Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wordless Wednesday- Paprika

When I was making dinner my son insisted that I put some paprika on the table.  Of course, the baby wanted it too :)


 For more Wordless Wednesday check out Hobo Mama.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Nursing Both My Babies

Welcome to the Carnival of Tandem Nursing
This post was written for inclusion in the Carnival of Tandem Nursing hosted by Mommying My Way. Our participants have shared their personal stories of the highs the lows and information on what to expect if tandeming is in your future. Please read to the end of each post to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

When I was pregnant with my son, I never considered that I would breastfeed my son longer than a year, much less tandem nurse him and my next baby.

nursing both, my son 3, and my daughter 1
Flash back almost 3 years ago.  I had my son.  I had fought to keep our nursing relationship.  The first three months were the worst.  We had trouble latching on, I saw three lactation consultants.  I pumped a lot and suffered through a lot of pain. My breasts didn't actually heal from nipple cracks until he was 2 months old.  And I didn't actually like nursing him until he was 3 months old.  My friend actually told me she heard from a friend 'the first month is hard, the second month is better and the third month you don't even remember why it was so hard.'  That was the truth for me.  Then the 4th month we battled thrush.  I found out thrush could be cured by switching to a paleo diet and so the rest was history.  From then on I had this incredible nursing relationship.  I loved nursing.

From when my son was born on, my husband and I started reading up on natural parenting and how 'nursing at least till one' was recommended by the AAP.  Then we found out nursing until 2 and beyond was recommended by WHO.  I met a bunch of other natural mothers who were breastfeeding past one so I didn't even consider weaning, especially when I found out just how good it was.

Then I got pregnant with my daughter when my son was 15 months.  Since, by then, I had become quite the pro-breastfeeding mom, I figured I would just tandem nurse.  I actually worried and was saddened by the fact that my son might wean during pregnancy.  He didn't seem ready at all and I would have felt horrible if he did.  Nursing was everything to him.  I told people I was just going to 'just see what happened because sometimes kids just wean when there's no milk'.  But it was a cover up for the fact that I actually wanted to tandem nurse.

Nursing while pregnant was ok.  It wasn't as good as it was before.  But it wasn't as painful and terrible as I had heard about from some people.   At the end of pregnancy if my son would nurse too long, I hated it.  He actually cut down his nursings a lot, nursing to go to sleep, when he woke up, and once during the night.

My son was excited because I told him when his sister came, there would be milk again.  He actually told some people about this, too. (Including one of my husband's co-workers, thank goodness he didn't understand what he said)

Then my daughter was born.  I was nervous about tandem nursing but excited.  There have been a lot of ups and downs.  It was awesome at first.  It really helped me stay connected with  my son even though I was busy with a newborn baby.   He still felt that connection and things didn't change his world too much.  I am so grateful for that.  I'm going to share with you the ups and downs and tips for the transition.

Always Nursing
I was always nursing at first.  My son was so excited that there was baby milk in my breast now.  He wanted to nurse all.the.time.  On top of that I had a newborn nursing.
what I did
It took about 6 months for me to finally decide to do something about it.  My husband said, 'it's been 6 months, Luke (my son) is adjusted to his new sister, you can cut back'.  It had gone by so fast I didn't even think about it.  Slowly I started cutting back and offering more food.  Now my daughter is almost a year and my son nurses before and after waking and sometimes during the night.  That is ok for now, but at some point I might cut back a little more.  But for now it is good enough because my daughter doesn't nurse as often as she used to.   So I get a little break.

Nursing both at the same time
I did the nursing-both-at-the-same-time thing and liked it at first but then really started to hate it.  I got that strong aversion to nursing. It happened after a few months. 
what I did
I just stopped nursing both at the same time.  My son was two and he understood when I said 'Taryn is a baby and she can go first.I started saying that one weekend when my husband was home so that he could help my son when he was upset that he couldn't nurse.  After the weekend of saying that he got over it.  He wasn't even that upset.

Aversion to nursing the older one
When I read about this before I started tandem nursing I thought, I'll never have that, I love nursing my son.  But sure enough, I started dreading nursing him.  I don't know if it was the teeth or how my body just wanted to nurse the newborn, but it was s uncomfortable.
what I did
I just cut back to what I felt comfortable with.   It did take some time to ease into what would work for everyone.  I listened to my son's nursing needs as well as my own needs for some space.  Some days are worse than others, but I think I've mostly gotten to a place where it's still ok for me. 

