Wednesday, September 30, 2009

How to Make an Application Inventory

Hand-Made Mac Tip No. 12
How to Make an Application Inventory

I've been dragging my feet about upgrading to Snow Leopard. Reason being, I wanted to make sure all my apps will be compatible. I need this machine for work for when I do consulting, so if I upgrade, I want to make sure everything works so there are no surprises down the road when I go to demonstrate something for a client.

There is a pretty extensive list in the form of a wiki here that shows which applications will work with Snow Leopard and which are buggy yet. I wanted to check my own applications list against this for compatibility. Problem was, I didn't really have a good inventory list of all my apps, let alone license keys, so I set out to create one in a spreadsheet format that I could stash away somewhere for safekeeping in the event of another upgrade, or God-forbid, catastrophic loss which might result in a clean install of every piece of software I own.

Here is a handy way to get started by getting all the application names into a spreadsheet using iWork Numbers (or Excel).

I could have sworn at some point in time — and this may be reaching as far back as the days of Mac OS 9 — that you used to be able to just highlight all of the application names using the list view in the Finder sorted by Name, then copy and paste them into either a text document or spreadsheet and they would just magically appear in alphabetical order. When I try this now, however, I get mixed results. It just doesn't work that way anymore. You may get a list of apps, but the names are duplicated several times over and it's just messy.

I also remember the days, again in OS 9, when you could simply print out a Finder window's contents. This came in extremely handy when I was a production manager preflighting jobs for print services in ad agencies. I had a handy system in which I would neatly organize and gather all of the print-ready data onto a CD and then print the window contents out, fold the paper a certain way and it was an instant CD cover for the jewel case that told you exactly what was on the CD that went out to the client. That feature disappeared for some reason as well in the new OS X system. I always wondered why they brought labels back, but not the Print Finder Window feature.

Well, there is a third party solution to the rescue. It's called, appropriately, PrintWindow 4.0. It does just what it says it does and even snazzier than the old grayscale teeny icons of OS9.

So what does this have to do with making an inventory list in a spreadsheet format you ask?

Well, it turns out, that if you print this list to a PDF, you can then view the PDF, press command A to highlight and select all of the text, then command P to paste the text into a spreadsheet. This will give you an alphabetical listing of all of the applications in the Applications folder.

It's easy-peasy. Just launch PrintWindow – either from the Dock, or you can do like me and put the icon in your toolbar of your Finder so it's handy. Next, select File, then Print Folder Listing. Navigate to your Applications folder and select it. Then follow the rest of the settings, it's pretty self explanatory. Just be sure to sort by name.

In the screen shot above you can see my Applications Finder window with the status at the bottom indicating that I have 181 applications in that folder. Next, you can see that when I copied and pasted the names from the PDF into the spreadsheet, the total number also matches by looking at the last line in that spreadsheet. This tells me I got them all copied.

From here, I can now go about tweaking my spreadsheet and adding in important information like serial numbers and versions. Later on, I can then sort the columns however I'd like or add check marks to remind me which applications are ready and which are not for Snow Leopard. This will help me to better decide when to upgrade and which applications I'll need to upgrade along with it. I might even add a column for the vendor link so that I can just run down the list later and click on the links to go to the download page for the updated software.

OCD is so much fun when you have the right tool for the job!

I hope you've enjoyed this Hand-Made Mac Tip!


Posted via email from TheMacMommy

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Skin Deep: Cosmetic Safety Reviews

This looks like a very helpful site. I'm going to browse it looking for products for our new baby that will be safe. Has anyone used this site before? Your reactions?

Posted via web from TheMacMommy

World Habitat Day

About Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry that welcomes to its work all people dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since its founding in 1976, Habitat has built more than 300,000 houses worldwide, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 1.5 million people. For more information, visit www.habitat.org

Monday, September 28, 2009

Hapee Face

So I'm at the OBGYN for a checkup and I had to, um, you know -- make a "contribution." Lucian was with me in the ladies room and, well, I had to try and keep him entertained so after I wrote my name and DOB, he asked for the marker and, well, there you have it…

… this is the very first happy face he has ever drawn.

I guess your kid's artwork can show up just about anywhere.

If only I could have seen the look on face of the person collecting the sample. I can only **hope** they heard me giggling and talking to my child through the wall. I just can't bear the thought of them thinking it was me who drew it!

Hapee Thoughts

Posted via email from TheMacMommy

Are You a Freak on a Leash?

How do you feel about leashes on kids?

