Friday, March 22, 2013

Weaning Eve

Evie doesn't know it yet. But tonight is gonna be the last time she gets to nurse. It's breaking my heart. I know it seems silly. She's over 2 years old and some feelings have strong feelings for and against nursing past one year much less over two. But we've had such a wonderful nursing relationship. And I'm going to hate to see it end.

I tried nursing with Claire but had many obstacles we couldn't overcome. She was born 7 weeks early and I was seriously ill with HELLP the days following her birth. They say the earlier you attempt to nurse the better the results but they also say that 33-34 week preemies physically don't know hot to breath/suck/swallow at the same time, which is what is required for drinking out if a bottle or Breastfeeding. She never really got the hang of it in the hospital and didn't successfully latch until she was about 7 weeks old (near her due date in fact). I did a LOT of pumping and Claire got half and half milk to formula. We did that for about 6 months and once I went back to work my milk dried up. I knew I wouldn't be able to be pregnant for a long time due to my hyperemesis and preeclampsia which was a nightmare. See posts from 2010 fore more details on that nightmare. But the one thing I was really looking forward to was trying to nurse again.

And Evies been amazing at it! She was also born 7 weeks early but had the doctors and nurses are convinced that my due date was wrong because she was doing so amazingly well! I wasn't as sick during this delivery and I think that helped. I was able to try to get her to nurse the day after she was born. She would tire out pretty easily but would go at it like a full term newborn.

The weeks after we took her home from the NICU after her super short 10-day stay we dealt with really bad GI problems which are common for preemies. She would scream and wail every time she had to poop. Which was fairly often. I had to massage her tummy and help her do all these stretches to get it to come out more easily.

Eventually the stools became bloody. We took her to numerous doctors and everyone recommend that I stop nursing because it was probably a dairy allergy. I cut all dairy out of my diet -which is HARD due to my love affair with cheese and ice cream. But I did it! Unfortunately it didn't help her at all. Some doctors still frowned on our nursing. That it wasn't impossible to filter all potentially allergic stuff out of my milk. But I thought, it's got to be better for her than formula and there are so many antibodies and healthy bacteria etc. my milk is probably making her tummy feel better!

We finally saw a pediatric GI specialist who confirmed my instincts. She said "good job for sticking with the nursing. It was the best thing you could have done."

Turns out it was just a premature international tract and the problem eventually went away. But it could have been the end of nursing.

Right before I went back to work I started having intense sharp nipple pain making it unbearable to nurse. Tears in my eyes, teeth gritting stuff. I visited Kangaroo Kids and Sierra helped me with my latch but also noticed that Eve had a tongue tie. She recommended a family physician who specialized in newborn tongue tied and how it can negatively affect nursing. I took her to our pediatrician and she suggested to do nothing. Basically put up with the pain or quit nursing because it wasnt worth doing major surgery. Several days passed with no relief so i took her to Dr Grawey and she fixes it right then and there! I was able to nurse pain free immediately!

Another boob -block dodged.

I pumped for several months after returning to work. HATED it. With a passion. But I did it. I'd come home from work and Eve would literally want to nurse on the couch from the time I walked in the door around 6 to the time it was time to out her down around 10-11pm.

Anyone that has been through cluster feeding and pumping a work can relate. Nursing hoop - jumped through it baby!

I really just wanted to get to the 6 month mark. To nurse her for as long as I nursed her sister. But there was no way Eve was ready to wean. She would have figured out how to walk and runaway from home at 4 months adjusted age if I took the mommy milk away. So we just kept on going.

Reached the year milestone. Then 18-months. Still doing it at 2 years.

She's a good nurser. I've been able to wean her in stages. She's done great with eating solids and drinking out of a sippy cup. I nursed her on demand as long as I was with her for at least the first 18 months while working full time. Then I only offered during morning and bedtime. After 2 I only offered at bedtime, in her room, in the rocking chair after story time. And by that time Mike and I took turns putting each I the girls to bed so for the last 4 months or so she's only been nursing at night every other evening.

