Read for the Record Day - October 7, 2010

This year's Read for the Record Day is set for October 7, 2010. On this day, you can read The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats online for free at You can create your own profile on the site, and pick from several literacy-minded campaigns to donate your books to. For every book you read online, the organization will donate a book for free to the campaign. The goal is to promote early literacy in children, and to get more books into the hands of children. You can pick from campaigns supporting Haiti, local libraries, East Africa, Asia, Volunteer USA, Jumpstart (the recipients of the donations through the Read for the Record Day), and many more.

Please visit the website for specifics on how this works. Please support childhood literacy. Read to a child.

I love reading. As a child, I would read anything I could get my hands on. I demanded my Mom put the cereal box in front of me each morning so I could read it as I ate. I would read the same box every time I ate cereal, until the box was empty. I even read the ingredients list and nutrition facts! I attribute this to my mother passing her love to read on to me by reading to me often. As I began to read myself, she would let me read to her. As a toddler, she read Three Little Kittens by Paul Galdone to me 
 so many times I could "read" it to her. I had heard the story so many times, I could recite it to her from memory.

Now, as a mother, I read to my children. My youngest had a small library before he was born. Our friends and family bought him books for us to read to him. I buy a new book almost every time I step into a store. Of course, right now he listens for about thirty seconds, and then wants down to play. But I still read the book, and show him the pictures. One day, maybe he'll thank me.

Read to a child today! It WILL make a difference in their lives.

Product Review: Udder Covers

Photo taken from

I promised a review of my free-plus-shipping Udder Covers, and here it is.

Please note, I received my Udder Covers for free by using a promo code posted on someone else's blogger (don't remember who) the first time I ordered, and by using a promo code Udder Covers emailed out to, I'm guessing, their entire e-mail list, the second time I ordered. Udder Covers has not, as of yet, provided me with any free product in exchange for a mention on my blog, a product review, or anything else that might give them a little publicity. I love their product, and choose to blog about it, unbeknownst to them.

I bought scored my first {free} Udder Cover many months ago. I don't remember when, exactly. I tried to look it up on PayPal, but I must not have used PayPal to pay for the first one's shipping. Anyway, I ordered my first one back when they offered solid colors. I ordered a light blue solid. I was delighted when I received it in the mail. I was even more delighted when I used it the first time.

Ya know, breastfeeding your first child is hard the first couple of months. It's clumsy, it hurts, and innocent bystanders are apt to get a surprise view of Mama's Tatas if you're not careful, or if the baby moves, or if.......

Anyway, I found it really hard those first few months to nurse my son in public (meaning outside of our house, or outside of the bedroom if we had company). I wanted to nurse my son on demand, but I wanted to retain my modesty and dignity. I didn't want my brothers-in-law getting flashed in the process. One of my grandfathers wasn't bothered in the least by my nursing in the same room as him (as long as I tried to keep some modesty about it all), while the other preferred for me to go into another room, even if I covered up.

Strangers in the grocery store all had their own opinion, and I had them voiced to me more than once. (Thankfully for them I only got the good-for-you-I-nursed-my-babies-too-and-at-least-you're-modest-enough-to-cover-up-in-public, and not anyone who tried to convince me to nurse my child in a bathroom stall.) I always covered up if someone was uncomfortable by my nursing (family members - mostly the males) or if I was out in public. This was difficult because my baby was born in the middle of June. In Alabama. Do you have any idea how hot it is in Alabama in the middle of June? (Not quite as hot as it usually is in August in Alabama, but close enough for discomfort.)

I worried that the blanket, even receiving blankets, made him too hot. They trapped carbon dioxide. I had read that researchers now believe this to be a contributor of SIDS. My baby liked to fall asleep while nursing if you didn't watch him. Blankets had to be held in place if you or the baby were moving around. I couldn't grocery shop, carry the baby in my front carrier, hold my boob in his mouth, and hold a blanket up (while juggling shopping list, coupon book, copy of our menu plan, etc. etc. etc.). I was new at this Mommy stuff. I hadn't yet developed the ability to juggle five things at once while holding baby and nursing while retaining my "modest blanket".

