We Voted!!

Voting is a fundamental right. And as a woman, especially as an African American woman, I was happy to be able to take part in our political process and even more excited to bring my daughter along. :) Here’s the story of Lauren’s first vote:

Mommy picked her up early from daycare, where ALL of her teachers were anxious to get off so that they too could go cast their vote. Good stuff! We started out by making the short drive out to our polling place, Lowes Grove Baptist Church in Durham:

Mommy unloaded the car, and we headed inside:

We waited patiently in line, and before we knew it, it was time to head to the booth.

After taking our time and carefully making our decisions, we headed over to the scanner to cast our ballot:

And in the end we were richly rewarded with…. free stickers!!!

God Bless America! :)

Lazy Boob!

So early on in my pregnancy with Lauren, James and I decided that if at all possible I would exclusively breastfeed her for at least the first 6 months. Now for some of you this may sound like no big deal, but for us this was HUGE. Only 54% of black women ever even try breastfeeding and of that only 25% last 6 months!

So in preparation we took a class, brought a pretty nice pump, read everything on the internet we could, and prayed. And, by the grace of God, we never had any problems once she got here. The first time I tried in the hospital, we had the lactation consultant come and get us set up and from then on she’s always had a great latch. There was a bit of a scare during the first week when she lost alot of weight, but I just kept breastfeeding her and she got right back on track.  And now it’s kind of a source of pride for us that our daughter has never had anything but breastmilk. And her father loves to brag about the smell of her poo!

BUT, every now and then I seriously toy with the idea of stopping. It’s not because it’s painful (which it’s not) or because I feel like she isn’t getting enough (which she is). It’s because I’m too lazy to pump! Since Lauren’s at daycare, everyday, twice a day I sit in a public restroom with my boobs strapped to a suction machine and produce the milk to give to her the next day. Which means for almost an hour a day, I stare at this:

Everyday, twice a day...

… and it sucks! People always ask:

– Why the restroom? Why not in your office/a conference room/your car?

Well I work for a construction company in an open concept office environment so: no one has an office, all of our conference rooms are glass walled, it’s too cold to pump in the car.

– Why don’t you bring your cell phone?

And what make calls??

– Why don’t you listen to music/play on the internet/send text messages?

It still doesn’t conceal the sights/sounds/sense that I’m hanging out in a public potty, lol. Even though the decor isn’t really that bad.

So, last night I went to my first BEST for Babies Alliance meeting. It’s a breastfeeding support group for black mom’s that meets ever 1st and 3rd Monday night at Union Baptist Church in Durham from 6-8pm. My girlfriend Tammy, whos expecting Dec 26, invited me and it was really great!! There were a number of other black mom’s all with their little girls who were warm and friendly and open about their BF experiences. And after hearing some of their stories about cracked nipples and kids with teeth, I felt a little embarassed that my only real problem is that I’m too lazy to pump. But despite my shyness, they were able to give me some really inspiring thoughts to motivate me to keep going, below are some of my faves:

1. Formula ain’t cheap!

2. Nothing on the market compares to breastmilk in regard to it’s gentleness and the health benefits for your baby.

3. Other people have had it much harder.

4. You’re reaping health benefits from it too!

5. It helps her bond with you and learn to turn to you for security.

6. She’s worth the effort. :)

And they’re right!! So for anyone struggling with breastfeeding or just lazy like me (lol), I hope the list above gives you some inspiration. And if that doesn’t work, a quick snuggle will always do the trick… :)

Happy Halloween!!

Happy Halloween from the Hales!

This weekend was Lauren’s first Halloween and it was really great!

Lauren was a football...


...and James was the referree!!

We all felt really silly getting dressed up but had a great time. :)

Friday night we went to the harvest festival at church. The Alstons even came too! Here’s a pic of Shelita and her 6.5 month old twins, Gavin & Chandler:

The Alstons!

Gavin Alston

Chandler Alston

The harvest festival was packed! But we were able to walk around, talk to people, play some games and even see a clown!

Shelita and I played the Donut Game! Messssy!!

There was a clown! Papas didn't want to get too close, lol

 Overall, a fun time was had by all. 😀

Sunday night, despite my lofty ambitions of us going out, Lauren and Papas sat on the front porch in their costumes giving away ALL of our candy (*tear*). And then we went and visited with the neighbors for a while. But not to worry! Next year we’ll be out in full force! Hide your Reeses! Hide your Kit Kats!! 😛

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