Hi everyone! This is Michael... you know... V's husband? Kinda tall, skinny, wears glasses on occasion? Well, anyway, I just wanted to give you an update on us. You may or not be aware of the ice storm that we had come through a couple of days ago. We got 1.5 inches of ice followed by 6-7 inches of snow, and it has crippled the area. The utility company has over half of it's customers without power right now. They are calling it the worst in their company history. We have a generator that is keeping us warm and toasty, but our internet is out, and will be for some time to come. Just wanted to let you know about the outage. I'm sure once we get internet back, V will want to tell you all about it.
DISCLAIMER: If you don't like graphic accounts of breastfeeding, you probably won't like this post.
As most of you know, I really love nursing and I would have been perfectly happy to nurse Jedster as long as his little heart desired. Unfortunately, though, with the advent of pregnancy, I discovered that my body disagreed. Making a baby AND breastfeeding a toddler is apparently not in my physical programming. About halfway through my first trimester, our usual pre-nap and pre-bedtime nurse became absolutely excruciating, and the previously simple act of latching on made me scream with pain. As time passed, I thought maybe things would get better, but that wasn't the case.
So, I extremely reluctantly decided that the time had come. Time to wean. Oh, I don't even like the word! So ugly, like my child is a dirty piglet or something (hmm, bad analogy, I realize, as I reflect on his filthy chocolate and snot encrusted visage earlier this morning...) I knew it had to happen, and I kept putting it off. Maybe tomorrow will be the first night-night without "nommies". OK, maybe day after tomorrow. Maybe we'll just start at once a week... etc. etc. etc. Michael got sorely sick of my whining and rolled his eyes whenever I mentioned it. "Just wean, for crying out loud!" I ignored him and just kept gritting my teeth.
Finally, one night, as we read our cozy book and snuggled in bed, I started getting out my nursing pillow. Michael briskly stood up, grabbed Jed, and said "I'll take it from here!" and whisked the kid off into his bedroom. I watched his departing back with consternation. I heard giggles, whispers, and singing from the bedroom. The steady thrum of rocking chair. Sighs. Then the creak of bed springs and a few minutes later Michael slipped out the door. "Well, that was nice," he said. And with a smile he headed into his office.
I wasn't all that thrilled about it, but at the same time my breasts felt even cheerful at the very idea of skipping a nurse. "Oh well," I reminded myself, "there will still be nap time tomorrow. And who knows if THAT will ever work for bedtime again." But it did, the next night. And again the next. Then that Friday Jed fell asleep in the car and I just tossed him into bed from the car seat and that was his nap. The next day, Michael put him down for a nap while I was at meetings. And then he fell asleep on his own with Dad after church. With shock, I realized that evening that it had been THREE DAYS since we had nursed. WHAT! We were WEANING?! How had that happened!
Then night before last, Jed got all cranky (molars) and Dad had a rough time getting him down. "Mommy, Mommy, Mommy!" my little boy cried. Michael released him from the bedroom torture chamber and Jed ran into the bedroom and hopped into my arms. "Ah ha!" I thought to myself. "He DOES still need nommies!" With gulping sobs, my sweet little sweaty toddler leaned his head against me. We sat there quietly for a moment as I hummed "I Am A Child of God" and finished up something on my laptop. When I finished, we sat in the darkened room for a few more moments, his head still resting quietly on my chest. I picked him up and walked into the bedroom, still softly humming. We sat in the rocking chair and he nuzzled in close, but no move for the shirt, just seeking comfort in closeness. After a few minutes, his dark-laced eyelids sagged closed. His breathing evened, and in a few moments he fell asleep.
I confess at that moment I was joyful, but a tear may have escaped my eyes. I realized that we really are finished. When I think about it, I still get teary. A thousand sweet memories of his small, warm body pressed against mine; the softness of his rooting face seeking comfort that only Mommy could give; of quiet midnight hours with just the two of us creating a bond of love; of flushed, rosy cheeks falling back from my breast with a perfect sigh of contentment; red lips and white chin coated with momma milk; of those precious moments I could steal from everyone else and just have my baby boy all to myself. With that quiet sigh and sleep, I knew there would be no more such memories between us.
For Jed, weaning was the most natural thing in the world. He didn't even notice the day that his nommies were gone. He's a busy, happy, go-get-em tiger/doggie/racecar who's got the world to conquer. He's a big almost-2-year-old boy now. Mom is the one who has had a hard time letting go. I never imagined that I was the one that we'd have to wean. But my wise husband knew.
It's not bad, it's just a milestone and one that I don't think I was quite ready for yet. Now I know why my mother reminds me over and over that "It goes by so fast!" She's right, he really will be in college any day now and not returning his mother's calls! I'll miss my nom-noms boy. But it comforts me to know that it was a peaceful, perfect transition for all of us. And in just five and a half months I'll have another little darling in my arms. There are plenty of nommies to come.