I personally think it's a good idea at times and I have used a leash with Lucian. I used to raise an eyebrow at people who used leashes — until I became the parent of a curious toddler.
The thing that bugs me is the way people stare or when family members have chastised me for using one, whether they have kids or not. I didn't use it all the time, just times when I was with him by myself or just feeling extra insecure in an unfamiliar place like a big city with lots of cars. I plan on using a leash with our next child when I feel necessary as well, but I'm not looking forward to the way I feel when people stare at me. I won't let it stop me though.

I'm curious. What is the big freakin deal, people? Why do you stare at parents who choose to use a leash with their kids? Isn't it better than just letting their kids run wild all over the place? People complain about that as well.
I just want to be a good mother and using a leash makes me and my child feel safe. Isn't that what's most important? Isn't it better to give your child a little bit of space rather than digging your fingernails into their flesh or yanking their arms out of their sockets from dragging them? I've seen that happen and I don't want to use that method if I can help it. Parking lots and crowded malls are very scary places! You'll pull your kid by his hair or his eyelashes if that's the nearest thing on them when a car darts out at you!

It takes some practice to use a leash. It can be tricky and downright dangerous sometimes, but once you get the hang of it, you feel much more secure. If you plan on using a leash, be sure to practice somewhere first like your back yard or some place where you and your child can roam before you use it in public.

Do me a favor, next time you see a parent using a leash with their child, please smile at them and just know they are trying to do what they feel is best for their safety and security.
Thanks!

Check out more DadLabs videos. They're the dudes who give Dads their due!

Posted via email from TheMacMommy

Mouse Paint (tag: Lucian)

Each month at Lucian's Preschool they focus on a book and do activities based on the story as part of their curriculum. This month the book is "Mouse Paint," by Ellen Stoll-Walsh.

http://www.amazon.com/Mouse-Paint-Ellen-Stoll-Walsh/dp/0152002650#

Lucian was very excited about this book and he was trying to describe it in detail when I picked him up at the bus stop.

This is how he looked when I picked him up this past Friday.

Later on that day, we played with some clear chap stick and he painted mouse whiskers on Mommy. Oh, and a pink nose too!
(I guess they were invisible whiskers, but he could certainly see them on me!)
I love his imagination.

Posted via email from TheMacMommy

Saturday, September 26, 2009

A Long List

Yes, it is a bit ridiculous that I could not fit the entire list in one screen shot.
Yes, I am a bit compulsive, but it's fun! :) Like I said, I like to tinker!!

Posted via email from TheMacMommy

Living With Gestational Diabetes

A day in the life.
Lucian likes to help Mommy put a test strip in the meter.

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Friday, September 25, 2009

Some Results & Findings

Greetings from my iPhone. I'm now composing this post using the built in Mail app where it's mostly comfortable typing in landscape mode.

Drawbacks:
- No typesetting or text formatting available
- I can only seem to post one photo at a time

I'm thinking there has got to be a way to place more than one photo in an email on the iPhone and I just have yet to figure it out.

So, for now, here is a screen shot of my last blog post as seen from my iPhone. Notice how you can see and interact with only the YouTube video that was posted using a link, not an embed code. Of course the Vimeo video doesn't show because it's flash. Not sure why, but evidently the iPhone can't handle embed code for YouTube either.

For my next trick, I'm going to save this message as a draft and then edit it back on my MacBook Pro. Gmail IMAP syncing will allow me to do that. Pretty cool, eh?

Back To My Mac

Ok, now I'm back on the laptop composing this message in Mail.app. I took another screen shot, this time of my Blogger Blog from the Safari browser. As you can see, all three videos appear as intended. This is the same over on my Posterous Blog as well.

Oh yeah, that's the other limitation (among many others I'll think of) with composing blog text on the iPhone. You can't do that fancy little hyperlink thing like you can in Mail.app on the Mac.

Typesetting Results

The spacing at least looks much better this time around as opposed to last time I tried posting to my Blogger blog from email via Posterous. This time I'm going to add a hard return after the header since it was too close together in the previous post.

I'm also not changing the font from the standard Lucida Sans 12 pt. that my email client is currently set to.

No dice on color changes although now I'm wondering if I somehow stir in some html code in the text as I'm composing it in Mail.app, I wonder if that would do the trick? Problem is I don't know much code off the top of my head. I know how to do a <s>strikethrough</s>, but that's about it. And, I'm not even sure if I did that correctly. I wonder if composing this message in Rich Text as opposed to Plain Text will have much to do with that theory.

One way to find out!

Pressing the   Button now!! (there is supposed to be a copied screen shot of the send button there in that space, let's see if it shows up!)

Weeeeeee!!!!

Posted via email from TheMacMommy

Playing Nicely With Posterous

I'm still messing around with Posterous, trying to figure out a comfortable workflow. As usual, I'm trying to beat a service into submission to get it to do what I want it to do — and then some.

