Wednesday, November 30, 2011


I'm in the process of stopping nursing.  Someone today asked me why.  Why am I not waiting until Miles is a year old?  Why now?  Part of me wanted to get defensive - it's my decision, it's my baby and my body and none of your business.  But instead I was just honest. 
I'm done with it. 
I'm ready. 
It's time. 
Then the conversation turned to the weirdos (yep, I said it, but you don't have to agree with me) who nurse their children into elementary school. 
Now that I've made the decision and have started pumping less often, I have to give myself permission to feel all of feelings that go along with stopping. 

There is guilt.  I feel guilty for the money we could be saving and guilty for the nutrition I've chosen to stop giving my child.  Because I could do it longer - I've made it this far.  I could try to make it a year.  Every time I dip into the $25 can of Similac and see that it's nearly time to buy a new one, I have doubts. 
But there is also relief.  Being a parent, and especially (I think) being a Mama, is hard enough.  To take away a little of the stress by making it not ALL my responsibility to create and supply the food - that feels amazing.  It feels like my load is a little lighter.  I am excited not to have to leave my teaching partner alone with 60 kids so I can go pump.  I am excited to drink more than one cup of coffee or have a soda at lunch if I damn well please.  I am excited to have a martini. 

There is trepidation.  Will my baby thrive as well on formula? (If you've seen the size of my child, you know this is a silly question. But it's one I ask myself nonetheless.)  Will he miss the closeness of our time together?  I know I will. 

But mostly there is the peace because I know in my gut that it is time.  Yes, I will miss the quiet moments that used to belong to just him and me.  Yes, I will have to start watching what I eat again.  But it feels right to do it now.  So I am. 

And it's okay. 

I'll take my martini filthy dirty and up, by the way.

A Poem to Read


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream---and not make dreams your master;
If you can think---and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build'em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings---nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And---which is more---you'll be a Man, my son!

-         Rudyard Kipling

Friday, November 18, 2011

Tradition! Tradition! Tradition!

As the holidays approach I'm thinking a lot about tradition.  My family and I... well, let's just say we have many! For me, they're a big part of what make the holidays so special.  Thanksgiving is next week, and for the past few years it has become a tradition for my mom, sister, aunt, cousin and I to exchange Christmas ornaments.  I'm especially looking forward to this year's exchange because I have something special for them.  I can't tell you what it is, because that would spoil the surprise! Rest assured, it's cool. 

My sister and I always join my mom on Wednesday to make salads and pies.  What's funny is that by the time Sarah and I get there, Mom, being the efficient and amazing cook she is, usually has most of them done already!  There's homemade Chex mix to nibble on (or just pick out the macadamia nuts to eat) and holiday music in the air.   I (almost) always get to make the salad, which for me is a necessity at dinner the next day: the 7-layer salad.  (But with mayonaise, bacon and eggs, can it really be classified as a salad?)  There's lots of giggling and hugging - and by 4:30 there will be cocktails. It's as much a part of Thanksgiving for me as the turkey.

Mom used to make this heinous oyster casserole that stunk to high heaven, but I think mine and my sister's teasing have prompted her to quit doing it.  I feel kind of bad about this, since I think it was a tradition of her Mom's.  (But seriously, Mom, don't bring it back.  Gross.)  Dad will carve the turkey with a buzz saw - er, electric knife.  (What's wrong with a good ol' knife and fork?) Sarah and I will fight over which end of the wishbone is the winning one - short or long.  And we'll all go on a walk before pie. 

Mostly I'm just looking forward to the silliness and love and warmth that always surrounds my family - not just on the holiday but always.  It makes going home so special - and this year even more so since we have little Miles to add to the mix of our craziness. 

Can next week please get here faster?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

It's Been a While...

For some reason finding the time to write lately has taken a back seat to other things.  Like sleeping and showering and doing my job.  I know - lame, right?  But this week has been C to the RAZY, and write I must. 
Tuesday afternoon, Robert's phone stopped working, which wouldn't be such a huge deal except that he had to drive to Kansas City that evening to prepare for a visit to two schools in Kansas on Wednesday.  (This is important to a later part of my story.)
After hanging out with a friend for pizza and playtime with the baby, I put Miles to sleep and caught up on my DVR'd shows.  Beavis and Butthead, The Walking Dead - you know, the classics. 