Enter the Udder Cover. I had seen similar items on the internet, and even tutorials for making your own. I liked the idea (I have a couple of totes full of fabric-by-the-yard-or-five). I have a sewing machine. What I didn't have was time in my busy day to sit down, cut out one or a dozen, and sew them all up. I didn't have time to sleep hardly. (At least it felt that way, with the baby needing sustenance every 2-3 hours.)

The Udder Cover is a large piece of fabric, big enough to cover a nursing baby from your collar bone to your hips. It has a long, thin, piece of fabric at the top, and two D-rings. You thread the long piece of fabric around the back of your neck and through the D-rings. Ta-da! The cover stays in place. The top edge has a rigid neckline, which makes it stand out away from you slightly, allowing you to peek in on your little nursing cherub.

This product is simply amazing. I love it so much I have already ordered and received a second cover. I just ordered a gift set for myself. I want to try out the breast pads. If they are anything as good as the Udder Cover itself is, I'll be ordering quite a few of them the next time we get crazy and decide to breed (another) spawn.

I have used my Udder cover everywhere. Wal-mart during grocery shopping? Check. My hands stayed free for buggy pushing, item grabbing, list marking, and coupon culling. Christmas with our families (times three)? Check. No male family member was made to look at my boobies. Pumping breast milk in the car (not while driving, but while riding shotgun) or at work? Check. Co-workers and other people on the road were not shocked by the sudden sight of two stark-white boobs. Nursing our son in the living room, and unexpected company shows up? Got it under control. Throw this on and we're good to go.

This thing has lived in my diaper bag, my work bag, on the back of the couch.... I usually kept my strap ran through my D-rings and loose enough that I can slip it on over my head if need be. Then I could just throw it on the back of the couch behind me, and if company showed up I could grab it and throw it on without getting up or disturbing my son. That was handy.

I am hoping to order a few Gift Sets and a few Udder Covers to keep on hand for gifts. I think every breastfeeding mother should own one when they first start out. It would have made my life so much easier in the beginning.

I do have one complaint, but it is minor (to me). This cover wrinkles pretty easily. I am somewhat lacking in housewife skills, so mine usually sits in the dryer and the laundry basket for a while before being folded, so maybe it's just me. I'm sure if I took it out while still warm and folded it, it would not be near as wrinkled. It could also be ironed, if one was so inclined. (I own an iron. Somewhere in my house. Maybe on the shelf above my dryer? I haven't used it in forever, but that's where I think it is.) However, the trade-off is the fact that it is made out of a very lightweight, very breathable cotton fabric. Great for summertime. It wasn't too unbearably hot underneath it, unlike receiving blankets. Add in the convenience of the strap and the rigid neckline, and this is a great product. The fact that the prints are beautiful is a bonus. There should be a style for everybody.

****I have not received any direct compensation from Udder Covers. I did receive both of my Udder Covers for free (plus shipping charges), however, I received them for free using a promo code open to everyone who wished to use that code. Udder Covers has not, directly or indirectly, compensated me in any way for blogging about their awesome product. If they wish to do so, I would be more than happy to take some free stuff off their hands. {Wink, wink!}

Promo Code - Udder Covers

I received this code in my email, and I thought I would post it here in case anyone is interested and sees them. Be advised, though, that all Udder Covers are on back order until September 15, 2010. This is not a big deal for me, as I'm keeping mine for myself (I want to try out the reusable nursing pads - could save a TON of money with our next child just by using these instead of disposables, plus be eco-friendly about it and all that).

You can get a free Udder Cover (retail value is $32) or an Udder Cover Gift Set for $5 (retail is $37). These are very nice nursing covers. They have six beautiful colors to choose from. I already own two Udder Covers (one solid light blue, which they no longer offer, and one "Jones", a cream color with a beautiful light blue pattern), and have just ordered myself a Gift Set in "Elsa". My total for each Udder Cover I already own was $9.95 (which is the total shipping cost, as each of my Udder Covers was absolutely FREE!). My total for my Gift Set I just ordered in $14.95.

