Zuzu Day: a promise

This past weekend we were starting some of wedding preparation for Auntie Deb’s fall nuptuals. My bridesmaid dress and shoes are fitted and ordered and Zuzu has the distinction of being the flower girl so we began dress shopping for her. We found these lovelies and started a photoshoot to show Auntie Deb our good fortune. The dress choices are absolutely lovely and Zuzu was thrilled to hear she was going to be the star of my photoshoot. Of course; once she was tucked and bowed into her dresses the teenager in her took over and I don’t think Barney himself could have earned a grin.

We promise a little more smiles and a little less sullenness on the big day Auntie Deb!

Gratitude Journal

1. lovingly wrapped gifts

2. less lovingly wrapped gifts by goof-ball brother-in-laws

3. oven-to-tableware!

4. a new book of Mary Oliver poetry!

5. Green dresses for the girls!

6. Lovey giving me back the cake I lost last year

7. remembering

8. new families to share with

9. Lindt dark chocolate with a touch of sea salt- oh how it crackles in your mouth!

10. 2 cakes!

11. a 3 year old using cake decorating as a spelling lesson

12. “But Momma, I don’t have tireds in my belly, I have daytimes in my belly!” (in other words- no naps happening here)

13. children’s Motrin

14. Lovey’s flexible schedule

15. a 3 year old feeling better

16. a well-fitting bra

17. a well-fitting bra (as a nursing momma- it bears extra gratitude)

18. Quail chortles and vocal experimentations whenever they come- 1am, 3:30am, 5am…

19. a new shirt!

20. fried zucchini sticks

21. modern technology and asthma medications keeping a cold purely a cold (and not landing us in the hospital)

Fave-O-Lit Friday

It was my child who taught me to understand so clearly that all people are equal in their humanity and that all have the same human rights. I might never have learned this in any other way. I may have gone on in the arrogance of my own intolerance for those less able than myself. My child taught me humanity” -Pulitzer and Nobel Prize winning author, Pearl S. Buck

corner view: sweets

The house sweet in this neck of the woods is most definitely the donut. Lovey is a donut-fiend from way back. I have no arguments with this whatsoever. I’ve never met a donut that I haven’t liked. We have one tasty local donut shop in the area, but mom-and-pop donut shops that employ work-release type folks for the overnight heavy labor are a dying breed. When we were in St. Louis we were in donut heaven with a handful of happy choices for non-chain delights. Oh how we miss it! Our little holes don’t fall far from the fryer. And  the donut is such a common household item here that you are bearing witness to probably the only toddler on the planet to pass out halfway through her sweet-treat!

Come feast on sweets around the world starting with our lovely host Jane:

jane, ladybug-zen, ian, bonnie, esti, sophie, cele, modsquad,caitlin, joyce, ani, kim, natsumi, epe, kaylovesvintage, trinsch, c.t., jeannette, outi, ritva, francesca, state of bliss, jennifer, dana, denise, cabrizette, bohemia girl, isabelle, amber, a girl in the yellow shoes, mister e, janis, kari, jgy, skymring, elizabeth, allison, lise, cate, crescent moon, erin, otli, ida, caroline, lisa, dorte, kimmie, la lune dans le ciel, nicola, malo, vanessa, britta, april, b, kyndale samantha, karen, kristina, goldensunfamily, sophie, janet, mcgillicutty, aimee, sunnymama, jenell, britta, juanita, pamela, inna, daan, myrtille, cris, ibb, jodi, gillian, travelingmama

Zuzu Day

“But Momma, I’m bigger now, that’s why I need the big half of the cinnamon roll.”

“We have to go to sleep now Momma. If we don’t Christmas Eve won’t come and it won’t snow!” (said to me on 1/29/10- because she heard me say to Lovey that it may snow tomorrow, edited to add she continued to talk about the need to put up a new Christmas tree all weekend)

“Momma, The Quail has grown up!” (said when she woke up and noticed that her sister wasn’t in the co-sleeper)

“Momma, are you all better? I was so worried when you were sick!”

“Momma, I don’t want to be grumpy! Waaaahhhhhhhh!!!”

“Momma you have to use your happy manners if you want to be happy”

“Momma you have to be nice to your friend Daddy, Sorry is a good thing to say”

“Gramma, I”m going to be a teacher, a ballerina, a doctor and a mommie to 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 babies- all girls!”