Since I know the end is coming I've been letting her nurse whenever she wants. She's always asked even after we started weaning. But I would always just say " no, we can't have mommy milk right now, were at the grocery store. Do you want your cup of juice?" And she would just laugh and happily accept her juice cup. Last week I was changing clothes and she waddled into the room. She saw my naked breasts (which I've also been hiding since we started bedtime only feedings). The loon on her face when she saw my boobs was like she had just seen a pink sparkle unicorn with Dora the Explorer on it carrying a basket full of fruit snacks!! She was elated! "I have mommy milk?@. Well crap OK.

So to ugh I'm all packed for my weeklong trip into Ireland. I nursed her for as long a she wanted and smelled the top of her head and stroked her fluffy cheeks.

I'm really going to miss it. But I'm so proud we were able to do it for so long.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

9 years!

Nine years ago today I got hitched. Been kissing the same boy ever since (my husband)!

So far I've gotten two sweet presents. Mike left me a vase of tulips cuz he knows they're my favorite flower. But even better - the kids slept in until 8:30!!! Gotta love spring break!

I took the day off and want to do something fun with the girls but not sure what. Plans are so weather dependent. It's snowed and been 80 degrees on past anniversaries. Ill probably need to rely on the good ok standby - the mall playplace. But maybe ill mix it up and take them to Monkey Joes or something.

Tonight for our romantic anniversary dinner were going to a Dining to Donate event at Llewelyns's. it's benefiting my former employer. I really like their food (Mike hates it bc he always gets something weird like stew). Plus it will pump me up for my upcoming trip to Dublin Ireland this weekend!

I don't think I've posted about this a all but me, my sister, mom and two cousins are spending a week exploring the Emerald Isle! I don't know what I was thinking leaving Mike and the kids for 8 days. I'm gonna miss them like crazy and they probably won't want to speak with me when I return. And Eve doesnt know it yet but shes weaning from breastfeeding while im gone bc theres NO way im pumping on a chilly vacation when i could be downing pints. (Yes i still nurse my 2 year old.)

But I think it'll be good for me!

Monday, March 11, 2013

The longest day ever. Like ever.

The day started out as normal. Mike up at the buttcrack of dawn to do his hours long primping/man-scaping routine while I roll over under the covers. Wait for him to kiss me goodbye - my own little personal smooching alarm clock if you will. Got the kids dressed, fed, diapered, Dora'd, (not necessarily in that order) and as we were getting our coats on Mike blazes in the door! We were so surprised to see him. And I literally don't know how to type this next part without laughing.

Do you know why he came home? After he was already physically AT work? The job that is a good 25 miles away?

Because he spilled coffee on his shirt.

I didn't know whether to feel sorry for his clumsiness, anal retentiveness or what! He came home for that? One of the many subtle differences between us.

I've gone to work with breast milk leaking through my shirt. With two different colored ballet flats on. With only one earring in. With no makeup because I literally forgot to look in the mirror before leaving the house and didn't see the mousy paleface I am before I put my face on. I've stayed at work with a leaky friggin tampon. That's what cardigans wrapped around your waist are for!

I just think its hilarious and adorable that he drove home. He could have literally (3rd time I've used the word literally just in tonight's post!) walked two blocks to Macy's and purchased another shirt, bought me something for our upcoming anniversary, walked back to the office, brewed and drank another cup of coffee in the time it took him to go home and change. He's a riot!

But thank beejeebus he did come home because you know what he discovered? I had a friggin flat tire! His manly self replaced it with the spare, changed into an argyle sweater and went on back to work like it ain't no thang!

So then I dropped off the girls and headed straight to Autotire. Where it smelled of stale coffee and dirty hands. The waiting room was full but I managed to get some business done anyway, scheduling appointments and responding to emails and whatnot. I was in that dirty little room with nary a FRIENDs re run on an anxient TV or water cooler for about three hours while my car got four new tires and a safety inspection that was due last month. Oopsie!

On the way to work I stopped at Mia Sorella and got a Caesar salad and some handmade toasted ravioli. To die!! So yummy! (But they charge $3 for an iced tea! Ridick!!!!)

Then I saw a client. Was going to stay at my Chesterfield office but the heat was turned up to 'Hot Flash' so I left to run errands in the cold with my car windows rolled down. Went to the bank, returned a sweater, bought the girls rain jackets at H&M, got a snack (cashews), bought some shirts for my upcoming trip to Ireland, ordered business cards, borrowed an audiobook ("Mothers and Daughters") From the county library. Very productive little afternoon.

