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August, 2013:

Sing, Sing a Song…

Dublin

Dublin, no doubt planning on how to fool me a fourth time…

I’m not saying there has never been night time singing at my house, because there has; I usually save it as a desperate measures method of the nighty-night-night-time routine. Those nights when he needs  a little something extra to push him into the world of zzzzzzzz. Usually I break out the ABC song, which will surely cause problems for him later on in life. You know, like when he is school aged and his teacher wonders why learning his alphabet is putting him to sleep in class…

The thing is, I am what I like to call a subconscious singer. I can remember lyrics, but only subconsciously.  For example, consider this typical scenario:  I’m driving, I’m singing, I’m driving, I’m singing…. When all of a sudden it hits me, “I’m totally nailing this song! Listen to me sing the shitz out of this song!” And at THAT moment, when I consciously realize I’m singing, THAT is the moment when lyric amnesia kicks in.  So the ABC song is my go-to, I’d better not forget the lyrics song. The day I forget the lyrics to the ABC song is the day that I’m truly an “advanced maternal age” mom!

The last few nights of weaning has meant that I’ve had to break into song and I think the ABC song has worn out its welcome. I also know two lines from Rainbow Connection and Close to You, but even I get tired of hearing myself sing those lines over and over.  The only other song I really know for sure is BINGO, and even that has me losing my place several times during a round…

Am I at: clap-clap-N-G-O, or am I at clap-clap-clap-G-O…GAHHH!!!!! 

I suppose I’m going to have to study up on toddler songs. Meanwhile, perhaps I should consider bringing in a cheat-sheet.

In other news: weaning has been going great! We’re three nights of boobie free sleep! He’s down to just nap time nursing. However, he’s already figured out how to work the system: he acts like he’s ready for a nap, he’ll nurse for about 15 min’s, all the while acting like he’s going to fall asleep…. and then like magic, he’s rejuvenated and wiggles out of bed to go play. He did that three times before he REALLY went to sleep for a nap.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. But fool me three times and I figure that boy is pretty darn wily and will figure out how to get boobie time one way or another!!

Adventures in Weaning

Dublin and Juniper

My D-Man and Juniper

It was some gawd-awful hour in the middle of the night and I was nursing my little D-Man for the 3rd time—that’s right THIRD TIME—and that’s when it hit me, it was time for me to wean him for reals. I’d been threatening to do it for a few weeks before that, but hadn’t managed to pull the trigger yet. He’d been teething and refusing solid food, so he was relying on nursing more than usual. But that night, THAT NIGHT I decided that despite his teeth not being all the way in, IT.WAS.TIME.

Extended nursing isn’t for everyone.  I do not blame a woman one bit if she decides to close up shop after the first bite. Having your boob used as a teething ring, not so fun, I totally understand, I totally get it. Nursing a baby is one thing, but nursing a toddler is a lesson in endurance, patience and pain management.

I want to come clean and admit something: I didn’t do the extended nursing thing because I’m some sort of wonder woman, no… I did the extended nursing thing because boobies are the BEST TOOL EVER! They fix boo-boo’s, they are sleeping pills, they are anti-depressants…. They are magic. Take that away and I am left with an almost empty bag of tricks! That is why I nursed so long. However, that night I reached the point where I was willing to give up the magic boobies , because they were no longer worth getting beat up over…

On that particular night I had my pony-tail pulled, like he was ringing a dinner bell. “WAKE UP WOMAN, I NEED A SNACK!!” is what I think he was trying to tell me, but since he still doesn’t say much, I think he was improvising and the hair pulling got my attention pretty fast. He was in fine form that night. I got kicked in the face several times during his nursing gymnastics; my nursing equipment experienced the painful twists and turns that happen during that sort of circus routine.  Though he wanted to nurse, he was being very particular about where my hands were, so my hands kept getting swatted when they touched him. I think they were getting in the way of his wiggling. He so LOVES to wiggle!! He also didn’t want to be looked at, so he kept pushing my face away. FINALLY, after much kicking, wiggling, twisting and PAIN… when he fell asleep, I did my usual freeze-in-position-for-the-count-of-twenty and then rolled over and tried to fall back to sleep… but couldn’t, because that’s when his little sister woke up and it was her turn to nurse.

It was while I was nursing Juniper that I researched online how to wean a toddler… I came up with a game plan and this is how it played out:

Night one:  LEMON

I started the night out as normal. He nursed to sleep on my lap downstairs and Scott later carried him up to bed. I was tired and didn’t feel like dealing with the weaning thing, so like I said, it was business as usual. He woke up and nursed once, twice… and it was during the third time that half way through, I said with determination, “I’M GETTING A LEMON!!!”  So I went downstairs and squeezed lemon over my nursing bits and headed back upstairs to my little D-Man. He went to nurse, pulled back and made the I-just-tasted-a-lemon-face, tried it again, pulled back and made another face and then….  he rolled over and went to sleep!!!

Night two: LEMON

I lemoned up and it was pretty much a repeat of the first night and he went to sleep, sans nursing.