Great Transition
We had such a wonderful transition adding another baby to our family.  After all the negatives I mentioned, tandem nursing was so worth it.  I know that my son and daughter will always have that connection of them nursing together as babies.  They absolutely love each other.  I always hear those stories of older siblings asking their parents to take back the baby.  That has never happened here.  My daughter was lovingly accepted by my son from the first day.

I don't know if it's something I would do again, but in our family situation it was right.  And I sure do love my nursings and how it has worked out.

  • My Tandem Nursing Journey: Jenny at I'm a full-time mummy is sharing her tandem nursing journey so far...
  • Built for Two: No matter how much you read and plan, things may not always go as you expect. A few things that Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy wished she knew when she was planning to tandem feed her toddler and newborn.
  • Tandem Nursing - Magic Cure?: Jorje of Momma Jorje had high expectations of tandem nursing easing her toddler daughter's transition from being the baby to being a big sister.
  • Mutually Desirable - Navigating a Tandem Nursing Experience: Amy Willa at talks about limit setting and meditations that help her navigate an intense tandem nursing experience.
  • My Adventure in Tandem Nursing: Alicia at Lactation Narration tells her story of nursing her daughter through pregnancy and then tandem nursing.
  • 4 months in: the good/hard: Becca at Exile Fertility writes about the joys and struggles of having two nurslings 17 months apart.
  • Tandem Nursing: One at a Time: When tandem nursing resulted in a nursing aversion, Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children looked for ways to meet everyone's needs.
  • Why Nurse a 4 Year Old?: One of the questions Dionna at Code Name: Mama keeps getting is, "but why breastfeed a four year old? What are the benefits?" Today she answers that question.
  • My Hurt Feelings: Shannon at The Artful Mama shares how her first son reacted to nursing after the birth of his brother and the gift she received the last time he nursed.
  • Carnival of Tandem Nursing: A Letter To Myself 7 Years Ago: Dulce de leche shares the advice and reassurance that she would have given to herself if she could go back in time.
  • Nursing Both My Babies: Cassie at There’s a Pickle in my Life shares her experience with nursing and transitioning into tandem nursing. She also gives tips for struggles.
  • Our Tandem Nursing Journey: Kim at Life-is-Learning describes her journey into tandem nursing and why it is important to her.
  • Based on her own experience, Lauren at Hobo Mama dishes about the benefits and downsides to nursing multiple children.

Monday, May 28, 2012

1 year

Another late post.  Taryn was born on May 25th.  I had her last year on my dad's birthday :)  and it was my first home birth!

Dear Sweet Little Taryn,

Wow, just a year ago we were getting ready for our first homebirth.  We had no idea what it would be like to have another child.  You have surpassed everything we imagined.  You grace us with your joy, laughter and love.  We were scared to become parents of two, but you turned it into something special and amazing.

I can't believe how much you understand these days.  You watch us talk and you know exactly what we are saying.  You even point at things and say words now.  You see a dog and you shreek "Da, Da!" for dog.  You also say nana for banana and dada for daddy, and you definitely have Mama down.  I heard you say hi, kids, and a few others in your own way.  Your brain is just moving a mile a minute.

You  haven't walked yet but you do your own walking on your knees.  Walking on your knees.  You are terrified to let go and stand on your own.  Oh well, we aren't too worried.  You sure can crawl fast though, especially when you know what you are after!

You are enticed by the same things over and over.  When we wake up you have to crawl over to the window and look out.  When you are on the couch you have to crawl to the arm rest and look over.  You find joy out of doing the same things again and again.  We say 'You go where you know and where you love'.   Another spot you always go to is on top of Misu.  Poor Misu, you give her quite the beating... but she still loves you.

For some reason you are waking a lot now.  You still only have 4 teeth and I'm pretty sure you have several more coming in.  You also got the hand, foot and mouth virus right before you and Luke's birthday party so that made your sleeping uncomfortable, too.  We thought you had the chicken pox for the longest time, but the Mama caught it so we figured out that it wasn't pox.  That was really the first type of sickness you've had.  You have had roseola, one day of stuffy noses and then one other fever.  You are quite the healthy kid.

picking flowers at the park

We got Luke balloons for his birthday.  Daddy was alternating giving you balloons with helium and ones with out.  You were so confused when you would let go... some would go up and some would go down.  You are so cute, learning new things.

