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Awesome & Win

The nurse-in last Friday was made of awesome and win.  Thank you all.

I was so proud of the turnout — a photographer from the local newspaper pegged us at over 20+ mamas strong, not including daddies and babies and other supporters.  KUAC-FM mentioned us during the 12 pm newshour before the event.  CBS News 13 interviewed me before the nurse-in, and we were featured in the 6 pm and 11 pm news that night.  Two photos from the event were featured on the front page of the Fairbanks Newsminer the next day.

The energy from the participants was amazing, and the sentiments from passersby seemed largely positive despite a couple of unfortunate encounters.  The media was initially kicked out of the store, but were later invited back in.  John and I guessed that they didn’t want any more bad publicity.

We were there for about an hour inside the store, nursing, visiting with other parents, reveling in the positivity, enjoying the moment.  We had sort of descended on Starbucks en masse, and they were so patient even though I’m sure they were a bit overwhelmed.  The clerk nearest to us was very pleasant and polite.  Management stood by, looking rather nervous or insecure, possibly both.

I’m still so excited that it all went so well.  Overall it was such a wonderful experience.

Click images to enlarge

I’m so proud of the nurse-in, and of all of you out there who came out to support us, or sent your support from wherever you are.

I had mentioned to a few people how I’ve been wanting to expand my social circle, to meet like-minded people to hang out with and have playdates with, and one fabulous mama put it in an  awesome, empowering way:  I manifested a community around me, I manifested friends.  I guess I truly do have powerful magic.  I know I’m blessed to have had the support that I did, that I do.

What a great time it was.  I’m so hopeful that I’ve helped spread the message that there is nothing indecent about breastfeeding, and even more hopeful that at least one more mama will feel comfortable feeding her baby whenever and wherever he’s hungry.

At the nurse-in. Photo by Georganne Hampton, cropped by me.

Yummy Malabrigo

I made a pair of wool longies for Camilla out of worsted Malabrigo. Yum.

Mmmmalongies 2

Mmmmalongies 2

Pattern: Perfection Pants by Pamela Grossman (purchased at Three Irish Girls)
Yarn: Malabrigo Worsted, 100% wool, Little Lovely colourway (purchased at The Backwards Loop)
Needles: Size 6 (4.0 mm) and size 8 (5.0 mm) 16″ bamboo circulars and bamboo double-point needles
Gauge: 4.5 stitches per inch, 5 rows per inch, in stockinette

Yes, I absolutely must buy some awesome 3IG yarn to make more of these. Even more Mmmmalabrigo, since it’s so soft and yummy.

So far in our travels…

We left Delta Thursday afternoon.  I had been sick for a day and a half with some uber-fun gastrointestinal bug, rendering me useless and miserable beyond belief.  We got all our stuff packed on time though, without forgetting anything major.  We did manage to forget the Christmas cards.  I was so proud that I had gotten them all done, addressed, signed, ready to go, and on time… then I left them on the kitchen counter before walking out the door.  Oh well.

We picked up a couple of last minute things at WalMart in Fairbanks, ate dinner at Gallo’s, then headed to the airport after dropping the truck off at the parking garage downtown.  We got the dog situated with TSA, I had a brief glare-down with the security assholes about JR’s baby food, and fairly soon we were on the plane.  JR was awesome on the first leg of the trip — he was so fascinated being on a plane and seeing all the other planes go by.  It was a great distraction for me to watch his excitement (I’m terrified of flying).  Anchorage to Seattle was another story; he was soooo tired, and couldn’t figure out how to comfortably fall asleep in his carseat while on the plane, and poor little guy was crying during takeoff and landing because of the pressure in his ears.  It broke my heart.  We had a three-hour layover in Seattle where we grabbed a bite to eat, then fell asleep in front of the gate.  We nearly missed the guy announcing our flight, and all three of us were passed out on the way to Dallas.

Family friend Evelyn met us at the Dallas/Ft. Worth airport.  Buffle was absolutely exhilerated to see us and get out of her kennel.  John took JR with him to the car rental place, and Evelyn stayed with me at the airport.  We got a bite to eat at this shady McDonald’s on the way to Cara’s house; it made me feel queasy, and gave John a great case of the same gastrointestinal fun that I’d had (which rendered him useless for the next 36 hours or so).

We settled in at Cara’s, JR hung out with the kids, we chatted it up, and eventually passed out.  Saturday John slept all day, and JR wasn’t feeling too hot himself (ear tugging, crying, low-grade fever) so we didn’t go anywhere or do anything.  I had craft time with Maddie and Ryan, making a countdown to Christmas.  They really seemed to enjoy it, and Cara and Mike seemed to enjoy that I made it last a couple of hours.  Sunday, which was also Tori’s birthday, we went to the Ft. Worth Zoo and had an absolute blast.  JR still wasn’t feeling so hot and kept laying down on the ground so we put him in the Ergo on John’s back.  We saw a rhino, and JR insisted it was a dinosaur.  He loved the tigers, the elephants, and the carousel (which I rode on with him).  Total protest when the carousel ride was over.  Rosa’s takeout for dinner, some shopping at Target, then back to Cara’s to pack up our stuff.  JR drew a couple of pictures for Uncle Mike, one of which he said was Uncle Mike himself (totally cute of him, and they’re now on Mike’s wall).

