conversation and not make things boring”… Umm, okay? I did what my husband wanted, and even then, there were times that I’d call and my ex would say “Oh, he’s not here, he’s with so-and-so”. spent a couple weeks and months not being able to contact my son merely because my ex didn’t want me to. Of course, there are always two sides of the story: my son’s father may be very well busy where he’s at, much like how it was when I was deployed. However, the fact always remains that kids will surely remember who or what parent was always there, and which parent wasn’t.

Yeah, kids are pretty materialistic when they’re young, but when they become teenagers and emerge into adults, who’s going to be there for them when times get rough? You can’t just throw money at problems and expect them to go away… Although, I’m sure some people would disagree. Either way, kids need their parents and they don’t need toys or lavish things. They need memories and experiences. Most importantly, they need to know that someone’s out there, looking out whats best for them. Co-parenting is not about who’s the coolest parent, or which parent is Mr/Mrs. Money bags. In fact, throwing money at your kid to simply win their love, loyalty, and respect is the worst thing. It undermines the other parent’s effort in showing them actual love and affection. Co-parenting needs to be on the same level, where parents can just set aside their differences and anger of each other for the common good, which is their child(ren).

Sorry, for the long background story. This has been something that pops up in my mind very often. Are you in a co-parenting relationship? And if so, were you and your child’s mom/dad able to come away from competitive parenting?

Our Costco shopping list

DISCLAIMER – If you have no control over your impulses at Target, you probably should not get a Costco or Sam’s club membership!!

…Of course, that is totally a joke, but I’m also serious! More than half of the times my husband and I go to Costco, we find ourselves debating on buying one of the items they have sitting out near the entrance of the store. The last thing we randomly bought from that section were pairs of gloves; my husband avidly uses them but, for me, I’ve used them once. And I seriously do not know why I talked myself into getting them because its not like I work outside in the elements like he does. My only justification would be for next year when its college football season again, and I have to do medical coverage for the game-watchers. I seriously could’ve waited…

BUT, if you’re looking into getting a warehouse membership to save on groceries, here are some other things to consider: Are you buying for yourself, or for your family? How willing are you to eat the same stuff in a week, or even in a month? Do you even see yourself eating everything you purchase instead of wasting?

For us, we will probably be Costco members for life due to the fact that we have two young boys; those two young boys will eventually grow into teenage boys that will come with LARGE appetites. So, buying in bulk seems to be the best way to go for us. Before we started this routine list of items, I was really hesitant about eating the same thing over and over again; in this case, we’re talking about chicken. One of my biggest problems is eating out because of the variety, and also convenience (let’s not forget about that!). However, eating out costs SO much and surely not good for your body over time. It took us about several months to come up with a solid grocery list that would sustain us and also not waste food. We tried to look up Costco grocery list ideas from Pinterest, but we didn’t like that most of them contained a lot of processed or sugary foods. However, if we looked up “healthier” Costco options, it was basically just one list to go to which contained mostly frozen items. While a good majority of our list also has frozen items (BTW, it took some moving around in our tiny freezer to get everything to fit), its not everything.

Anyway, here’s what our Costco grocery list looks like. Typically, we’ll go through most of these in about 2 weeks but, there’s no waste and everything’s put to good use:

  • Starbucks Mocha Frappucino (12-pack) – $16.55
  • Canned chicken broth (12-pack) – $6.49
  • Orowheat Wheat bread (2-loaves, you can mix and match!) – $5.79
  • Organic eggs (2 dozen) – $6.49
  • Frozen organic broccoli (4 individual packs) – $6.99
  • Frozen stir-fry – $7.69
  • Frozen organic brussel sprouts (4 individual packs) – $8.99
  • Frozen chicken breast (about a dozen breasts) – $16.99
  • Frozen Evol vegetarian breakfast burritos – $10.79
  • Quinoa and wild rice mix packets*
  • Individual organic brown rice bowls*
  • Frozen wild sockeye salmon*
  • Columbus 2 lbs salami slices*

The last four items on the list is something we also buy, but we didn’t get them this last Costco trip. We’ve been mostly eating at home now because I’ve been looking up quick and easy recipes we could make for dinner. Check out my Pinterest account to get some weekday dinners, I do intend on making a post about our favorite Pinned recipes. Be sure to check back later.

