Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The power of suggestion

WARNING: This post is about breastfeeding, more specifically Victoria's feelings about the subject. Read no further unless you desire to read about this.

***

For whatever reason - coffee still lingering in my body some 13 hours after I stopped ingesting caffeine? a restless mind? - I've been having struggling to get any shut eye so far tonight. So, I'm attempting to rid myself of some of that energy by blogging.

2010-6-24

Still here?

Really? Alright, here we, I mean 'I', go.

***

Seems that Victoria at 25+ months (transl.: 2 years, 1 month, and some change) is still a very enthusiastic proponent of breastfeeding. The mere power of suggestion sends her into a frenzy, insisting on breastfeeding where nothing can distract her until she has her desire/demand fulfilled. Sometimes this mere power of suggestion can be seeing me laying down fully clothed, seeing me without a shirt on, someone saying 'breast milk'.

You may be thinking that perhaps this is an issue of comfort. She comes to the breast for comfort. That's certainly an element of truth in that. But, I also know that I'm definitely still producing milk. I feel her draining me, and I can clearly hear her drink and swallow.

Funny, I was on the way to weaning her; I was down to 1x/day. Now? About 3-5 times a day. Hmmm, some thing seems amiss; can't quite put my finger on it. . .

So, there's not any main reason (e.g. soliciting advice or sympathy) in writing this post. Can't sleep. Have a restless mind. I'll sign off now. Good night.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Table Food Protest and Strike


2010-6-24

Yesterday and the day before yesterday were most pronounced. Couldn't even bribe her with some of her favorite foods, such as blueberries and strawberries. All she wanted was to breastfeed. Interesting choice, daughter. I don't ever remember making such choices, but I cannot imagine being two years old and desiring breast milk over the variety of foods available to consume.

Her food choices still baffle me. Lately, she won't eat yogurt, unless it's kefir yogurt. She appears ever picky in some ways (doesn't want to eat things at certain times or particular ways) but isn't choosy in other ways (the variety of what she's willing to eat or try is much broader.

For instance, I was preparing this vegetable:


Whilst I was cutting it, she kept approaching me and snatching cut pieces off of my cutting board and eating them.


Not just chewing them up and spitting them out. Eating - chewing and swallowing them.

But, once I cooked it - stir fried it with eggs - she was not interested.


She has also been known to eat other strong tasting entities raw, like onion. What?

Oops. I digress. Anyways, there appears to be no apparent sign Victoria's ready for the milk truck to depart. I guess I'm honored she prefers my goods to all the deliciousness out there. And no, it's not all about comfort.

Fashion choices

These days, the girls have very divergent opinions about what they want to wear.

Isabella wants to wear dresses, skirts, or new clothes.

2010-6-24

Victoria isn't interested in dresses or new clothes, not that that's any indication of things to come. Isabella didn't really care about dresses and such when she was Victoria's age. Victoria certainly has a favorite shirt, the one she's wearing in this photograph; she calls that her monkey shirt. See the monkey hanging from the right tree branch? In fact, she insists on wearing the long sleeve shirt, even if it's 96 degrees outside. And, she wants to wear it, even if that means she wakes from her nap with a completely sweaty, wet-haired head.

Friday, June 18, 2010

No melt downs, success, and style

We have family coming to visit today, from different parts of the country; and we wanted to look our best. Um, qualification. By "we," I'm referring to our darling children, not us adults. The adults are a lost cause. How can the children look any cuter? If you come with an answer, let me know.

Here are a couple of before shots:

2010-6-8

The true length of Isabella's hair is a bit hard to determine, since her hair is pretty wavy/curly. When wet, it hit close to the bottom of her back.

Here's a before shot of Victoria. Her hair mainly needed some tidying and perhaps her bangs some trimming.

2010-6-16

Here's an after photograph.

2010-6-18

I was pretty nervous about getting the girls' hair cut or even cutting their hair myself. Both of them are wiggly and have their own minds about what they want to do or not do. I was more worried about my older child, Isabella, since she's sensitive to new objects, machines, things that have motors (however small the motors might be), and things that plug into walls. When asking her about getting a hair cut and using scissors (defined as distinct from the aforementioned feared objects), a look of panic overwhelmed her and she wasn't hesitant about voicing her disdain.

Leave it to us to be last minute in making arrangements. This morning we made an appointment for, uh, this morning. The earliest they could get us in was 11:40 am. Great, near lunch time and a bit close to Victoria's grumpy face, nap time attitude. We accepted the appointment time and hoped, hoped, hoped for the best.

Though I may be late on some things (like making appointments), and perhaps appearing disorganized and disheveled as a result, I did my research ahead of time before booking the appointment. Two hair salons in the area specialize in cutting children's hair; one got mixed reviews including bad reviews for poor treatment and service and the other got superb remarks. The latter was for Jack and Jill Salon Spa and Shoppe, so I decided to go with them.

We found the place without getting detoured (lost).



