My boobs were my tools of the trade for almost 20 months.

Once my youngest daughter weaned herself from the Magical Boob Juice, the fun really began!

(And by fun we all know I mean chaos!)

Pull up a chair, sit a while, read a few pages.

Keep and open mind and a joyful heart and you too can get pumped into the world of The Milk Maid.


Hot-Hot-Hot Friday Mish-Mash

As we age, strange things happen to our bodies. As we have children, the oddities grow by leaps and bounds. Strange hairs suddenly appear on areas that were formerly bare, acne improves or worsens- depending on your skin type, and the occasional hot flash may begin to creep up on you like a four year old with a garden hose leaving you soaked from your head to the creases behind your knees.
I've been privy to all of the above (and more, trust me- so much more), but the worst part of it all has to be the hot flashes. Take one part post-pregnancy hormones, add in a heaping cup of breastfeeding for 19 months (oh sure you stop bf-ing thinking you'll be free of all that jazz but NOooOooo), shake that around with an 86 degree day with 99% humidity and what do ya get?

A little something like this:

"Turn off the A/C!! It's a little cold in here woman!"

--The Milk Maid says what's YOUR caption for Ava?

maybe she can warm up on this exercise equipment! we can hook Ava up to a tread mill and power the whole house... like a hampster in a wheel, round and round she'll go. neighbors will come from miles around to see her, bring her an energy bar, and beg to lease her out for themselves. "PLEEEZE they will beg- let me borrow that kiddo for my house. i need four jobs just to pay the electric bill. pooey and poo poo poo!"


Still Here

Hi Gang!

Don't put my face on a milk carton just yet- I'm still out here... Thanks to everyone who's checked in on me! It means more than you can imagine!!

We went on a quickie vacation last week to Daytona Beach and St. Augustine- I promise to post pics soon! Everyone had a ball- Faith is as brown as a ginger cake, Ava loved the ocean and the pool, Jef and I ate like pigs.

Tammy- I owe you a post where you tagged me- I haven't forgotten!

I've been pretty busy with school... A&P is taking up most of my spare time- always more workbook to complete and two tests a week to study for and take. Intro to venipuncture continues to go well as the teacher is giving us more and more free reign to draw blood without her playing "mama" to us. We should be getting our clinical sites lined up soon. That part makes me nervous, but I'm sure I will enjoy it.

Emotionally I've been feeling a little raw and drained as of late. There just seems to be something in the air (for lack of a better phrase) zapping my reserves these days. Jef packed the meds and stuff for vacation and forgot my Happy Pills and the pharmacy gave us crap over getting a couple pills to get me thru vacation. I was fine until we were leaving Daytona and then I got really weepy. I wondered if it would be the last time I ever got to see my favorite place (other than home), I wondered that even if I got to see it all again would it be through jaded eyes, and I worried about a lot of things that I have no control over that I normally would not be worrying about had I been taking my When I got back home I immediately started back onto my dose which gave me headaches, messed up my sleeping habits, and has kept me nauseated. It feels like I'm doomed to be damned either way some days.

Well enough grumbling- someone might be inspired to tell me to get over it if I keep that up.

--The Milk Maid says who better for a milk carton than the milk maid?!


The Amazing Velcro Toddler

Jef has learned, in a rather tongue and cheek style, that Ava is a needy little thang.

Jef has come to understand why I would shove Ava at him at the end of a long day and run and hide by myself for a good 15 minutes before reemerging into the "real" world of Doradoradora and bitebite and UUUrrrghhHHppphhagHHhh!

Jef understands how hard it is to go potty by himself. He's learned how to "cut it off" in the middle of doin the ol bidnez at Ava's command, just to end up being shown a toy or have an endless stream of jabber tossed in his direction.

The realization of not being able to get anything done, which admittedly Jef already knew about, was ingrained deeper into his soul as he tried to doo laundry and clean the kitchen and all the other "simple" chores that need to be done.

Jef has learned how hard it is to be a mom. How hard it is to hold it all together and keep everything running and juggle the responsibility.

And by golly, he's loving every single minute!

--The Milk Maid says her job security is looking shaky and she might start shilling for this acne treatment stuff at any moment.