OK, for the good stuff: The promo code is "Breastfeeding". I'm not sure how long it is valid for, so you may want to hurry. Rush on over to right NOW! This code can be used more than once, but you will have to open a new browser window and pay the $9.95 shipping for each item ordered. Meaning, each item ordered has to be a completely separate order. Pain in the but, I know. I promise if you're pregnant and planning to breastfeed, or know who someone is, or just haven't bought one for yourself/someone else yet, then it is definately worth the $$$ in shipping charges for one or more of these.

The Udder Cover Gift Set includes one Udder Cover in the color of your choice, a color-coordinating MilkBands bracelet, and a pack of 4 reusable UdderCovers breast pads.

Look for my separate post, a review of my Udder Covers, if you'd like my totally unbiased, not-paid-for-in-any-way-except-my-two-free-plus-shipping-Udder-Covers opinion. (The only reason I got them for free is because I happened to stumble across a code like the one I'm giving on someone's blog. Now that I've ordered from them before, I get codes emailed to me periodically. This means if you don't wanna buy one today, that's OK because I get these codes emailed to me every month or two, so there will be more.)

****I have not received any direct compensation from Udder Covers. I did receive both of my Udder Covers for free (plus shipping charges), however, I received them for free using a promo code open to everyone who wished to use that code. Udder Covers has not, directly or indirectly, compensated me in any way for blogging about their awesome product. If the wish to do so, I would be more than happy to take soem free stuff off their hands.

Menu Plan Monday - August 21-September 1, 2010

OK, here's the drill. As a working mother, I need to know what I'm cooking each day. I cook more difficult, time consuming, or labor-intensive items on days I don't work. I cook quick, easy meals on days I work. Everyone is usually on their own on days I work night shifts. I get paid every two weeks. I work a rotating shift, so some weeks I plan for two weeks of food. Other weeks it may be closer to three weeks of menu planning and grocery shopping.

To see what others are eating, Laura's blog, I'm an Organizing Junkie, is the home of Menu Plan Monday.

Enough with the preliminary stuff, let's get to the good part..... Food!

August 21 - Mini Meatloaf (OAMC), Mashed Potatoes (OAMC), Macaroni and Cheese (OAMC), Steamed Broccoli

August 22 - Tater Tot Casserole (OAMC), Steamed Carrots

August 23 - Chicken Enchiladas (OAMC), Whole Kernel Corn

August 24 - Chicken Fingers (OAMC), Fried Potatoes, Broccoli and Rice Casserole (OAMC)

August 25 - Zucchini Parmesan (OAMC) or Chicken Parmesan (OAMC)

August 26 - Spaghetti (OAMC), Salad, Garlic Bread

August 27 - Beef, Macaroni and Tomato Casserole (OAMC)

August 28 - Pulled Pork Sandwiches (OAMC), Slaw, Make Ahead Twice Baked Potatoes (OAMC), Beans

August 29 - Fish Fillets, Fries {buy already made and frozen at the grocery store}

August 30 - Baked Spaghetti (OAMC), Garlic Bread

August 31 - Hamburgers {buy pre-made patties at grocery store}, Potato Salad, Whole Kernel Corn, Green Beans

September 1 - Cheesy Chicken and Rice (OAMC), Mashed Potatoes, Steamed Broccoli and Carrots

This time, I thought I would try to cook more things that can be frozen. I used to do some OAMC (Once A Month Cooking), but with chasing Colt and Bo's fottball season starting and work and everything else, I haven't done any OAMC or batch cooking in a looooong time. I have scanned through my cookbooks I have saved at, picked out a menu's worth of things we'll probably like, and the best part is, they can all be frozen. So I can cook double batches of some foods and freeze the extra for another night (like during our upcoming month of torture outage). I'm also trying to clear a little room out of our upright freezer so I can do some OAMC or batch cooking. I would LOVE to get to the point, space and budget-wise, to do a plan by the ladies over on Once A Month Mom.

Anyway, the idea this time is to cook double batches of several items on the menu. I'll use the cook-one-and-freeze-one method. Then we will see how well each dish stood up to being frozen, thawed, and cooked. Maybe that way I can add to my list of foods I know handle OAMC well and still taste good to us.

I'll post recipes for those items that don't already have one linked. I'll post reviews after we've eaten each dish.