Hope this helped you all out, or at least gave you some ideas on what to get at Costco 🙂

Is being a stay-at-home parent a real job?

I got the “inspiration” to write this post while I was trying to prep for tonight’s dinner and my 6-month old was in the background screaming his head off… Who would’ve thought that babies were so needy? I say that as a joke, of course.

I’d like to give myself the title of “part-time stay-at-home mom”, but I feel like I’m stealing the title from true stay-at-home mommies and daddies. Truth be told, I have no idea how stay-at-home parents do it! I barely have enough patience playing stay-at-home mom on the weekends. And I know that stay-at-home parents get a bad rap, I hear the complaints all the time at work. Honestly, I don’t think its necessarily fair for the “working” parent to complain about their significant other staying at home all day with the kids. Yes, it is a choice, but its also a big role to fill.

Why do I say that? For one, I seriously do need time away from my munchkins. As much as I absolutely adore them, it is such a pain to try and entertain a 6-year old AND a 6-month old combined. Oh yeah, and don’t forget our two fur-babies, who are special cases in their own ways. It seems simple to make sure the kids are fed, they’re well-groomed, and well-behaved, but what about the time in-between those tasks? Honestly speaking, being a medic is way more easier, because I know what to do with my down time while I’m on the clock. Being with my kids? Well, I know there’s a lot of activities I can nab off of Pinterest, but that could involve money, messes, and going places.

I’ve also mentioned it before in my first blog post (read it here) that I absolutely hate leaving the house on my own with my kids to corral. I mean, its somewhat of an easier task than, say, a mom of twins, because I just have one infant to lug around in a bulky car seat. My 6-year old is mobile, and for the most part, independent when to comes to going out in public. Anyway, so you have this problem – most stay-at-home parents actually stay home while the other is away at work. The only times I leave my house during the weekends when my husband is working is for coffee at a drive-thru Starbucks. I get cabin-fever very easily!

And because most stay-at-home parents choose to stay at home while their significant other is “getting the bread,” there is literally minimal “me-time” for them, if anything. Of course, I’m sure things get easier for them when their kids are school-age and they have a little bit of time to clean or do whatever. However, I know that some parents choose to home-school their kids, like my sister… I seriously have no idea how she manages that, while I struggle to remain calm when trying to help my 6-year old with his math (BTW, what is up with this core math stuff?!?? Its the bane of my existence!). She tells me she gets somewhat of a break on Mondays, when all the home-schooled kids in her area meet up to have some sort of socialization time with the other kids. Most of the time, I see her with her kids still. So, I’m assuming she doesn’t care about what little personal time she has to herself? I suppose you just get used to it, but by the time my husband gets off of work, I’m already shoving the kids in his direction. I know, thats totally unfair to him because he just got off of working 6-8 hours in retail. I try my best not to do that to him often since I know that I’d get an attitude if and when he does that to me.

Another expectation that I hear from working spouses for their stay-at-home spouses is that the house needs to be clean. I don’t think most of them truly expect to come home to an immaculate house, especially those with children. However, I know the expectation of a somewhat organized house is there. First off, my house is nowhere near where I want it to be, in terms of cleanliness. I mean, our house is clean in ways that the dishes aren’t piling and there’s not dried up poop from the dogs in random places of the house. Our house isn’t clean in terms of organization – we still have things packed up in moving boxes and we moved to Colorado in September… This kind of goes back to the fact that stay-at-home parents don’t have enough time to themselves, and that’s including cleaning up. It used to be a hassle for me with my 6-month old because he started getting antsy whenever someone put him down in his bouncer. He’s somewhat mobile now and we got a walker for Christmas, but I still have to keep an eye on him in case he decides to put his hands in the trash… I know stay-at-home parents do their best in finding ways to clean about the house or do little chores here and there. I just haven’t found those ways yet!