Slacker Mom Diaries, Part One

This week has kind of gone by like a dream.

I awake an hour past my regular time to scrambled eggs, bacon, and a fresh cup of coffee on Monday. This is after Jef had chauffeured Faith to school and Ava tagging along for the ride after a homemade breakfast (made by my devilishly sweet hubby who is bound and determined to win the Mom Of The Year Award).

I was off from my morning classes Tuesday and Wednesday morning, I hit the chiropractor a few days- Monday and Thursday?-, I had a massage AND went out with a friend from school one night (I drank a lot and can't remember diddly other than riding in her convertible singing something about apple bottom jeans and the boots with the fur, the fur).

Jef will be home again this coming week, Faith is out of school on Friday (where the heck has the year gone?!), and life is swinging by at a fast clip- All is well.

I forgot to Friday Mish-Mash for the first time since Thanksgiving, but I don't think anyone missed me too much (*wink*).

Ava went to a bouncie-jumpie-blow up thingie party today. The little birthday girl, Bianca, is the daughter of one of my dad's pals. She was literally half the size of Ava, as were most of the other children. The only child that came close to Ava's size was a 3 year old. Ava was fearless, as usual. Ava climbed the 20 foot (almost vertical) slide all by herself and went like a wild banshee. Everyone was amazed that she wasn't quite 20 months old and was climbing and running and talking like such a big girl. I had so many parents come and chat with me- they've never seen a kid quite like Avie Gravie. I told them they broke the mold on that one- the world can only take so much. She's my little Fearless Freep!

Tune in (sometime) for more Slacker Mom Diaries...

--The Milk Maid says cheers and beers, no fears!
lax a dab on this outdoor furniture


4 Things

Thanks to Kat at Baby Bound for Tagging me up:

4 things I did 10 years ago: (1998)
1. I had Faith in February of '98.
2. I had my gall bladder removed in June of '98 (4 months to the day after I had Faith).
3. I contemplated daily why in the hell I ever married the Cowboy. I pondered that a few more years before finding the answer to be "I'm a complete idiot!"
4. I began my on and off stint as a SAHM.

4 things I did 5 years ago: (2003)
1. I turned 24.
2. I'd been married to Jef for a little over a year.
3. We decided we wanted a baby and started the hoop-jumping for that. Little flying poodles were we!
4. I was working as a loan originatior at a shit-hole mortgage company until I quit one morning and got hired to work as a temp for a cable company the very next day! That was totally not planned, but it was a cool job.

4 things I did yesterday:
1. Went to A&P class and resisted the urge to hurl myself out the window
2. Went to venipuncture class, took a test (made an 84 and I am happy with that!) and drew blood again. I LOVE doing draws! I'm so freakin' happy. My only regret is not doing this sooner. We are starting to look at sights for clinicals and get info for our National Certification exam.
3. Yakked it up with my pal B on the phone
4. Enjoyed a nice dinner my Big J cooked!

4 shows I love to watch:
1. Scrubs
2. Mike Rowe's Dirty Jobs
3. Deadliest Catch (aka The Crab Show)- LOVE that show!
4. Any kind of forensic type show like North Mission Road or Forensic Files or Dr. G Medical Examiner (did I ever mention my morbid fascination with autopsies?)
5. (Bonus shot!) MOONLIGHT - the show with the vampire P.I.!!

--The Milk Maid tags Tracey at Baby Steps, The Mother Hen, Aunt Becky at Mommy Wants Vodka and Dory and anyone else looking for birthday invitations!


Mother's Day Special

Dory asked the following questions (for us all to answer if anyone else would like to jump on the wagon) about Mothers and Mother's Day.

This is probably the most difficult post I've written. My mother and I have always had a rocky relationship at best. Despite all of our hard times together, I'm going to make an honest attempt at paying tribute to my mom.

What is unique... special... important... about your relationship with your mother?
*I find it unique that after 29 years of being her daughter, my mother still does not get my warped sense of humor. Let's face it, I reek of sarcasm 99% of the time. I can quip out a response to her and like clockwork the look I get it reminiscent of a puzzled pup. Even when I tell her that I am joking or being sarcastic it still doesn't sink all the way in. It's amazing that someone so strait laced was blessed with a daughter like me (the smart ass).

