. . . for Lauren and Lauren

May 26, 2015

The end of our breastfeeding

The last two weeks have been hard, weird, and different for us as it has now been two weeks since I've nursed Addilyn.  We were down to just nursing first thing in the morning, and then maybe a time or two a week during the day.  If it were up to her it would've been more often.  Our morning routine forever has been I bring her in bed next to me, she nurses for a few minutes, rolls around and then we make our way to the living room.  Often sitting on the couch for a half hour or so, where she'll nurse again, snuggling and watching cartoons.  

I've felt ready to be done for awhile, but also knew I'd be sad when this phase was over.  I am surely a creature of routine, and see a lot of that in Addilyn, as I'm sure most toddlers.  I had no intentions of nursing her this long, but it just kept happening and for the most part I didn't mind.  Once I stopped feeding her in the middle of the night around 18 months, I felt less trapped by nursing and enjoyed it more, like I did in the beginning.  

Honestly, if it weren't that we wanted to get pregnant, and that I hope something hormonally could change so that happens, I don't think I'd fully try until she was two.  And as we approach that two year mark, we'll probably meet with our fertility doctor again, and I'm sure for any tests and possible treatments I'll need to be done nursing.  There is part of me that feels guilty ending nursing, as I prayed it'd be on her terms.  

I nursed Addilyn Mother's Day morning for the last time, which looking back seems like planned timing but it wasn't. Monday morning Addi slept till 6:40 which is nothing short of a miracle to her normal 5:30 wake up. I was already up and in the living room and thought I'd just see if she'd want to sit in her highchair and eat.  She didn't seem to mind, and was surprisingly happy to eat cereal.  I didn't sit on the couch with her and then didn't for the next week and a half, anytime during the day.  I knew if I did she'd want to nurse.  I desperately missed those quiet morning snuggles and was afraid our morning routine would never be back to what it was.  I kept her busy in the morning and gave her some extra snacks and let's be honest, sweets, to distract her when she asked to nurse.  I tried chocolate milk in her special "juice box" sippy cup, and that worked a few times.  

We were doing great day two until I changed my clothes in front of her and she yelled "I wanna nurse!!!"  Thankfully she was easily distracted and it was both cute and kind of broke my heart. There's a lot of emotions taking away something that has been part of both of our days for 22 months. 

The first few days I was kind of an emotional mess, and kept second guessing if this was the right time to do it.  But it felt easier than I expected, which I'm so glad because I kept telling myself if she cried too much or if it felt too hard, I would nurse her and we'd try again in a month.  She asked plenty of times, but I just kept explaining that we couldn't do that anymore.  Some times she'd be fine with that answer and others she'd cry some and it just took offering up lots of other options and distractions. 

The second week was harder.  She seemed to ask more and then she was more mad when I told her no.  One time hitting me in the face when I said we're not going to do that anymore.  One day I resorted to telling her they were broken and didn't work any more, to which she said "I wanna see?  Kiss it and fix it?"  But later that night she asked to nurse and I said "we can't do that anymore" and she looked at Chris and said, "Probably broken." 

I think waiting until this age, as oppose to even two months ago had a little advantage because I know she understands most of what we tell her.  While that doesn't mean she'll always be happy about it, I feel better knowing I have a better attempt at reasoning with her.  I told her she was a big girl now and I know she understands to an extent as one day I asked her why she got chocolate milk and she said "cause I'm all done nursin."   And then another day she asked me to sit on the couch.  I told her we can't sit on the couch and she said, "No nursing though," like she knew that was why I wasn't sitting on the couch the last week.  

I'm excited to fully have my body back, to have maybe a better chance at getting pregnant and to not feel like Addilyn is attached to me in that way.  Except that I'm also really sad about that too.  I love that nursing is one thing that is just us two.  No one else had that with her, and it was such a special bond between us.  I'll miss her little voice saying "Nurse, peeeease?" and "Open?!" or "other side?" But as we go into the third week of not nursing, there's been plenty of times she's sat on my lap and cuddled.  She'll still ask a few times here and there but is content with the answer no, usually saying, "Probably still broken?" 

