Friday, December 2, 2016

Weaning: The End of an Era

It's been over 48 hours, and I'm calling it: after 1,367 days, my milkies are officially retired. 

I was afraid we wouldn't make it past the first 3 weeks, but we survived thrush, teething, night feedings...  And then there was a new baby - learning to nurse a newborn while in the same room with her still-nursing sister.  Learning why God gave us two? 

3 years 8 months and 26 days of interrupted nights so I could nourish and comfort and bond with my babies.  Countless sour looks and tilted heads when I answered "Yes, we're still nursing" as the weeks and months and years ticked by...as if I were doing something wrong, something unnatural.  The early days when it was ridiculous for me to not be giving them bottles full of rice cereal at 3 months, completely wrong for me to not feed them purees from jars at 4 months, just weird for me to give them whole pieces of banana and avocado at 6 months...I've been feeding them all wrong from the get go.  "Just give them a bottle, it'll be easier."  "They'll sleep better if you'll stop breastfeeding and give them a bottle with cereal."  "They're too old to still be nursing, Natalie." 

I did what I thought was the best.  I do every day.  I wake up every day and make the best choices I can in the hopes that I'm making a good start, a good life for them.  It's been time to end this, but I needed, for myself and for Cora, to make it to Cora's second birthday.  I also had to find a way to cut them off near that date without it becoming "Cora turned 2 and the milkies went away," because Geneva is serious about her milkies and I could honestly see that becoming a therapy talking-point in her later years if I screwed this up.  We've been talking for a few months about how milkies are only for little babies, and when babies grow bigger, the milkies dry up and go way. So when we were driving home Wednesday evening, and I told them that the milkies were almost all gone, they didn't freak out.  That night, we nursed before bed as usual, and I told them that was the last time.  The next morning, they asked, but didn't fight me when I gently told them no and redirected them.  Same at bedtime last night, and again this morning.  I was out tonight when they went to bed, but G was still awake when I got home - she asked me to lay with her, but didn't ask for milkies.  This is a huge positive and it makes my heart so happy - I've dreaded and delayed this because of my fear of how the transition would go.  Once again, my kids are better than I give them credit for - they understand when we talk to them, and if we don't give them room for argument, they don't argue.  Well.  Sometimes. 

This has been such a huge part of my life for so long; I'm sad that it's over, but only because it's always sad for me when chapters close.  It's exciting too - maybe now the girls will start sleeping through the night and we can get some actual sleep and not be zombies all the time!  But also, the girls are growing up, and that's so exciting - they're such neat little people, and I just love watching them turn into the awesome people they're going to be.  And I'll always be so grateful and proud of my amazing body - I didn't just grow them inside me and bring them into this world, I nourished them and kept them alive, too.  That's miraculous.  I got to be an active part in two miracles.  That's a pretty good feeling. 

Friday, November 25, 2016

Thanksgiving 2016

We're all sick, so we're skipping the family gatherings this year to stay home and try to recuperate together. We've been to Kroger twice today - Jimi went out this morning for meds and some miscellaneous fixin's to help us create a mini-Thanksgiving dinner, and within 2 hours I was back for pie plates (totally thought I had one) and convenience foods because, well, sick + toddlers = we need easy stuff. So far the menu for tonight is: Bacon Spam, Dressing, Mac & Cheese, Ve...getable Soup, Corn on the Cob, Salad with Olive Garden Dressing (that is an important detail if you want the toddlers to actually eat the salad)...

(We were originally going to have chicken breasts, but dammit, I love bacon spam, and it's way easier than thawing and dealing with raw chicken, so eff it, guess what's the main course tonight? Go on. Judge me.)

Also, I'm baking a Derby pie, because I love pecan pie + chocolate chips. We don't need it, but I'm going to eat it anyhow, and without guilt. Same with those TGIFriday's tater skins I bought.

I'm thankful that our sickness is temporary and mild. I'm thankful for my husband whose good humor and self control holds our family together when the females in the house start to lose their minds. I'm thankful for my little girls, who are miracles by whom I will never stop being amazed. I'm thankful for a warm home and plentiful food. I'm thankful for amazing family and friends. I'm thankful for my new work home, and the happiness that comes from a job and coworkers you genuinely enjoy.

