Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I'm Not Staring, I'm Just Surprised

After a little encouragement (including liquid encouragement) I decided to write this blog post.  I am expecting to get negative backlash from it and I'm ok with that.  But I really just want to put my perspective/point of view out there about a topic I have seen a bit in the news lately.  One article relating to a sports figure and another to a store I'm sure we all shop at.

Breastfeeding in Public.

Let me give my point of view and please read the whole thing before going off on me. This is just my perspective and how I feel.  I'm not trying to stand on a soapbox and tell people what to do or what their rights are.  I just want to share my opinion after seeing several articles in the past couple of days.

Let me start by saying that I'm not a mom yet, but hope to be one day and I plan on breastfeeding, willing that everything goes well.  Some people can't (I have several friends who can't/couldn't and not due to their lack of wanting or trying to) and I understand that.  I was formula fed and I believe I did turn out ok.  I would like to breastfeed because I know that is the best thing for the child, they get the best nutrition, it's a wonderful bonding experience, and does lots of other beneficial things for both mom and baby.

And babies will be hungry when they are hungry.  And they usually need to be fed right away.  I know this because I am the last of my friends to be pregnant or have a baby.  When you're the last of your kind, you learn a lot about these things, whether you want to or not.  Babies have to be fed and they need the best nutrition, this is not the question at stake.

Breastfeeding in public is a hot topic.  That's why I was nervous about posting my perspective.  It is a law in many states that women have the right to breastfeed in public and it is exempt from indecent exposure.  I agree with this.  I've seen many women who breastfeed in public.  As someone who does not breastfeed yet, or have children, I have to be honest, it can be a bit surprising.  And can be a bit jarring if it's done in a very indiscreet way.  Let me give you an example.

I was at a museum a couple of years ago.  It was a cultural museum rather than art with many exhibits so you had to walk around things.  Not that that matters exactly.  Well, as I was turning the corner to look at a different part of an exhibit, there was a bench, and a lady was breastfeeding on it.  She had a button up blouse and had every button undone, with her front clipping bra undone, shirt pulled around, and her entire breast in plain view.  Not discreet at all.  In the middle of the museum, entirely exposed, in front of an exhibit.  It shocked me and took me a second to compose myself, mostly because I was just not expecting to turn the corner & see so much. 

Maybe it was the best way for her to do it, but for me, as someone who has never done it myself, it just makes me uncomfortable.  Not because I disapprove of it, that's 100% not true, but it's just not something I am familiar with.  I feel as though I've walked in on something very personal that I should not be privy to.  Also, the way she had the child positioned I could see most of her areola.  And yes, seeing that much of a complete stranger, 2 feet from me, made me uncomfortable.

I've also been out to dinner with friends who had a 6 week old (they were PCSing from Hawaii and we picked them up at the airport).  While at dinner, their baby needed to eat.  Mom pulled out a small blanket, positioned it over one shoulder started feeding, while we were eating, and we all forgot that she was feeding.  It wasn't a big deal.  No one gave her odd looks, no one commented, no one said anything.  She was involved in our conversation, drank her water, laughed with us, made jokes, and talked about their trip. But she didn't make a big deal of feeding.  Baby ate, we ate.  All was good. 

Maybe it was because her & her husband are friends of my husband's (I met her for the first time that day) that made it didn't bother me.  Maybe it's because she didn't make it known to the whole restaurant what she was about to do.  Maybe it was because she did it in a manner that she knew what was going on, and taking care of her baby and was relaxed.  But it didn't phase me one bit.  We had a lovely dinner with them, technically, all three of them.

I plan on breastfeeding, like I said, and I may change my mind once the baby is here (BTW I'm not preggers yet) but that's something I don't plan on sharing with a lot of people when they are visiting my home.  I don't feel like I would be comfortable doing it in front my of my mother-in-law, or even my own mother.  I would happily go up to the nursery to do it so baby & I are both comfortable.  Even if friends who have breastfed who have no problem with seeing me do it, it just wouldn't make me comfortable.  Maybe with one of the "private diners" but not with my robe open for the whole world to see.  But that's me.  That's me personally.  I don't expect everyone else to be like that.  I know plenty of women who BF in front of their whole family.  And that's fine.  But that's them, not me.

As someone who isn't accustomed, yes, it is a bit surprising, and can be uncomfortable to see in public.  In the Kasey Kahne situation, his comments were a bit harsh, but some of the responses he got, were even more harsh. Calling him a redneck, bottle-fed, inbreed is going to the same level.  I don't believe he is anti-breastfeeding, but seeing a woman walk down the center of an aisle while grocery shopping with her shirt open, yes, it's probably not what you expect to see when you're going to pick up a brownie mix.   In the Target situation, she was entitled to feed in the clothing section.  I don't believe the employees handled it correctly, but if it's their policy to ask a nursing mother if they'd like to use a fitting room, I don't necessarily think they're  being "anti-breastfeeding".  They weren't asking her to sit in a dirty restroom. Now THAT is completely inappropriate and unsanitary.