When I was a little girl, I really wish my mother had....
Not tried to buy my love with material possessions. It's a common theme among my parents to lavish those they love with gifts, and as much as I loved getting a stuffed animal or a book at the mall when I was a kid, I'd have taken a picnic under a tree or an afternoon of giggling any day of the week.

When I was a little girl, my mother never...
Let me have a hamster. Or keep snakes in my room. Or let me have a sword. She never believed I saw ghosts in my room or that a lion slept in my closet. Did I mention she never let me have a hamster?

When I was a little girl, my mother always...
Had a nervous breakdown when I got near anything dirty. I would be scrubbed thoroughly twice a day or more. I would patiently reply, as her head spun around and around, that "it would wash". She never believed me. She still doesn't.

The one thing I need to say to my mother is...
Even though we'd had our differences, I still love my mom. My parents had a daughter who died two weeks after bring born, then waited for 5 more years before I was available for adoption. I have seen the pain of others who want a child so badly, and I know that I was a wanted child- even if my birth mother couldn't keep me. My mom always resented me a little- I was the apple of my father's eye, I wasn't the perfect blond haired prissy girl she'd always wanted, and ultimately I wasn't "hers". I was a tom boy, I was (and still am) independent and set in my ways. When it all comes down to it though, there is nothing I wouldn't do for my mom.

At my grandmother's funeral (which was 4 days after my grandfather's funeral- when it rains it pours huh?) my cousins J&J were picking on my mom. They'd gotten to arguing over who would take what plant. The smaller J of J&J started to get mouthy with my mom. In the chapel of a church. My mom was almost in tears when I walked over... I told J (who is all of 5'1) to back off. She smarted back, "What are YOU going to do about it?".

I am 5'8 in my bare feet. I was wearing 3 inch heels that day. That was way back in my softball playing days, aka The Brick Shit House Years.

I hovered over J, bent down to meet her eye to eye, and growled:

"I'm half your age and twice your size. You leave my mother alone or I'll kick your ass!"

It all boils down to me being the only one who can pick on my mom ya know...

--The Milk Maid says I'm way more than twice J's size now. And I can still kick her ass!



Dis, Dat, And De Other

Just to clarify from yesterday's Haiku post, Jef won't be home permanently. Well unless we win the lotto, discover a legit work from home scheme, or inherit loads of cash from a random relative.

The back story to Jef quitting his job is this: They were going to replace him. The person (or people) who were to be replacing Jef had put in their notice at The Other Dealership (TOD) last week. The existing parts manager at TOD approved a much higher pay plan for the person(s) and they agreed to stay at TOD. Jef heard all this news last Monday, and knew his time was short. The Big Boss said Ix Nay to the pay plan, so the move for the person(s) was back on.

To interject briefly, the parts manager job at a car dealership is like musical chairs. You play the game til the music stops, grab a sturdy seat where you can find one, or fall on your ass. With the knowledge that Jef had of what was to come, we made the decisions we felt were most beneficial for us and kept on chuggin'.

Friday, Jef went into work knowing that he wouldn't make it through the entire day. He had to work until the 9th or forgo his commission check (which they shorted him on nonetheless). Upon receiving his check he shook the hands of the parts guys who worked under him, said it'd been a pleasure, and hit the road to home. There was no manager on duty for him to report to, so it was one of those nanny-nanny-fuck-you moments where he got the last laugh. Teeheehee!

As far as what's next... well, we just don't know. There are a few cars he can work on doing paint and body work, there are some errands we can run for dad and his business, and we have some plans, but nothing is definite as to where we are headed. Honestly, it feels spectacular to not have a road map and a plan. We have savings that will guide us through for a long while as we decide where our family needs to be. Jef has 3 prospect jobs lined up at other dealerships in the area, but we aren't committing to anything right now.

This is the 3rd time in 6 years we have been in this situation, however this is the first time we knew it was coming and were well prepared. It's all a part of the biz, and hopefully this will be the last time we have to deal with this as Jef is looking to get the hell out of Dodge (er- Nissan).

So, everyone grab your Pith Helmets and a sharp machete- let's whack the weeds out of our way as we explore this uncharted territory...