From Lulu's Kitchen - Mini Meatloaves (OAMC)

I love meatloaf. Love it! Also, I love cooking meatloaf this way. I hate greasy meatloaf, swimming in all that fat from the ground beef. I also hate meatloaf covered with a nice burnt layer of what was tomato sauce or ketchup. So, this is how I cook my meatloaf. This also freezes well. I'll include that in the instructions, too, in case someone out there is interested.

Mini Meatloaves

2 lbs. ground beef (chuck, etc.- whatever kind you prefer)
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup bread crumbs, crushed saltine or Ritz-style crackers, etc. (again, whatever you have - this is great for using up old, stale bread or crackers)
1 package meatloaf seasoning (I usually use McCormick, just because that is what's available in my stores near here. I probably should look into making my own, though.)
1 (14oz) can italian diced tomatoes
1 (small? 6oz?) can tomato sauce

For most of these ingredients, I just use whatever I have or can find on sale. All the grease that cooks out of this will drain away, so I'm not concerned about buying low-fat (80/20 or 93/7 or some such) beef. Also,I try to stretch our grocery budget just a little, so I usually buy the store brands of canned goods when I can. As stated above, about the only thing I don't buy store brand is maybe the seasoning, because I don't think I've seen store-brand seasoning. I could probably make my own cheaper, especially if I also made my own taco seasoning, etc. I may look into that. But for now, store bought it is.


1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Get out your broiler pan and the rack that goes with it.

I love using my broiler pan for cooking meatloaf. All the slits in the pan let all the nasty grease drain into the bottom of the pan, keeping my meatloaf high and dry, you might say. If you don't own one of these, you can use any pan with sides deep enough to hold the grease. However, I really do suggest you go out and get one if you don't have it. You'll thank me for it later.

2. Spray your pan with non-stick cooking spray. This helps the meatloaf not stick to the broiler pan, or what ever pan you're using.

3. In a medium mixing bowl, beat the eggs, milk, and tomato sauce together. Add seasoning and bread crumbs (or which ever you're using). THEN add the meat, mixing well with your hands.

4. While your hands are still covered in the meatloaf mixture, grab the meat by the handfull and shape into a ball/loaf shape. Place on the broiler rack (or other pan). Continue until you've used up all the meat.

5. Place your pan of meatloaf in the oven and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until meat is cooked all the way through. If you like, you can spread tomato sauce or ketchup or whatever your family prefers over the loaves, before or during cooking. I don't like it, so I omit this part.

Some helpful tips for making mini meatloafs:

1. A muffin pan can be used, also. Just spray the pan before you fill it. Press enough of the meat mixture into each cup to fill it over. Place muffin pan on a pan deep enough to catch any grease that runs out of the muffin pan.

2. For freezing, either use a muffin pan, or line baking sheets with wax/parchment paper (whichever you have). When using muffin pans, spray each cup before filling. Fill and freeze until the meat is frozen solid. Transfer to zippered freezer bags and freeze. When using baking sheet, spray the wax paper with cooking spray. Shape each loaf by hand and place on the paper, not touching. Freeze until frozen solid. Transfer to freezer bags and freeze.

3.) This recipe doubles and triples easily. Monday I cooked 5.3 pounds of hamburger meat into meatloaf. (Yes, all of it was for eating that night and leftovers the next day). I used: 5.3 pounds meat, 1 (14 oz) can Italian diced tomatoes, 1 (14 oz) can tomato sauce, whatever stale saltine/Ritz/oyster crackers I had in the cabinet (pulsed them in the blender to crumble them up quickly), 5 eggs, two packs of seasoning, and enough milk to hold it all together (1/2 to 3/4 cup? I don't know, I just poured some in the bowl). I mixed it up following the directions above. It made 19 mini-meatloaves (each was a full handful of meat), which filled up my broiler pan completely. I had to cram them on there, touching. It only took them about 75 minutes for them to all be cooked completely. I checked with my meat thermometer, and every one was 190°F or more inside. This fed 7 adults (some of which ate two or more loaves), gave me a plate (with 2 1/2 loaves) for lunch at work Tuesday, and left 5 in the fridge for the guys to eat Tuesday.