Just as some nursing mothers would expect people to respect them to not stare, gawk, roll their eyes, or make comments, I think that on the other hand, they should respect that it may make some others uncomfortable and it may garner a few stares, and not because they're anti-breastfeeding, but because it's something that not everyone is used to seeing.  There are plenty of ways to be discreet.  I've known people who purposefully draw attention to themselves while they're feeding, which I don't understand.  That's like taking a 4 year old out, standing up in the restaurant, and saying "HEY, GUESS WHAT!? I'M NOW USING A SPOON TO FEED MY KID HIS SOUP." I'm not saying throw a receiving blanket over the kids head, because I know a lot of people are very opposed to that, but whipping a whole boob out and having the entire thing exposed will draw some attention.  Even from other breastfeeding mothers.

I respect women who choose to breastfeed exclusively, it's time consuming and tiring.  I also respect women who breastfeed in public, discreetly.  You don't make a big deal about it, most people won't even notice.  Maybe I'm a prude, but I'd probably go to my car to do it (again, could change my mind when I have children).  I don't think people are opposed to seeing it if they stare for a moment, it's just not what they're used to seeing when they're picking up clementines. It's natural to hold a look a little longer at something uncommon. And guys are staring, well, they're probably just staring at boob anyway.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Winner Winner Kikkoman Dinner

The winner of the $25 commissary gift cards is.....

Chantel

Congratulations!  I'll be contacting you shortly to get your information to ship it.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Going to the Gym, for Everyone?

If you've been following along, particularly on Twitter, you'll know I've been working out lately.  A lot.  And believe it or not, I'm not going to lose weight.

That sounds like a humble brag (NCIS: LA reference anyone?) but it's not.  I actually take after my dad.  He weighed less than 100 lbs when he graduated high school.  Let's just say I weighed more than he did when I graduated. And when I get stressed, I lose weight.  I lost 10 lbs before my wedding and have finally put 12 back on since then.  I'm actually trying to put on muscle.  And I want an ass like one of the Victoria Secret's Angels (no joke).  Also, from what I understand, if you are in good shape when you get pregnant, it helps you bounce back afterwards (um, BTW the whole baby thing is still several years away).  I really hate when say things to me like "But you're so thin, you don't even need to work out."

I'm not working out to lose weight, I'm working out for my health.  Especially for women, it's good for you as you age, it's good for you bones, your joints, and your all around health like cholesterol and heart disease.  Plus, recently, I've been feeling better.  I'm sleeping better, my appetite is really healthy, my tummy is feeling good, and my mood has improved (endorphins anyone?).

Although, losing weight is a  benefit, too.  Exercise is a natural appetite suppressant.  Don't believe me?  Google it.  However, you should have a mix of carbs & protein within 30 minutes of working out.  It helps your muscles and body recover so you aren't as sore.  I usually have a protein shake from Bolthouse Farms, which are super yummy, as soon as I get home. I haven't been nearly as sore after my really hard workouts.  I also don't feel nearly as hungry.  I feel like I could entirely skip dinner, but I don't, I need those calories.

So next time you want to skip the gym and just eat less, hit the treadmill for 20 minutes.  It will make you less hungry and you'll deserve that extra cookie!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

A Kikkoman Review & Commissary Gift Card Giveaway

When I get an e-mail from a company asking for a review, I don't always respond.  Especially if I've seen the same thing on 7 other blogs.  And no offense to some online companies, but I really don't want to do a review on a product I've never seen or used, just to get something free.

However, the lovely people at Kikkoman contacted me about getting some samples and testing out their products.  I love Asian food, so I thought, why not?  I'll get a few packets of soy sauce, maybe a teriyaki sauce, this'll be cool.  I was not expecting what came in the mail.

From Left to Right: Panko Bread Crums, Kara-Aga Coatin, Original Pearl Soy Milk, Chocolate Soy Milk, Teriyaki Sauce, Original Kikkoman Soy Sauce.  Plus the world's cutest duck and a Kikkoman spoon rest.
Yeah, that's a lot!!!! In case you can't tell, it a large bottle of their traditional soy sauce (the only kind I've ever used), Teriyaki Sauce, Chocolate Soy Milk, Regular Soy Milk, Kara-Age Coating, Panko Bread crumbs, plus a sweet little spoon rest and about the cutest rubber duck ever! I was even more excited when I realized they sent me this great little booklet of recipes to help me use all of these products.  I really wanted to try the turkey brine they suggested for Thanksgiving, but since I was hosting my parents & my in laws, I decided to go the traditional route  However, I did try several of their recipes.  Here's what I tried.