--The Milk Maid says we ain't ruled out the lotto thing yet!


Haiku Friday Mish-Mash

A new day brings change

To our warm humble abode

Jef left his job today.

Tired of being used

Tired of the lies and the stress

Yes- Liberation!

Been coming for weeks-

This shift and a change of pace.

Makes me smile it's here.

Time off will be used

For cleaning, travel, and fun-

A stay at home dad.

Life is a journey

Enjoy the good to survive-

We are family!

Create your own Haiku Friday at Play Groups Are No Place for Children-- Be sure to sign Mr. Linky!

--The Milk Maid says line dry only.


Blog, What Blog?

Yeah, so sue me- I've been sparse. Let's pick up about 12 hours after I wrote my Lactation Cessation Post on Friday shall we?

Because my children have the ultimate goal in life to make me out to be a liar, Ava started on a nursing-freakin-frenzy Friday night. I was delighted until Saturday when she wouldn't get off my boob! My gawd child, it's been nearly a week- what is the deal? Did you suddenly remember you liked ninny-nectar? Were you feeling a little needy? What was that whole "nurse until I bring up a blood blister on your boober" thing about? Seriously kid, are you in or are you out?

Sunday we went to a local "German Themed Town" a little north of here. We ate wiener schnitzel and kraut and drank beer and then we went for fudge, chocolate, rock candy, a funnel cake, chocolate dipped strawberries, more fudge, divinity candy, and pecan logs. Then we went into a sugary coma and died. Right there next to the horse drawn carriage. Kablooey.

Yesterday I stuck my first REAL LIVE ARM attached to a REAL LIVE PERSON in phleb class! I poked my ditzy pal Kate on her right arm, hit the vein perfectly and then the dumbass moved.her.arm. And the needle pulled out. And she bled on the chair. Then I stuck her other arm, the teacher made her not move, and I did perfect. Cause I'm like that, ya know. In spurts at least.

Today Kate and our other pal Cindy went to Cindy's house and swam and sunbathed. Then they decided I should pierce their belly buttons. And I did, because I'm very accommodating and I happen to keep a rather large stash of pre-sterilized piercing needles on hand at all times (because god only knows what needs a hole poked in it, am I right or am I right?).

Anyways... Here I sit sunburned, relaxing from the day with my Big J who is home early thanks to a dentist appointment.

Tune in tomorrow for more shenanigans!

--The Milk Maid says poke me, poke me!


Lactation Cessation Mish-Mash

It's official... Ava has weaned herself. I have a lot of mixed emotions about this, and I'm not even sure where to begin putting my feelings into words. I miss her snuggle time with me. I miss her enjoyment. I miss the comfort only I could provide.

We made it to 19 months.
That's one year, seven months, a week, and a couple of days.
Approximately 600 days.
There were so many times I wanted to give up in the early days. There has been so much knowledge gained. There's just so much to write, but again the words just don't seem to want to flow forth onto the page.
--The Milk Maid says can I still be the Milk Maid?


While At The Diner I Ordered A Large Perpendicular Plate Of Ethmoid

My A&P assignment this week is to cover all of "The Skeleton: Bones and Joints" chapter along with "The Muscular System". So, in one fantabulous week, I get to learn all the bones and all the muscles. I'm actually looking forward to the challenge of this! I enjoy my A&P class even though it is a pain to do all the book work (these two chapters alone make up 1/3 of the workbook). A lot of the exercises we have to do are repetitious and not conducive to my learning style, but whatever the teacher wants is what I do.

Ava's 18 month check up was today (we were a little late, as she is 19 months old). She was 35" tall, 28.8 lbs, and the doc said she looked absolutely perfect! As I was filling out a question and answer form in the exam room Ava learned how to open the door and run down the hall and through the building, squealing with delight the whole way, clad only in a diaper which she decided about half way down the hall to remove and sling back towards me. I wish I'd had a video camera!!! The whole place was rolling with laughter at my nekkid giggling escape artist.

Well gang, I'm back to the books for a while. If I'm lucky I can finish up another few pages of muscle study work and grab a bath before Ava wakes up and we are off and running again!

--The Milk Maid says where oh where oh where is Thumbkin?

Remember your mother this Mother's Day with a nice little gift basket!