I like to tinker with stuff. Explore it, try to use it in a new way perhaps. Sometimes I like to try something just for the sake of seeing if it can be done. I realize that just because it CAN be done, doesn't mean it SHOULD be done, I can't help myself. I just come from a long line of tinkerers!

In this blog post, I'm going to attempt to use different media and formatting methods as a test to see just how the results look on all the various blogging platforms I use. I'll also be modifying this post or adding subsequent follow up posts using different tools such as Mail.app on the Mac or different iPhone apps. I'll be documenting my steps along the way till find a suitable workflow. (and then someone will invent something new and I'll be back to square one!! ha ha!!)

iPhone App for Posting Photos
I just posted a couple of pictures using an iPhone app called PicPosterous. I ended up deleting older photos and albums from Posterous and Facebook because despite the fact that you can create multiple albums in PicPosterous, it will only let you post multiple photos to only one of those albums. So, for now, I'll just have one album for PicPosterous photos. I'll call this album "Posterous Snapshots" just to keep it simplified.

Findings:
I've now posted several different photos into the Posterous Snapshots photo album. So far, only the first of 3 has shown up in both Picasa Web Albums and Facebook. All 3 show up on the Posterous site in that album. Also, Facebook and Picasa Web Albums change the album name to "Posterous Photos" instead of "Posterous Snapshots." For another test, I created a new album within the iPhone app called "Nature" and the same thing happened. Only the FIRST of 3 photos that I uploaded made it into the "Posterous Photos" album that was automatically created in Picasa Web Albums and in my Facebook photos. The photos still have not been aggregated. All of the photos show up in the two separate albums on my Posterous site. There are now 2 albums: "Posterous Snapshots" and "Nature." Also, a tweet is automatically sent giving the link to the Posterous photo album.

The fact that not all of the photos show up in Picasa Web Albums or on Facebook is unsettling. It's not very intuitive. I would expect all of the photos to show up, not just the first in that series.

Mail.app for Posting Photos
Using the Photo Browser tool in Mail.app, I'll attach a photo inline to this email text and see where it ends up.

This is a photo of some Mums I took last year. I'm hoping to try and plant some in planters in front of our house for the fall season. I like this type the best.

When I place the photo, it places it at full size. I must then use the Image Size selector to make the image small. (My choices are small, medium, large or actual size) I've typed some caption text below the photo and italicized it. Let's see what happens to that formatting on the other end when this gets posted to my blogs.

Here is another photo placed as Small size.

Testing, Testing, 123
The reason I'm doing all of this testing now is because I'm really looking for something easy to use for when Baby arrives. And not just for the arrival of Baby, but also for making blogging easier after he gets here too. As I mentioned before, my Blogspot blog feels so cumbersome to me now after using other social networking services. I've experienced so many different user interfaces that I've become spoiled by all the different choices out there. I wish I could take bits and pieces of them all and combine them into my version of the best blogging platform.

Right now, I'm composing this post using Mail.app on my laptop. Composing a post this way enables me to at least have a tiny bit more control over some basic text formatting as well as adding multiple photos and video links. Once I email this email message to "post" it will then be posted automagically onto several different blogging services I use.

I use different types of blogging services for a couple of different reasons. The main reason being that, as I mentioned above, I love to tinker and try new things. Another reason is that different people consume content in many different ways. It's impossible to keep up with all of the different services out there. When I'm trying to communicate with my peers, I figure using various compiling and aggregation tools, will at least make it appear as though I'm making an effort to reach out to each one of their styles. If I solely used Twitter, then none of my family or close "IRL" friends would know anything because the majority of them do not use or "get" twitter. When communicating with my closest friends and family, I usually choose email as my method of communication. That's why this Posterous workflow seems more natural at this time and why I'm going to greater lengths to put it through its paces. Email is a super accessible format for me. I'm already familiar and comfortable with the UI of Apple's Mail.app.

It would be really, really, awesome if I could use Mail.app to compose all my blog posts with Posterous using the built in stationery and formatting features. It's sooooo much easier to format (typeset) text, add hyperlinks, images, video links and other graphic elements. I've tried to do it this way, but the HTML stationery doesn't translate properly on the other ends. Earlier I tried to do some formatting and it ended up looking super crappy on my Blogger blog. I've since tweaked my template code again to see if I could rectify that situation. This post will be a test to see if my new code will translate this email text as I intended.

Let's Do Some Experimenting
The header lines above have been stylized using bold and I have increased the size by 2 to 4 points.
So far as I know, if I make this text red and bold italic, it will not exactly obey the formatting I've applied in Mail.app and end up red, bold, italic on Posterous or my Blogger Blog.