Night three: LEMON

“Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me…”

He latched on, but what… WHAT?!? He DID NOT STOP NURSING!! Noooo, he nursed, he only pulled away to spit out a bit of lemon pulp, but other than that, it was nursing as usual… apparently he somehow built up immunity to the taste of lemon!

 

Night four: BANDAID

20 years ago I was in a similar situation, trying to wean a persistent nurser.  The magic tool I used to dissuade her from nursing?? Bandaging up and telling her they were broken.   Sooo, I decided to give that another try and found the biggest bandaids we had in the house, bandaged up and when it came time to go to sleep, I informed him that mommy’s boobies were broken. He didn’t believe me, so I let him see for himself. After giving them a once over, he opted for cuddle time instead.

 

We are two nights in and so far we have had two nurse free nights… Tonight will be a biggy, will we make it three nights in a row?? I sure hope so. Juniper is a GREAT sleeper and if we can just get Dublin to sleep on his own, I might have some solid night sleeps in my near future!! YAY!!!!

If we tackle the weaning, what’s next on the agenda?? Adventures in solo-sleeping… coming soon! 😉

Two under two…

My two under two.

I’m no stranger to being a parent, having been one for 20 (almost 21) years. I’ve been a married parent, a single parent, a step parent, a surrogate parent… yeah, I know parenting.  Or, so I thought!

When I was nearing the end of my pregnancy my partner in crime, Scott, kept telling me, “You’re going to need help… Seriously, Sandy, you’re going to need help.” In my hormonal state, every  time he spouted that sentence at me, I wanted to slap him. I am an independent, fully capable, woman… help?! *SNORT*

I had a plan. A well laid plan. In my head, not on paper, because everyone knows everything looks easier on paper.  ANYway, about the plan: I would continue breastfeeding Dublin and perfect tandem nursing, thus achieving my goal of breastfeeding each of my kids until they turn two. I was going to get up every morning by eight. I was going to have a clean house.  My days would be filled with productivity… from playing structured games with my almost two year old, Dublin, all the while I would be baby wearing my newest addition, Juniper, in one of the many baby carrying devices I recently acquired.  We would go to the park, we would play on our patio, we would walk to get Starbucks… oh the fun we would have, the three musketeers!  And why shouldn’t I be able to achieve this, after all I’d been able to do it two times before!

Here is where the universe has a hearty laugh at my expense; as well as all the other moms who have more than one child under a certain age. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA…. And they laugh and laugh and laugh! This is where they say, “Sandy… it doesn’t really count when one child is 20 years old and the other is 20 months. That’s sorta like cheating.”

Two under two… it’s a new game, with new rules.

I know that there are wonder-moms out there; I’ve seen them in pictures. I’m pretty sure they exist. I, however, am not one of them….

On a good day I get up around 8. But on a bad day, it could be 4 a.m., 2 a.m., noon, 3pm, or any other random number that resides on a clock.  My new translation of a good day is when I get 4 hours of consecutive sleep, I don’t have many of those kind of good days.  A good day is when the family room floor is toy free for 2 hours (that usually happens during nap time). A good day is when the dishes are done and the laundry has made it out of the dryer and as far as a laundry basket. My bedroom floor currently has about 5 filled baskets. I think it’s time to buy more baskets.

Most days I feel like a cow… no, not in the traditional “I feel fat” sort of way, I’m too tired to care about THAT right now. No, I mean literally… I feel like a milk supply outlet. If I’m not feeding Juniper, I’m feeding Dublin. And sometimes, when I’m feeling adventurous and ambidextrous, I’ll feed both at the same time. Maybe I should say when I’m feeling adventurous and amBOOBextrous! Haha. ANYway,  I seem to constantly have a boob out. Don’t get me wrong… I’m a happy cow; I come from California after all! I’m a thrilled and happy cow, except when Dublin bites me. Then I’m not so happy. Or when he drags his teeth… oh my friggon lord, that HURTS!

**On  a side note: I’ve lost ALL of my Juniper weight!! Just don’t get me started about how much Dublin weight I still have to lose! Ugh! **

So, after all my firm and unequivocal “NO, I WILL NOT NEED HELP!!!” it is with a enormous relief that I hand off Dublin to Scotts mom when she arrives several mornings during the week to watch him while I run back to bed and try to catch a couple of hours more sleep, Juniper willing. Or, while I clean the bathroom… Or, while I try and catch up on any number of things I’m currently behind in!!

I have a new found respect for all women who have performed this juggling act before me, those who can do it with grace and style. I’m 5.5 weeks into this parenting two under two and have not found my groove yet, but when I do… I hope to join the ranks of those other fabulous mommy’s out there that actually make it beyond their front door with spawn in tow. (I have ventured out by myself for walks in the double stroller, but the thought of going to Target BY MYSELF accompanied by both kids has me breaking out in a cold sweat.) While I’ve not found my groove yet, I have to say this new chapter in life is a challenge that I am feeling so blessed to be venturing in to. Bring on the spit up, the poop, the crying, the tantrums… because at the end of the day, when I get a toddler hug or a newborn smile… my heart melts with joy.  Yup, I’m feeling very blessed to have the opportunity to do this two under two thing.