2016 has been so awful outside of the walls of our humble little home - there is so much anger and fear and cruelty. I'm thankful for the privilege that has kept us mostly insulated from most of the awful - we are so fortunate to be in a position to literally decide we just don't want to see it anymore, and we can turn it off and walk away and pretend it doesn't even exist. I try hard to remember to be thankful, and to look for the good - there is so much good.

I hope your day and weekend is full of love. I hope you have people tell you they love you, and I hope you have people to say it to. I hope you get good strong hugs that make you feel safe. I hope there's warm delicious food to eat. I hope you have a comfortable place to sit while you eat your meal, and afterward, I hope the dessert is sweet and the coffee strong. I hope the conversation flows easily and is sprinkled with laughter. I hope you're able to find time to do whatever it is that recharges you and makes you feel awesome. I hope this Thanksgiving is the best Thanksgiving ever for you and yours.

I love you.

So yeah. Happy Thanksgiving, yo.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

WTFUSA?

I went to bed at 10 o'clock.  I felt sick, full of nervousness and fear.  I woke up several times throughout the night, but didn't peek at my phone until sometime after 3.  I don't think I actually went back to sleep after that. 

I had to be at work early - I had meetings with 4 customers today.  All of whom were positively giddy over the election results.  I sat in a room with three men while they laughingly discussed how their small children asked "Is she going to jail now?", and how they just hoped they held off on convicting her until after Obama is out of office, so he can't pardon her.  It took every ounce of my professionalism and self-restraint to not walk out of the room, or worse.   

I listened to yesterday's Moth podcast episode - do you listen to Moth podcasts?  You should.  This one was a story about a family's voting legacy - one that began with literacy tests.  I cried. 

I still feel like I need to just let it go and have a good cry.  I got myself going this morning by repeatedly reminding myself to not stress over things I cannot control, to focus on the immediate things in my life that I can do something about - like calming G down because she hates these white socks and wanted the pink socks.  I remind myself that I voted for them, for the ideas I have about the world I want them to grow up in.  I read Facebook and Instagram and most of you are hurting today in the same way I am; you're scared like me; you're worried what this all means. 

So, for now, I'm just going to keep on keeping on.  I'm going to teach my little girls to treat others as they want to be treated. I'm going to surround them with this amazing village of ours, full of brilliant and compassionate people who aren't scared.

I'm going to try to learn to be less scared, too. 

I can't believe how depressed I am over this shit.  I feel like someone died. 

I hope.  I hope.  I hope. 



Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Ugh.

I just want to take a nap and wake up when it's all over. So much nervous excitement! I woke up a few times throughout the night, excited and scared and nervous and anxious...all of the feels. Like that tweet said, Christmas Eve and the night before a life-endangering surgery.

I held my almost-2-year-old as I stood in line this morning to cast my ballot. We've been through three elections in this home, at this polling place, and we've never stood in line. We had to par...k outside the gates because the lot was full. I fought back the misty tears that threatened to spill over. Jimi held our 3 year old's hand. I thought of what this day is going to mean for them. More mist.

I filled in that bubble that wavered in and out of focus because of my emotional tear ducts, surrounded by the usual chaos of life with toddlers, urging Geneva not to shake the polling booths as I cast my ballot, trying to keep Cora from dive-bombing out of my arms onto the floor. This significant, historic moment, rolled up and mingled with all the normal day-to-day.

I voted for them. I voted for their future. Because, I gotta be honest, this election cycle has brought out a lot of feelings of guilt for this shit show we've brought them into. I'm hoping that tonight will remind me of the inherent good in the world; that most people genuinely do want to do what's best for their fellow human.



Just two hours ago.

I'm disgusted.  I hope I wake up and the tide has turned. 

I'm so scared.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Election Eve

It's almost over.  YAY! 

I have a feeling I'll drink a few tomorrow night.  Hopefully in celebration and not despair.  I'm meeting clients for breakfast Wednesday, so at least I'll be able to feed a hangover if necessary.  Though I don't think I will be able to take any gloating...

I hope we have a clear winner this time tomorrow.  I hope it doesn't drag on and on and on. 

I hope it's a motherfucking landslide.

I'm With Her. 

Forward, not backward. 

Love, not hate.

Hope, not fear.

Go Vote. 

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