On this line, I'm going to attempt to change the fonts. The base font I've used up till now has been Georgia, 12 pt. The headers are bold stylized and 14 pt. I'm going to change this line of text to Trebuchet and see what happens.

For this line of text I'm going to switch it back to Georgia, but change the color to blue.

Here is where I'm going to link or embed one of my YouTube clips just to see how the email conversion works.

I've just pasted the link above and the font has now changed, but I'm going to leave it as it to see what happens at this point in the post. I've just copied and pasted a link as opposed to embedding, so now I'll try using some embed code from Vimeo. The only problem with Vimeo is that the iPhone can only view YouTube videos presently, so while this might work on most websites and browsers, it's not going to show up on the iPhone.

Now I'm going to see if I can embed a YouTube Video here:

</object>

Ok, so now I'll press the send button and see what happens in all my other various sandboxes. Weeee!!!

Posted via email from TheMacMommy

Nature

Posted via web from TheMacMommy

Posterous Snapshots

Posted via web from TheMacMommy

Testing BlogWriter Lite…again

I was going to dump this app but then they submitted an update that appears to have fixed the keyboard bug. I still find this BlogWriter Lite frustrating due to the lack of landscape keyboard mode. Who would want to write a full blog post in portrait mode? The paid version, BlogWriter, doesn't mention landscape mode as one of the features and I'm hesitant to pay $1.99 to find out.

Comparing this to Posterous, not much difference in that you're limited to text. I don't see a way to add a photo or movie or a way to format the text. The description says you can add photos in the Lite version, but I don't see how.

Sooooo....I'm still on the quest for a good blogging solution in iPhone apps that doesn't cost more than a candy bar.

DadLabs Coupon

Hey! I took the @DadLabs survey and they gave me this coupon code. They said I can share it with my friends, so here you go!
I think I'm going to get Hubby a cool T-shirt. Since he's a Science Teacher, it should look pretty appropriate for him to wear it to school :)

Code says: survey99

Check out DadLabs.com for some great product reviews.

Posted via email from TheMacMommy

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Belly-Eye View

Posted via email from TheMacMommy

AMA on Health Care

Just for Laughs

Apparently the American Medical Association has weighed in on
the President's new health care package ....

The Allergists voted to scratch it, but the Dermatologists
advised not to make any rash moves.

The Gastroenterologists had sort of a gut feeling about it, but
the Neurologists thought the Administration had a lot of nerve.

The Obstetricians felt they were all laboring under a
misconception. Ophthalmologists considered the idea shortsighted.

Pathologists yelled, "Over my dead body!" while the
Pediatricians said, 'Oh, Grow up!'

The Psychiatrists thought the whole idea was madness, while the
Radiologists could see right through it.

Surgeons decided to wash their hands of the whole thing. The
Internists thought it was a bitter pill to swallow, and the Plastic
Surgeons said, "This puts a whole new Face on the matter."

The Podiatrists thought it was a step forward, but the
Urologists were pissed off at the whole idea.

The Anesthesiologists thought the whole idea was a gas, and the
Cardiologists didn't have the Heart to say no.

In the end, the Proctologists won out, leaving the entire
decision up to the Assholes in Washington.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Scoobie Snacks

Lucian loves giving Joschka "scoobie snacks"

Sent from my iPhone

wish I could figure out how to post more than 1 pic using this method

Posted via email from TheMacMommy

Does Not Play Well With Others

Yeah. Take a look at the post below on my Blogspot blog. It looks like crap. It probably has something to do with my template and internal coding. This is where I grow tired of Blogspot. It just doesn't play well with others.
I've also tried copying and pasting the raw HTML from my Moms Gone Geek blog and Blogger borks it every time!

So frustrating!!

Posted via email from TheMacMommy

Testing My New Posting Workflow

I'm in the home stretch now with this pregnancy and nesting is really setting in. With that brings this uncontrollable urge to get my ducks in a row and tie up loose ends before the baby gets here because I know I won't have the time and energy to invest in it later.

So, it's all got me thinking about my current blogging workflow. I haven't been blogging as much as I'd like to over on my Blogspot blog and it bothers me. I was really hoping I would have documented this pregnancy journey more than I have. I really want and need to blog more but, I've found the Blogger UI to be so very cumbersome that's it's been a real turn off to me. It feels more like a chore to blog using that UI and platform. Many have tried to convince me to use other methods like Wordpress or Tumblr. I've tried them all out — all the ones that didn't cost anything to run, that is. I've been blogging publicly since 2007 and since that time, I have never paid for hosting. Not really sure I want to start if I can find a suitable free solution.

