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W rolled over today. She’s 12w1d.It feels like the first “first” but of course before this she’s smiled and laughed, which are really much cooler than rolling, but rolling is a big deal.

I supposed it didn’t just happen.  There were signs leading up to the end.  A gradual break.

A few weeks ago A and I were talking to Mr. E about how when the baby comes it will have milk from Mommy. In a very sad voice he said “I do too.”  Fast forward to this week and my boy seems to have self weaned. He’s a little more than 21 and half months and he has gone more than 48 hours without asking for milk.

Long ago I stopped offering, but continued to give as asked. Looking back, it was when I night weaned him that my supply tanked and since he was nursing more over night than during the day, it makes sense that he’d start to lose interest all together.

I am completely at peace with what seems to be Mr. E’s end of nursing.  My plan was always to let him self wean, even though there were times I doubted he’d ever do it.  Even still I am in a bit of shock that he seems to be doing it, and think any day now he’ll ask for milk.

As he weaned he started asking to snuggle a lot.  Through out the day he comes to me, lovey in hand, and says “snuggle.”  He’s been very directive with me as to just how we will snuggle. He places lovey on my left shoulder and he lays his head on it.  He often asks to snuggle “in the green chair” which is where he used to ask to nurse.  Witnessing this transition, and seeing him decide he is done, and yet carrying over some comfort has been remarkable for me.

I have been ready to end our nursing relationship for some time, but believed in letting him lead the way.  I was committed to nursing through pregnancy if that’s what he wanted.  My only regret is that I will not be nursing him through the flu season but if I am being honest, I am SO thankful to have my breasts back for a while before this next baby lays claim.  However, experiencing his transformation was more than worth my previous desire to be done.

Summer is flying by…  And we’ve mostly been rained out, which is a huge bummer since we waited all winter long, grey day after grey day, for days of summer. Long days spent on the beach, sand between our toes, sea salt on our sun kissed skin. Not so much this year. The weather did perk up in time for our annual neighborhood Independence Day party. This year we hosted 70 neighbors and friends for a BBQ and fun as we celebrated our Country’s birthday:

Fire truck

We went to the county fair with one of Mr. E’s closest friends. It was by far the hottest, most humid day we’ve had so far…which made for a somewhat crabby Mr. E. Highlights of the fair, photo style:

DSCN1501E and his bestest friend, F

DSCN1518E and Mommy

We had a fun filled visit with Mr. E’s half siblings. The three kiddos had such a great time and it was so wonderful to spend such quality time together.

DSCN1533Second hottest day of the summer…trekking around P-Town.

DSCN1546Bath time is much more fun with friends!

DSCN1553At least the kids liked the rain!

DSCN1560Who needs sun when you’ve got mud puddles?

DSCN1568And we got to have a play date with Jen & Cait, N, & T!

DSCN1572Many meals shared over the green table.

We miss the P-M family now that they’ve left and can’t wait to see them again soon!!!

We’ve got a couple of weeks off from visitors and then we kick it back into gear through August.

In the mean time, our little Mr. E has become quite the talker and has full-on entered toddler hood. If I never hear No! it will be too soon. He seems to say at least three new words a day, is starting to string some words together and can sign a full sentence.

18 months seems to have been a huge milestone for us. E has become so very communicative and for the first time I can actually picture another child in the picture. So we are hoping to get back on our game…in September!

Ciao for now!

Hey remember me?  The person who spent oodles of time writing here not that long ago?  I think of you every so often, I start to compose posts in my head, and from time to time I actually log in type a few lines and then decide I am too scattered to focus.  But you know what I miss you.  A lot.  And I miss the blog community that was so supportive of us as we were trying, through pregnancy, and up until I left you.

Life has been hectic and busy and full. To say the least.

Mr. E turned 18 months yesterday.  He’s at a very fun and entertaining stage.  His words are developing so quickly and his learning just blows me away sometimes. He is still a very clingy boy. Thankfully I have a friend IRL who has a two year old who was (is…) much like Mr. E.  It’s incredibly supportive to be able to commiserate about just how hard it is to have a child who it literally attached to you all.day.long.

Mr. E is still very much in love with my boobs, and I have reached my second breast feeding goal -18 months.  No more goals.  Yesterday was the first time I really felt like if this kid did not stop sucking on me I was going to lose it.  Thankfully be obliged me and took a yogurt drink instead.  (Just saying the word “yogurt drink” bring him to such excitement and he utters “ooooooooooh” in the cutest voice.  I’m not saying that I am going to wean him, just sayin’ sometimes it’s hard.