Then I saw two more clients at 5 and 6, caught up on some paperwork and got home at 8. Just in time to eat a sandwich and some salt n vinegar Pringles with Clairey and put her to bed.

Tempted to sneak into Eves room and pinch her til she woke up but I resisted.

Claire and I read one of my favorite books of hers, Marie & Moi. It's a darling illustrated story about Marie Antoinette. (Ya know, before the guillotine.) We compared the pictures in the story of Versailles to the photographs I took when I studied in France ten, what?!? TEN?!? years ago. Claire thought that was pretty cool.

Then I took an hour long super hot Epsom salt bath. It always feels so good to purge out all that sweat and toxins and soak away.

Catching up on Facebook and my blogs and ready to hit the hay. Super long productive day. Literally.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Rock Bottom?

I'm sure this is not a new or unique 'problem' for those who blog, but I've been having a hard time figuring out what and when to blog. I think of great posts throughout my day, but struggle with how to capture the bright idea once I have time to sit down and type.

I'm a therapist and sometimes my clients struggle with what to talk about. They don't know where to start. I usually respond with "Well, what's been on your mind lately? Usually starting there will lead us somewhere we need to go."

The first thing on my mind is me. My health. And how crappy I feel. I've NEVER weighed this much in. my. life. I could stand to lose 100 pounds and that seems so overwhelming I could cry. So instead I eat. I'm definately an emotional eater and have had issues with food ever since I was a little girl. Except back then I could eat and eat and eat and never gain any weight. Then I figured out that I could restrict my eating and that took me down another path. I had to hit rock bottom at 95 lbs (at the same height I am now, 5'9") before I got better.

I still have similar eating issues. They're just on the other side of the spectrum. Plus, I just don't take good care of myself. I don't know that I've ever had a long period of time where I took good care of my body. Maybe when I was single and had a lot of free time and needed to keep the goods in showroom condition. But if I think of a theme over my childhood, adolescence and adulthood in relation to my self-care it would be 1. Do what feels good. Because too many other things don't feel good.  2. Take care of your brain. Be smart. That's the only thing that matters, not looks (or apparantly just good health)

I know I need to fix it.
I know what I technically need to do to fix it.
A big part of me (no pun intended) wants to fix it.

Why aren't I doing it?

I felt like shit all day on Friday. I saw one client and went home early. Ate some IMO's pizza and took a nap to try to get rid of a weird headache I'd been working on all day. Woke up and felt worse. By the time Mike came home at 5:30 I had an ice pack on my skull trying to numb the migraine that was brewing. By 6:30 I was in tremendous paiin and puking for the next hour or two.

I went to bed at 7. Didn't get to hang out with my kids. Didn't get to eat dinner and chill on the couch with them. Heard them laughing and couldn't join b/c the TV was too loud and the lights were too bright. It sucked. No fun.

I always feel like shit. I'm always tired. No energy. Sore feet from plantar fascitits. Achey knees from patella fascitis. Misaligned hips make it hurt to even walk long distances. For these reasons plus the consistant weight gain I'm collected over the years have made life miserable. I eat like shit because I feel like shit. I'm running out of clothes that fit me. I'm beyond uncomfortable in my skin.

What am I waiting for? This has got to be rock bottom, right?

I don't want to do anything differently. But of course I do, or else nothing will change. I miss the old me. But even the old me was sick of myself from 5 years prior. And so on and so on.

But I'm also sick of all of the self-deprecation on the blog world lately. Everyone feels fat. It's the cool thing to do. I'm sick of hearing so much of "Big Sally had a salad with crispy chicken instead of grilled" and shame-bragging about your mutliple chins. Calling yourself a 'beast'. I can't handle it.

Instead of focusing on all of the negative things about me and my life, and I can count pretty high. I don't think it's going to help. I think focusing on the positive in going to help more.

I can think of one particular blogger that never seems to go off on herself. She's always smiling. Seems very proud of herself and her accomplishments phsyically and with her family. She doesn't have a perfect body (who does, except for Mama Laughlin?) but she's made killer progress and knows it. She doesn't seem to do crazy drink fads and only eat green foods that end in a vowel, etc. She just works her ass off.

I'm going to be thinking of her as I try to gain the courage to start DOING what I need to be doing.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Best Question

Ten years ago on February 28, Mike asked me to marry him in front of hundreds of strangers. Let me explain.