A few weeks ago I finally got an iPhone. It was a huge deal for me and I wanted to blog about it more and just haven't gotten around to it. There are so many blog ideas floating around in my head right now but I just can't get motivated enough to get them out and onto my blog on a more regular basis. Now that I have an iPhone, it's opened up a whole new mobile, and portable world to me. I now find myself looking for ways to blog using my iPhone. Since Posterous is basically hooked up to email, what could be easier than composing and email message on my iPhone and using this as a blogging tool?

I'm now exploring iPhone apps and methods I can use to make my iPhone a good intermittent blogging tool.

These are some random questions, thoughts and ideas I have about using Posterous to possibly replace my current blogging method using Blogger.

Text Formatting
One of the things I enjoy about blogging and using Blogger, is the ability to "typeset" and format my text. Right now, I'm writing this post using Mail.app. I can format, on a limited basis, some of the text, but then I'm not sure how that translates onto the Posterous site. I think it depends on which template you use or if you know how to tweak the HTML code. This is something I'll certainly be exploring.

Subject Lines
I was thinking I wouldn't use a subject line, but then I got to thinking about archiving these posts using my email client, Mail.app. Thinking about archiving workflow. Perhaps I should create a new Mail.app folder for these posts.
Do I really want to do that? The way Mail.app archives messages isn't exactly pretty. Maybe I don't keep the emails and find some other way to just archive the Posterous blog.

Will Posterous come to replace my Blogspot blog?

Now that I'm trying out Posterous, I'm feeling more abitious and more motivated to blog more regularly because of the method by which I'll be using to actually get a blog posted in various places like my blogspot blog, facebook, twitter, friendfeed, etc.

Inserting photos and movie clips
Seems easy enough using the Photo Browser in Mail.app to insert the photos. Haven't yet tried movies. Will try that next.

I was just reading a Posterous link submitted by Robert Scoble. I left a comment explaining some of my current thoughts on this process and activity.

Here is one of my YouTube videos just to see how it handles the link.

I'm wondering if I can somehow create some sort of graphically pleasing template using Mail.app so that it would load proper design elements into the Posterous Post as well as my Blogger layout.

See and download the full gallery on posterous

Posted via email from TheMacMommy

Friday, September 11, 2009

It's Time to Play Breastfeeding Soap Box!

To play along, first you have to read the title of this blog post with that Muppets Game Show Host character's voice in your head.

Ok. I'm torqued about this conversation stirring over the woman who was fired (in 2005) for taking unauthorized breaks to pump milk. It hits close to home with me because I left my full time job over something similar. While I commend Ms. Allen for making the choice to breastfeed her child, I believe she could have made other choices in addition that would have suited her and her son's needs better rather than causing herself undue turmoil, but hey, we live and we learn, right?

First let me just say that this story has been spun several different ways till Sunday. According to The Columbus Dispatch article, along with some other references with credible citations, the woman was fired for taking unauthorized breaks, NOT for pumping her milk. Let's get the story straight here, folks. Her employer never said she couldn't pump her milk, they did say she would have to do it on their terms at the times they specified and there wasn't any wiggle room.

According to the details of the case (the ones I've read and believe to be cited properly — keep in mind, I wasn't there) — the woman took on a temp job (I remind you this was just a temp job, she wasn't making partner in a law firm) and she negotiated the terms of her employment regarding her needs for taking breaks to pump her breasts during authorized times that were approved by her supervisor. After some time, she discovered (as we all do, because we're freakin humans, not machines) that these break times were not sufficient for her pumping needs.

Duh. I'm sorry, but unless your breasts are bionic, who can pump reasonably within 10 minutes time?

She was not granted any more flexibility when she asked about adjusting her break times.

Ok, real shocker there. This was a production job and she was a temporary employee. Not a whole lot of flexibility for something like this when you're on an assembly line making gloves and umbrellas. So, what did she do, she took unauthorized breaks to pump (read by the employer as "sneaking") and then got caught and penalized for it.

Now, no one should be penalized for draining their painfully engorged breasts just like no one should be penalized for having to drain their bladder. Pumping, however, is not the same as a bathroom break or a smoke break or any type of break. It's really not a break at all. Your body has to work and burn a tremendous amount of calories. It is medically and physically necessary to pump at regular intervals and not every woman can drain her breasts in 10 – 15 minutes, so why anyone thinks they can get away with being told by an employer when they can and can't pump is beyond my understanding. Perhaps it's because pumping and the details of proper breast care and milk management are beyond the scope of most employer's understanding anyhow. After all, it's not really the job of the company to educate themselves on all things health related like pumping breast milk, or insulin injections or blood testing for diabetics, is it? We're talking about personal health management here and there are privacy issues at stake. This means it's up to the individual to manage their own health care needs. Be responsible for yourself.

