Friday, December 2, 2011

Not to Save My Life

I used to be such a punctual person. I was always just a tad bit early for everything- work, dates, etc. I was usually the one waiting for everyone else to arrive. My punctuality suffered a bit when my husband and I started dating. I’m still not sure why that was, but the issue corrected itself again after a while.
Nowadays, I can’t be on time to save my life! It is the most annoying thing ever, but no matter how hard I try, I just can’t get anywhere by the arranged time. I can be on track with everything running smoothly, when out of nowhere everything goes to pieces and I end up being even later than usual.
As an example of my every day struggle: I’ve got both the kids dressed, their diapers are freshly changed, the dogs have been out, the diaper bag is packed, I have clothes and shoes on, we’re ready to go. I just have to put my kids’ shoes on. I smell something… One of them has pooped their pants. Repeat diaper change as quickly as possible (which is not very quick), then try again. I smell something again. The other child has now pooped their pants. Second diaper change attempt. While I’m changing one child’s diaper, the other decides it would be fun to play in the dog water and dump it all over himself. So, after diaper change number three billion, I have to change the baby’s clothes. I run up to get the clothes, come back down to find the other child splashing around in the dog water puddle in her socks because I failed to clean up the mess in my attempt to hurry. After changing one child’s clothes and the other’s socks, it is finally time to leave. We are at this point already twenty minutes behind. My daughter now decides that it would be much more fun to play with a stick outside than to get in the car. After a few minutes of convincing, she finally agrees to get in, but insists on doing it herself. A good ten years later (that’s off my life, not real time), we are finally rolling out of the driveway. We are running at least 30 minutes late, half the contents of the diaper bag has fallen out in my attempt to get us out the door. I look disheveled and have at least three new grey hairs.
When I reach my destination, completely out of breath and exhausted from the simple task of getting both of my kids in the car, all the other mothers are already there. How? How did they get there on time? I have no idea. If I had any more children, I would surely never be able to leave the house again.
Please, dear friends, be patient with me. I am trying, I really am. I hate people who are tardy and somehow through one of life’s cruel jokes I am one of them now. I have this illusion that one day I will be able to turn up for appointments and play dates on time, but it doesn’t look like that will be happening any time soon…

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Falling Apart

Some days, I just feel like falling apart. Like the life I lead is all wrong. When I think that the choices I’ve made have not all been the best ones. Like my life is pointless. On days like these, I feel tired- exhausted- and disheartened. I want to pull the blanket over my head and stay in bed all day. I feel as though I can’t find the energy it takes to get through an entire day.
When I used to have days like this, I really would fall apart for a little bit, spending the day in bed and pampering myself. Re-evaluating my life, setting new goals, etc. Nowadays, I don’t have that luxury anymore.
I can’t fall apart. Not for a day, not even for a few minutes. I have two little beings who depend on me now. I am solely responsible for their well-being, physically and emotionally. They are now the glue that holds me together. And every smile and laugh from them shows me how wonderful my life really is. My main purpose in life is to be strong for them, so that I can be there for them when it’s their turn to fall apart.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Project Happy Scars (1)

Usually I stick to the concept of keeping my Wednesdays entirely wordless. However, this time I need a short paragraph to introduce a project that I am working on called ‘Happy Scars’.  I have spoken to so many women who dislike their caesarean section scars- not only because they think that the scars are ugly, but also because many women dislike the reminder of having had a surgical birth. I thought about it for quite a while and decided it would be nice if women could feel better about their scars and what they represent. While looking at myself in the mirror one day, I was messing with my own scar, making it smile and frown. I thought it would be fun to give my scar a smile and a face, which is exactly what my husband did for me one evening. Hopefully it will make some of you smile and maybe help some women view their own scars in a more positive light.
If you would like to participate, please contact me at tellvivien@yahoo.com. If you are local, I would love to work with you in person. Otherwise, please just send me your photos.
The before shot. This is what a c-section scar looks like.











Monday, November 28, 2011

A Thank You to the Moms in My Life

I want to take a quick moment to reflect on the influence other mothers have had on me and my mothering. Be it mothers who I share opinions with or ones who disagree with my parenting style completely, they have all in some way- big or small- shaped the way I have developed into the mother I am today. And I am so grateful to each and every mommy I have met who has shared her ideas, opinions, tips, etc. with me because even if I disagreed with them, they made me re-evaluate what I was doing and try to make improvements or change direction.
When my daughter was only a few months old and I still felt completely insecure about my mothering, one of my best friends sent me a book dealing with the ideas of attachment parenting. It was such a significant book on my journey of motherhood- I had finally found a parenting philosophy that felt completely right. I often wonder if my path had been quite the same had I not read this book at the time that I did. I am so thankful for this!
I was very lonely during the first months of motherhood, as many other mothers are. My husband and I went to a barbeque and I met another breastfeeding mother- the first one I had ever really spoken to about nursing and been able to exchange some thoughts with. She persuaded me to come to a La Leche League meeting and introduced me to a local mommies group. Today, I am in training to become a LLL leader and have a whole network of local mothers to socialize with. This one friend was able to take me out of my lonely home life and out into the open. She brought me into an environment in which breastfeeding was normal . Who knows what kind of a mother I would have become without this incredible support network. I am incredibly grateful for this!
These are just two of the most significant examples that have shaped me as a person and have made me the mother I am today. Every mother I interact with makes her mark on me in some way- be it through the extreme love that she shows her children, the calm way she is able to interact with them, etc. You ladies may not know it, but you always make an impression on me.
I want to thank you all! Every single mother I know is incredible in her own way and I am so grateful to know you all on some level. Some mothers I know very well and can share most everything with. Others are ‘just’ Facebook friends, but are always supportive. Some I don’t even know in person- they are my wonderful Twitter mamas and the mothers in forums. You are all awesome! Thank you for helping me become a mother.