Old Fashioned Mac n' Cheese

I have to be honest, I was really skeptical about using soy milk in my mac n' cheese.  My dad used to drink the stuff when I was a kid and couldn't stand the stuff, but that's what the recipe called for and that's what they sent me.  I also used the Panko bread crumbs on the top.  I have to say, I was REALLY surprised at how good it was! It was creamy, and rich.  The recipe says it makes 4 servings, but in my opinion, it's WAY more than that.  Also, it is really rich.  Personally I would use it as a side dish rather than a main dish.  I also tweaked the recipe a tiny bit and added garlic powder because that's how I usually make my mac n' cheese.  But it was super easy and I'll definitely make it again!  I actually really preferred the Panko bread crumbs to the traditional ones I usually use.  The texture and flavor was great.

Ingredients
4 Cups Cooked Macaroni
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 1/2 cups Cheddar cheese, cubed (I used shredded)
1 1/2 cups Jack cheese, cubed (I used shredded)
1 cup Kikkoman Panko Bread Crumbs
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups Kikkoman Pearl Originial Organic Soymilk
Optional - 1/2 tsp garlic powder


Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine macaroni, cheese, and seasonings.  Place in an 8 x31-inch baking dish.  Combine eggs and soymilk and pour over macaroni.  Sprinkle with Panko Bread crumbs (that have been combined with butter) evenly over the top.  Bake 40 minutes until browned on the crust.


Kara-age Chicken Sliders
Next I made the Kara-age chicken sliders.  OH. MY. GOSH.  Delicious.  And quick and easy!!!  The Kara-age has two 3 oz packets so you don't have to use the whole box at once.  I actually used half of one bag, it was just the right amount, but I also cut the recipe in half for just us.  When I opened the package, it was a very strong smell of ginger.  I was a little nervous that the chicken would taste really strong of ginger.  But it wasn't.  They were delicious.  They fried up nicely, had a great color, and the flavor was really good. These would be great for a family.  I'm sure kids would love them too!  It suggests Sriracha tarter sauce, I just used mayo and they were still delish!

6 chicken thighs, boneless/skinless (I actually used a chicken breast, and it worked just as well, although I did use a meat tenderizer to thin them out a little bit)
1 package Kikkoman Kara-Age Coating Mix
4 tablespoons cooking oil
12 dinner rolls, split
2 avocados, sliced
*Sriracha Tartar Sauce

Cut chicken thighs in half and rinse.  Place thighs in a plastic bag and pour in the Kara-Age coating mix.  Shake to cover.  Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and fry the chicken thighs until they are browned on both sides and done, about 5-7 minutes, drain.  Place chicken thighs on the dinner rolls, top with avocados and *Srirach tartar sauce: 1/2 cup tartar sauce, 1 tablespoon Kikkoman Sriracha sauce, blend well.

Yes, I totally had tater tots and red wine with these.


There were a couple of other recipes that I wanted to try like the Panko Crusted Mashed Potato Cakes and the Crunchy Topping Coffee Cake.  The best part, the lovely people at Kikkoman gave me a $25 gift card for the commissary to give away to one of my fabulous readers!!!! To make it a little more fun, and also so you all can see the fabulous recipes Kikkoman has, hop on over to http://www.kikkomanusa.com and check out the fabulous recipes over there.  You must follow my blog and also tell me what recipe sounds the most fabulous to you in the comments, and you're entered.  Simple as that!!!


I will pick a winner next Sunday afternoon, 12/11.  This time of year, we can all use a little extra cash, especially for groceries. So thank you to the folks at Kikkoman for providing me with their awesome products.  I can't wait to try more of the recipes and I hope you try them out too!

Friday, December 2, 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In #65

I haven't done this in a few weeks, but hop over to visit Wifey





1. If I could be on any reality TV show, I’d want to be on What Not to Wear.  I could REALLY use a new wardrobe.
2. This past Thanksgiving was interesting.  It was my first year hosting. 
3. I’m looking forward to December because I get to go home.  I haven't been at home for Christmas in 3 years and a bunch of my old friends will be in town also!
4. One thing I’d like to accomplish this month is  switching over my clothes, clearing out my closets, and hopefully donating a bunch of stuff for the holiday season.
5. To me, winter is a little too long.  However, it's a time for snuggling, warm feelings, our anniversary, and to me, is a bit about love.  Silly I know, but I'm a romantic at heart.