4. Alternatively, you could double or triple the amount you need when you make this. Cook what you need and freeze the rest. Dinner in a flash later, with only a minute or two of extra work now!

5. To cook after freezing, just place on the pan you want to cook them in (still frozen) and put them in the oven. It'll take longer to cook, but there's no defrosting needed. In fact, defrosting is really a waste, because then you'll probably have to reshape each one before baking.

6. If you want to make traditional meatloaf (one big loaf) this recipe works, too. I find it takes less time to bake if I make mini loaves for each of us, so that's what I do. By all means, use a loaf pan and make one big one if that's what you want. Or better yet (in my opinion), shape it into a loaf and place it on a broiler pan that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. All the grease still drains off, and it's still one big loaf.

7. When using a broiler pan, spray both sides of the rack with non-stick spray. Also spray the inside of the bottom pan. Trust me, easier cleanup later. The slots in the top pan will collect tiny pieces of meat and gristle and such as they cook out of the loaves, and then you'll have to scrub to get them off. Trust me. Spray the whole pan. You'll be glad you did.

8. Be careful when taking the broiler pan out of the oven when your meatloaf is done. Hold that pan even and level, and don't slosh it around. If you don't watch it, you'll pour hot meatloaf grease all over yourself. Not fun. I poured it all over the toe of my leater and suede work shoes the other day. I didn't burn myself, but I could have. Thank goodness I wear my shoes inside the house.

Anyone have anything else to add? If you do, leave a comment!

From Lulu's Kitchen: Tater Tot Casserole

Tater Tot Casserole

This is a family favorite! Basically, all it is, is chili-cheese tater tots! Who doesn't love that?!?! Whenever I'm asked by my guys "What's for dinner?" and I answer "Tater Tot Casserole", there's nearly a stampede right then and there. This also freezes well. Details on that under the helpful tips section of this post.

Tater Tot Casserole

1 pound ground beef
1 (2 pound) bag tater tots
2 (10 oz.) cans hot dog chili sauce
2 cups shredded cheese (any)

1. Pour tater tots into a 9x13 rectangular Pyrex dish or other such baking dish. Cook per package directions until tater tots are crispy and cooked completely.

2. While tots are baking, cook meat. Set aside. (I like to boil my meat in a big pot of water and then drain the water out. Less fat, cooks quicker, doesn't burn and get all crunchy like browning meat on the stovetop in a frying pan can. See the tutorial on Southern Plate that Christy Jordan wrote for more information on this.)

3. Mix chili sauce into the cooked, drained meat. Heat through.

4. Pour chili sauce over crispy tater tots. Top with shredded cheese. Bake at whatever temperature your oven is already set on for about 5 minutes, until the cheese is melted.

Some helpful tips for cooking this dish:

1. If freezing, assemble without cooking the tater tots or heating the chili sauce. Let the ground beef cool before assembling, but go ahead and mix the meat in the chili sauce before pouring over the tots. If you do heat the chili sauce, let it cool before you pour it over the tots. Trust me, if you cook the tots before assembly, or pour hot chili over the tots before freezing, you will have yucky, soggy tots. Not cool! After assembly, wrap well and label. Don't forget to label with cooking directions, too! This way, if you need your husband or teenager to start dinner, you can thaw this in the fridge the night before, then call when you need it popped in the oven and just tell them to follow the instructions on the label you made!

2. If you freeze this, it can be cooked two ways. The first is to thaw in the fridge overnight, then bake at 350°F about 20 minutes, or until heated through and the cheese is melted. The other is to unwrap and throw it in the oven frozen. Then you would bake it at 350°F until heated through. I would guess 30-45 minutes, but I've never done it this way, so I'm not sure.

3. If you're worried about your cheese burning due to the increased cooking time after freezing and thawing, but don't want to cover it with foil while baking (so the cheese won't stick to foil, of course), then try this. Assemble the casserole, everything but the shredded cheese. When you bake this, bake for all but about 5 or 10 minutes of the time called for. Take it out, add the cheese, then bake another 5-10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.

4. Short on time? No need to cook the tots if you need to throw this together really fast. It will just make for soggier tots if you don't cook them until they're crispy first. Plus, it takes about as long to cook the ground beef as it does the tots, unless you have ground beef already cooked in your freezer, like I do.