Friday, November 25, 2011

How Long Will I Breastfeed? As Long As He Wants To

Well, it’s that time now. That point in time when everyone thinks that they need to ask me how long I will be breastfeeding. The time when people- even the ones who had been supportive up until now- start giving me disapproving looks, etc. For some reason, after baby turns one, things seem to change in other people’s minds and they decide that breastfeeding can no longer be desirable.
The other day, I was talking to a friend of mine, who has a little one just a few months younger than E. She also breastfeeds, so we were casually discussing our little’s nursing habits. Then came the inevitable question: “So, how long are you going to breastfeed for?” She wasn’t prepared for the answer I gave her: “As long as he wants to.” My poor friend was utterly taken aback and, for a few moments, entirely speechless. She just couldn’t understand, asking me what I meant by that. I explained that I would like to breastfeed at least for another year, but ultimately for as long as he wants to. My friend’s reaction was to ask me- in a very bewildered fashion- why? Unfortunately, our children demanded our attention and the conversation moved on to another subject, but I know that it will come up again the next time we see each other.
My answer is quite simple: why not? I can give you a long list of reasons to continue breastfeeding beyond the first year, mostly health related and scientifically proven. I can also tell you that both the WHO and UNICEF recommend breastfeeding until the age of two or beyond. However, I feel like the critics and cynics won’t care about these cited benefits and recommendations. Breastfeeding a toddler is a taboo in our society and it is frowned upon, especially when done in public.
My reasons to continue breastfeeding are not hard to explain. For one, children do not have an inner calendar that determines when one stage in their life ends and another begins. To stop nursing on a particular date or at a particular age makes no sense to me, just as expecting my child to start walking on a particular date wouldn’t.
People say that the baby’s nutritional need for mother’s milk is no longer existent after the first year of life. However, it has to be replaced in the child’s diet with cow’s milk. This makes absolutely no sense to me. Either there is a nutritional need for milk or there isn’t. If there still is a need past the first year (which there is) it will be met by the milk my body produces- it is custom made to meet the needs of my child.
The world over, children completely wean themselves from the breast between the ages of two and seven. (I’m sure some of you are in utter shock right now. It’s ok, I promise you!) For some reason, in our culture it has become something that only young infants are supposed to do, even though there is no logical reasoning behind this opinion.
Lastly, I wish everyone would just mind their own business. I’m making an informed, conscious choice for the health of my child. I don’t run around commenting on what other mothers are doing and asking them questions regarding their methods, be it related to feeding or other things. I would never walk up to a mother and ask why she was allowing her one year old to drink a caffeinated soda, for example. Yet, everyone seems to think that they have the right to question breastfeeding behavior (which they mostly know nothing about) and give their unwanted opinion on the subject.
I am going to continue breastfeeding. My goal is to get to around two years of age and I will be happy if there is nothing that prevents us from getting there, such as sickness, etc. You can tell me that you think I am disgusting, that I am harming my child, etc. and I will take it, but it will not change my mind. Ask me how long I will be breastfeeding and I will tell you the truth: As long as he wants to.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Meet My New (Used) DSLR








A Nighttime Parenting Parable

Disclaimer: This is a purely fictional story. While there may be similarities to real life events, these are purely coincidental and not intended.

My father had a stroke. He requires round the clock care because he is unable to get out of bed by himself. He has also lost the ability to speak, but is able to communicate somewhat with gestures. During the day, a nurse comes in to care for him. However, at night, he is solely my responsibility.
Lately, my father hasn’t been sleeping well at night. I hear him waking up and moaning. When I go to check on him, he gestures for me to give him something to drink. Then he likes for me to sit with him and hold his hand until he falls back asleep. It’s getting to be ridiculous! He is a grown man and should be able to sleep through the night. I suspect that his nightly requests for water are at least in part manipulative- all he wants is my attention.
I am incredibly tired. I feel very irritated with the situation in our house at night. When I mentioned our problems to my father’s nurse the other day, she suggested I ignore his moans during the night. Last night, I decided to give her advice a try.
My father awoke as usual, moaning. I heard him, but decided that it was time to put a stop to his constant night wakings. I ignored him. His moans got louder and louder, then turned to quiet whimpering. It was very difficult for me to listen to, so I just put on some earphones and listened to music. Eventually, he stopped making noises and was able to put himself to sleep.
I am very happy with the way I handled the situation. After all, my father is 65 years old- there is no reason for him not to sleep through the night. I know he feels thirsty, but it won’t hurt him to go without a drink until the morning.


I hope you get where I’m going with this. Does this sound wrong to you?
 Please, don’t ignore your baby’s cries. Be an available parent- even at night.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The First Step: Admitting I Have a Problem

I have had a few addictions in my life, the most severe of them being smoking. I gave that up when I became pregnant with my daughter and had since then been almost addiction free. Unfortunately, I seem to have developed a new one over the course of the past year or so. I have been reluctant to believe it, but the evidence against me is starting to pile up: I’m on my iPhone wayyyy too much! More specifically, I am on FB and Twitter constantly throughout the day.
How do I know that I’ve been doing too much social networking? I have phone hand. Never heard of that before? That’s because I just made it up. It’s like tennis arm, carpel tunnel type problems. It occurs in the hand that you use to hold and type on your phone. Sadly, I’m not kidding. Between the ring and pinky fingers in my right hand I have developed a pain that is very similar to carpel tunnel pain and it’s from holding my iPhone. Yes, you may laugh at me now…
It’s a vicious cycle for me. Every day I wake up with the best intentions, telling myself I will only check my phone three times during the day. But then, I read something interesting on FB and comment on it. So I have to check an hour later to see if anyone has replied. Which leads to my reading other things I comment on. Then I jump to Twitter and start a conversation there. I feel obligated to check it often so as not to offend my conversational partners- or so I tell myself. To those of you who do not take part in social media interaction, I’m sure this sounds incredibly pathetic. To those of you who are in the same boat as me, you’re probably recognizing your own behaviors in some of this.
The thing is: life at home with the kids can be really lonely. I am a person who loves social interaction and I don’t do very well by myself. Since I have no adults to talk to during the day (except at play dates), I seek my social interaction elsewhere. In all honesty, FB and Twitter are my social support network- I get help if I need it, offer help to others, chat, joke, argue, philosophize, etc. In a way it’s ridiculous, but sometimes it really helps me stay sane while being yelled at by two little crazy people all day long.
The obvious down side is that I am missing out on things in the real world. Instead of talking to someone on the phone or in person, I do so in written form. When I’m really wrapped up in a heated argument, it is on my mind all day and can totally ruin my mood. The communication between my husband and I has definitely suffered.
What to do about this problem? I don’t know. The only solution I can come up with is to get rid of the ‘smart’ phone and go back to the old school version that is made for you to actually talk to people.
What do you think about the new ways we have of being connected via social media? Are smart phones a step in the right or the wrong direction?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Still Throwing Ideas Around