For Christmas the Stanfill kids bought the parents Raving Rabbids for their Wii. Maybe it ended up being a selfish gift, since we all played it pretty much 24/7 the whole vacation. Here's Emily showing off her Rabbid Dancing Skillz. For Christmas the Stanfill kids bought the parents Raving Rabbids for their Wii. Maybe it ended up being a selfish gift, since we all played it pretty much 24/7 the whole vacation. Everyone's favorite part is the dancing.
I'm puffed up in first-time-mother pride now that my Jed has finally accumulated the ability to help around the house with a few little chores. They are the miracle cure to crankiness. They also figure largely in my evil plan to one day make other people do all my housework (hence the need for several more, smaller versions of Jed.)
His best trick is emptying the dishwasher. As soon as he sees it wheeled back into place (yes, I use a dishwasher from the stone ages that I procured for free over the internet...) he runs over to help. His first job is taking all the silverware out and putting it in the silver bin where it is kept on the counter.
He's so careful and methodical, adorable! Definitely gets that from his Dad's side.
Then he lifts all the plates out and stacks them on the door. He can carry them over a few at a time to Mom, who places them in the cabinet.
He dutifully takes any other bits and pieces that Mom hasn't gotten to yet out and she shows him which drawer to put them in. I don't organize my drawers, anyway, so he can toss them in as well as anyone!
He also helps load, but this has a much larger learning curve and some days are better than others, and mornings are definitely better than evenings, which usually just end up with dishes heaped in an enthusiastic pile. His other chore is helping with the laundry. He loves to sort the laundry then trot behind me downstairs to shove it in the washer while chanting "Wash, wash, wash!" He also can move laundry from washer to dryer, or unload the dryer for me.
Jed's got his 2 year molars coming in and we all hail the day when his teeth will all be in their proper locations and no longer making our lives miserable. In the meantime, we've had a few funny moments. A week or so ago we had a particularly bad day. In his most cranky, classically-almost-2-year-old style, he insisted in wailing tones that EVERY SINGLE DIAPER BE PLACED UPON MY TUCKUS AT ONCE. Mother obligingly agreed and the result was really quite comic. I made a dash for the back room to get Michael's camera, shoved the nearest card in, and ran back in hopes to catch him before this all went south (which it clearly was going to do...) Unfortunately, I was too slow. What was once all fun and giggles had turned to torture in a toddler flash. But I did catch this classic moment as my child tries to disrobe himself of a half dozen cloth diapers while standing and wailing, siren-like about the ABUSE HIS MOTHER INFLICTS UPON HIM. TAKE IT OFF, NOW!!!!
Lacey continued yet another Dowdle tradition this year by organizing all the little Dowdlings to put on a Christmas Story Puppet Show. Jed was given the role of sheep, and he fulfilled his role admirably by running back and forth in front of the stage, waving his animal in the air and shouting "Ship!" "Ship!" "Ship!"
This morning I made Jed a little pull car for his stuffed animals. I took a small box and attached a 4 foot long string, then made a pull handle. The "'Ar!" immediately captured his fancy. He ran around the house, Cat, Frog, Snake, and Baby careening madly behind him and occasionally tumbling over and out, much to his hooting pleasure. After a bit, an unpleasant scent wafted towards the kitchen. Ugh! Not again! "Jed, do you need a diaper change? Do you have poo-poos in your diaper?" He looked up at me seriously. "Pu pu." And then off running with the pull car behind him. I grabbed a batch of freshly stuffed and folded cloth diapers and called him into the living room. He sidled up, still unconvinced that this disruption to his play was really essential. I held up the bright blue diaper and shook it at him. I patted the changing mat. (Aside: I knew this would be a messy one! Lately he's a total prune addict. Earlier this week, when I was in the other room folding laundry, he climbed up on the barstool and ate half a big container of prunes that I'd left on the counter. The next day was a diaper changing nightmare. Augh! *shakes head* That kid!) Jed threw the Pound-Purry at me. "Diaper!" All right, she gets a diaper! A huge grin cracked his apple-red cheeks when I threw the fluorescent-green-diaper clad Cat back at him. He tossed the glo-yellow frog at me and I politely threw it back with a purple diaper. Next came the Baby and she got a light green bottom covering. "Ok, now that they have their diapers on it's your turn!" He looked at the line of animals, then patted his bottom, trotted over and lay down for his own change. Ah, peer pressure, the Toddler Mother's Friend.
Jed always pulls out all the stops to put on a show for the relatives. Here's one of several thousand funny moments over the vacation. While visiting the Gardners and Stanfill grandparents (from Montana) while we were all in UT, Jed poked around the house and found some manly accessories.