Starting a Farmers Market

I love them.  Every Tuesday and Thursday, there is a small farmers market right outside my office. I wish it was larger.  Once in a while I will splurge and buy a scone for myself. Splurge hahah who am I kidding – I eat pastries all of the time :). Luckily now that I am breastfeeding though no matter what I eat the weight manages to fall off. But I digress. Anyway, back to farmers markets.  I came up with the idea that the town where I live, Valley Stream, should have a farmers market. So far, I have taken one step. I contacted Fresh Connect.  Fresh Connect is a program which has multiple facets in New York State, one of which brings farmers markets to areas which do not have them and would benefit from them.  There was a button on their website which said “Want a Farmers Market in Your Area?” – yes! I clicked through and filled out the form, explaining why I thought a farmers market would be beneficial in our area and my contact information.

I really hope Fresh Connect contacts me soon! I am excited to get this project started.

Does anyone have advice on how to start a farmers market?

Oh No – I Forgot the Pump

So on Thursday night, one of my worst fears as a breastfeeding mom happened. I forgot my pump at work, and I needed to be somewhere else the next day (and was going to be away from the baby the whole entire day). I began panicking and trying to figure out how to get the pump – would I go back at 5 am to get the pump before getting ready for my day?  All of a sudden a wonderful thought popped into my head – Target, Walmart, they are open late aren’t they? They are going to have what I need!

It was already 9:50, and we have a Target pretty close to where I live.  I hopped in the car, and less than ten minutes later I was at Target. I go to the baby aisle, and there I see a manual pump. Hallelujah. I restrain myself from shopping any more (confession, I absolutely love target and will spend hours there if let to my own devices) and go to the checkout area to buy the pump. I feel so, so relieved.

The manual pump did not work as well as the electric pump does, but it definitely saved the day.

Has this happened to anyone else?

Breastfeeding and Pregnancy Discrimination and Leave Laws Throughout the United States

In performing research for this blog, I came across this state by state map that perfectly puts together all of the pregnancy and breastfeeding discrimination and leave right laws throughout the United States.  Here it is, created by Legal Momentum.

The Map

I think that they did an incredible job, and it would have taken me an enormous amount of time to collect the laws and put together such a wonderful product.

Legal Momentum, headed in New York, has positioned itself as “the Women’s Legal Defense and Education Fund,” and I think what they do is awesome. Head over to their website to learn more about them, as I have recently been doing.  Here is the link to Legal Momentum.

Otherwise, life is good. My baby is six months old. She is crawling, standing up in her crib, and beginning to cruise.  Her first tooth is just about coming up, and she started cutting her second one this evening.  As we speak she is sleeping peacefully, though we know that could end at anytime.  Baby girl is not the best sleeper.  I love her so very much.

More about NYS Labor Law 206-c

Some fast facts gleaned from the guidelines posted by the New York State Department of Labor about NYS Labor Law 206-c.

  • A nursing mother’s right to express milk is protected for three years after the birth of her child.
  • The law applies to both public and private employers in NY state.
  • The size of the company does not matter. No matter how small or large the company you work for is, you will be protected by this law.
  • Nursing mothers should be given a break time (unpaid) that is AT LEAST twenty minutes.  This means that the break time could be longer, depending on the individual mother.  An employee can also take a shorter break time if they choose to.
  • The designated room or space for expressing milk CANNOT be a bathroom or a restroom stall.
  • The designated room or space must be close to the employee’s work space (walkable) and getting to the room should minimally increase the break time allotted.
  • To insure PRIVACY, the room should have a lock on it.  If that is not possible the employer should put a sign up alerting others that the room will not be accessible to customers and other employees.

More information can be found in the guidelines that I put a link to above.

Please comment about any experiences you have had with this law. Has it helped you?

 

Rights of Nursing Mothers in the Workplace

Section 206-C of the New York State Labor Law was passed in 2007. This law, in short, protects a nursing mother from being discriminated against because of the fact that she is expressing milk in the workplace and requires that all employers in the state allow nursing mothers the time to express breast milk (pump) for up to THREE years (THREE!) following the birth of their child.

Employers, the law says, must make reasonable efforts to provide a room close to where the employee works so that they may pump in private.  Most importantly, the room cannot be a restroom or a toilet stall.  This is a relief to all those nursing mothers who have been told time and time again – you need to go somewhere private? what about the bathroom? No thank you. Would you like to eat food that was cooked in the bathroom? No – you wouldn’t? Well…neither does a baby.

Employers also must give reasonable unpaid break time to nursing mothers – the breaks should not be farther apart than three hours (if that is what the mother asks for).

The Department of Labor guidelines on how to interpret Section 206-C are very detailed, and are definitely worth a look.  It is a wonderful thing that New York State has created this law which helps women find the elusive work life balance – the ability to continue to breast feed their child while remaining productive in the work force.

So, We Found Our Home

backyardWe found our gorgeous home! Above is a panorama picture of our deck and backyard.

A colonial in Gibson.

Valley Stream in Nassau County, Long Island is where we chose to buy our home. We love it here. We have a gorgeous backyard (not too big but just perfect). The house was listed as four bedrooms, but is actually three.  The fourth bedroom is the attic, which is an awesome living space, but definitely not where I want any of our children living – that is, at least until they are teenagers.

The next thing on our agenda for real estate is a possible summer home. We are thinking of buying a house on the North Fork of Long Island.  We got engaged on Orient Point and really enjoy the wineries, the small cute towns, and the beautiful beaches. The houses are expensive, but there are many more deals to be found there than there are in the Hamptons, for sure. The North Fork house hunting is definitely a long term project. We are not ready to look for real, as we just had a new baby! She is six months now so not BRAND new, but still new. We are absolutely in love 🙂 and takes away most of our free time. It is a wonder that I was able to write this post, but she went to be really early tonight.

Looking for a Home

Dan and I have recently started looking to buy a house and we are very conflicted about it.

On one hand, we really love where we live.  We live in a two bedroom apartment in Astoria, across the street from Dan’s grandparents, and have a very sweet deal.

We know that we want to live in either Queens or Long island and have started to focus in on certain towns.

I however don’t know if I am ready to leave Astoria. 

I am conflicted about moving to a house that we will have to pay a lot more per month for our mortgage.  I am conflicted about moving farther away from the city.  I am conflicted about whether we will be moving into the right town!

How will we know what house we want to buy? How do we know what the right neighborhood is? It is really very tough.

Port Washington is my favorite.  It is a gorgeous town.  Today we looked at a house, which was very nice.  The main issue was that it only had one bathroom! Granted, the bathroom was very large, but I think that a family need more than one toilet!!! I can think of many instances where Dan and I had to go to the bathroom at the same time.  What happens when you add one or two kids into the mix?

Dan is more into north flushing, in Queens, because he is obsessed with the like 22 minute commute to get into the city.  The houses are beautiful, but there is definitely much less of a town than Port Washington. 

What do you recommend?