Those of you who know me know that I have always struggled to find my ‘thing’ professionally and at 32, I still don’t know exactly what I want to be when I grow up. The doula work is going well and it is interesting and fulfilling, but somehow I feel as though it is not going to be what I will be doing for the rest of my life. So, the search goes on…
I would really like to have an impact with what I do. I want to be able to help a lot of people. The money is really secondary- if I was interested in earning money I would go back to working at a bank. I am looking for personal fulfillment as well as something that will be valuable to society. It definitely needs to be something that I can do in any country I go to.
If I won the lottery today, I wouldn’t become a total bum, I would go to med school. Ever since I was a child, I have wanted to be a doctor of some sort (when I was very young, I wanted to be a vet- then the idea evolved) However, I always felt somehow inadequate and was scared to go down that path, doubting both my ability to get through school as well as my emotional capability of dealing with sickness and death on a daily basis. Now that I am older, the thought of med school is still intimidating. But now I feel as though I would be successful, as though I have enough drive to get through it.
The main question now is: Do I have that much time to spare? Can I really spend ten plus years on pursuing this career path? I honestly am not sure of the answer yet. Thankfully, I still have at least another year to make up my mind while I’m home with the kids. I can see myself in the medical field, be it as a doctor or in research, but I’m not sure I have what it takes to get there.
Another option would definitely be midwifery. The training would be a lot shorter- around three years. However, my professional field would be limited to only one very specific area of care. It is one that I enjoy very much, but I’m still undecided on whether I want pregnancy and childbirth to be the only field in which I could help people.
Right now, I’m just throwing ideas around. The great thing is that my husband supports whatever I want to do. The bad thing is that I just cannot make a decision. I’m always terrified I’ll end up doing the wrong thing or I’ll be too old when I’m finally doing what I want to do. If I decided to become a doctor, I wouldn’t be able to start really working until I was in my mid to late forties. Too old? I just don’t know…

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Is Santa To Be or Not To Be?



I always just assumed that my children would grow up believing in Santa Claus. Yet, when I read about a lady the other day who is deciding to opt out when it comes to Father Christmas, it really made me stop and think. Now I find myself in a state of confusion, torn between old traditions- both my family’s and society’s- and new points of view.
The pros:
 I just love Christmas! I love everything about it, including the mystical figure of Old Saint Nick. When I was a child, I adored Santa. I have so many wonderful memories of excitedly writing him letters with my Christmas wishes. I was always too excited to sleep the night before Christmas, hoping I might catch a glimpse of the jolly old man. I would love my children to have such wonderful memories of Christmas! I would love them to remember their Christmases as magical events. It would also be great for them to believe in Santa so that they do not spoil the secret for other children. They could all wonder about Santa together and enjoy talks about him, theorizing what he might really be like. Even as an adult, I like to sometimes go back to believing that their MUST be a Father Christmas out there!
The cons:
Looking at the whole myth in a completely unemotional and rational way, I would be creating a huge lie for my children to believe. The lie would be supported by family, friends, and the rest of our society, but it would be a big fat lie nonetheless. The prospect of having to lie to my children for a number of years, even if it is for their supposed enjoyment, just rubs me the wrong way.  The vivid childhood memories I mentioned above were all crushed when I discovered that there was no Santa. I was the last one in my school to believe that he existed and the other children made fun of me when I insisted that he was real. I was so disappointed- both in the fact that he did not exist and in discovering that my parents had deceived me for almost a decade.
I’m not sure what to do. If we don’t have a Santa, then we also won’t be able to have an Easter Bunny, a Tooth Fairy, etc. Is there any benefit to having the kids believe in these mystical beings? Will they be missing something if we don’t create this fantasy for them? I’m completely on the fence. I would hate for them to not have someone like Father Christmas to look up to and to look forward to. However, I also don’t want them to have to deal with the discovery of dishonest parents.
I wish Santa was here to answer the questions for me… What do you think? Are your kids going to be believers?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I Saw True Love Last Week

Disclaimer: If you are homophobe, please do not read!
One of my long time favorite people on television is Conan O’Brien. I have been watching him ever since he started hosting Late Night on NBC. In my opinion, his show just keeps getting better and better, despite his move to TBS late last year. (I’ve always had a bit of a celebrity crush on him, but don’t tell anyone…)
My husband and I DVR every episode because the show is on when it’s time for us to go to bed; then  we try watching them throughout the week. We hadn’t watched any episodes in a while until last week, when I saw that Conan was hosting his show from New York. I was excited to see Conan in front of a bigger audience, back in the city where his career really took flight. On the particular episode that I watched, it as announced that Conan was going to have the wedding of his costume designer and his partner on as part of his show on 11/03/2011.
I had slightly mixed feelings about this. With Conan, anything could turn into some sort of skit, so I wondered if this was going to be a wedding or just another comedy sketch. When I heard that Conan was going to be the person officiating it, I was even more skeptical, doubting the seriousness of it.
My doubts were unfounded. It was one of the most beautiful weddings I have ever witnessed! Ladies and gentlemen, if you want to see what true love looks like, find the video of that part of Conan’s show online and watch it. It was so full of emotion, so honest and straight-forward. Both A and I sat on the couch with tears in our eyes. I was so happy that these two men were so in love and were able to express this love by entering into an official, eternal commitment to each other.
I just wanted to share the joyful experience I had last week. It gave me such a feeling of hope that maybe not all is lost in the world, as long as love like this still exists. I hope some day soon, all people- regardless of gender- will be able to express their love for each other in the same way nation wide.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Smile and Nod, Smile and Nod...

