Thursday, March 20, 2008

100 Things About Me {REPOSTED}

(Originally posted March 20, 2008)

Well, in honor of reaching our 100th post, I will now share with you a 100 Things About Me List (some of these might be in my 33 Bday list, but there'll still be at least 67 new things for you). Yippee!

1. I lived my whole life in Virginia (except for college, mission, and married life)
2. I'm the 2nd of 5 kids (1 brother, 3 sisters)
3. I like whales and dolphins
4. I love lemon flavored things (and scents)
5. Also lavender
6. I lived in Southern Germany for 18 mos. as a Mormon missionary
7. my major was Therapeutic Recreation (mostly for little kids with disabilities)- but sometimes I wish maybe I had done something else
8. I read a lot
9. I've played violin (on and off) since I was 5
10. I took piano lessons for 1 year (and don't remember anything except chopsticks - and I didn't learn that in my lessons)
11. I have 4 terrific kids (2 boys, 2 girls)
12. And the best husband in the world
13. I've been told I have a very unique (and loud) laugh
14. sometimes I write poetry - but I very rarely share it with anyone
15. I need 10 hrs of sleep at night (and never ever get it)
16. I don't wear make-up, or paint my nails, or even "do" my hair
17. I love rain (and it hardly ever rains here - so sad)
18. And I really really love trees
19. I like the ocean and beaches (but not necessarily swimming in it or getting sunburned)
20. My favorite season is Autumn (if there are enough trees around)
21. I've written in over 50 journals
22. I really miss the bakeries in Germany - yummy bread is one of my favorites foods
23. I've rappelled of an 80 ft. cliff
24. and been white-water rafting
25. and whale-watching off the coast of Mass.
26. I usually like to camp (as long as all the kids are sleeping through the night)
27. I advocate breastfeeding as long as you can or want
28. I've had 3 babies without medications
29. I like listening to oldies
30. and classical music
31. and I used to be a big "alternative rock" fan (sometimes I go back on memory lane and listen to it again - and sometimes I'm shocked by what I used to listen to)
32. I go back and forth between long and short hair
33. I went to lots of fun rock concerts as a teenager
34. I took ballet for many years as a child and have taken classes as an adult, too
35. I love the feeling of a plane taking off
36. my favorite color is sage green (for now)
37. I pretty much hate shopping - it's discouraging
38. I swam on a community swim team from age 9-14
39. My best stroke was breaststroke
40. I still have all my ribbons and medals
41. I like to save everything
42. I had my tonsils taken out at age 14
43. that was after I got mono and had an abcessed tonsil
44. that all happened in one summer
45. the worst summer of my life
46. I shattered my elbow when I crashed on my bike in 7th grade
47. I've also broken my arm falling off a chair (4th grade)
48. and got stitches in my head after jumping up and hitting an open cabinet door (in 3rd grade)
49. I tend to be clumsy and accident prone sometimes
50. I really liked to dance as a teenager and young adult (church dances, school dances, clubs etc)
51. I met a guy at a club once and went on a date with him later - I've never been so scared on a date. But he really was harmless.
52. Ok - change that. The most scared I was on a date was when I went spelunking in the Nutty Putty Caves with a guy I had just met in my Physical Science class in college.
53. But maybe that was because I'm a bit claustrophobic and it was very tight and very dark and I was not having fun.
54. I never saw that guy again.
55. And have never gone caving again either.
56. I think I have a lot of interesting dating stories
57. And I am so grateful to have found the love of my life
58. and to be married so I don't have to date weird guys anymore
59. and I really really pray I won't be single again in my lifetime (for any reason)
60. I've driven cross-country between Va and Ut several times
61. Maine is one of the most beautiful states I've visited
62. I'd like to see the Northern Lights someday
63. one of my favorite CD's in recent years is Niamh Parsons - (beautiful irish songs)
64. I took German in high school -and did very poorly
65. I took 4 semesters of American Sign Language in college - and did very well
66. But then I was called to Germany for my mission and had to relearn German
67. And I forgot almost all of my ASL
68. Now I've forgotten almost all my German, too
69. I had my gall bladder taken out a couple years ago
70. I love to roller-skate
71. and I'm an 80's music fan
72. I don't watch very much TV
73. except sometimes lately when I have a lot of laundry to fold
74. I've run in 5K races twice
75. and would like to again someday
76. But I mostly walk for exercise these days
77. sometimes I wish I could be more crafty - because I am really not
78. I have mild asthma
79. I'm much better at writing than talking
80. I say "I don't know" an awful lot when I don't know what else to say. People have told me I say it way too much. But, well, I don't know.
81. I've also been told I give people "looks", but I really don't mean to
82. I'm a terrible liar - and can't hide my feelings even when I want to
83. I really like foods flavored with vinegar and/or dill - yumm!
84. While in Germany, I developed a strange affection for (live) snails. They really are disgusting, but I find myself fascinated by them - repulsed and attracted all at once.
85. When I was very little, I wanted to be a school bus driver. I just thought I'd do such a good job.
86. I'm lefthanded - and sort of proud of that fact
87. sometimes I lose my train of thought in the middle of speaking and I don't know how to say what I was saying
88. That's embarassing. And I'm easily embarassed.
89. I want to go on a hot air balloon ride someday
90. And swim with dolphins
91. I want to collect all my favorite books and have a great home library
92. I really don't like math
93. I've never had a "real" job
94. But I'm happy to have the job of Stay-At-Home-Mom for as long as I can
95. I have occasional struggles with anxiety and depression issues (but don't usually talk about it much)
96. My 2nd toe is longer than any of the others
97. I like taking pictures and would like to learn to do it better
98. I tore my hamstring really bad once trying to do a ridiculously difficult ballet stretch - many years after I stopped taking ballet
99. I like to have "a plan" or nothing really gets done
100. And I really like lists.
Wow, that was long. Now you know more than you ever wanted to! Aren't you glad.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Thoughts on Weaning