Have any more suggestions? Share them in the comments.

Evidently I'm not quite the domestic goddess I fancied myself..........

As a 1930s wife, I am
Very Poor (Failure)

Playing catch-up

Where to begin???

Colt's first birthday has passed us by. It was amazing! I've never been so happy, and yet want to curl into the fetal position and cry, all at the same time. We celebrated the **actual** day relatively low-key. I had been building his massive swingset all day (it took five total, his birthday being day two) so I just cooked us dinner. He did have a cake with a "#1" candle, however. I took a building break long enough to run to Walmart and pick up a small cake for him.

We had already planned a huge birthday bash for him, so just the cake at home was fine. We had the pleasure of over 40 guests at his party. That's what we get for having such a big family, I guess. There was lots of love and laughter to go around. Thanks to all who brought presents (even though no one knows my true identity)!

(Well, that's not entirely true. My mom and sis know. They're the only ones. And it better stay that way, too!)

I can't believe my baby isn't a baby anymore. That makes me so sad, and yet so excited at the same time. I'm nostalgic for the days when I could nurse him and he would let me snuggle him (mainly because he was too little to do anything about it) for hours on end. Now he doesn't want to snuggle except for when he first wakes up (if you're lucky to get him to snuggle then). Instead, he gives kisses now. All you have to do is ask him for some sugar. He'll come from across the living room to give me one of his sweet kisses. He's getting thisclose to walking, yet he's still hesitant to let go and take that first step But soon, he'll be running through the house.

And counting. It's so funny. Sawyer will tell him to do something, and then start the counting-to-three bit. As soon as Daddy tells him "One..." he smiles and replies, "Tee" (three). He can't say one or two yet, but he knows three is in there somewhere. Either that or he's a smart aleck like his momma daddy, and he's finishing the count before daddy does.

He has 13 teeth now. With number 14 close. He has all of his incisors (central and lateral), all of his 1-year molars, and one canine tooth.

He can throw a ball. Or block. Or remote. Or shoe... Pretty much anything he can pick up, he throws. He caught me in the nose with his bottle Wednesday night. Bruised the bridge of my nose good for a couple of days. Tuesday night he busted my lip with the back of his head while sitting in my lap on the couch. Ah, the battle scars of parenthood!

He likes to swim. We have a pool from Wally World. A friend of ours down the road has an in-ground pool. He loves both. He hated the pool at first. I eventually (with the help of a baby pool and a really hot couple of days to warm the water) got him to love it. Now he'll swim as long as you will.

He loves his new swingset. He's only used his baby swing, but he usually falls asleep in it.

He got a three-wheeler (pedal operated, like a big plastic tricycle) from our friends for his birthday. He loves it. He can't pedal it yet, but he'll sit on it and scoot around using his feet to push himself.

He has added a few more words to his vocabulary. Now he can say Daddy, Brother, Bite-bite, Bye-bye, Horsie, Bottle, Titty (thanks to his Daddy), Three, and Thank you! All that along with his jibber-jabber that only he understands. He can also sign "I love you".

He loves for me to sing to him. Any song. Doesn't matter. As long as I'm singing.

He's slowly weaning off baby food of any kind. (He still occasionally gets fruit mixed with baby cereal for breakfast. I figure it can't hurt him. He usually gets the Third Foods level of lasagna, chicken and vegetables, or the like for lunch. Or the Toddler cups of soup Gerber makes. Dinner is whatever we have. I make sure to cook things helikes and can eat.)

He likes pizza, but I don't think it liked him. We had it for dinner the other night. We thought he'd never go to sleep that night. Then he wouldn't stay asleep for long at a time. I think maybe it gave him heartburn. So pizza is out for a while for him.

I just want to slow it all down, take it all in, memorize every smile and word and game of catch. I don't want to forget a single thing about this time in our lives. I want him to be this little for a little longer. Now, if only I knew how to make it happen.

A cool scrapbooking giveaway I wanna win!

Andrea over at Mommy Snacks has a cool scrapbooking giveaway on her blog. It's a chance to win one of two free online scrapbooking classes from Jessica of The Mom Creative. Check out Andrea's post on Mommy Snacks here.