Those of you who read my blog regularly or who follow me on Facebook or Twitter know that I am very opinionated on pretty much any topic in existence. That is just my nature. However, I try to also be tolerant of other opinions and ways of life, so I practically never give my opinion about something in a conversation without being asked for it, unless you are a good friend of mine whom I trust.
Something I keep encountering as a mother is other mothers pressing their opinions regarding child rearing on me. I have come to dread gatherings of women whom I do not know or don’t know very well because I know that the conversation will inevitably go towards a subject I am not comfortable with. Even though I would never think to ask another mother why she was doing xyz with her child, other women don’t seem to mind such questions at all.
It is always the same- I attempt to stay away as far as possible from subjects that are controversial in my opinion, but no matter how hard I try to avoid these conversations, they end up with the other ladies telling me exactly how they handled xyz situation and why. “Well, my daughter did ABC, so I had to do xyz. I had no other choice…” – followed by an indefinitely long monologue.
I would say that 95% of the time, I disagree with what I am being told. But I just smile and nod, smile and nod. They tell me about things that make me cringe on the inside and I can’t find the heart to tell them what I think. Because I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. And because, at the end of the day, I really hate confrontations. They make my stomach hurt and keep me awake at night (even if the people I am having a discussion with are strangers on FB…)
Am I doing the wrong thing? Should I be more outspoken about my views? I’m not sure. On the one hand, I would love to share e.g. what I have learned about being a mother. On the other hand, I have learned that most people really aren’t interested in hearing different opinions and just want to believe that they are right in pretty much all they do.
So for now, I am choosing to continue my smile and nod technique. When I attend gatherings with multiple mothers, I do my best not to listen too hard to what they are telling me that I MUST do to avoid my child being too needy, too detached, scared of everything, not scared enough, etc. I am learning to accept that I really don’t fit in very well anywhere, be it politically or regarding my parenting. Hopefully, I can keep myself emotionally detached enough so that I won’t have to consider becoming a hermit.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Critical Questions About Physical Discipline

I keep coming back to the subject of physical discipline. Because somehow it is all around me, on Facebook status updates and discussions with mothers, etc. Today I saw a video of a teenager being beaten by her father with the support of his wife. It is all over the news and has sparked new discussions on the physical disciplining of children.
If you don’t know my opinion on the subject, here it is: I think it’s wrong. Always and under every circumstance. Which doesn’t mean that I automatically dislike parents who use physical discipline. I just don’t think that it is justifiable. If you want to read more about my personal opinion, click here.
While thinking about the subject, I always stumble upon the same questions that I cannot find answers to. Please don’t take this as my wanting to hear from parents who spank- I know that people can find answers to every question in existence if given the chance to voice their opinion. I am merely saying that, regardless of the reasons people cite for their methods of child rearing, I cannot make sense of them.
For example, I often ask myself what these people would do if it were suggested to them that spanking their spouse would benefit their marriage. Would they do it? Or would they feel that this was wrong? And if they do feel that this would be wrong, why would they feel like this regarding an adult who has the option to fight back- be it directly or indirectly- but not when it comes to their children, who have nobody to turn to for protection other than their own parents?
If spanking is necessary, then how do child care facilities and schools function without it? If physical discipline is the only effective way to ‘control’ children’s behavior, how do institutions who look after numerous children at the same time cope?
Considering spanking as an effective tool for keeping humans from exhibiting unwanted behavior, why not spank people who break the law? Instead of prisons there could just be facilities in which people were physically punished for bad behavior. That would teach them not to do it again, right?
If someone were to dislike your behavior, would it be acceptable for them to physically discipline you, as long as they were stronger than you or had authority over you in some way?
Just some thoughts I figured I’d throw out there for the discussion that is already going on due to the above mentioned news story. In the video, the father says (yells? It wasn’t very loud, but it was more forceful than just saying it…): “I will beat you into submission!” It has had my stomach turning all day. Hey, if you want a creature to live with you who will be submissive, why don’t you just get a dog? Actually, beating a dog like the man beat his daughter would be considered animal abuse and would be against the law…

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Car Seat Safety Rant

Disclaimer: I am not a saftey expert, I am just giving my personal opinion on this issue.  
Time and time again, I see parents who seem unaware of the importance of car seat safety. Even though most people in the US drive with their children in the car multiple times a week, they appear to think of car seats as more of a necessary nuisance rather than the life saving equipment that they are. I hate to be pessimistic, but accidents do happen!
According to the CDC, “Child safety seats reduce the risk of death in passenger cars by 71% for infants, and by 54% for toddlers ages 1 to 4 years” (Source:  http://www.cdc.gov/MotorVehicleSafety/Child_Passenger_Safety/CPS-Factsheet.html) I don’t know about you, but if someone told me that I could reduce my child’s chances of dying, I’d be all ears.
I can’t say this enough: if you are involved in a bad car accident, you only get one chance. You can’t go back and reposition your child or adjust the straps. You only get ONE. CHANCE. So you should make informed choices.
When purchasing your child’s seat, try not to pay attention to the design or which one looks the best. Choose the safest one for your child’s age and the car you drive. For example, if you have an SUV and don’t have to worry about space, you’ll be able to consider seats that someone with a Smart Car that hardly has any space can’t. There are several agencies that test car seats, so if you are not sure what to look for, just check out their ratings. Consumer Reports, e.g., is a great resource.
If you decide to purchase a used seat, make sure you verify that the seat was never in a car crash. Also check the expiration date of the seat- there is a sticker underneath the fabric that will have either the expiration date or the date of manufacture. Car seats expire six years from their date of manufacture and should no longer be used.
Personally, I would only buy a used car seat if I knew the person I was buying it from. I would not trust a stranger to be honest with me regarding the seat’s history. Car seats are such a small expense when you think of the amount of use they get. They are definitely one of the most important items you need for your child.
However, even the best of car seats is of little use if it is installed incorrectly. Parents, I beg you to read the instructions carefully and follow them! In cars that have the LATCH system, putting a car seat in is not too difficult. If you are unsure of your installation result, find someone who will double check it for you. Usually, someone at your local Department of Motor Vehicles or the fire station will be able to make sure your child’s seat is installed the way it should be.
One mistake we made when we turned my daughter’s car seat from rear to front facing is that we didn’t attach the tether strap to the appropriate anchor because we hadn’t read that part of the instruction manual. Thankfully, we weren't in an accident. After I read in an article to always read your vehicle’s manual as well, we found out that we cannot install a car seat using the LATCH system in the middle, but would have to use the regular seatbelt for installation in the middle position instead. We moved the seat to one of the side positions. Be informed- read all the manuals carefully!

