Saturday, August 30

Blissful Awakening

Wednesday morning brought the rude end to my time off from work and the end of RR's summer vacation. The alarm went off at 7am, and the day began. Thankfully I was still technically off from work, so I was able to take my morning slow.

Thursday I was back at work, but I had a class to attend; much closer to my home than work so I was also able to ease into the day (some).

Mind you... ERP was not sleeping during the time.  Thursday night we discovered the first "toother" had popped through and sleep mystery was solved.

Friday I was back in the office and RR had decided to go running before school.  This meant up and out, way earlier than we both had been up and out in a while.

Yawn.  Friday was a long day.

Last night I crawled into bed early.  Ready for some serious shut-eye.  Only to be awoken by ERP shortly there after.  I was concerned.  Generally speaking, if he sleeps from bedtime till after midnight it will be a good sleep night.  Waking before then and it is typically a long night.

But last night he proved me wrong, and after his little snack he slept till 4am.  From 4am to 5:30am, it was rough. Husband and I were tag teaming taking care of ERP and sleeping, or trying to sleep.  At 5:30 we opted to give him so Tylenol, he has another toother just about to pop through, and I took him back to bed with me, where he nurses till we both drift off.

Fastfoward to 8:30am... and I slowly start to wake up.  Aware that the room is brighter than I am used to. We nurse and snuggle.  Daddy wakes up and we play with Daddy.  ERP babbles, we all giggle and the day slowly starts.

Around 9am TT wakes up and comes to bed to nurse.  ERP snuggles happily with daddy.  Shortly after TT is done nursing RR wakes up.  He comes and snuggles with Husband and his brothers.

I take TT for a shower and come back to find RR snuggling with his littlest brother.

It was a quiet and relaxed morning, a blissful wake-up after the first week back at school and work.

RR then proceed to keep snuggling ERP even after I got him dressed.

Tuesday, August 26


While at the park this afternoon a little girl, maybe 4 or so, was watching me put ERP into his baby carrier.  She was fascinated by the process.

Girl: What's that?
Me: A carrier for the baby.  It makes bringing him places easier.
Girl's Mom: You had one like that.  Don't you remember it?
Girl: Will it hurt him?
Me: Nope.  Watch this. *finish putting ERP into the carrier* See he's all set.
Girl: *stares very intently*
Me: Look, it's magic. *raise my hands above my head* No hands and I can carry him.
Girl: Turn around.  Let me see for sure.
Me: *turn around and around with my hands in the air*
Girl: Wow!  That is magic.

The power of babywearing.

Double magic for him falling asleep in two point five seconds.

Monday, August 25

A Boy and His Sack

"Back to sleep" is the slogan used these days to remind parents to lay their baby on their back when they go to sleep.  It is often embroidered on the front of sleep sacks - fleece, usually arm-less, bags for baby to sleep in.

Like any good parents, when TT was small, Husband and I invested in many, many sleep sacks.  We had blue ones, white ones, yellow ones.  As he got older and bigger we bought bigger and bigger sleep sacks.

The last sleep sack we ever bought him, around his first birthday; was a size XL or 18 months.  It is designed for children 35 to 40 inches and up to 36 lbs.  These days TT is around 44 inches and 50 lbs.

As TT grew, this sleep sack grew with him. Walking around in it he stretched it.

Then one day it got a small hole in the bottom corner.  He would fiddle with it while falling asleep.

And so, the hole got bigger and bigger.

Then one day I hole was so big he could fit a leg in it.  This made walking around in "sack" much easier.

Then one day, the hole was so big, both legs fit through it.

Now when he wakes-up, sack is bunched up around his stomach.  It looks like a deranged vest. A dingy, despite nearly being washed every other day, deranged vest.

But he loves it.

Just like his older brother loves his blanket.

Friday, August 15

Remembering Today: 3.5 years

This afternoon I came home from the office early; I had to be at church at in the evening.  When I first came home all three of the boys where napping, so I showered and was relaxing with a snack when TT came down the stairs.

He waddles over to me, wearing his sleep sack, and pats my upper chest.  He looks at me, with his still very sleepy, big hazel eyes and requests "boobies".

"OK", I tell him "Go climb in the chair."

Minutes later we are nursing.  I'm running my fingers through his thick blonde hair.  His legs are draped over the other side of the chair, and he is softly kicking them.

About five minutes later he looks up at me.  "Empty? Other side?"

I tell him... sorry... no.... we need to save the other side for ERP - Jee-mee as TT calls him.

TT cries, for about 5 seconds... I tell him we can cuddle instead.  So we sit and rock, cuddle and talk.  I rub his hair, he holds my other hands.