Comment Moderation has been activated

I hate to do it, but I don't really blog anymore, and it's really annoying to visit my blogs to delete spam comments. All comments are now moderated. Hopefully in the future I can change it back to unmoderated. Probably when I start blogging again. One day, right???  :)

Lactation legislation included in the Healthcare Reform Bill

Before I begin my post, let me preface it with this disclaimer:

I care not if you breastfeed or chose formula for your child. Your child, your boobs, your decision. I made mine, and you are entitled to yours.

I care not your political beliefs, and I don't want to hear them. This is not a blog about politics. I am entitled to my own political beliefs (and also to keep them private if I so wish). You are entitled the same consideration. So is everyone else reading this.

I do not care if you like our Presidents, Congressmen, or Senators. I don't like some of them either. They were elected. Now deal with it until the next election. If you don't like a bill they are considering, write them. If you are against one political party and in favor of another, volunteer during the next campaign season.

I am posting this simply to enlighten lactating mothers of their rights, as included in the recently passed "Healthcare Reform Bill". I don't care if you supported passage of this bill or not. I don't care if you are a Tea-partyer or not. I don't care about your political, ethical, or moral beliefs in the least. We are all entitled to our own. I DO, however, care about MY rights, and as an extension, YOUR rights.

Any inappropriate comments left here, or elsewhere on my blog, will be removed. If you've linked to this post, please feel free to leave me a note saying so. Any comment along the lines of "Stupid Senate, Stupid Congress, Stupid Healthcare Reform," etc. will be deleted. So will comments arguing breast vs. bottle, Republican vs. Democrat, etc.

I just found out about this tiny little feature of the recently passed, much-debated Healthcare Reform Bill recently passed. I don't care whether you were for or against this piece of legislation. I couldn't care less if you like it or not. I just wanna get these fact out there so that those who need them have them. If this interests you or someone you know, please link to this. I didn't know about it. I'm sure there are other women out there who are lactating, working mothers who really could use this information.

The below passage comes from HR 3590 (AKA the Healthcare Reform Bill passed by the U.S. Senate on December 24, 2009 and the U.S. House of Representatives on March 21, 2010. President Obama signed this act into law on March 23, 2010. This is now Federal Public Law 111-148.) Section 4207. I have copied and pasted it from here.

SEC. 4207. REASONABLE BREAK TIME FOR NURSING MOTHERS. Section 7 of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938

(29 U.S.C. 207) is amended by adding at the end the following: ‘‘(r)(1) An employer shall provide— ‘‘(A) a reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for 1 year after the child’s birth each time such employee has need to express the milk; and ‘‘(B) a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk. ‘‘(2) An employer shall not be required to compensate an employee receiving reasonable break time under paragraph (1) for any work time spent for such purpose. ‘‘(3) An employer that employs less than 50 employees shall not be subject to the requirements of this subsection, if such requirements would impose an undue hardship by causing the employer significant difficulty or expense when considered in relation to the size, financial resources, nature, or structure of the employer’s business.
‘‘(4) Nothing in this subsection shall preempt a State law that provides greater protections to employees than the protections provided for under this subsection.’’.

This is great news for lactating women. You are now guaranteed under Federal law (as long as your employer has at least 50 employees) unpaid breaks and a private room for expressing breastmilk. You no longer have to pump in a dirty bathroom. Your lactation room must now be free from view AND intrusion from coworkers and the public. This means you are entitled to a door that locks, to maintain your privacy and dignity while expressing breastmilk.

This is a step up in recognizing the importance of breastfeeding our children. This is a step up in recognizing a mother's right to breastfeed even after returning to work. This is Federal Law recognizing our children's right to be comforted by breastmilk even after the first two or six or eight weeks of life. This is Federal Law recognizing that I chose to breastfeed my son until he is ready to wean, and I have the right to expect to not lose my milk supply after I return to work.

Please pass this news on. Feel free to pass on the link to this blog. Let's get the word out that a new Federal law is giving this to those mothers who choose to breastfeed their children.

Also, please know that I am posting this exact same entry on my other blog, also.
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