“Girls are princesses and boys are bears”

“Momma you have to be nice to be a good Christian”

“God the Father, God the Father- All-the-men, All-the-men..Yayyyyyyy!!!!”

Momma Monday: No neh-neh

So the Quail and I are definitely done with our nursing relationship. It’s been a while since we tried and this weekend I thought I would give it one last try. I hate to think in ultimatums. And I did hold out one last bit of hope that as her imitations skills grew perhaps seeing her sister nurse would inspire her. A few weeks ago we were in declutter mode at home and Lovey asked if I was done with the bottle nipples I was using in nursing practice. I really hadn’t thought about it in a few weeks and it gave me a small pang to admit I was done. But I told him to go ahead and pack them up. Then a few hours later still ruminating on it I went and got one out to keep in my bedside stand just in case. I guess there is still a part of me that sees it as defeat and doesn’t like that.

But life goes on and I need to as well I guess. I need to have some peace about it. I think I mentioned my conversation earlier with Bad Mama about nursing and how she talked me through the fact that yes, the Quail did not no how to nurse, did not have the physical stamina to nurse, had sensory issues related to nursing and we did work through all of those. So yes, she did technically learn to nurse. Now she makes an active choice not to nurse. I know plenty of babies end up weaning early on for one reason or another. For me the fact that my 3 year old is still so devoted to the breast, it makes it hard for me to see that another baby of mine is not so devoted. But I’m sure this is just the first in a long line of life lessons in recognizing family resemblances but allowing for individual differences. The Quail definitely has a will of her own. I can probably credit her sturdy neck tone to all of her fighting  and shoving away from me in nursing practices.

So I’m working on not being sad about this. Or taking it as a personal failure. It’s funny because when I talk to other mom’s about nursing difficulties I would never think to blame them for it not working out, or tell them that they just didn’t apply themselves enough. So why I’m being so rough on myself I have no idea. I’m the first one to emphasize how hard nursing is to a new mom. The Quail did nurse. Our last most successful nursing that happily stands out in my head was during a therapy session after weeks of no luck. She latched on, settled in and nursed with the assistance of a bottle nipple and swaddle but little struggle otherwise. Kathy passed me a note quietly during it exclaiming, “Beautiful!” And it was. When we weighed her afterwards she had taken in a full 4 oz. A full feed, in 20 minutes from a little girl that months earlier struggled to extract a half ounce from me. That is success. It was sweet, it was natural, it was a triumph for both of us. Shortly after that we began 3 months of her being ill, stuffed up and the nursing strikes. We won’t be continuing to nurse but we did nurse. Yes we did.

My goal is two-fold now. First and foremost to focus on a snuggly bond with the Quail. Lovey hesitantly brought up our bond a few days ago. He said he wasn’t sure how I would react so he hadn’t wanted to point it out so blatantly before. But he felt like things had improved with my relationship with the Quail since we had given up our struggling nursing sessions. She responds more brightly, more openly and trustingly to my entering a room. She snuggles is when I pick her up and seems to feel confident in her home on my hip. She pats my cheek and gnaws on my chin. In the morning when I nurse Zuzu before work we have taken to snuggling up together as a threesome on the bed, Zuzu to one side and the Quail on my lap while we read a couple of quick stories. I still get to breathe in the scent of my heartsongs before I have to go out in the world. It gives me peace. It centers me and gives me strength. I’m no longer mentally focused on how to get everyone to be quiet and sit still in a house that is notoriously lively and full of energy just to reach one small part of a self-imposed goal. I’m no longer snapping at Zuzu or asking her to go to another room so that I can nurse her sister. That part of how things had become had always bothered me and hurt my heart as well as Zuzus. The thing I was most proud of when the Quail came home was the kindness with which Zuzu had welcomed her into our little nursing circle. To shove her out was not kind or natural. So ironically the upside of letting go of nursing the Quail is a stronger bond between all of us. And isn’t that bond one of the main reasons we nurse our babies in the first place?

The second part of the goal is the breastmilk itself. I hope to supply it in full to the Quail, first through her first birthday next month. Then hopefully through this cold and flu season that has been so hard on her little immune system. And this summer we’ll begin the transition to whole milk.

I feel good about these goals. They feel manageable.