{originally posted Jan 13 2008 REPOSTING in honor of World Breastfeeding Week} 

It's been 3 days now since I last nursed Elisabeth. We were down to pretty much one nursing in the morning. Zac has been going in to her at night ever since New Year's weekend, so she was used to not nursing at night. But she wakes up way too early (sometime betweeen 5:30 and 6:30) and Zac is getting ready for work at that time so I had to get her. And she wouldn't go back to sleep without nursing. Couldn't let her cry because then EVERYONE would be up TOO EARLY. So anyway, that's the hardest time. I pretty much have to bring her out to the kitchen and feed her breakfast to appease her. But, man, that's too early. And I don't really consider her "fully weaned" until she stops asking for it. So we're not exactly there yet.

But I've just been thinking a lot about nursing, weaning and what it all means to me as a mother. I recognize that I nurse longer than most people would ever consider. She will be 21 mos. this week. That puts her in the middle range of when I've weaned my kids (Abigail was 14 mos, Isaac 23 mos. and Samuel 18 mos.) So I've been through people being all astonished and feeling like an outcast. I've gotten over that. I just don't care anymore. But why do I nurse for so long?

I guess I just look at breastfeeding as a lot more than just food. I read a book that refers to it as a "nursing relationship" and calls the baby/toddler a "nursling". I really like that term (reminds me of a fuzzy little yellow duckling). So it's more than how I feed my baby, it's how I nourish and nurture. It's a reciprocal relationship, part of how we communicate and connect. And weaning (according to Dr. Sears) meant "to ripen" in ancient writings. So I think of it as a gradual process that happens in it's own time. A ripening from one stage to another. A relationship that becomes sweeter and more precious as it ripens. So I've never had a set time or age to wean. I try to wait until the child and I are both more ready.

I have heard some criticism that a baby "couldn't be getting much milk" and so must be nursing for emotional reasons only. Or that "if they're old enough to ask for it, then they're too old." Or that the baby is "using me for a pacifier." According to The Nursing Mother's Guide to Weaning by Kathleen Huggins, both the nutrients and the immunological components of breastmilk actually increase in concentration when you nurse over a year. So whatever she is getting is still beneficial. And I have to ask why her emotional needs should matter less than her nutritional needs anyway? And then, as far as being able to communicate clearly what she wants, I can only say that I am grateful not to be cried at all the time (at least she can tell me something she wants).

So, there are my thoughts. I know most people will still think I'm crazy. And that's really ok. I have loved the time I've had with each of my little "nurslings." And I can't be too sad that this time has come to an end. I think in the past I have sometimes fought the change of the seasons. I'm never ready for summer heat, fall is too short, winter's too long. But I am trying lately to accept it for what it is. I can't change the inevitable. So here we are. It's time to wean. Ripening into a new season.

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