Lastly, the biggest complaint I hear about stay-at-home parents is that they don’t do their fair share in bringing in some type of income. This one really irritates me because, 1) if you really had such a problem with your husband/wife staying home, why didn’t you have that conversation yet or why haven’t you been on them a little more about getting a job, and 2) they’re actually saving you money… Well, I know there are some stay-at-home parents that blow their partner’s paycheck (trust me, I know that situation all too well with my ex-husband), but that is definitely a deep and personal conversation to be had. Anyway, its true, stay-at-home parents do save some money. First, by providing a baby-sitter for your children (with both kids, we fork out about $800 per month for daycare services). Second, most are apt for the meal-prepping and cooking home-made meals (no need to figure out what you’re having for dinner or even having to spend money on take-out!). And finally, most are extreme couponers! My sister is one of them, and I still have a lot to learn from her! In terms of couponing, the most I ever do is Ibotta or the Target app. Extreme couponing actually saves a significant amount of money, and you sometimes get great deals!

If you’re a stay-at-home parent, I seriously commend you for all my reasons and more! If you’re spouse is a stay-at-home parent, make sure you let them know from time to time that you appreciate their efforts and let them have their own time alone! They are truly something special in their own rights and ways!

2018 goals

Happy New Years!! It’s time to start running and taking off with your New Year’s Resolution’s and goals!!

People say to “speak your goals into existence,” and you’ll be able to achieve them… but there’s also a belief that if you tell everyone about your goals, the lesser likelihood of them coming to fruition. Sooooooo, which one is it?

Believe it or not, I’m more of a private person when it comes to speaking about my goals; those that need to know my goals and intention do know, and others, well don’t. And I’m not that way because I’m a butt about it, its a part of me being humble and trying not to speak so much about myself. I also feel like if I say something on FaceBook, I feel like I’m more apt to achieve or do that goal, otherwise I’m a total let-down or failure. Some of my goals are kind of just “in the cards” or “right time, right place”.

For instance, my main goal for this year is to make the next rank (Technical Sergeant/E-6 in the Air Force). Its highly attainable, however, it also depends on the amount of time I put into studying. And, by all means, I am definitely not a book-smart person. The last time I actually put forth the effort in studying was 2 years ago, and I didn’t even make it. I felt like a complete let-down and total loser for not making it. Hopefully this year, I’ll actually persevere and make it, but it just depends if I’m in the right time and right place. 

Another professional-type goal for myself is to hurry up and put in my application for the Inter-service Physician’s Assistant Program (IPAP). I’m intending to submit my first package in by 2019 or 2020. Highly do-able, but my life will generally suck in the meantime. I’m also coming up to the five-year mark which means most of my classes will likely need to be repeated. Either way, if I don’t get accepted to the IPAP, my Plan B is to switch my degree plan to obtaining a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Next year, I’ll have 10 years of military service under my belt and it would be such a waste to quit at 12-13 years… Might as well ride out the 20 years at that point and collect retirement.

As far as my husband’s and my combined goal, we’re planning on getting rid of our debts together. Since well now have two kids to claim on our taxes for this year, we’re estimating a good tax refund that will take out a good portion of our debts. The rest we’ll just have to find a means of paying it and not using our credit cards. This is such a huge problem for me because I am quite a spender but, if I’m dedicating myself to constant studying for anything, I should theoretically be spending less… At least, I’d like to think so.

My last goal for 2018 is to pay more attention to my Perfectly Posh business. Its not so much as to finding people to recruit under me or “building my company.”  I’m looking more into spreading my reach-out for new customers and not making money just on myself. I’d like to say, with a new baby and moving to a new base totally messed up my Feng Shui,  but it probably didn’t. I do enjoy selling Perfectly Posh and being a total advocate for them, but I think it’s time to make money off of it instead of losing money from it.

Four goals for this year seems to be a good way to refocus on myself and my family, what do you think? What are some of your goals you’d like to see become a reality?