Sometimes I feel women have been brainwashed over the years to think that we can just do it all and it will all work out perfectly. Just give us a device that replaces a natural function of our bodies and we can do anything we set our minds to. We don't need no stinking ovulation, menstruation, or lactation! What a hassle? As if! Come on, body, I HAVE to go to work, punch in and check out. I have no time for these processes! Imagine all the money we as a nation spend on drying ourselves up with all of these devices, products, drugs and procedures that basically just de-feminize us over time while others spend money on devices, drugs, products and procedures to make the perfect woman plastic, plump and juicy. Just what the hell does it really mean to be a woman anymore if I have to make a choice between denying my body it's natural processes or turn myself into a machine so I can run with the big dawgs?

And then we wonder why marriages fall apart, our children suffer in schools and our health care is failing us.

This coming from a geeky mom who has in fact tried to do it all while pumping. I am Super Lactation Woman, hear me Moooooo! I can leap mountains in a single bound, manage 160 computers on a network at the same time, put out fires, make phone calls, email instructions, fix a problem remotely with a few clicks of the mouse, consult employees, create Excel spreadsheets and print them correctly too — all while attached to my breast pump!! All the while I was doing that, once I got the hang of it, it was great and I was able to pump 20 ounces a day while at work. I was so proud of my little cooler filled with mommy juice and couldn't wait to put it in the fridge all neatly labeled at day care the next morning. That sounds pretty impressive to the working woman and I did feel very accomplished.

However, the whole time I was doing this, my mind was NOT on my precious son. I was mentally distracted trying to cover over the heartache I felt each day I had to leave my baby with strangers so I could go to work. Whenever I took him in to the day care (a room filled with cribs and crying, neglected babies plopped in swings, high chairs, and play pens — in other words, a tiny little prison camp) I would try to nurse him before putting him in his crib to sleep. Then I would dart out so as not to be late to work, imagining my little angel just laying there sleeping the whole 8 to 10 hours while I worked. I couldn't bear the thought of seeing him just laying there crying with no one paying attention to him except for to put out fires like feeding and changing diapers. I also hated the idea of how hard it was for me to pump that precious, liquid white gold only to have some other woman cuddle and feed my son the milk out of my body from a plastic liner and silicone nipple.

It was just all so unnatural, I couldn't stand it!! When I started getting sick and couldn't recover, I knew I was going against the natural grain of things and I had to make changes. My body was literally screaming out to me to stop the madness and succumb to the primal urges of being a mother.

I feel some people lose sight of the fact that draining your breasts while you are lactating is a natural, biological need as well as a health care need which becomes interrupted when you are working and away from your baby. Pumping is a mechanical intervention which attempts to narrow the gap between working mother and child. When you mix working outside the home with lactation, it's often not a good match no matter how hard you try. (Not saying it isn't possible, I know women who have pulled it off very gracefully. I attempted to be one of them.) It just interrupts the natural cycle of biology and primal instincts. When it comes to lactation, there just is no replacement for a real baby just like there is no true replacement for breast milk. Pumping is to proper breast care management as formula is to breast milk replacement. It's a best guess, but it's not the real thing, so you get what you pay for. In the end you do the best with what you have to work with given the circumstances in which you find yourself. Keep in mind that those circumstances are many times within our own control and changes can be made to compensate to get what you need to be healthy. No one said the balancing act would be easy. Nothing is guaranteed. Be careful about expecting entitlement.

I just feel perhaps the mother involved in this court case might not have planned enough for what pumping at work would really entail. How could she? It's not a perfect science where everyone magically knows what to do. It takes practice and coordination. Maybe she didn't educate herself enough beforehand and just thought it was a mechanical process? Maybe she felt too intimidated and under pressure to ask for more than her employer was willing to offer when it came to her health needs? If she really wanted to breastfeed and it was that important to her, I think she should have made her health needs a priority over that particular job. Did she really, really need that temp job to make ends meet? Couldn't she have sought out some type of assistance? Reason I ask these questions is because I find it hard to believe that a temp job had such a high salary that she could justify all of the costs of going to work like childcare, transportation, etc. Maybe she had family helping her with childcare, who knows, but something's gotta give somewhere along the line.

I'm not clear or sure if she was given a warning and did not comply, but either way, she broke the rules that were handed down to her instead of trying to negotiate further or simply bow out and look for another place of employment. That's my beef.

Do I think her employer was right in not allowing her to adjust her pump schedule? I believe the employer made decisions based on the best interest of its company, not the employee. Is there something wrong with that? It depends on the company. No one is forcing you to take a job there. It's a job to make money just like any other. You're there to do a job and get compensated for it. Period. If the job isn't conducive to pumping, then GET ANOTHER (TEMP) JOB, stay at home, or give up breastfeeding.