Once you have installed your seat safely, it is time to learn how to strap your child in correctly. It is very important to ensure that the straps are not twisted and that they are adjusted to your child each time he/she gets into the seat. The straps should be very snug! A lot of parents are concerned that their children may not be comfortable enough and leave the straps too loose. This can be very dangerous, since the child- especially a very small infant- can slip right out of the straps in the event of a crash if the harness is not tight enough. Also, always make sure the chest clip is used at chest height. It should sit between nipple and armpit level.
Especially in winter time, avoid putting your child in the seat wearing a jacket or coat. Anything that sits between your child and the harness hinders the straps sitting properly. In the event of a crash, the jacket or coat will become compressed and practically non-existent, so that the fit of the safety harness will be too loose, putting your child in danger.
The most important piece of advice I have been given is to keep the car seat rear facing as long as possible within the weight limits allowed by the car seat specifications. The AAP altered its recommendation and now also suggests that parents keep their children rear facing as long as possible, at least until the age of two. I know many parents believe their children cannot be comfortable because they are unable to stretch out their legs completely while sitting in the car and turn their children to forward facing as soon as it is legally possible. While I understand this concern, I have to say that children who are always kept rear facing and don’t know any different do not mind sitting with their legs at a slight angle (I would sit like that myself if I could…) The most pressing argument for keeping your child rear facing is that it is FIVE TIMES safer! Again, anything that keeps my babies safer has my undivided attention. You only get one chance…
There are millions of great websites with wonderful tips on car seat safety. My favorite compilation can be found at http://www.drmomma.org/2010/02/common-car-seat-errors.html. Go take a look at them! Read your seat’s manual, even if you’ve been using it for ages. Read you car’s manual, just to be on the safe side. If you don’t like your child’s seat, buy a new one. We all want out children to be safe- don’t take any chances!

Monday, October 24, 2011

For the Convenience of It

I am becoming increasingly irritated with the carelessness of consumers nowadays. Judging by the products available on the market, people have gotten lazier and lazier. Even though our lives have been greatly improved by machines that wash dishes and clothes for us, heat our food without supervision being necessary, etc, somehow there seems to still be room for improvement.
When I looked through the coupons the other day, I saw a new product being advertised that immediately caught my eye. It’s a liner for your pans that is foil on one side and parchment paper on the other. The idea behind it is for you to line your baking dishes, casseroles, etc. with this foil to avoid the strenuous cleanup after cooking. Are these people serious? Have they heard about a little pollution problem that we’ve had on this planet in recent years?
I had been under the impression that people were increasingly looking for ways to be more green and avoid unnecessary waste. Clearly, I was mistaken. As it turns out, people are still looking to improve (?!?) their own lives by making everything just a tad more convenient.
Another ad I have seen a lot lately is one for disposable hand towels. Instead of using a regular towel, the ad suggests that you should just have the easy dispenser in your bathroom for your hand-drying needs. The ad implies that conventional hand towels are full of nasty germs and filth.
Here’s a little suggestion for the target audience of both the above products: WASH THE DAMN THINGS!!! If your dishes get dirty, wash them! If they’re really dirty, soak them for a little bit and then wash them. If you fear that your towel might be full of bacteria and grime, take it off the hook in your bathroom and wash it! You may even want to develop a towel-washing routine that will help you eliminate the risk of nasty towels altogether by taking the proactive approach of washing the towels regularly.
I am just in utter disbelief when it comes to ridiculous products like this. Why would anyone go from good, reusable, cost efficient products to disposable garbage that costs them additional money? Why are these companies and the consumers of these products indifferent when it comes to the obvious environmental concerns?
The answer has to be laziness. People are attracted to products that promise to save them a bit of time, even if it is only a few seconds. They don’t want to have to wash their dishes or their towels. They would rather have that extra time to spend in front of the computer or TV.
I am trying to go the opposite way- I am gradually changing as much as I can within our household from disposable to reusable. I want to save money, I want to be greener. I also don’t want to be completely lazy anymore…

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A Time Capsule Moment

Last night, as I was snuggling my little man and nursing him to sleep, he took my big hand into both of his little hands and held it tightly. His soft baby hands fit so perfectly on either side of my weathered adult hand. It was a moment so beautiful that it brought tears to my eyes. A moment in which I wished I had a time capsule that could hold all of the wonderful instances that I would love to relive over and over again, but that will never return.
I cried for the time that flies past us without stopping. I cried for the promise and uncertainty my baby’s young life holds. I cried because I won’t have a baby to hold and cuddle for too much longer. I cried because I wanted the time to stand still just once and it wouldn’t.
My greatest wish during those seconds was that we may have a moment like that together again some day. One in which his adult hands, bigger and stronger than my own, hold my hands in his just as tenderly and caringly. If I am lucky enough to experience that in my future, I will truly have had the perfect life.


Photo by Blue Silk Photography

Thursday, October 20, 2011

My USAversary

Today marks the four year anniversary of my arrival in the US. On this day in 2007, I boarded a plane in Frankfurt, Germany with my little dog Amy and flew all the way across the Atlantic Ocean to Atlanta, Georgia. When I arrived in Atlanta, my husband was already waiting for me- he had been in the US for a month while I waited for my visa to be approved.
My little dog, Amy

I was incredibly tired, but managed to stay awake for most of the four hour car ride to our new home. I remember the sun setting while we were driving and how beautiful it was. The house A had picked out for us was so lovely- it exceeded my expectations by a lot! I felt comfortable right away.
Four years later, we have had two children. We have adopted another dog and two cats, bought a house, two new cars, etc. My life has completely changed. It is absolutely fabulous now- much better than I could ever have imagined it. The house we bought has become a home for myself and the wonderful family I have.
Yet somehow, I still don’t feel 100% at ease. I am still a foreigner. While most things have become familiar to me, they tend to still make me marvel at them (some in positive, some in negative ways) I don’t feel like I’m on vacation anymore, like I felt the first year or so, but it still happens that I look around and wonder if I am in a movie or real life.
Like any place, there are things here that I love and things that I hate. There are lots of things I miss about my home town, above all others my family, and there are things that I don’t miss at all and I’m glad I got away from.
I haven’t been back to Europe in over 1 ½ years. I haven’t spent a Christmas at ‘home’ in five years. We are going to try to fly to Germany this Christmas season and I cannot wait! On the other hand, I know it will no longer feel like my home- too much time has passed. For now, South Carolina is where we live and because this is where my husband and children are, I can truly say that it is my home; it's where my heart is.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

