Wednesday, July 22, 2009


I'm sure that most people have down times in life. But for some of us those down times can be significant and require a little extra help to move beyond. And moving beyond requires an in depth review of cause and effect and analysis of what is within and what is outside of our control. More is usually within than expected. It's easy to blame anything and anyone else, and it's harder to accept that the problem and the power lie within. It's also darn hard to accept the fact that help is needed (sometimes chemical, sometimes emotional, sometimes spiritual, often all of those). It's hard to make changes when you're "barely getting by as it is". It's hard to get off your bum to do the hard work when you have no energy to do even the fun stuff. It's hard to move beyond fear and anger and panic and doubt and blah. And it's darn hard to say "I have a mental health problem and I need some help here!" Strong willed and don't want to pop a pill every morning? Especially at that price monetary price tag! Worried about what might go through milk to babies? Oh, and speaking or price tags, therapy, oh my goodness! But what about a happy healthy home. It's not instant. It's not easy. No miracles. But, climbing back out of a hole is good. It's much easier to sit at the bottom, but there is fun and love and life at the top. I am lucky to have friends and family who order me to put up my hand and hold on to theirs while the pull me back up. I've visited holes before, dug in bit by bit not realizing that I'm below the top soil and then struggling to find a way out. I will most likely visit holes again in my life, but for now I'll cling to the grass at the top.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


A friendly robin told me to walk. So I did. I walked and I listened and I felt.
I walked uphill and down. I walked over bridges and saw robins and squirrels. A young tenative squirrel.
I saw lovers and readers and walkers and resters.

And part way through my allotted time I looked at the clock and discovered that I had time to spare.
So I decided to sit for a bit.
Traffic, birds, squirrels, voices, wind in the trees.

It wasn't much. But body and mind say do it again. I will. Now one more loop in the woods before I go.
Hot spots on my heels indicate how unusual such excursions are (and maybe the need for new walking shoes).

I followed the words in my head and let it be about me. Not about home or work or others. Not about life or change or anything in particular. Just now. This moment. Compose words in my head. No direction. Just words. This was me time. Not theirs. Not life. Mine. Nowtime.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - me in a former life

I guess it's not wordless if I write a caption, but at least less wordy...
As I think about who I am and who I want to be I sometimes look back to who I was. This was in one of my former lives.

Monday, July 6, 2009


I have been at work all day and have spoken to no one except my husband and 10 month old on the phone briefly. The isolation of a lonely office is different from the isolation of being alone in the woods or working alone at home, both of which I found quite doable.

Monday morning without nursing

This morning my son asked to nurse, but didn't push it when I reminded him that yesterday he had a weaning party and that he doesn't need to nurse any more. We cuddled for a long time and talked about how fun his party was and all the fun things he did yesterday. I tried to keep him talking so that he didn't want to use his mouth for other things. ;) He only asked once, but wanted to stay on my lap for a long time cuddling. It was nice. It was nice to cuddle and talk. We will miss the nursing, but we were ready and we will enjoy a new kind of close time.

Last night I was sad while putting up the post with pictures from his party. I was exhausted and sad and didn't have much to say. I still don't have a lot to say about it I guess. But I think it was a good way for us to end the nursing relationship.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

weaning party is over - so far so good

So, it's over. We're done. No more nursing.

Mama had to stay in the office for a few minutes after the last nursing session before I could go out with dry eyes.

He had a good time and felt special.

This evening we were a little sad.

I have tried not to nurse our daughter in front of him. I pumped after he went to bed.

He tested my resolve when we got home. But it turned out okay. He asked several more times but was okay with no boob. He cuddled at bedtime and said that he had a weaning party and now just gets to cuddle. We talked about how it was okay to be sad and that you can be more than one emotion at once - happy and sad. We told him to ask for cuddles and hugs if he is sad. We hope that tomorrow goes as well.