Mr. E also has not figured out the sleeping through the night thing.  I’d take four hours, but it’s more like two.  I feel like I have a newborn most days.  He does, thankfully love his nap and goes down religiously from 12-3 everyday.

Life in general is flying by us.  A is in the midst of a job search, with one mediocre offer on the table and a very good chance of another, better one.  While exciting, this is causing us a great deal of stress as we wait and pray to the employment goddesses to tip in our favor.

We’re growing vegetable in our back yard and particpating in a local farm CSA, which makes me ridiculously happy.  I also seem to be forever hanging diapers in our back yard and wondering, when can we potty train?

Summer brings with it lots of visitors and that is always fun and exciting.  Living in a touristy area, we have also been taking great advantage of all the vacation-y things to do.  Sunday night music in the park, beach, etc.  If we can’t afford to go on vacation, we’ll just pretend!

We are gearing up to start trying…but still trying to figure my post partum, breastfeeding body and how it ovulates. Soon, I hope. I think if I get too far from this exhausted state, I won’t ever want to do it again with a second baby.

If you are still reading along, thanks!  I hope to be back again soon.

We are entering night seven of night weaning.

Two out of the seven have been really really really hard, but I suppose that means five of the seven were good, so we’re pretty lucky.

The first three nights went so smoothly. I employed a  “gradual release” where I was sill nursing but would break his latch before he fell asleep and soothe him to sleep in other ways- cuddling, patting his back, talking to him, etc.  [We still full on co-sleep.] The first non-nursing night was kind of rough. He did great until about 3 am and then was up every 20 minutes or so and needing lots of cuddles. By 5am he was down right ANGRY and pulling at my shirt. I couldn’t nurse him till 6am. A was pretty much begging me to nurse.

The next night was totally different, he slept so well and never really even looked for milk. He woke at 6am, I asked if he wanted milk, he smiled and dove in for it. We snuggled in bed and then got up. It was a lovely way to start a Saturday morning.

Last night was a whole.different.story. To be fair he had an off day – sleep and eating wise. He would not go to bed on his own so I rocked him to sleep and then let him sleep on my lap until we went to bed. Once in bed he was restless but mostly slept. Until he didn’t. 2:30 hit and he was pissed. He cried and cried. I reached for him and pulled him into me and tried to snuggle. He wanted one thing, and it was not snuggles.

After all my best efforts I asked A to get up and rock him, which she did for a bit. Then we switched. I rocked him and the walked him until he fell asleep. Every now and then he’d wake, cry, and nod back off to sleep. After about an hour he was in a deep sleep and he and I crawled back into bed and snuggled up. Two and a half hours later he woke up “for the day.” [In quotes because we all know babies get naps, but moms don’t.]

Night weaning is so easy and it’s so hard- depending on the night. I am 110% committed to the process, and having made it this far, I am not going back. My son is stubborn, but he got it from me and I have 30 years of stubbornness on him, so in the middle of the night, I win.

I am surprisingly feeling really great about my rather abrupt decision to night wean. You see I have loved nursing. There was a time when I really felt so sad about the fact that some day I would not provide my son’s nutrition. And shortly after hitting one year, and when he started eating a little, and then a lot, the majority of his nursing sessions were in the middle of the night. He’d nurse anywhere from 1-3 times during the day, depending on the day. He seemed to enjoy the night nursing a lot. Perhaps too much, and it pushed me over the edge. [No 13 month old needs to nurse SIX times from 10pm-6am, want to, yes – need to, no.]

I am trying to remain open and zen about how night weaning will impact our nursing relationship. E is solidly nursing first thing in the morning. And usually once more sometime during the day. He also gets on and quickly gets off all through out the day. I absolutely love that he can sign for milk so I know when he really wants it, and I can provide for him. One part of me wants to keep nursing until at least 18 months because deep down I think that is the minimum I want to offer my son, but I can see going to two years, maybe longer. I also wonder how things will further change once we start TTC in a few months, and how clomid will impact how E experiences breast feeding (I’ll be dry for five days). And finally part of me thinks I’ll let him decide when we stop. I’ll only do this if it remains mutually agreeable. Had I not night weaned, I would not have been able to even entertain this idea.