We visited The Big Bang on our first anniversary in mid January of 2003 to celebrate since that's where we met for the first time. During the night we entered a drawing to win a free Happy Hour for a bunch of friends and Mike and I scheduled it for the end of February. We let all of our friends know because I mean who doesn't like free beer and chicken wings?! I thought it would nothing more than a fun, free night out with friends.

I did a double take when I saw the turn out. Tons of my friends came out. Lots of mikes buddies were there. No one flaked on us. Both sets of my parents were there...that should have given me a major clue. But I was just happy and relieved we had a good turn out and we would all have fun.

Another major hint of what was to come was when the piano man called Mike and I onstage. That wasn't necessarily so weird, sometimes they do that to embarrass hosts of Happy Hours in front of a crowd by singing a dirty rendition of of Sweet Home Alabama or something. What set me off that something was afoot at the Circle K (name that movie reference for ten points!) was that Mike immediately shot up from his seat and started clapping and getting all "Woop Woop" frat guy about it. He does not do this. He does NOT like public attention of any kind. And he most certainly does not "Woop woop. "

Well, long story long we got called onstage. Mike grabbed the microphone and like a pro thanked everyone for coming out and then started a speech about meeting his "beautiful Elizabeth" there at that piano bar about one year ago. Then my ears started ringing and my eyes started seeing double and I probably peed a bit because I knew it was coming. He asked me to spend the rest of my life with him and took a bright shiny ring out of his pocket. And the rest is history blah blah blah.

Other random memories from that night:

bummed one of my best friends couldn't be there because she was in Hawaii on her honeymoon.

Someone in the crowd saw me kissing my dad who was congratulating me. She must not have seen Mike propose on stage and thought my dad was my fiancé (ewww!!) and she comes up to me half lit saying "it'll never last! Trust me!" I was like "bitch be trippin' this IS MY DAD!"

And later that night as we were back in our shitty Maplewood apartment having a "special hug" all I could do was look at my left hand raised in the air behind Mikes back at awe of the pretty diamond on my ring finger.

Thanks for asking me Mikey. Thank God I made the right choice.

The first pic is of our first vacation, like two months after we started dating. Ah. Young and in love. The second photo is one week before he popped the question. I miss that hair color.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Choose Wisely

Pop Quiz! Can you identify the correct bottle for washing your laundry?? I'll wait...........................….................................................................................

Confession time! I've been using the blue bottle for like months now! According to Mike (aka smart pants) it's color safe bleach but NOWHERE on the package does it say so! I know the big red jug on the right is detergent but I thought the small blue bottle was ALSO detergent and I've been pouring it on every load I run. (I run like 1 load for Mikes every 10. I have way more underpants than he does obviously). Mike insisted that the clothes didn't get clean when I washed them and I just figured that was his way of volunteerism to do ALL of our laundry. But then we realized I was using the wrong stuff. I'm posting this picture because I encourage, no - implore- you to tell me which bottle you'd use on a load of colors. I'm not dummy enough to use the bleach - that's labeled by the way BLEACH. I thought I was using generic store range detergent. Am I crazy?

Sunday, February 24, 2013

You know when

You know your 2-year old is sick when she gets down from her chair at dinnertime. She doesn't want to eat her favorite Mac and cheese. So she walks over and puts her head in her mommys lap. You know she's sick when she doesn't want to watch Scooby Doo. She asks to take a bath. But when you pour the lukewarm bath she just sits there and looks pitiful. You know she's sick when you take off her clothes and the body heat from her fever just emanates off her tiny body and soft, smooth skin. Then she won't have enough energy to choose her book. So she'll just nod her head 'no' until you find some that sounds good ("Where Do Kisses Come From" and "Mommy Mine". ) She lays on your chest and turns her little head to the side so she can see the pictures. You know she's sick when she asks for 'mommy milk' and falls asleep within seconds of latching on. You pop her off and she just lays on your breast like a pillow. You put her in her crib and she doesn't even notice or complain that her baby Ariel isn't in her bed. You find it downstairs and place it in her bed. She's still hot but passed out. You accidentally wake her up a bit touching every part of her from her toes to her forehead. She looks up confused. Sees its you, her mama and smiles. Lays her head down and goes back to sleep.

God bless you little Evie. Feel better in the morning.