What frustrates me is that everyone is stressing over this woman who (4 years ago this happened, mind you) was fired for taking unauthorized breaks, not over whether or not this woman made the right choice about taking on this temp job in the first place rather than staying home to breast feed her son OR find another job that was more conducive to breastfeeding. The jobs are out there, not many, but they are out there. You have to look, ask and be diligent. This case was not really about them not allowing her to pump her milk. It was about her not complying with the conditions in which they DID allow her to pump her milk. Like I said, if she felt the terms were insufficient then she should have made a choice of the job over the pumping. It's a sad reality that it comes to that, but that's the way it is. We can not expect employers to make these kinds of adjustments for us. We must be the ones to make the adjustments ourselves. If we keep accepting the fact of having to go to work and not demanding more out of life, then corporations will keep dishing it out and we'll keep eating it. I don't think the answer lies in companies making room for nursing mothers. I feel the answer lies in longer maternity leaves so a woman doesn't have to pump while at work. A woman should be able to take enough time away from working to do what is natural and then return to work when it's more manageable and the child is better equipped to be separated from mom like when they go to school.

Now, I really disagree with part of the court's ruling on whether or not breastfeeding is or is not a condition of pregnancy. According to the court's decision, they say that "... [Allen's] condition of lactating was not a condition relating to pregnancy but rather a condition relating to breastfeeding."

That one really burns me, but I believe it's a separate issue than that of Ms. Allen's not following the rules she was given.

Ok, so let me try and wrap my mind around this one. So, lactation is a "condition" because a woman chooses NOT to take drugs to dry herself out or open herself up to the risks of infection if the milk is left to build up until the lack of supply and demand is enough to stop the process of lactation. I'm really, really pissed at the notion that the courts deem lactation as a "condition" as if it's a bad thing, as if it's like acne or psoriasis that can be "treated" with drugs or other interventions to prevent it from happening. What the firetruck?

The court's decision on this aspect of the case wasn't very well thought out. I mean, I'm no judge, but I have lactated enough to know better than a judge that there is a lack of critical thinking involved here and it is just plain wrong and not factual. I'll be interested to see how that whole ball of wax plays out. While they're at it, I'd really like to know which came first? The chicken or the egg?

Everyone has to make choices that are in their own best interest or in the best interest of someone they care for or manage. The employer and corporation has to make choices that are in the best interest of their ability to make a profit. Otherwise, why be in business if you're not after a profit? Sometimes the choices they make involve sacrificing employees. Everyone is replaceable.

The mom has to make choices that will directly affect the well-being of herself, her children and her family. IN THAT ORDER. Everything else is secondary, especially a job. It costs money to work. It takes sacrifices to go to work. Only you can decide if those extra costs and saccrifices are a better choice for you over staying home and making different kinds of sacrifices in order to do that.

On the other side, for many women, the choice to work over staying home is important and does contribute to the well being of herself, her children and her family because of the long term investment and how it will affect the outcome of her family in the long run. For some women, the short term upbringing time is a time they CAN and/or are willing to sacrifice in order to be a good provider, especially when they are the sole provider. What if you spent your entire life preening your career as a lawyer or teacher? It's hard to step out of those positions. When that's the case, we make the necessary adjustments.

My personal ruling on this whole thing? QUIT THE TEMP JOB. STAY HOME AND DITCH THE PUMP. A temp job is not worth this much aggravation. Choosing to work at this job was an unwise and unhealthy decision for this mother and she should have cut her losses and moved on. Either find a different job or make the sacrifices to stay home and nurse if it was such a priority for her. I'm not saying every woman in this position should or can quit their job to stay home. I'm not saying every mother should be a stay at home mom either. I just think this story got a little twisted out of control and it could have been avoided.

Perhaps she felt like she had no choice but to sneak breaks in order to pump because she couldn't bear the thought of asking supervisors for more time because she felt weak. Again, if that's the case — GET ANOTHER JOB.

Pumping while at work is not easy and especially when you don't work in an environment that is conducive to it. Some women have it made. I've worked at places where they actually had a designated pumping area complete with comfy couch and designated refrigerator! These jobs are out there, but you have to look and ask. If a job does not have these accommodations, it's not their fault, you will have to create an environment yourself — but you will first need to clear it with your supervisor and make your intentions clear.

Before I left on maternity leave with my first son, I had my office and areas all scoped out and set up. I consulted with other co-workers who had done something similar and my working environment was supportive. My co-workers and supervisors were caring, supportive and understanding. Unfortunately, it didn't stay that way. When I came back from maternity leave, 8 short weeks later, I was transfered to another site. After all, Family Leave Act DOES guarantee you'll have a job to come back to, it just might not be the same job or the same place.

