Tuesday, October 27, 2009


We had a great trip to Hawaii.

Really, though, how could we not?

Sun, sand, no diapers and SOUND sleeping. Sign me up!

We missed our Girl terribly. Thank goodness for blogs - I would watch videos of her new tricks. It was really very strange to be without her. Then we got home and I remembered ... oh yeah ... I'm responsible for all of this!

I packed up almost everything we own to take to one grandmother's house and then the other - they were so, so nice to split the childcare duties. I tried to plan for every contingency. (Ha). I typed up A LOT of notes and my mom and mother-in-law were even nice enough to humor me and save any eye-rolling until I left!

I packed up tons of frozen baby food and then Girly promptly decided that she wouldn't eat anything off a spoon or fork. So much for that.

I highly recommend getting away for a trip with your significant other. You'll find yourself in a rut where you only talk about baby stuff and daily life stuff ... it's nice to just remember what it was like to be un-scheduled, do whatever you want and enjoy being together! As I heard once before, having children does not make your life better. It does make your life richer in so many ways, but not easier, or cheaper or less stressful. Take a little break and go back to those days!

Here is what I don't recommend: buying a swimsuit when you are still breastfeeding, planning to wean, and then have totally weaned when that swimsuit needs to be used. I stared forever at the J.Crew sale swimsuits trying to figure out which bikini would work. And then I realized ... bikini? What the hell for? I don't care AT ALL if my stomach is tan. So ... I own the first one piece I've had since summer camp. J.Crew has some really cute ones and they hide a NUMBER of sins.

We also finally got our will, trust, advanced directives, and medical power of attorney for our parents taken care of the day before we left town. It's quite a feeling getting on a plane for 8 hours thinking ....1) thank goodness everything is taken care of in case we die in a crash, and 2) did we jinx this in some way?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

This is it - I swear

Are you tired of the breastfeeding and weaning talk? ME TOO.

Just to wrap it all up, I thought I would note those things that I really couldn't have lived without for the last 10 months.

- Medela Freestyle pump, as I've gushed over before
- Extra pump parts and breast shields - makes life so much easier
- Lansinoh milk storage bags. As I've mentioned before, these are less expensive than the Medela bags. Also, now that I am using up my frozen milk, these are for sure the easiest to thaw and transfer to bottles.
- Lilypadz! A little pricey, but SO worth it in my opinion. I've been through 5 sets! I found out pretty quickly that it was annoying to wash and dry one set every day. Two sets work much better - wash and dry one set while you are wearing the other. I just kept a bottle of dish soap by my bathroom sink and scrubbed them up before I showered.
- Gilligan & O'Malley nursing tanks from Target. I liked these the best and they are much less expensive than a lot of others. I have about 8 and I wore them almost every day for months and months and months.

Also ... a few things I've learned or would do differently.
- Weaning was sad in some ways, but the freedom is great. I scheduled a full day of fun shortly after I weaned the Girl and it was the first time I could be away from her all day without pumping. Heaven! Do something special for yourself - you deserve it, whether you breastfed for days, weeks or months.

- Our Girl will eat virtually anything and didn't bat an eye at formula, despite the fact that she hadn't had any from the time we got home from the hospital until about 10 months. I worried about it and wished I would have introduced it earlier. She didn't care, but another babe might.

- Next time, I won't be so crazy about the pumping schedule. I CLEARLY had a good enough milk supply to make it through. It is nice to use up the frozen milk to cut down the formula bill, but was it really worth all that time pumping? Not sure ... and, now I feel obligated to use up all that frozen milk, so it really isn't as simple as scooping powder into a bottle. I'm digging through frozen bricks of breast milk, thawing it the night before, mixing it with formula, on and on. The things we do for our kids ...

- My extended weaning schedule worked really well. I had little to no discomfort with dropping feedings. I thought the first feeding would be easiest to drop and the last ones harder, when it was actually the reverse. I had a lot of fullness and leaking the day or two after I dropped the late afternoon feeding, then never again. My milk supply dropped very quickly and I even moved up our schedule without any issues.

- And, my public service announcement. In my line of work I meet a lot of women who have a family history of breast cancer. If they are of childbearing age, I always tell them to be mindful of any breast lumps or changes while breastfeeding - don't chalk it up to breastfeeding when it might be something else. If a lump or change persists for several weeks, be sure to see your doctor - better safe than sorry. I have noticed several hard lumps since I've weaned the Girl - very likely blocked ducts. I worried a bit and asked my lactation consultant, and have been working them out in the shower under hot water, which is helping. The point is - pay attention to the girls, not just the Girl.

Most importantly - ask questions of anyone you can find! Lactation consultants for the technical stuff, but friends, too. I always marvel that my friends are basically raising my kid, in the sense that I would know NOTHING without them. Use the people who have gone before you - they are the BEST resource!

Sunday, October 4, 2009


And .... we're done.

This morning was officially (I think) the last time I'll nurse my first baby. I hope there will be others (another) but you never quite know. The experience has been very meaningful, very educational, very frustrating, and very special.

I had planned on yesterday being the last time, but decided on just one more day. Honestly, I think I could continue with "just one more day" for a long time, but all things come to an end. A stuffy nose on her part and a Hawaiian vacation on my part lead me to believe it is the right time. A weekend morning so I could savor our restful time, in bed, in the wee hours of the morning - not the rushed impatience of a work day.

Our Girl is growing up, in some sad ways and in mostly wonderful ways. I delight in her independence and her personality and her assertion of both. There are many things her family provides for her, but there is one thing that only I could provide for her and I'm grateful for the opportunity.

Like a hand and a glove, a sweet baby foot and the crook of a mother's arm often fit so well together ...

Friday, October 2, 2009

Loving These

These are a couple of blogs I've stumbled across recently. They aren't explicitly related to parenting. But, if you consider them in the vein of "making mommy happy", then I think they are.

Ain't No Mom Jeans

Little Green Notebook