De-sexualizing Breasts

Today, I am thinking about breasts. I keep reading comments from people who are offended when they see women breastfeeding in public, calling it indecent exposure, etc. These people are only able to see breasts in a sexual light.
Though breasts have been the center of male sexual attention for quite some time, in reality, all they are are collections of mammary glands, fat, and tissue- all made for breastfeeding. The fact that men like breasts is a pleasant side effect, but biologically, the breast has only one purpose, which is producing milk.
What about all the pictures that dominate our society’s media? There are so many sexy breasts around, popping out of bras specially designed to showcase them as appetizing treats for men. Doesn’t that mean that women’s breasts are part of their sexual organs? Well, no. Breasts are not part of the female reproductive system. A woman who does not have breasts can still have sexual intercourse and become pregnant. Breasts are erogenous zones for some women, but so are other non-sexual parts of the body.
Of course, breasts are body parts that are distinctly female, which attracts male attention. But they aren’t inherently sexual or dirty. Their main job is to nourish babies.
There are people who view breastfeeding in public as indecent exposure. Well, it isn’t! Some say that breastfeeding in public is acceptable as long as nobody sees the nipple. What kind of logic is that? Are nipples somehow evil? Is there something they can do that I am unaware of? As far as I know, human beings have nipples from birth on. Men have nipples and walk around topless all the time. Children have nipples. How are women’s nipples different?
My favorite are the people who get upset about the possibility of their children seeing a woman breastfeeding. But how will they explain this to their children?!? How about telling them the truth- that women have breasts that make milk for babies to drink. Just like every other mammal. How would these people explain it to their children of they saw an animal nursing at its mother’s breast? This is the way the world works! If you are unable to explain the basics of human behavior to your child, how is that the breastfeeding mother’s problem?
Unless we all start breastfeeding in public more, without shame, we won’t be able to reverse this trend of breastfeeding being seen as a sexual act. I try to nurse my son wherever we go now. I nursed him at the State Fair the other day. There was a family looking over and whispering to each other. It didn’t bother me in the least because I wasn’t doing anything wrong. Maybe I was even showing them the beauty of a mother breastfeeding her child…

Monday, October 17, 2011

Trying to Refocus

I am slowly discovering how to prioritize and make life easier for myself. There are still many things in my life that I could probably let go of, but I’m taking things slowly and really taking the time to evaluate what is important to me and what isn’t.
The things that are important to me are relatively few: my family, my friends, and helping other people in need.
I’m sure most of you understand the significance of family. I would be nothing without them. My husband and children mean the world to me! I also love the support of true friends. By true friends I do not mean people I occasionally see and talk to. I mean people who know me just the way I am and accept me that way. People I could call any time of day if I needed to talk. Genuine friends.
Helping people in need is a little more tricky. I have always had trouble distinguishing between the people who honestly need help and those who just use me. But I’m getting better.
 I am also learning that the more I free myself of things that burden me, the more energy I have to devote to the things that are important to me. My tendency to lie in bed awake at night, worrying about the state of the world and all its sadness, only knows one antidote: action! Only if I am able to change things for the better- be they ever so small- am I able to get a good night’s sleep.
The other night I had a revelation. No matter how awful the horrors of this world are, there really is no use in me dwelling on them, paralyzed by sadness. I am unable to change everything. I am unable to make everything and everyone good and everyone healthy and happy. However, I can instead focus my energy on the changes that I CAN make, and start making things better for people.
First, I have to think of my own needs, physically and emotionally. I have to recover and find my energy again. Then, on to greater things. At least that’s the plan…
"The power of one man or one woman doing the right thing for the right reason, and at the right time, is the greatest influence in our society."
---Jack Kemp

Friday, October 14, 2011

I love you, Friday!

My absolute favorite day of the week is Friday. I’m sure many of you share my views on this wonderful day that I get to repeat every week, but it may be for very different reasons.
What I love most about Fridays is the promise it brings. The weekend hasn’t yet begun and you still have all the wonderful things to look forward to. It’s like a miniature version of Christmas Eve that I get to have every seven days.
Before I became a mother, I worked full time. Fridays would always be the marker of the end of the work week. At the last office I worked in, casual dress was allowed on Fridays, which was always nice. Everybody’s mood would usually be just a little bit better, with my fellow employees day dreaming about what their weekends held in store.
Friday evenings used to be reserved for going out with friends and having a blast into the wee hours of the morning. If we chose not to go out, we would still get together and have a great time. Usually, it involved alcohol to some extent. Sometimes, it involved playing dirty charades and laughing until our faces hurt…

Both of my beautiful children were born on a Friday. A fact that I was always aware of, but the significance of which I only just realized. Fridays have brought me the greatest gifts I have ever been fortunate enough to receive.
Now that we have children, Fridays are still my favorite. The best moment of the week is when I pick my daughter up from her Moms Morning Out Program. It signifies the start of the weekend, with all the fun activities we have planned still ahead of us.
Fridays are the thresholds to our family time, where both the children and I get to be around my husband. There is the possibility that I may get to sleep an extra hour or two, that we will have lots of fun as a family, and that my husband and I may get to have a date night together- all of which I get took look forward to during my Fridays.
I love you, Friday! You make me feel optimistic. I look forward to you every day of the week. And I am so glad you’re here!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Mummy Tantrums

Something I have been increasingly noticing lately is that I get annoyed with my children the most when things aren’t going my way. Let’s say we have to be out of the house at a certain time and I took too long getting dressed. When I try to rush R, she doesn’t exactly cooperate because naturally she has no concept of time or urgency yet. Suddenly I find myself fuming, threatening R with timeouts if she doesn’t do what I want her to, and pretty much have a bit of a temper tantrum.
The funny thing is that the bulk of our frustration as parents comes from what the child wants to do clashing with what the parent wants. Our children aren’t too difficult when they are young- they want to do things that are fun and that make them happy. Oh wait, that description can be applied to everyone, even adults…
My point is that we are all humans and we all have the same agenda, more or less. If my child doesn’t get what she wants, she gets frustrated. If I don’t get what I want, I get frustrated. I have thirty more years of frustration-management experience than my daughter has, which should make me almost an expert, right? But no, I still occasionally lose my temper and yell or do other undesirable things.
I overheard a mother a few weeks ago, speaking to her son. She said: “Listen and obey!” This really didn’t sit well with me. The more I have thought about it, the clearer it has become what bothered me about it. Our children are human beings, just like we are, with the exact same feelings. We tend to overrule their wishes and desires because they don’t fit into our own wants. The only reason we are able to do this is because we are stronger than them.
I hear the protests now- ‘But we are their parents! It is our job to teach them certain things and some of those things cause frustration!’ I absolutely agree. However, I urge you all to critically examine your parenting behaviors. When I look at my own, I see that I try to stop any kind of behavior in my child that I don’t want- not just the kind that is dangerous or for some reason unacceptable, but anything that gets on my nerves. For example, R is playing nicely by herself, drumming on something. I ask her to stop. She was in her own world, minding her own business, and there I am butting in. Because what she wants is not what I want in that moment.
In the future, I want my children to have more freedom to express themselves without my interrupting them. I am trying to work towards double checking my motives when correcting their behavior. Are they really doing something wrong or is that just not what I want right now? Maybe I can find a compromise that will make us both happy? I don’t know about you, but I’m more of a lover than a fighter. I much prefer having a harmonious environment in our house. And I’m getting tired of throwing tantrums.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Dear Dr Pepper, What The?!?