I am lucky to have several friends close by who are also so-called “extended nursing” – without their support I am not sure I’d make it. My day-to-day life is touched with weaning hints and other suggestions that “you can not nurse and be pregnant.” Which of course, simply is not true. [Though it may not be fun.]

I suppose there is one more thought about weaning, and that is, I never wanted to wean so that I could start trying again. Though I’ve tried to shed my TTC baggage, I’ve still got some, and I know that if I am not able to get pregnant again, and look back to see that I weaned in order to try, I would never forgive myself for cutting this relationship short, for my own needs.

And since I have been a slacker about pictures here are some of my adorbale son:

dscn0977E heading out for his first ever bike ride.

dscn0957E crawling into his cabinet.

dscn0959E shutting himself in.

dscn0963E walking!

dscn0967E riding his cousin’s trike and loving it!

Recently it seems as though we are finally reaching some semblance of balance in our not-so-new-anymore role as mothers. E is almost 14 months and somewhere around 13 months A and I started coming out of the cocoon we’d built. The first year is becoming a blur, and when I recall the memories, I don’t know how we got through it. But I we did.

E is becoming such a little kid. He is so opinionated and at times can have a hard time sharing his toys- especially with his cousins. He’s started walking and he using many signs to communicate his wants and needs. He JUST started eating real food last week. He’d been hot and cold with food since we introduced it at 6 months. But he is serious about it now. It’s as if a switch flipped and there is no turning back. He eats everything we eat, and he does it with great enthusiasm. He is also still very serious about breastfeeding…

Our nights are very hard. E is still co-sleeping and nursing all night long. The other night he woke and nursed six times (between 10pm-6am). The very next day I decided it’s time to night wean. Tonight was supposed to be the first night, but by some miracle he only woke to nurse once last night and did not nurse to sleep (but woke a few other times to cuddle). It’s as if he knew, and was following the method I am going to employ. We’ll see how the next week or so goes. It’s time – I am beyond exhausted and now that he’s eating food, he does not need to nurse overnight. I will gladly continue to nurse during the day.

A and I have begun to remember what it’s like to be adults – independent of our child. We’ve gone out with friends, we even stayed out dancing till midnight recently (and I am pretty sure I forgot I had a son at home…it was amazing to feel like “just us” the way it used to be – even if only for a few hours). We’re making summer plans that include a four day camping folk festival adventure. In short: we’re out of the ball and chain baby stage. We’re so excited to spend the summer in the outdoors with E, at the beach, riding bikes on the bike trail (he in the baby bike seat), walks in the state park…the warm weather can not arrive soon enough!

Some days I think we’re nuts for starting the TTC process all over again- right now- but it makes sense in our grand scheme. Midwife appointment is less than two weeks away! I’ve already started acupuncture and am quasi charting this cycle. Next cycle—full on charting. We’ll know more after meeting with the new midwife when we’ll actually start. I’m guessing late spring/early summer. And so it beings…

There seems to be so much going on and so little time to document…

Cling: we are back in clingy baby hell. E is just attached to us and it’s very taxing. There are times when I have to put him down and he refuses to sit so I have to lay him down – and he protests. I think I am an incredibly accommodating parent, and I just about do back flips to give him what he wants, but sometimes, I have to do something that does not jive with his plans (i.e. use the bathroom). I knew I’d be using the Ergo for a long time but I never thought I still be using all three of our carriers at this point— and yet I can’t make it through a day with out them.

Sleep: Same old broken record. We’re up a lot. I nurse him to back to sleep. We repeat an hour or two later. We’ve talked about night weaning but it really just seems like too much work at this point. Our co-sleeping arrangement makes the night wakings manageable most nights.

Going to sleep: E has always been pretty good at going to sleep on his own. This is something I worked on from the start –never nursing or rocking him to sleep (except in the middle of the night). We always put him down awake and he’d nod off to sleep. Recently- with the cling and the co-sleeping – he seemed to be fighting going to sleep at night (he starts the night in his crib around 7:30). One night he wanted to take a book to bed, so I let him, and I left the light on. Ten minutes later I checked on him and he was sound asleep. There was no drama. From then on – for naps and bed – we put him in sitting up with books. We return ten minutes later to cover up our sleeping boy. I am amazed.

Walking: He’s →this← close. I predict it will happen in two weeks. He is cruising like crazy and standing on his own. He’s taken a few steps when he can grab onto something. He needs just a little more confidence. This is exactly how crawling went down. He really has to work it out for himself, really understand it and one day soon I know he’ll put one foot in front of the other and take off.