BURN.

When I returned to work, I was totally unprepared. I had to start all over again with a whole new staff and surroundings. It SUCKED. I tried to negotiate all sorts of arrangements. I even tried to see if I could be transferred back to my original location. Again, an employer does what it thinks is in its best interest, even at the sacrifice of an employee regardless of the job they are doing. (I was well liked and was told I did a great job.)

Employees are replaceable.

So yeah, I've been there, done that. It's painful to think about what I had to go through to get to where I am today. Think dark storage closet. Bugs. Germs. Pressure. Stress. Mastitis. Infections. Angry co-workers with no sympathy. Angry parents not understanding why my door had to be closed at times. One parent even attempted to insinuate that I might have had students in my office behind closed doors. People are afraid of what they can't see out in the open but for some dumb reason, my administrators thought it better to NOT disclose the real reason why I needed privacy. Yeah, that makes sense. Make a parent worry when all they needed to know was I was providing for my own child.

Ultimately, I quit my job so I could breastfeed. (I didn't get fired, but I was "asked to resign" and I did so happily after the way I was treated.) That's the choice I made and I'm happier for it. Trying to pump at work was a truly awful experience and people were real jerks about it enough times to make it taxing. (and I worked with mostly other women who had children in an education setting so it's not just men who don't understand.) To me, that job was just not worth sacrificing my health, my son's health or any of our happiness. We all must make choices based on our priorities in life. If breastfeeding is a priority for you, like it was for me, and your work environment does not make it comfortable, then you may need to make a choice and compensate for that decision. I personally don't think involving government or even your employer in many situations is going to change anything about the stigma attached to this. It's sad, but a reality. If you really want to breastfeed and be successful at it, then don't work full time unless you have a good working relationship and environment. Trying to force the issue will just stress you out more in the long run.

Whoever says breastfeeding is not essential or necessary, that is an OPINION not based on FACT and it's that attitude that perpetuates the reasons why breastfeeding is not the "norm." For me, it WAS a medical necessity, to pump and not just for 15 mins. either. It disturbs me when people think that pumping should only take 15 minutes to complete. This is just not true for most people whether or not they realize it. You're a human, not a machine for crying out loud. You're not completely draining the breast and getting the hind milk out and it's only going to diminish your supply over time if you follow that course. You must also take into account time to walk to the location and back, set up and clean up time and any interruptions along the way that make it take longer. If you're only taking 15 min breaks to pump, that means you're really only pumping for 10 mins and in lots of cases, that's not nearly enough time to get the job done properly. Why even pump at all?

When I tried to pump at work, I DID work extra time to make up for my breaks, so in the end I was working the same amount of hours as anyone else and then some. However, the time it took out of my day each day kept me from being there when people needed me during normal working hours and that wasn't fair to them either. Towards the end, I was able to work out a better schedule because I was able to pump at my desk while working and had a partition put up for privacy. I arranged it with several co-workers who needed to consult with me during times while I pumped that they could meet with me while I was pumping if they were female (or an understanding male) and weren't squeamish about seeing the tubes hanging out of my shirt. I was completely covered, the only thing they saw were the tubes and machine and so long as they didn't mind, it made it a little easier. This worked well for a little while, but in the end it just wasn't a good enough solution because too many people who were squeamish about the idea complained about my need for privacy and my inability to just get up from my desk and come to them.

It just wasn't a good fit for any of us. I was there to do a job and provide a service for which I was being paid. They needed me to be available and approachable by all, not some. The adjustments I made to try and incorporate my health needs were not good enough. In the end, I made the decision that these employees along with this type of job was just not conducive to my need for breastfeeding. I decided that my son, my happiness and our health mattered more then a job and being accepted by peers. Our family has made many sacrifices, but the best part is we're happy and that's all that matters.

There will be other jobs, but there will never be another chance to breastfeed and bond with my babies. Jobs come and go, really, they do — but babies don't keep. Figure out what you really, and truly NEED to get by in life and compensate accordingly. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. You would be surprised at just how much it really costs overall to work full time. Sometimes I feel we're all just a little bit brainwashed by the Corporate world and the expectations make us lose sight of what really and truly matters. We keep on putting up with it, so it keeps getting dished out. Unless you change this cycle, then you only have yourself to blame. You CAN make adjustments to get what you want out of life and it's not like it's permanent! Government involvement is not the solution. Employer intervention is not the solution. Make a choice and adjust accordingly. If it doesn't work, try something else. Don't expect the world to revolve around you. Carve out your own life and be your own center. The world just might be a better place for it. :)

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