My middle boy is 3.5 years old today. This is a day, a moment with him, I want to remember.

At 3.5 years TT is a very sweet little boy.  His speech is improving every day, we can hold short conversations these days.  Although, he still has the tendency to just jibber-jabber and no one can understand him.

He is pretty close to being daytime potty trained. Now we just need to get him to keep his undies on after he's gone to the bathroom.

By at home measurements he is around 44.5 inches tall and about 52 lbs. He is wearing a size 6 husky pants, a size 6/7 shirt, size 7 PJs and a size 13 shoe.

Surprisingly he is a pretty picky eater. He loves any form of fruit, except pineapple. For veggies he loves peas, carrots and green beans.  Baked beans are a new favorite food. He is not a big fan of meat.  Chicken has to be in the nugget form, preferably from McDs. He doesn't eat any form of beef or ham or turkey.  His seafood intake is limited to fish sticks. He will eat hotdogs, when he is in the mood. Meatballs are a favorite, but he picks around hamburger in spaghetti with meatsauce. He would live off Cheerios, watermelon and "peanut butter toast sandwiches" if you let him.  And chocolate milk. He is becoming a serious chocolate junkie. Guess he gets that from his mama.

Right now he is on a Donald Duck and Chip & Dale cartoon spree. His favorite books are anything with Pete the Cat in it. He loves play-doh, painting, coloring, and stickers.

His current favorite song is "Teddy Bear" by Elvis. I must get him dancing to this on video.

Daily he needs to "go for a ride in the car"... his day is not complete without a ride someplace. Once in the car he typically asks to go to the library or church.  But in the end he doesn't care if all you do is drive him around the block. Funny, because he cried and cried in cars for the longest time.

Oh and his latest saying: Wait a minute second.

Love you baby!!  Happy three and a half years!!

Thursday, August 14


The other day I was discussing with my fellow BC at Breastfeeding USA about the low number of studies, books, article, and blog posts on extended breastfeeding.  And I am talking truly extended nursing, not just nursing a 15 month old or 18 month old.... nursing 2, 3, 4 or even 5 year old.

Both the World Health Organization and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend nursing for a minimum of 2 years. So really in my personal opinion would anything before that time be considered extended?

But something seems to happen in the US, after 12 months; records are no longer kept about breastfeeding rates. Maybe its because our 12 month breastfeeding rate, as a nation, really isn't all that great.  In 2013 only 27% of babies were still breastfeed at 12 months.  Some states had rates as high as 40.7% (Go Vermont!!), bu sadly some states were as low as 9.1% (sorry, Mississippi).

Regardless of the reason, there is very little information on breastfeeding beyond 1 year, beyond 2 years, beyond toddlerhood.

So, there I was, complaining about the lack - of all things blogs - about nursing a "preschooler", and I myself was an author of a blog.  Granted, I don't have a following of 1,000s or even 100s, but I still barely talk about the fact that, as of tomorrow; I am nursing a 42 month old.  

I don't know why it doesn't come up often on this blog. Maybe because my blog posts are not as frequent as they once was. Maybe because it is just such an ordinary part of life I don't think about (but really, isn't that what this blog is... about ordinary life).  I occasionally blog about tandem nursing, because I think it's really cool.  But in the end I guess I am just a hypocrite for not blogging about it sooner,

I am an extended nursing mom.  We are following child-lead-weaning; with a little bit of parental direction (I stopped nursing him in public around 30 months)... a weaning process that actually began about 3 years ago at this time of year, when TT had his first bite of solids.  

Hell, I am in a support group for extended nursing families, OK there is a support group for everything; and nursing at this age is a norm in many 1st, 2nd and 3rd world countries - BUT The fact that the US has some of the lowest breastfeeding rates in the world, it's no wonder extended breastfeeding is seen by some as a taboo in the US.  And hence the support group.  Did you follow that stream of concise?  

What is it like nursing a 3 year old?  It's the same as nursing a 2 year, which is sort of like nursing a 1 one year old, which is similar to nursing a 6 month old.  Some days he wants to nurse all the time. Some days he only nurses once.  

He is weaning more now than before, that is for sure.  No longer does he need to nurse as soon as he gets up, he would rather play in his room.  Some nights before bed we do more snuggling than nursing.  Some days nursing is funny, some days it is annoying, most days it is relaxing and sweet.  

Some day he will be weaned, and I will let you know when that happens. But between then and now, I will no longer be a hypocrite. I will talk about; what I complained too many people don't talk about.  I will blog about extended nursing.