So, I’m sitting at home, watching ESPN with my husband, when a commercial catches my eye. It is a commercial for Dr Pepper Ten. Have you seen this, dear ladies? Here is the plot: Some men are driving around an action movie in a Jeep-type vehicle, drinking a soda. The man with the soda is telling the camera about what men want, amongst these things is said ‘manly’ beverage. He mentions that women can keep their romantic comedies, etc. to themselves and then, the new slogan pops out of his mouth and onto the screen: “It’s not for women”
My jaw literally dropped. I had to re-watch the commercial to make sure I wasn’t imagining things. Have the people at the Dr Pepper Snapple Group lost their minds? Did they just honestly tell me that one of their drinks is made to be consumed solely by men? How is this ok with everyone?
Let’s look at this rationally. The product they are selling is a soft drink. A soda pop. A carbonated beverage. Water with some artificial flavors, colors, and caffeine mixed in. And somehow, it is more masculine than other drinks. You’re probably just as confused as I was at this point.
As I just found out, diet sodas are mainly consumed by women. Therefore, Dr Pepper had the brilliant idea to make a light soda that will appeal to male consumers as well. They did not decide to do this subtly, like their competition Coke Zero or Pepsi Max, through ads that are marginally sexist, but instead went full steam ahead and are blatantly saying that this particular drink was produced for the sole consumption by men. Not because there is anything in the soda that wouldn’t be suitable for females to drink, but because they are trying to target a new market.
Well, dear Dr Pepper people, I received your message loud and clear! I will never again purchase one of your beverages- the men of this world can have every single one of them. Please know that I will also not be buying the sodas for anyone else in my household, including the two males. Furthermore, I will let every woman I know not to purchase any more of your artificial crap drinks because clearly we women are not important consumers in your opinion.
My husband doesn’t quite understand why I’m upset. It’s just a joke, they’re just kidding. They’re not doing any harm by saying these things. A few years ago, I may have agreed with him. Because I consider myself a strong woman who is more than able to take a good joke. The problem is that this isn’t a good joke, or even a mediocre one. It’s not witty, it’s not imaginative, it’s just blatantly in bad taste.
When football is on TV, it is all testosterone on the set. There are countless other companies who make fun of women or feminine traits. I just watched a commercial for Miller Light in which one of the male beer drinkers is being accused of having done something ‘unmanly’. Again, my husband doesn’t understand my disgust with such tomfoolery, such 'innocent' banter.
What exactly does ‘unmanly’ mean? If something is not manly, it is womanly. So, if being ‘unmanly’ is undesirable that means that being womanly is undesirable. It means that being a woman or feminine is not as good. It is not worth as much.
I live in a world in which there is supposed equality, which of course is completely untrue. In my world, my church is controlled exclusively by men- women are not allowed to be priests or anything else of importance. In my world, I have never had a female as my highest boss- they have always been men. In my world, there are things that women ‘just don’t do’ because it is not socially acceptable. In my world, there has never been a female president of the USA. In my world, there has to be a Women’s History Month because every other month is reserved for men’s history. In my world, most sports on television are played by men, with women not even allowed to participate.
There is no equality. In my honest opinion, most men feel superior to us women. As you all know, we make up more than 50% of the world’s population! Why are we letting this happen? It is a mystery to me. Either way, in my world, there will no longer be any Dr Pepper. I hope you other ladies will follow suit.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Minding My Business

We went shopping for a few things today and I noticed once again how people will just blurt out anything to you without thinking twice about it. I’m sure you know who I’m talking about- the kind of people who say something to you without you having addressed them and without them knowing you at all.
First thing this morning, we went to buy a nursing bra. My son fell asleep in the car, so my husband stayed there with him while my daughter and I went into the store. We were the first customers of the day and the lady working there unlocked the door for us. She was around sixty years old and continued to eat her breakfast (yes, these are two completely unrelated facts) The lady asked what I was looking for. I told her, upon which she asked: “Have you had the baby yet?” Um, what?!? I realize you work in a maternity store, but really? If I may so myself, I DO NOT look pregnant! I informed her that I had in fact had the baby already, so she asks me how old the baby is. I tell her that he is eleven months. Her response to this is: “Oh…” What on earth does that mean? Either she thinks that I am too fat to have had my baby so many months ago OR she disapproves of my breastfeeding him for such a long (?!?) time.
At this point, I was still in a pretty good mood. I picked out a few bras to try on and went into the changing room with R. While I was in there, I wondered if I should tell the sales lady that I also still nursed my toddler (which is unfortunately not true), just to see how she would react. I decided not to say anything and just put the bra on the counter to pay for it. Of course she suggested I buy two more bras, so that I could get a fourth one free, but I declined. I did, however, have a look at their nursing tops that were on sale and found one in a size S that I really liked (take that, lady! I can fit into a size SMALL! I may have bought it just to demonstrate my non-fatness…) I took it over to the check out, where my bra laid waiting for me. My eyes wandered around my soon-to-be-purchases and were caught by some specks on my new bra that had not been there before. I touched them with my finger and immediately regretted it- I found a moist, creamy substance. I gave it a sniff: cream cheese and bagel. Not only had the lady not stopped eating her breakfast in front of a customer, she also drooled part of her food onto my new bra. Gluten food on top of everything! I thoroughly sanitized my hands after. I know I should have asked for a different bra, but I think it was the only one left in my size, so I didn’t say anything...
The more I think about my experience at the store this morning, the less I want to go back. I was considering telling some of the ladies I know about the sales deals that they have going on at the moment, but with the extremely odd ‘service’ I got there this morning I really rather feel like telling everyone to stay away.
Afterwards, we went to buy some art supplies for a project my husband and I are attempting this evening. We were looking at the art supplies and I noticed a line of paints that had a man’s picture on them. I asked A who the man was because the name didn’t seem familiar. He told me that the man was Bob Ross, upon which I told him that I had no idea who Bob Ross is. A says: “You don’t know who Bob Ross is?” A lady (again, around sixty years old) who is also shopping in the same aisle, turns to us and, in a very rude tone, says: “You’re too young to know who Bob Ross is.” A replies, very politely: “Oh, I know who Bob Ross is. I used to watch him on television all the time when I was a kid.” The woman says: “Well, those must have been reruns.” and walks a little further on.
Now, my husband took no offense to this. I, however, was angry. First of all because she was being rude- her tone of voice and manner were condescending. Secondly because we hadn’t been speaking to her and she butted into our conversation. Lastly because I hate it when someone tells me that I am too young for anything- I am always thought to be a lot younger than I actually am (you can read more about this here)
Of course, I didn’t say anything to her. Later in the car, I googled Bob Ross. When I saw his actual picture, I did recognize him. Then I read up on the TV show he had- it ran from 1983 to 1994. How young did this woman think we were?!? Stupid old bat! I should have told her that I was going to look him up on what we call ‘the Internet’, something she wouldn’t know about because she’s too old! Hmpf...
The point of my little anecdotes here is: why the hell can people not mind their own business? Why do we all have to be subjected to strangers who feel the need to comment on our affairs? I have no answer to this question, unfortunately. While I wouldn’t even dream of butting in when two people I don’t know are having a conversation, unfortunately, there are plenty of people who do not feel the same. To all of the past and future busy bodies, I say: “I am not pregnant, I know what I’m doing with my children, and I am a lot older than I look. Now piss off and leave me alone!” (Yes, you are more than welcome to quote me)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