Sometimes it's hard to process feelings when you have both extremes from the same event.   Part of me feels relived to be done.  I've been thinking about weaning for a long time and felt anxious at how it would go.  I've realized with a lot of things in motherhood, like letting her cry it out during the night or leaving her for the night, I dread it, put it off and feel anxious about it for a long time.  But every time it's worked out.  She's done well, and while each of those things have had hard parts of it, it's gone better than I thought.  And that was true with weaning.   

But I feel sad about it.  I think that nursing Addi became a big part of my mom idenity. Not that I'd share I was still nursing my toddler with everyone, but it has been such a big part of being a mom for me and it feels hard to let that go.  

While I originally had no plans on nursing Addi until she was almost two, I'm thankful that I did.  I am thankful that breastfeeding was a relatively easy process for us and that I was able to feed my baby solely for the first year, and then provide loads of comfort and nutrition for most of the second.  I feel relieved it's over, but sad too.  And I know that this is part of motherhood.  Saying goodbye to a phase and entering a new one. Dealing with transitions and sticking it out together.  Finding new ways to bond and accepting that we are both growing and ready to move on.  

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May 25, 2015

9 years old

top and pants: old navy 

I have had these pants for over nine years, which I think is saying something pretty good about them, considering they are white and I wear them a ton every summer.  They are super comfy thanks to a drawstring waist and I love them.  While they are incredibly wrinkly, I feel like that is acceptable for linen pants? Yes?  I sure hope so, because my ironing is just about nonexistent.  

White pants are probably a bad choice to wear around toddlers, which is why I wore these on our anniversary overnight.  Although after nine years I think I'll take my chances and wear them around Addilyn.  

We had such a great four day weekend and I don't want it to be over!  Hope you all had a wonderful weekend too!

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May 21, 2015

Putting our brave faces on

Getting our brave faces on 

One of my goals this year is to be brave.  I think it's easy for me to get fired up about something and have big plans and then forget them after a few months.  I want to be more intentional about working on myself and not feeling like I'm stuck in the same place.  Sometimes I look around at my close friends and their lives seem busy and chaotic, and they're being stretched and tested.  Whether with a new baby, a challenging job, taking on foster care or a ministry at their church.  While it is not free of problems, I look at my life and it feels safe, mostly predictable (as much as possible with a toddler), and comfortable.  Sometimes I struggle with wondering if this is just a season that I should enjoy, knowing there'll be plenty of times in the future where I won't be able to say the same.  Or if maybe I'm missing an opportunity or not seeking something out that I should. 

So while I'm still thinking through the answer to that, here are some ways that I have been brave lately:

Leaving Addilyn overnight. 

Writing posts like this and praying to be open to whatever God has for our future.  Whether that be adoption, fertility treatments or being okay with being a family of three.  

Initiating in my friendships despite feeling self conscious and that some of them are one sided. 
Going to the dentist.  Then setting up appointments to go back a bunch of times after to get work done.  Cavities, root canal, crown.  Awful.  And not having full on panic attacks.  Close, but I'm trying.  

Inviting a good friend to church and asking God for opportunities to share Him with her.  

Being brave looks different for each person.  Looking at this list I think some people may think some of these things aren't brave.  Leaving their kids overnight at this age or even going to the dentist.  But both of those things give me anxiety (one way more than the other with way less rewards, like spending 24 hours alone with your husband), and conquering them takes bravery for me.  

I was listening to a talk Jen Hatmaker gave on Mother's Day and near the end she said brave moms raise brave kids.  I want to set an example for Addilyn to be brave.  I think we've done that with her and the nursery.  Teaching her that even though it is hard, we stick with it because it is important.  I think I've showed her that by training and running the marathon in October. I want to continue to teach her to be brave.  To open her hands and tell God I'll do whatever you call me to.  To not be scared of new things or hard things.  To not curl up in a ball and cry when things get tough, which is what I'd rather do.  

