August 20, 2012

A whole new game, a whole new set of rules


When Stella was just a tiny baby, I would read  about how challenging it could be to breastfeed a toddler.  I remember thinking that it can't be that difficult.  These women just want to whine about something.  After all, toddlers can't possibly nurse that much and it seemed so much better than the hours and hours I spent sitting around nursing a newborn.  Here I am today, breastfeeding a toddler and longing for the days when I sat comfortably nursing my quiet newborn for hours. 

Toddlers are demanding.  It doesn't matter where we are or what time of day it is, when Stella decides it's milk time, it's milk time.  We can be in the middle of the grocery store, in a restaurant or picking her sisters up from school when she makes that decision.  Once that is decided, she will do anything she can to get it.  This includes (but is not limited to) poking at my chest, pulling my shirt down, pulling my shirt up, screaming, crying, headbutting, and sometimes, she  just tries to chew through my shirt. 

Toddlers are active.  They are busy learning how to do new things with their bodies every day.  They can't be bothered to stop for any reason, not to eat, not to sleep and definitely not to nurse.  I think back to pictures depicting feeding positions for newborns and how simple it was.  Now, it's like a lottery.  I can only guess what kind of position we'll get in and only hope that it's comfortable.  I honestly don't remember ever seeing a picture of a mother nursing with the child's toes in her ear or the baby on her back or hanging from her hair. 

Decision making is not on the list of a toddler's strengths.  They often want to do everything all at once.  Stella will settle in to nurse until something interesting catches her eye and she's off and running.  If I'm lucky, she'll remember to let go before taking off.  However, the moment I try to close up shop, she wants to finish nursing.  The problem doesn't just lie in deciding to nurse or play, it extends to which side she will nurse on.  Discreet nursing has become a thing of the past.  She wants both sides available to her at all times.  I'm seriously starting to think that one side is chocolate and one is vanilla.  Sometimes, she will look around for a third option and get mad when she doesn't find one.   

Stella is the first of my children I have successfully breastfed past 1 month.  I'm proud of myself and for continuing and I know that it's best for her.  There are times (usually when she's upside down with her big toe in my left nostril) that I think "I'm finished.  I can't do this anymore".  The moment always passes as quickly as it came.  I haven't put any thought as to when I will wean Stella.  It would probably be more accurate to say that Stella has given me no hint as to how soon she will wean herself.  Until then, I'll just continue to laugh about feeling like a buffet and a jungle gym.

August 16, 2012

"ME" time

Today is the first day of school. 
Guys, I can tell you how I can't believe my girls are getting so big. 
That is true. 
Corrina is in the 3rd grade.  Wasn't I just in the third grade? 

Kennedy is starting kindergarten.  How? 

Georgia has one more year of pre-k. 

But seriously, I have an hour and a half before I have to pick Georgia up and Stella is sleeping.  I'm watching television.  ME!  I have every intention of reading a book with no pictures when I'm finished with this!



ME time was brought to you today by the letters P and K and by the number 3.  It was made possible by friends like nap time.

August 15, 2012

sometimes, i just don't know



Being the mom of many girls, I feel an extra responsibility to make sure they are confident and kind.  It's difficult sometimes, given that I am not the most confident person.  Just last week I was reduced to feeling like nothing just by being in the same room with a mom wearing more makeup than I wear in a month. 

So, I'm constantly questioning how I'm doing at raising confident girls.  The problem I keep running into is that the answers aren't always clear.

Kennedy and Georgia were playing dolls.  The only boy doll they have is a Batman action figure (which Georgia bought with her own money).  He was the prince.  They were having a hard time deciding which one of the dolls got to dance with him at the ball.  The solution to their problem?  An eating contest.  They sat all dolls down at a table and decided that whoever ate the most the fastest won the dance with the prince.  They all tore into plastic turkeys and vegetables and in the end were all too full to dance.

Another problem I have is that Georgia has recently become very concerned with the size of her chest.  She asks me several times a week when she will get breasts.  This is alarming, coming from a 4 year old.  Her concern, though, stems from the fact that she can't feed babies without them.  She's worried that this will affect her becoming a mother someday. 

I suppose it's never clear whether or not you're doing a good job at raising girls.  Chances are, you won't be present for and will probably never know about the times when your questions are answered.  I hope when that time comes, I will have done a decent job.  In the meantime, here's a great list of 10 things to teach teenage girls.




August 9, 2012

Spinning

Right now, my house is a complete disaster, but all of the kids are playing and happy so I'm going to let it be.  There will be time to pick up the toys and sweep the floors later.  They keep coming at me with the doctor kit and giving me shots.  I find it funny because none of them have ever had a shot in their life. 

Yesterday, Steve and I snuck out for an impromptu afternoon date.  We went to eat and then we just wasted our time until we had to pick up the kids.  We should have done something fun, something exciting, something...different.  We didn't.  We never do anything different.  I never do anything different. 

There are so many things I want to do, need to do, have to do, but none of them ever get accomplished.  I feel like I'm stuck in a rut and I have no idea how to get out.  I'm just spinning my wheels, not sure if I should go forward or backward. 

I'm so tired of wasting my time.  I want to do something wonderful with every minute.  I want to feel accomplished.   I want to be inspired.  I want to inspire.  I just can't see the starting point. I have no idea how to begin to change.

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