Friday, January 29, 2010

Weaning, oh weaning, the places I've gone

2010-1-23

If someone told me before I had children, that I would be breastfeeding, I probably would have some sort of bewildered expression on my face. What would that look like? I could barely imagine what I would be like as a mother.

If someone told me after my firstborn joined the world, I would continue breastfeeding my daughter, I would have been really confused. When Isabella first came home, I wasn't sure I was going to pass the 3 month mark. Once that passed, with shock, I wasn't sure I would pass the 6 month mark. You see, Isabella was a super colicky baby who had a rough start in the world. She would be on my breasts for an hour and a half and then want to breastfeed a mere hour later. Eventually, I put her on a schedule to see if I could get Isabella to quit grazing and eat more substantially per session. If someone had told me I would breastfeed a year or more, my eyes would have gotten really big.

Well, with Isabella, I nursed her for 15 months and I weaned her when I did, because I was in my second trimester of pregnancy (with Victoria) and I really didn't want to tandem nurse. Would have made me totally batty.

Victoria was a breastfeeding champion. But, it helped that she, unlike Isabella, did not spend 8 days in NICU. Rather, she had the opportunity to nurse soon after joining the world. Didn't take long to get her to latch. She was so good at taking everything I had, I was eating 1/2 to 1 gal of ice cream PER WEEK, just to keep up with her breast milk demands. As a newborn, ALL of that was going to Victoria and not me. That changed around 2 to 3 months.

Fast forward to the present. Victoria's now 20 months. I had an unspoken agreement with myself to nurse up to 2 yrs of age. She had been nursing 3 times a day: middle of the night (technically early morning - around 4-ish), early morning, and after her nap time. This is the third day where I've cut three of those nursing sessions to one. That's a feat. These three times she's been nursing she's been fighting HARD to keep. I've been praying the Lord make this weaning easier, she's been so adamant.

Guess my prayer's been heard and answered. Then, why, oh why, am I sad that she's down to nursing one time a day? Perhaps my younger is growing up so fast, and I feel that she doesn't need me in that capacity anymore. Perhaps because nothing else duplicates that sort of intimacy? Holding her and having her cuddle with me is intimate, but not as close. Anyways, that's a confession of my reality. I'm a little sad.

By the way, I very nearly included a breastfeeding picture at the start of this post.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Sweet babies' nap time

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Times during which Isabella sleeps at day-time nap time are precious few. But, here's a video of both girls taking their naps. Thank you, little darlings.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

"Simon says..."

I wanted some footage of Victoria running, even though she's been running for awhile, and I got more. Both daughters running towards me. And kissing. And hugging.

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Monday, January 18, 2010

Buttoning her buttons

I've been trying to figure out different ways to give Isabella the independence and autonomy 3 year olds need to grow and mature, from letting her "assist" me while I'm cooking to teaching her to button her own buttons. Every 3 year old, every child for that matter, is on her or his own learning curve, and I've tried to honor that with Isabella. She decided to start walking later than many of her peers, and that doesn't bother me one bit. Can you tell, by looking at me, that I chose not to start walking until I was 2 years old? Anyways, here's our little darling working on buttoning the buttons on her Elmo pajamas.

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Isabella also has a lot to say about what she wants. Sometimes that makes me proud, and well, sometimes the assertiveness and determination is annoying. Still, got to encourage this budding child.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Victoria is 20 months old today!

To celebrate 20 months of wonderfulness with my younger daughter, I thought I'd do a "20 things I'm thankful for insofar as she is concerned" list, in no particular order:

1. I'm thankful that I had a vaginal birth with Victoria, even though it was a VBAC and even though I had absolutely no pain management whatsoever (that was not planned; I was up for an epidural, had I arrived at the hospital in enough time).

2. She actually slept a lot as a newborn. I had no prior practical experience of that, prior to Victoria.

3. I appreciate her bubbly, contagious personality.

4. I am very glad she was able to vocalize, specifically verbalize, what she wanted from a pretty early age, especially since she's pretty picky about what she wants, how she wants it, and when she wants it.

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5. Victoria loves her sister very, very much, even to the point of joining her in time-outs or handing her the toys Isabella's screaming for.

6. She thinks I'm her appendage.

7. Victoria loves, loves, loves to sing. For instance, on one of our outings today, she sang three or four different songs in the space of ten minutes. So sweet.