I don't know what that means for me this month or this Summer, or even next year.  I feel a little lost thinking about what that will look like in my life right now.  But I want to go at my days being brave. Looking for more opportunities that God may have for me that I may be missing.  Not always craving comfort and safety, but being willing to do whatever he calls me to do.  And I want to teach Addilyn to do the same.  While I want to raise a daughter that is sweet and gentle, I also want her to be tough and not be scared.  

So here's to flexing our muscles, being strong and brave!

We're clearly a pair you shouldn't mess with. :) 

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May 20, 2015

I Couldn't Live without . . . . a Summer Wishlist

top: kohls   sandals: loft

I recently got this top from Kohls and I love it.  I am pretty sure it is technically a swimsuit coverup, which I would definitely wear it for that, but I love it with leggings or with jeans.  Loose and baggy? My new wardrobe requirements, remember?  

We've had some super warm days here last week and it's felt like summer.  I switched out all my Fall/Winter clothes and a friend came and helped me organize my closet too. Which I'll have to share because I LOVE it!  It makes me excited for summer and feels like having a whole new wardrobe. 

Here's a few things I'd love to add to my summer wardrobe:

Cute flowy tank tops like these from Apparel Candy.  I love the peplum bottom, and want more like it after getting this tank top from Old Navy.  Now if only someone wants to go in on it to get the price for the wholesale clothing so they're only $6!  Maybe I should start my own store?! :) 

Floral prints.  And while I'm not positive I could pull off the floral pants, I want a pair and want more floral things in my wardrobe.  

Swimsuit.  Speaking of things I'm not sure if I can pull off, this swim suit bottom from Old Navy.  My sister showed it to me online and now I want to try it on.  I want a cute swim suit that I can feel comfortable in chasing Addilyn around in, but that is cute too!  

Fun workout shoes.  Like these New Balance ones I found on additionelle.com.  I've written before that I always wear Aasics for running and more intense working out.  But I'd love some other fun shoes to just wear this summer when I'm outside with Addi.  

What is on your summer wishlist?  And what can you not live without this week?  Link up below!

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May 19, 2015

Our night away

This last weekend Chris and I went away for a night to celebrate our ten year anniversary.  It's funny because when I was pregnant we talked about going on a big trip for our ten year anniversary, like Mexico or something like that.  Soon after Addilyn was born I think Chris realized that wouldn't happen so it got demoted to maybe a long weekend in Florida.  Well, that soon got changed to one night away.  Baby steps right?

We left around 1 on Saturday and drove to a little town about 45 minutes away in Wisconsin.  We love going there, but haven't been since I was pregnant.  While I have left Addilyn for one night with Chris, this was our first night away together.  Honestly I was nervous about it.  I was nervous she'd wake up in the middle of the night and freak out that I wasn't there or worried she'd be upset in the morning when we weren't there.  But I knew that my sister in law could totally handle it and Addi loves her!  

It was just so wonderful to be together.  To have 24 hours of uninterrupted time.  Not worrying about getting home in time after dinner and being able to spend time in the morning just sitting in bed together, drinking coffee and watching something other than Mickey Mouse Club.  So many talks about Chris' job, future plans for babies, relationships, our marriage and just enjoying each other.  

We walked around the cute little town, went to a wine tasting, ate some delicious cheese and crackers, then went to an early dinner.  We went in the hot tub at the pool, walked around the town a little more and got frozen yogurt.  The next morning we sadly didn't sleep in passed 6:30 but loved having a slow morning together.  We headed to breakfast and then just sat on our balcony for another hour or so before going home.  

It was just so nice.  I think it's very easy for me to get wrapped up in my identity as a mom.  To spend all my days with Addilyn and to feel like she consumes the majority of my days and my life.  Which I love and is great, but what's not so great is sometimes I forget how much I love spending time with just Chris.  That I am his wife before I was Addilyn's mom and how important it is to just have fun together.  We're lucky enough that we get to go on dates at home, but having this much time alone together was extra wonderful.  A great reminder of why we married each other and how much we love being together.  

Addilyn did great at home, and I am so thankful that we went!  It was a great way to celebrate ten years together!

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