And I will be picking up a copy, and reading Breastfeeding Older Children; Why Children Continue - The Natural Child Project by Anne Sinnot.  One of the few books on the topic.  

Education is key.  Fear comes from the unknown.  Educate yourself and be proud... hypocrite no longer. 

Resources: The AlphaParent, graphic and for breastfeeding statics.  

Sunday, August 10

8 Months

This year is ticking along really quickly, and ERP turned 8 months old last week.  I've already started thinking about his first birthday.  Gasp!!  I can't get over how much he's grown.  We're still nursing, and we're still working on sleeping better.  ERP is sitting like a pro, and is getting very close to being mobile. Just before he turned 8 months old we added in a second meal of solids per day, but then he started getting constipated so we backed off.

ERP is still my little peanut.  He's wearing a 3-6 month cloth size typically. He just started wearing a size 3 disposable diaper.  And I may finally have to move the straps on his car-seat up. Speaking of diapers, this month ERP had a terrible diaper rash. More terrible than any rash his brothers ever had. So he spent a good week without diapers, except when he was sleeping or we were out.  (Yes, our floors and all his seats were covered in doggie-wee-wee-pads... it was a great look NOT!)  Now that was fun. I think the cause was a funk in our cloth diapers, so those went out to be professionally sanitized, after a failed attempt at home to do so.  Who knew these services even existed?

So... what I want to remember from this month:

~ I really noticed that ERP has a sacral dimple
~ How he rubs his head and pulls his hair when we are nursing and he's sleepy
~ That is finally likes bathes
~ How much he still hates showers - he cries just hearing them
~ Actually he cries anytime anyone else cries
~ And he cries over loud noises
~ How he learned to splash in the bathtub
~ If he is in the kitchen while we are making dinner, he needs to be eating otherwise he screams
~ Those 2 weeks of wonderful sleep where he was only getting up twice to nurse
~ How excited he is to see me when I get in from the office
~ The day we went to playgroup and he stood there shaking a toy and yelling his head off
~ The night he pulled himself up to his knees in his crib
~ Playing "ball" with Teddy
~ His hair finally growing in on the bald spot on the back of his head
~ The first time he had broccoli - he LOVES it
~ He mastered using a straw cup
~ He had his first shopping trip where he sat in the carriage - he started out well, then ended the trip laying on his back and hanging his feet out of the cart... we're back to babywearing while shopping
~ He started sleeping unswaddled, and became a side and back sleeper

And now what you've been waiting for...

Monday, August 4

Down One

This week the Big Boy is at camp.

This means we are down to two children at home.

A baby and a three year old.

In some ways it has been easier having just the two kids closer in age.  No one to pick on TT, which means TT is crying less, which means ERP is crying less... because well ERP is a sensitive flower and cries when other cries... or when there is a loud noise...

But at the same time we, Husband and I, don't have that extra set of hands, that extra set of eyes that we've come to rely on.

When I found out RR was going to be a big brother, I swore I would never make him "watch" his brothers all the time.... because I swear that is how I spent half of my childhood.... watching my brothers.

And yet, here I am.  Down one child.... and wishing I had him around for the help.

He really is growing into a fine young man.  He loves his brothers and is very caring for them.  He takes his "over seeing" of them very seriously.  Like his name means - he is a wise protector.

Friday, August 1

10 and a HALF!

Me: How old are you?
RR: Ten and a half

Me: What is your favorite subject in school?
RR: Still math

Me: What is least favorite subject in school?
RR: Still spelling, no grammar

Me: What is your favorite color?
RR: Black

Me: What is your favorite school lunch?
RR: Taco Salad

Me: What is your favorite dinner at home?
RR: Pancakes, no tacos

Me: What is your favorite vegetable?
RR: Apples, no that's a fruit.  Wait is it fruit that has seeds.  Avocado

Me: What's your favorite movie?
RR: Clutch Powers

Me: What's your favorite video game?
RR: Wizard 101

Me: What's your favorite book? 
RR: Ranger's Apprentice, it's a series

Me: What is your favorite thing to do outside?
RR: Go in pool

Me: Do you have any best-friends?
RR: OK, now you are just on crack.  It's sad that you're asking me this.  This answer is obviously this.  It's CJ, no Ethan.  

Me: What do you think about girls?
RR: Blah.
Me: Even your mom?
RR: *giggles*

Me: What's your favorite holiday?
RR: Christmas
Me: Why?
RR: Because I get presents.  

Me: How much do like Cub Scouts?
RR: Over 9,000%
Me: How far are you going to go?
RR: Arrow of Light

Me: Anything you want to add?
RR: No, not really.

Me: Oh hey, what is your favorite song?
RR: I don't know

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