8. Giggle, a lot, she does.

9. She loves to emulate all of us: Troy, Isabella, and me.

10. She asks me to video record her.

11. Watching Victoria sway and dance with music and laugh when she hears music.

12. Having her respond to and answer our questions.



13. Her facial expressions. They are priceless.

14. She's a beautiful girl, inside and out.

15. As of today, her prayer consists of more than an enthusiastic "amen!" She has more words to add to her before-meal-prayers. Video soon to follow.

16. It's kind of cute that she's not really sure what my name is, ma ma, or ma ma bao (mommy hold me), or mu nai, pronounced something like "moo nigh" (mother's milk).

17. Sort of in tandem with the humor in 16., I'm not sure where Victoria got this, but she has started saying, "No, ba ba," which means no daddy. But she doesn't say, "No, ma ma" or "No, Isabella."

18. She loves to share and give things to Isabella. That she already gets sharing and does it so willingly with her sister tickles me pink. What a generous heart, she has. There is very little she is not willing to share.

19. Though she has her very independent, do-it-her-own-way streak, Victoria's also a cuddle bug.

20. She's a ray of sunshine and a breath of fresh air.

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Happy 20 months, Victoria. We love you!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Isabella washing her hands

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I don't know what made Isabella decide that today's the day, but she wanted to wash her own hands in the bathroom sink, using her old portable potty as a step stool. She'd find any excuse or none at all to ask to wash her hands. She used the potty, and she wanted to wash her hands. After finishing washing her hands, she desired to repeat the process. Not OCD, I promise. Cute, anyways.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Isabella singing the ABC song

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Isabella loves to be recorded. Her sister also can sing the ABC song, nearly in its entirety. Perhaps this shows my bias, but I love hearing my children sing.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Sitting on the big person's potty

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Last week, I had been asking my older daughter, who's three, whether she'd be interested in getting an Elmo seat that can be placed on the "big potty." Since she very much loves Elmo stuff and is interested in what big people do, I didn't have to do too much to convince her to try it out. Over the weekend, we went as a family to pick out this Elmo potty seat. That day that we brought it home, Saturday, she was eager to give it a test drive. She used the little potty as a stepping stool to get atop the adult toilet. Yesterday, she had her first poop (actually twice in the day) on the regular toilet. So exciting. Welcome to the home of two very small children. We celebrate and party over these sort of milestones.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Playing on the Cedar Bluff Primary School playground

My parents still live in the house where I was born and raised, and about a mile from where they live is the elementary school I attended - Cedar Bluff. We walked there the one full day we had with my sister and her family to play on the playground associated with the primary school (that wasn't there when I was in school there). Victoria was at the house napping. Isabella, Juliet, and Zephan seemed to have a blast.

2009-12-22

This little guy, Zephan, was quite mobile. He's only a year old, and walking is just one of the many things he does to explore. For awhile he was determined to push an umbrella stroller back and forth on the playground. And, when he's not moving, climbing, or exploring, he's not a happy camper.

Juliet, at some point, was also fiddling around with the stroller, except she was determined to see it get on top of the playground equipment so she could push it across the bridge and move it about up there.

I'm not exactly sure why people are quick to label Isabella introverted or quiet. It's not that I find either one of those labels offensive; after all, I'm married to an extremely introverted husband. I just find those labels, in association with Isabella, a bit perplexing. Yes, in a room FULL of strangers, Isabella is quiet. But, I've seen her, at Starbucks, talking with random strangers, introducing her sister, talking about Henry, etc. Also? When she's around other kids, not just toddlers, she approaches them, attempts to converse with them (although most of the time they don't talk back to her), and tries to play with them. Here, Isabella was more than happy around Juliet, desiring to play with her; but Juliet had plans she wanted to follow.

An instant bond between aunty and niece

2009-12-22

I'm not sure how well Victoria remembers Tenny from the last time she saw my sister in person. Victoria was only 7 months at the time. Outside of Troy, Isabella, and me, I've never seen Victoria taken so quickly to someone the way she did with Tenny. Whenever they were in the same room together, Victoria was always eager to be around her, if not in her arms or on her lap. All the time. Victoria would chose Tenny, even when I was in the room! Perhaps Victoria somehow knows that Tenny and I are sisters.