Tag Archives: family

Wordless Wednesday: Cousins Growing Like Weeds

A & J as babes...

 

A & J as toddlers....craziness.

 
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Wordless Wednesday: Have Fun Little One

Lunch Date w/ Cousin H

 
J had a lunch date with her Cousin H today and my SIL sent me these shots.  At first they made me smile and feel so happy that she’s having so much fun when I’m not there. 
 
Then, I got to the “I’m not there” part of my thought and it made me cry.  Sometimes I feel like I’m not there too much and it kills me.  I miss too much all for a paycheck.  Maybe today’s just a bad day.
 

Giggles 🙂

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Wordless Wednesday: Polaroid, Old & New

Circa 1987 with rockin' hair

Newage HTC camera phone polariod - also with some pretty rockin' hair!

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Bedsharing Saved Us

This week over at Natural Parents Network, they’re talking about the “family bed.” I submitted a post on my experience with our family bed and how it saved my breastfeeding relationship with my daughter. 

Stop by and check it out plus see the other great posts on the benefits of cosleeping past infancy, bedsharing with multiple kids or the Wordless Wednesday post to see cosleeping!

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Getting Over “Extended” Breastfeeding

My daughter is starting to cruise around the house all by herself now, it’s amazing.  On Thursday she’s going to be a year old, unfreakingbelievable!  But, *gasp* I’m “still” breastfeeding

Unfortunately, my youngest sister-in-law, B, has a daughter, A, that is about 4 months younger than J.  I say unfortunately because it seems like everything is a competition and everything I do is scrutinized against how B is doing things.  I really try to avoid getting wrapped up in mommy wars and I try to let people’s comments or pressure to change the way I’m doing things roll off my back (Pass the bean dip!) but I feel like it’s going to get worse over the next few years.

The latest is “Well, B is only going to breastfeed until A is one…”, “You’re still doing that?”, “When are you going to give her milk?” or “When are you going to stop?”  My answers: Oh, that’s cool.  Yep, still doin’ it!  She’s drinking milk right now… and she’ll stop when she’s ready.

My daughter is only a year old.  She nurses for nutrition and for comfort which she is obviously ok with and I’m obviously ok with so why does it matter to you?  What’s the point of asking these questions?  Why don’t you just tell me what’s on your mind instead of beating around the bush?

So, you know what?  Next time anyone asks me when I’m going to stop or if I’m still doing that I’ll simply ask why.  Really, why do you want to know?  What’s it to you?  Yes, my daughter can eat regular food but she still has a need to breastfed just as your son/daughter might need their bottle, pacifier, thumb and/or to be rocked, swayed or bounced. 

Breastfeeding offers amazing immunological and nutritional benefits plus it’s the perfect time for connection after being separated all day when I’m working.  Not to mention children who breastfeed for an “extended” amount of time also benefit from fewer allergies, they’re well adjusted, possibly smarter, AND mother (and daughter, if you have a girl) can benefit from reduced risk of MANY cancers.  (Get the fact sheet here.)

When kids have needs they express them and I believe in “giving in” to those needs not suppressing them with what I’m being told that they should or should not need.  If my daughter has a need to nurse, I let her.  Not because someone told me that was right or wrong but that’s what feels right to us.

I want to know why everyone has such an issue with “extended” breastfeeding because really, is it “extended”?  What is considered “extended”? 

In my eyes my daughter has a need and urge to nurse, so I let her and I’ll continue to let her until she and I are ready to stop.  I think a better way to look at it would be continued breastfeeding.  When is this magical time that it becomes “extended”?  I’m not extending anything and I don’t think my daughter is; we’re simply continuing to breastfeed.

Breastfeeding is natural.  Breastfeeding is normal.  Breastfeeding doesn’t become “extended” it just continues until the need is gone.  So, when you ask me why I’m still breastfeeding I’ll ask you why you’re still breathing.  Oh, because you need to?  Well, my daughter still needs to, too.

What are your experiences with “extended” breastfeeding?  When do you think it crosses over to “extended”?  Is it because of social pressure that you think it is now “extended” or personal beliefs?

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Giving Thanks – A Little Late

‘Tis the season for ‘giving thanks’, stuffing our faces, awkward family gatherings, watching your ‘p’s & q’s’, and getting up super early for the deals, right? That’s all I thought about holidays for years and years. I’d just get through them and when they’re done no more family for a whole year!

For the record, it isn’t my family that I’m avoiding and it’s not that I’m not thankful. I do want to spend time with my family and I miss my family often. It’s really the awkwardness, pain and pressure I feel being around my family with my mother during the holidays.

I’m being vague here so let me just say that my mom is the drunk of the family. She’s not one of those funny drunks, either. She’s either crying, being mean, telling an inappropriate story at an inappropriate time, yelling to be heard above everyone, giving a piece of her mind (and it’s not usually a nice or constructive piece) when no one asked, or she just starts making things up.

Baby J & Cousin A w/ Grandpa C

Anyway, aside from my crazy mom we had a great Thanksgiving double feature celebration this year. First, we had dinner at noon with A’s family – which I’m still weird around. It’s just that I don’t do hugs, I suck at random chit chat, I’m socially awkward and I don’t really know his family members well. I’ll get better at it over the years, I hope. But, it was nice and also really funny to have the 11 month old screaming (literally) in her booster seat over how delicious her turkey was 🙂

Dinner at my aunt’s house was at three and over an hour away from our first celebration. I was really excited to go to my aunt’s this year because some members of my family haven’t met our daughter yet. My extended family is amazing, though. We each wrote three things we were thankful for, put them in a jar and took out three things to read off throughout dinner. My cousins each read either a poem, story or song about thanksgiving which was great.  I really wish that we weren’t hours apart so I could spend more time with my aunt, uncle and cousins because they’re all hilarious and fun.

Having a child made me realize and I’ve really learned that this time of year isn’t something you should just try to get through like I used to think. This year I’m really thankful for my life and everything in my life. Sure, the holidays can be a little awkward and family members embarrass you, but I also realized that I am my own person.  I’m not my mother – I’m just a product of her.  So, when she’s drunk and being herself I can be thankful that she’s still well and with us.  Even if she the family drunk. 

I’m thankful for my daughter, who is so full of life and filling my world with joy.

I’m thankful for my husband who can see through the cranky and know-it-all that I am and still love me deeply (even on the bad days). He takes care of us and I don’t show him nearly enough thanks for everything that he does.

I’m thankful for our family’s health, our home, our annoying yet faithful pets, and a steady flow of income even if some days we’d like to quit our jobs.

This year I hope to start some great family traditions, follow along with old family traditions and to start teaching our daughter how to give in the spirit of giving not out of feelings of obligation.

I did get up at 6:00am to go shopping with my sister and my daughter in tow on Black Friday, though. It’s the consumer in me, I guess, just trying to save a buck or two. At least the shopping is done and I only have a couple more gifts left to craft.

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