playing with the ball at your friend's birthday party

When you sleep, you sleep next to Daddy.  You sometimes will roll over and put your head on his shoulder.  You are still quite the daddy's girl.  Even though you love Daddy, sometimes, now, only Mama will do.  You even get a little jealous when I hold your brother. 

biting your toes

Luke is your idol.  You do everything like him.  If he yells, you yell.  If he laughs, you laugh.  And you guys talk back and forth in the car and crack each other up.  Just today Luke bumped into the wall and you banged the wall, too.  You just had to.

playing with Luke

sibling love

You finally got to eat your egg whites with your daily egg yolk.  I think scrambled eggs are now your favorite food.  You got to try some ground nuts and that was new for you and you liked it.  You still love all the same foods but especially the new fruits you've tried, sauerkraut, milk, and all the other usuals.  Basically you'll eat anything Luke is eating.   And today, you've actually showed interest in helping in the kitchen.  You helped doing the dishes and moving the spatula around in the pan.  You look up at me with that look like "I'm very helpful".

We love you little Taryn.  You have the sweetest eyes and smile.  You are filled joy and you have the biggest heart.  We can't wait for the next year of fun.

Mama and Daddy

Thursday, May 24, 2012


Luke's Birthday is May 23rd, I just didn't finish the post until tonight.

My sweetest Luke,

I almost cried the night before you turned three. I squeezed you extra tight while I was cuddling with you before you slept. I just can't believe it. 3 is just so big.

You are getting more self reliant. You do things for yourself now. You want water? You get it. When you want something out of the fridge, you get it. But sometimes you still want Mama to do it, and that's ok too :)  You don't even need Mama to fall asleep now because you'll fall asleep sometimes when Daddy rubs your neck.

I love your personality.  You are so caring.  You are always so sad when you don't do things right because you don't like making mistakes.  You are so sensitive.  You don't like to see others cry- it scares you, still.  Even your sister.  When she cries you say 'You better nurse her Mama'.   You are stubborn and demanding like your Mama.  You are also shy as ever now.  I love it though because I never have to worry.  I love that you are cautious, especially with people.  You really can read people and I like that about you.

Big changes have been really knowing what's going on and where we could go.  You always say 'Remember when we went to .... last day.'  Even if it was a few days ago you remember going.  Now that you're three you hardly mind car trips anymore, including the hour long drive it takes to get to the Zoo or the Children's museums.  Even last time we went on the 6 hour car ride to Grandma and Grandpa Sharp's you knew exactly where we were going and would hardly get out of the to go potty.  You wanted to get there.   This is from the baby who hated the car. 

Speaking of Grandma and Grandpa, and Grandma and Papa, you love to go to either place.  We head up to Grandma and Papa's at least once a month when Daddy works late and you play trains and cars with Papa.  You don't even mind playing with them and forgetting about me.  When we have Grandma and Grandpa up or we go to their house, you could care less about Mama and Daddy.

reading with Grandpa Sharp

We really love when you ride your tricycle.  You can go all the way to the park and back!

testing out your bike

riding to the park

I can't believe how much you've learned this last year, too.  Some how you know ABC's and what (some) letters are what.  I don't know how you learned because we never really talked about it.  What you remember and say is absolutely amazing to me.

You LOVE to read.  I'm surprised at how much you like reading longer books now.  And you just want to read book after book.  I'm so happy because I never liked reading.  I love reading to you, too, as long as your sister will let me.

You can make breakfast now.  You can crack eggs, flip them, and spoon it on a plate.  You just need a little help with getting some stuff out of the fridge and turning on the stove.  I think by 5 you won't even need me anymore.  You probably could also make coffee for me, you've been watching me make it since birth.


We love the boy you've become.  You make us laugh and smile every day.  You look at us with those eyes and we are reminded how much we love being your parents.  Thank you for giving us joy.

We love you, Luke,

Mama and Daddy

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Nap time

I've been so fortunate because almost the entire time since Taryn has been born I've gotten her and Luke to nap at the same time. I don't know how, probably by the mercy of God.
Even when she was a baby she would take a early couple naps then almost always another one when Luke did. But now all of the sudden it caught me by surprise she's only taking one nap. She will sometimes take an evening quick nap but usually she holds out till bed. She does sleep longer in her nap than Luke. I was worried before because I thought she wasn't getting enough sleep but then I realized she is almost one. One was around the time for like where I tried to get him to take only one nap by keeping him awake until noon. Now I see the same thing is happening to Taryn. She's really growing up. I really hope the trend continues.