When Boobies Don't Make It Better

Under normal circumstances, nursing is my one super tool that helps my baby feel better instantly. Unfortunately, this is not true when baby gets sick. Especially illnesses that make sucking painful, such as an ear infection, or that cause your baby to lose interest in eating, such as an upset stomach, are very difficult to deal with.
For baby, it is extremely important to keep him/her well hydrated. The younger the baby, the greater the risk of rapid dehydration. Especially babies who have diarrhea and vomiting in combination are in danger of losing too much of their body’s water supply. You can try feeding baby breast milk in a bottle, cup, or via syringe- anything that will make it easier for baby to drink the fluid. Even if you can only get him or her to take a few milliliters at a time, it may be enough to keep the hydration at an acceptable level. For older babies, you can also offer water, coconut water, diluted juices, or other liquids containing electrolytes.
Watch your baby for warning signs of severe dehydration, which include symptoms such as lethargy (baby does not respond to your voice or touch, is limp, does not make eye contact), a dry mouth and chapped lips, dry eyes that do not produce tears and are sunken in, no urination in 12-18 hours, excessive fussiness, paleness of the skin, etc. An additional symptom in young infants can be an extremely sunken in fontanelle. If you suspect dehydration in your baby, please seek medical attention immediately! While moderate dehydration can mostly be taken care of at home, severe dehydration requires a rapid supply of fluids via IV.
When baby is not feeling well, it is easy to overlook taking care of yourself. It is crucial for every nursing mother to stay well hydrated, so don’t forget to drink enough while caring for your little one. If baby isn’t nursing as much as usual or not at all, it is very important for you to empty your breasts sufficiently. Not only do you want to keep your supply up, you also want to avoid feeling engorged and risking getting a plugged milk duct or even mastitis.
Pumping or hand expressing with a sick baby around can be really challenging. Especially when you have more than one child, you may not feel as though you are able to sit down for the time it takes to express milk. However, you really must take the time to ensure that you will not encounter any breastfeeding related problems. Taking care of a sick child is hard enough- it is even worse if you have to do so while dealing with breast pain.
Make sure that your children are safe and occupied and express your milk. If you have help available, have someone else watch the kids for a few minutes. If you have to do it all by yourself, try to entertain older kids (turn on the TV, if nothing else works) and have baby in a comfy spot where you can watch him/her. Depending on your multitasking skills, you can also have baby in a carrier while you are expressing. It may help with the letdown and will surely avoid the stress for both baby and yourself of the little one screaming for you.
If you do not have a pump or if pumping isn’t very effective for you, hand expression can be priceless. There are several different ways you can try, my personal favorite being the Marmet technique.
Make sure that both you and baby get plenty of rest. Don’t worry about chores or other obligations- a sick baby is always the number one priority. It is hard not to be able to comfort our little ones the way we are used to. Most bugs are over in a matter of days, though, so keep your chin up!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Impressions of Germany









Sunday, October 2, 2011

Favorite Breastfeeding Memories

I was just asked what my favorite breastfeeding memory is. To be completely honest, I don’t know. I have been thinking about this for the past hour or so and still am unable to think of one specific moment that was more special than the others.
I think that the problem here lies in the nature of breastfeeding habits. While it is of course something wonderful and special, it is also absolutely routine behavior after the first few weeks. It never stays the same, evolving with your growing child. On the other hand, it is somehow a constant in your child’s rapidly changing world.
My favorite memories consist of the little moments. I remember how excited and relieved I was the first time I nursed my daughter without any pain. I was so proud of myself and of her for making it that far.
Who doesn’t love the milk coma babies fall into? This is a picture of R when she was just a month and a half old. Passed out after a good drinking session.
Breastfeeding was always such a huge form of comfort for both of my children. After an injury or an upsetting visit to the doctor’s office, a quick nursing session would quickly calm my babies right back down. I fondly look back on the soothing power that breastfeeding had with my daughter. I am so glad I still have that tool for my son now.
Part of my daughter’s bed time ritual used to be for her to run over to me after playing and breastfeed for a little bit before going upstairs to bed. I miss that so much! My daughter has always been a very active and busy child, so these moments were very important cuddle time.
With my son now, I enjoy our nursing sessions as much as I can because I know how fast our babies grow up. When E nurses during the day, we often play little games where he tries to stick his hand in my mouth, upon which I pretend to bite it, and he giggles hysterically. Every one of these moments is priceless!
Just a few minutes ago, I went upstairs to where my beautiful boy was stirring, and quickly nursed him back to sleep. He immediately snuggled into me and fell back into his dream land. I honestly treasure every single one of these sessions with him. I am very blessed to be able to breastfeed my son and have the relationship with him that I do. I try to enjoy every moment we get to spend together. I wish I could memorize each one and recall them all again some day.