Monday we got ready for our road trip down to SA.  JR had fully picked up a cold, and we had spread our gastrointestinal bug to the Ws.  The cold front had fully arrived, making it windy as hell and mightily cold.  Texas humidity and 30* weather with a 15 mph breeze make for bone-chilling conditions that even this Eskimo wasn’t too fond of.  I know it gets damn cold in Alaska, but it’s a dry cold, making it much more tolerable.

We drove down to SA in our humungous rented Hummer (sweet ride, by the way), stopping in Waco for lunch.  John let Buffle out in the parking lot behind Subway to let her run while I ate; he threw the ball before he noticed the six inches of standing, stagnant, putrid funk that Buffle of course immediately ran into.  She got back in the truck, furiously licking herself, then looking extremely guilty for it, because anything that nasty that tasted that good to my stupid dog must have been something she wasn’t allowed.  She kept hanging her head when I looked at her, which was mildly amusing, but mostly just stinky.

We stopped in Austin to get her bathed at a groomer’s next to Petco; when the groomer went to take her into the back, JR pitched an all-out fit, complete with little tears.  I think he thought we were just letting someone take our dog away, and she’s his closest companion in Alaska.  He was so inconsolably distraught that I almost told the groomer to forget it altogether.  We took him over to Petco though to look at animals, and soon things were a little better.  After Petco I went to Wheatsville.  I love that store so much.  The cashier was like two inches thick total, wearing a hat and scarf and coat indoors, complaining about the weather, wondering how on earth I manage to live in a place that inevitably hits -50* every winter, and called all manner of attention to both of us by proclaiming rather loudly that I said I was an Eskimo from Alaska.  John was right; people really look at me like I’m a leprechaun when I tell them I’m an Alaskan Eskimo.  Too freakin’ funny.

We got to his parents’ house in SA Monday night, caught up a little bit with Mona and John the elder, got unpacked, got something to eat, and finally got to sleep.  I had amassed about 6 hours of sleep over the last two days at Cara’s, and crashed so amazingly hard.  I woke up feeling like a new person, but one complete with new aches and pains.  John and JR slept like rocks too, though JR had a little more trouble as he kept waking up to cough or gasp.  His nose is still leaking like a bad faucet, but he has moments of utterly charming joy.

Mona made us eggs and bacon for breakfast (admittedly served at lunchtime since we didn’t wake up until after 11 am), and we hung out for a little while before heading out.  We checked out a few stores I wanted to see in town.  We went to Eden’s Baby to see if there were any good cloth diaper finds, and I was rather unimpressed with the selection.  She had some very fine items for sale, all generously marked up, and nothing of note that I couldn’t find elsewhere for a better deal.  Our local store, Blueberry Baby, in Fairbanks has so much of a better selection with better deals.  After Eden’s Baby, we ate lunch at Canyon Cafe in the Quarry (where I got this awesome white chocolate pecan tamale as a complimentary dessert) and checked out some stores there.  I went into Whole Earth Provision Co., where I walked out empty-handed; I literally could not justify a single purchase there because their markups were so ridiculous.  And that’s saying something because I can almost always justify a purchase.  I checked out Learning Express toy store, where I picked up a cute stuffed giraffe, a Schleich camel, and a great placemat for JR.  We also went to James Avery, where we got matching wedding bands.  They have so many beautiful shiny things that it’s hard to tear myself away from the store without going broke, but I always manage to show restraint.

Then it was a quick stop at Old Navy; I was looking for a hoodie because I wanted a warm layer, but wasn’t ready to bust out my Alaskan Carhartt jacket.  The place was so unbelievably picked over, there was like nothing left.  Then we were going to pick up some groceries at HEB, but JR’s nose sprung a leak and he had a little meltdown.  So we’ve been hanging out at MiMi & PoPo’s the rest of the night.  John left a while ago to play cards with Alex and get in the guy time I’m sure he’s been wanting.

I had an impossible time getting JR to sleep, though he’s finally down.  I’m getting his cold, which makes me extremely grumpy as I just finally got over my last one before coming down here.  Tomorrow I want to check out Babies R Us since we don’t have one in Alaska, as well as Sun Harvest, and possibly Ingram Mall.  We’re having dinner at Becca’s tomorrow night, and it’ll be a blast to watch JR with the S boys.  I’m tempted to hit up the LLL meeting Thursday morning.  Friday I think we’re getting together with the gang, though I don’t know for sure.  I think John mentioned Austin for Saturday, but I’m not sure about that either.  Sunday I believe we’re going back to Bec’s for Christmasy stuff with her in-laws.  Ultimately I’ve lost track of what our plans our now.

I’m off to find Sudafed for my newfound cold, then attempt some sleep.

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