Last nursing session - party hats on and ready to go.
He didn't nurse for long - ran off to have fun!

weaning party boy and his trusty sidekick

Blowing out the candles on the cake he helped bake.
He put the candles on all by himself
(except for the one he put in upside down and mama corrected...)

my silly boys :)

eating cake

she was a good sport and even wore a hat
and chased balloons

Saturday, July 4, 2009

weaning party

(my big boy who grew strong on mama's milk)

(we've come a long way from day 1)

My son is 3.5 years old, and for several months I have been thinking that it is time for him to wean. I think he is ready. I think I am ready (pretty sure of that). He and I have been discussing how soon he will be so big that he will not need to nurse any more and he can just cuddle instead. I have been more insistent that he only nurse twice on weekdays when I work and three times on the weekends. He seemed to accept the idea of eventually not "needing a boob" any more, but he was in no hurry to get there. There are some days that I think he would not have nursed if I hadn't been nursing his little sister. When she nurses it reminds him and then he wants to nurse.

A few weeks ago I was discussing weaning ideas with a friend and she suggested a "weaning party" - a party to celebrate the end of nursing. A few days ago I mentioned this to my son, and he jumped at the idea. "A party? With cake and ice cream" (even thought he only ate ~2 bites of cake and ice cream at his 3rd birthday party) "Now?!" I explained to him that if he has a weaning party he will not get to nurse any more and he can just cuddle with mommy. "No more boobs. Ever." And apparently he's OK with the idea. Last night before bed when he was about to nurse he told me "I'm going to have a weaning party and then me don't need a boob any more, me just cuddle with mommy." I have no idea how he's going to feel about that afterward, but we're going forward with the idea.

Yesterday afternoon we went to Target and he picked out party supplies. He picked out green birthday hats, striped candles, baseball plates, blue and yellow streamers, and birthday balloons. Since he can't read we figure it doesn't matter that some of the items say "Happy Birthday". He carried the hats and candles all through the store and to the van. This morning he woke me up to tell me that he needed his hats and candles Right Now! We have not let him open the packages on any of the party supplies, but he is obsessed with those hats and candles.

Today at the farmers market he announced to a friend (who sadly is moving far far away in a few days) that he was having a weaning party soon. When we took a bucket of green beans and a bag of basil to a friend (and my doula) he proudly told her that he was having a weaning party tomorrow. Maybe it's better to do this weaning party Before our son starts preschool so that he doesn't announce too much. Not that I'm embarrassed that we are still nursing, not at all, but some things are easier left unexplained. After the farmers market we went to the grocery store and he picked out an organic chocolate cake mix and coconut milk ice cream.

So, tomorrow is it. The big day. Unless he backs down. I'm willing to wait a few more weeks. Originally we had planned to have it next weekend, but he's so excited that we're planning on having the party tomorrow my parents house. I will let him nurse tomorrow morning. Hopefully we will be able to set aside a little time to have a nice last nursing session. And then that's it. It's over. 3.5 years of nursing him every day. Multiple times a day. Through pregnancy. Tandem nursing. Toddler nursing. Nursing a kid. I haven't really thought about how I will feel. I don't know how it will affect me. Right now it seems like a logical progression, but I'm sure it will be more emotional for me than I expect. We have been through a lot together - initial learning and latching, thrush/yeast, pediatricians telling us to stop nursing (what on earth!!!), dairy allergy (so I was dairy free for 3 years), late eating, two years of pumping at work for him, pregnancy and no milk, sharing the boobs with his sister, and now... weaning.

Part of me feels guilty. Part of me feels like I should continue since I am still lactating for his sister anyway. Part of me feels like it's bad to wean him at a time of so many changes in his life (potty learning, starting preschool soon). Part of me feels like I should continue since preschool will expose him to so many new germs and he could use the immune boost. Part of me feels like I should continue so he gets the calcium and good fats since he refuses to drink any other type of milk. But, another part of me says it's time and that he will be ok, he's ready, he takes calcium supplements, and it's really OK mama, get over it already. We'll hope that part is strong tomorrow.

And here are a few more pictures from his first year of nursing. (to complement the nursing toddler pictures here...)
(1st birthday)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Wodless Wednesday - Baby and Black Raspberries

I love black raspberries! And so does my baby! We have a bunch of wild raspberries growing around the ourside of our yard, and each even we go pick a few cups of berries. They are extra special since we didn't plant them and don't have to care for them - bonus berries! Last evening I was picking berries with my daughter in a ring sling, and she was really interested so I gave her one. She loved it, but eating berries while strapped to mama was not a good idea so we moved to the high chair inside. She had a grand time!