3.28.2015

happy rainy days

I try to encourage my kids to explore their world, read, develop their imaginations, be creative, make mistakes, get hurt, be polite and kind, give hugs, use real words and language, have fun, and make messes. 

This is what we did the third day in a row it was too cold and wet to play outside.
(I wanted to hug her... I really did.)
This totally shows their personalities and I love it. I love the motion in Verity's painting- as if she's swing dancing as she does it. I love that Libby decided to paint with her feet. 

I love that a bubble bath had them clean 30 minutes later.

It was the kind of day in which I put the kiddos to bed and for a few moments enjoyed the feeling of just having nailed one beautiful day of their childhood, of feeling I succeeded in providing the best dang childhood I can give them.

It was a happy day.

3.24.2015

this little girl and her daddy

The moment Verity was born, she was handed to a NICU doctor to check for problems from the meconium in the amniotic fluid, and then handed to me. She spent a good 30 minutes on my chest (part of which I think she was still screaming) with a blanket over us. Then I passed her to her daddy.

He said her name and she turned and looked right up into his eyes. Everyone was dropping their jaws at seeing a minutes-old newborn so alert and so engaged in her surroundings. 

 They've pretty much been inseparable ever since.

^^^ the first photo ever where they look alike ^^^
She's been in love with him since her first hour of life.

I love the close bond they share. Sometimes it feels like a rip off to me... I mean, I carried her through 41+ weeks of pregnancy, labored for 11.5 hours, nursed her for 15+ months... and 9.5 times out of 10 she chooses him. But then again, sometimes that's really nice. Like if she's feeling sick in the middle of the night- she chooses him and I'm off the hook!

Liberty has always wanted me, and has only recently begun to reach for Husband occasionally. It kinda evens things out. 

And Husband recently pointed out that Verity is a lot like me, and Liberty is a lot like him. So I guess it's true that opposites attract? Even in parent-child relationships?

I love my little family.

3.09.2015

weaning. growing up. moving on.

A week ago I nursed my baby for the very last time. We started slowly weaning a couple months ago, and as of March first, we're done. Done. Is it ever not a sad thing when breastfeeding is over and done? It almost doesn't matter whether it's two days, two months, or two years- the end of such a sweet relationship is always a sad thing. Isn't it?

Liberty slept 11 hours straight in her own bed the first couple of nights without nursing, and has been her normal happy self. She's totally fine. Am I totally fine? Mostly. But part of me really misses her snuggles and part of me is having trouble grasping the fact that I just let my baby grow up- just like that. 

She's 16 months old. She's already in nursery. She says a couple handfuls of words and has been walking for 7 months now. Does all of this make her a toddler? Am I a mom of two toddlers?! A toddler and a preschooler? I mean, what is going on here?!

When Verity weaned it was 100% her call. She was 15 months and 2 weeks old and I cried quite a few times over it. But she wasn't interested anymore and couldn't be persuaded. I was 3 months pregnant with Liberty already, so it was all okay. I think the thought of another baby on the way really helped.

But this time it's different. Liberty probably would have nursed forever, had I let her, and I'm definitely a supporter of extended breastfeeding (this whole, boot 'em off the breast when they hit their first birthday thing is so unfounded and ridiculous to me). This time was different, because I made the choice. Was it the right choice?

I really feel like it was, although it hasn't made it super easy for me. I always wanted to have children close together but I didn't realize until after the fact the kind of toll it would take on my body. I've only weaned her to give myself time to get ready for the next one- something I didn't get the first time around. So it was the right choice, and while I was so looking forward to this having my body to myself thing... it's really been bittersweet. 

I'm happy to get to work off the excess weight I've been carrying from 2 babies for far too long (this has been killing me), and I'm happy that it means looking forward to the growth of our family.

Constantly I remind myself that I've done a great job. 16 months of breastmilk is more than most babies get. I've done a good job in giving her the very best that I could give. Constantly I need to remind myself to take care of myself, also, and not just my kids. That taking time between babies for myself is a good thing, and it's not selfish. 16 months of breastfeeding is anything but selfish, right? 

You're not selfish. You did a great job. It's time to move on. 

I'm just going to keep telling myself that whenever it feels weird to not nurse, or I miss her, or I teach breastfeeding classes and remind mothers-to-be that the World Health Organization recommends a minimum of 2 years of breastfeeding... I'm just going to keep reminding myself that it was the right choice. Liberty is still happy, still nourished, still loved. And now I get to work my tushie off (ummm... literally?) for the next few months, and maybe begin to look something like I did the day my husband married me.

And it's all going to be fine.
I had my Husband snap a photo or two of us together the last time we nursed. I don't often post or even take breastfeeding photos, but this was special. Just me, Libby, and her bunny, nursing before bed. I don't even care that it's grainy and dark. It makes for a sweet memory with my sweet baby and I'm happy we have it.

I'm curious... for those of you who were sad when it came time to wean your babies from the breast, how did you cope? What, if anything, helped smooth the transition for you and your baby?

I ask this out of sincere interest. For whatever timeframe you nursed.. how did you ease the transition? How did you assure yourself that you did well, and that what you did was enough?