After two hours of sleep for Mommy, Miles started to fuss, so I went down to hold him and see if he was hungry.  As I was about to nurse him, he had a coughing fit, which ended in him vomiting (a lot!!!) all over himself and me.  Poor little guy.  I can't say that I'd ever been puked on before, but it was not pleasant.  Mostly because I was so worried about him.  He didn't seem fazed by it -- didn't even cry.  In fact, I think he quite enjoyed the Mommy / son bathtime that ensued immediately afterwards. 

After getting a fresh diaper and pj's, he coughed hard and threw up... again.  This was the point where I began to flip out.  I called my mom crying.  She answered on ring one and a half, sounding awake and almost like she was expecting something crazy to be happening on the other end of the line.  (Though I'm sure whenever your kid calls at 1 a.m. it's not a good thing.)  Gammy was amazing and calming and helpful, assuring me that it's normal for kids to gag when coughing.  It was good just to hear another grown up person's voice and know I wasn't in it alone.  I felt consoled and reassured and like I could handle things once I hung up with her. I then changed Miles into pair of jammies #3 of the night and fed him a little. 

That's when he decided to vomit yet again.  Here is where I went from scared to terrified.  I called the pediatric triage hotline and spoke to a very nice and helpful nurse named either Mary or Kathy, I don't quite recall.  She gave me some helpful advice and had me take Miles into the bathroom with the shower running on hot, creating a steam bath.  I decided that it was perhaps pointless to put new jammies on either of us, so there we were, covered in baby vomit, breathing steamy air.  I kept kissing his little head, assuring him it was going to be okay, but not really knowing that for sure myself. I desperately wished Robert were there, but knew he wouldn't be able to do anything more than I was already doing.  

The steamy room made him sleepy, so I let him fall asleep in my arms in bed while I composed an email to Robert (oddly the only form of communication he could receive on his peice of crap Blackberry).  Then I propped my little man on a big pillow (covered in a towel) and slept (sort of) next to him all night.  He slept 6 hours straight - I got maybe 4. 

36 plus hours later, things are better.  Robert drove home at 5 in the morning after getting my email and has been the sweetest husband and Daddy anyone could ask for.  We both stayed home yesterday to look after our little guy, who seems to be on the mend.

Tomorrow is Friday.  Thanksgiving is coming up.  There is a lot to look forward to and be grateful for.  But for now, let's just hope that the fact that Robert's phone is broken (again) and that he has to drive to KC tonight (again) are not signs of (vomity) things to come!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Quote of the Day:

"Our 'parenting' matters less than being comfortable and happy being the people we are, because that's what kids will learn from and emulate." - Working Mother magazine

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Bathed in Blue Light

There is a moment every night I get to experience that is beyond sweet.

After Miles has had his Goodnight Moon book read, and has drunk his bottle, and has been rocked to sleep, we lay him in his crib.  The glow from turtle nightlight bathes the room in serene blue stars.  Robert and I each plant kisses on Miles and tip toe backward to gaze down at our sweet son.  Then we embrace, a feeling of triumph prevalent in the air at having gotten him to sleep successfully.  I press my face into Robert's chest and hear his father's heart, beating for his family. 

Everything is right with the world at that moment.  Our love is tangible in the room... and the possibilty for good sleep for him and us is born again. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Things I'm Thankful for:

I know it's not Thanksgiving yet, but, hey, I'm grateful anyway.  I have a good and full life : )
  • baby Miles - duh, he's like the whole reason for everything!
  • family - so sweet and supportive, and they love Miles (almost) as much as me
  • hubby - he is getting my car fixed and going to the grocery store today.  What a man!
  • sleep - absence makes the heart grow fonder
  • friends - Kelsey, Heather, Katie, and others.  They make parenting easier
  • food - Miles ate (and actually swallowed!) cereal last night.  So proud of him!
  • fall leaves - they allow me to appreciate my backyard instead of being angry at my horrible neighbor and his dog
  • a good camera - it's definitely getting a workout these days
  • coffee - a necessity, like air, water... and cute shoes
  • baby Gap
  • my students who think my son is adorable
  • doughnuts in the teachers' lounge
  • running shoes - you're there for me even when I neglect you for days
  • online banking - seriously, what did we do before this? 
  • 60 degree weather