Can you see the ever subtle look of panic forming on Isabella's face?


How about now?

But, look, Isabella got to ride in a snazzy, green vehicle. And she had a wonderful stylist, Janelle, who patiently explained in great detail to Isabella (per my request) what she was doing.

Do you see a look of panic or discomfort on Victoria's face?



A bit more telling, now?

Victoria's stylist, Jenny, also spoke sweetly and patiently. Still, I heard the little one say, "Mama, hold me" a few times.


So far no one clamored off of any vehicles.


Hark, is that a look of pleasure? Did the disdain and upset fade away?





What a great and brave daughter. Way to go, Isabella.


Uh, probably helped that the girls sucked on the first lollipops ever since they were born. Sweet fruitiness.

Calm.


Patience exhibited even though tiredness approacheth.


There's that lollipop.

Before they got too much into their lollipops, I swapped them out with bunny cookies I had brought along for bribery (I mean, a treat). Well done, little ladies. Your parents thank you for your cooperation and trust.



Victoria and Isabella in their glory.

On another note, some employees at the salon asked whether our girls were twins. Not the first time we were asked this. Not the second or third time either. And it's not about being dressed in identical clothing. Really? In what way do they look like twins? I'm not offended. Just stumped. Confused. Baffled.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

My social butterfly and my dramatic princess

Which belongs to whom?

Distinctive personalities are definitely forming amongst my little brood. It's a bit pronounced in my older one than my younger one, probably a part of that growth and development thing.

Here's my younger one reading.

2010-6-1

This upcoming photograph is rather unexceptional. What is exceptional is that my younger child was making loads and loads of huge bubbles, when adults couldn't do it.

2010-6-5

There she is. Victoria.

2010-6-7

My older one loves to dress up, do wardrobe changes, and all the above. And, she will not be stopped.

2010-6-8

Still not obvious who is the social butterfly and who is the dramatic princess? Patience, my dear. Patience.

My younger daughter lounging in the basket, then later, feigning it as her bed.

2010-6-10

Isabella loves umbrellas. Who am I kidding. She loves props, stuff, dresses, skirts, bicycles. Everything. And, she wants to do what adults do.

2010-6-12

Is the answer becoming clearer now? Who is the dramatic princess? This is not just skin deep, folks. Not just on the outside.

2010-6-13

Who is the social butterfly?

2010-6-14

Do you see her there in the pigtails, blue top, and orange pants? There was a playground full of toys and things to climb and explore. But she was interested in this group of much older kids and wanted to play whatever they were playing. Soccer.

Oh honey, you're still a bit young to play soccer with those folks. Well, at least that's what they'll think.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Uncharted territories, the milk truck that isn't allowed to leave

Warning, warning, you may not desire to proceed any further. TMI included in this post, specifically on the topic of breastfeeding. . .

2010-5-31

Still here? Are you sure? Past the point of no return after this. . .

***

I'm not sure precisely what's motivating the writing of this post. Perhaps it's this episode of ABC's May 14th "What Would You Do," about breastfeeding in public and people's response (roughly 20 minutes into the episode). Maybe I desire to share a confession. Or, perhaps I just want to encourage other moms who haven't necessarily planned out children's lives from the start and stuck by the plan.

***

The little monkey pictured above is two years (and some change) old now. And, still breastfeeding. With my firstborn, I weaned her at 15 months, in the second trimester of my pregnancy with my second child. That means with child #2, I was in uncharted territory with breastfeeding. As much as I am an advocate of breastfeeding, I definitely didn't want to tandem nurse. There's nothing wrong with tandem nursing; I just didn't think I could survive that.

I believe pediatricians tell new moms that benefits of breastfeeding end at 12 months, because loads of moms think themselves as fortunate for surviving breastfeeding that long. Many don't make breastfeeding past 3-6 months, if even that long. Nothing could be further from the truth that benefits end by 12 months. Perhaps nutritionally, that's true for the most part; little ones can get plenty of nutrition from table food. However, benefits from antibodies passed from mother to child do NOT stop. Neither one of my girls has had an ear infection up to this point (knock on wood), both girls have recovered from sickness relatively quickly, and both girls are not sick as often as my friends' kids. I don't think that has to do with being born with a stronger immune system. . . Neither am I trying to make a hasty generalization.

Where am I going with this? I honestly am not sure. I've had too much strong coffee in a short period of time today, and I'm a bit sleep deprived. I am definitely not saying that moms who do not choose to provide their children with breast milk somehow fall short as parents. I am also not claiming that moms who stop breastfeeding sooner than later fail.

I'm merely cataloging an observation of my own journey as a mother of two children. When Victoria was a newborn, I thought weaning by the age of two, if she didn't stop sooner, seemed like a good time. Now, I'm not sure when the end will be. She's my slightly strong-willed child and when she gets into her head she wants to nurse, nothing will deter her attention (not even the offering of table food or her favorite foods).