Signing: After nearly six months he’s finally developing his “sign clusters.”  He’s learning at least one new sign a week and his communication is amazing. When he woke at 6:30 this morning and had gas, I asked if he needed to use the potty, he signed potty back to me, and sure enough he needed to go!

Childcare: I joined a gym a couple of weeks ago. I’ve wanted to do this for months. I’ve been ready to get back to running but I could not leave him. Well I finally sucked it up, joined the gym, feel great, and begun using the childcare. E is less than thrilled. The first time he did OK. The second time he cried when SIL picked up his cousins before he was getting picked up, the third time I got called in after 35 minutes because he was so upset. We’re working on it. I think it goes back to #1 above: cling. As hard as it is, I feel really great and have pretty much gotten back to where I left off 22 months ago!

Life before E: A and I went out last night. We left E with my mom and really went out. Met friends for drinks, then went to a ball (LGBT church fundraiser with 200+ attendees). We partied and danced ’till midnight, closing the dance floor. For the first time in about two years we went out and just had fun. We didn’t spend dinner talking about how amazing our son is, we left him and all thoughts of him at home, we stayed out for a long time and just had fun! Of course getting home at 12am, getting up with E all night and then getting up at 6:30am was not fun, but it was well worth it in order to gain a sense of normalcy– of life as we used to know it.

Life after E: There have been times lately that have been hard. It’s no secret that this economy sucks. We left our well paying stable jobs before the economic nosedive. We knew it would take a while to get on our feet but we didn’t know the economic situation ahead and how it would present greater challenges. While A is employed, she is still seeking the full time benefited job. Lots of teachers who were set to retire have changed their plans due to the economic situation. Other teachers are being laid off. And thus we feel the tightening of the job market, while remaining thankful for the jobs she does have.

We have an amazing community here – we did before we moved here, but it’s even more so now. We have real meaningful friends. People who are not transitional – are not going to move away. People we have lots of things in common with, people we really like hanging out with. This was hard in Western MA. After five years we left feeling like we never really established the community we needed. It feels really good.

We’re really torn because on the one hand, we want to stay here. We want to raise E with family and among this strong community we’re weaving. And on the other hand, it is really expensive here and we desperately need A to get the full time job. So the current plan is to stick it out at least until the time E would start school. And if we’re still not on our feet at that time, we’d need to move onto plan B – relocate to a place holding a job for A. Ugh…

Joy: We’re so happy for the addition of little J to our family. We’re so happy for his mamas, and all of his family. I’m comforted knowing that within our family we have two donor babies – only one year apart – who will surely lean on each other as they navigate the nuances of our unique family compositions.

Sadness: For friends in pain.

Hope: For jumping back on the baby train really soon.

Just now I asked E so show Mama “potty” and he signed potty. Then I asked him to show her “hat” and he signed hat. I can’t believe how much this kid knows…if it weren’t for sign language we really would have no idea what he already comprehends.

Just two weeks ago A and I lamented to Mr. E’s pediatrician that we could not get him to eat food. He was nursing between 8 and 10 times per day and just refused food. She asked us if we’d tried this and that, and in the end was just stumped, but not worried since was getting plenty of breast milk.

And it seems just the next day he started eating. There was a slight set back when two teeth started working their way in and then unrelated he became sick. Now he’s feeling better and eating three meals a day and nursing closer to 4 – 5 times in a 24 hour period – with at least 2 of those overnight. Grrrrrrr.

Today he did something unheard of. He crawled over to his highchair, stood up, and shook it. When I asked if he wanted something to eat he motioned yes. I picked him up and he agreeably sat in the highchair (also usually a stuggle – today he ate lunch sitting on my lap). He drank his water and ate three graham sticks!

I think we’ve turned a corner. I hope so! His sleep, while still challenging has improved remarkably since he started eating more.

In other news, my appointment with the new midwife is March 16th…8 weeks from today! I wish it were sooner, but it still may be soon enough to try in April, May might be a more realistic.

January 2008:

dscn0371

January 2009:

dscn0808

On Friday we became moms to a one year old! We enjoyed a weekend of celebrating with family and friends.

You’ve grown up too fast, Little E, it feels like just yesterday that we took you home.

Lilypie Third Birthday tickers
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July 2017
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