Sunday, December 21, 2008


Now that Eliana is officially weaned, she seems practically grown-up. She's exhibiting more and more signs of independence and developing a repetoire of loves that extend beyond mom and dad. At the heart of all that love are her little friends. She has taken to saying their names completely out of the blue. The other day the fixation was on Moana. She would wander around the house saying, "Moahna, Moahna." She then took Moana's picture down off the fridge, snuggled it, and proceeded to carry it around the house the way she would her baby.

Friday night we driving to Margot's house for her first birthday party. I explained that lots of her friends would be there. She began to exclaim from the backseat, "JiyJiy?" "Moanie?" "JiyJiy?" "Moanie?" I told her that JiyJiy wouldn't be there but Moana would, as well as Hayley and Soraya and, of course, Margot whose birthday we were celebrating. I was just stating all of this information, pretty matter of factly. She then said, "Moanie" with the assurance that she would see Moana. And then, "Jiyjiy??? No," with the disappointment of not seeing Jiah in her tone. She then carried on with, "Hayley? Soraya?" and I said, "Yes, like I said, they'll both be there." We kind of went on like this all the way to Nici's house. It was pretty darn sweet, albeit mildly redundant. I think my favorite part is the way that she's already given Moana a nickname. This is so much like her mama who is the queen of shortening and changing people's given names.

Which brings me to how my girl is so much like her parents. Jeff and I are extremely social creatures. While Jeff likes to pretend that I'm more social than he, ask anyone who knows us well who has our cell phone most of the time. We're kinda in the stone age in that we share a cell phone. Share a cell phone that I hardly see because my husband's always yammering away on it.

So there you go. You model things - the importance of friendship - and you see it in your child. Nothing like having a little one sponging up your words and actions to put you on your best behavior and really make you see where your values lie.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

and tonight

I gave her a bath, I put her in her jammies, she looked up at me and said, "Nurse? No." And just sort of snuggled into my chest. I asked her if she wanted to read some books. She said, "Yeah." So absolutely fine with the new way things were going. We read two books. I told her it was time to say, "Night night." And, as if it were nothing, she snuggled up with her baby, said, "Night night, mom. Love you." And I closed the door.

"Love you! Night, night!"
I heard through the door, my valiant little trooper, still full of love and rolling with the punches.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

one week down


It's been a full week since I last nursed Eliana. And I'm finally feeling cool with it all. Last night, instead of disappearing and heading out the door for yet another night away from my family to avoid my daughter asking for my breast, I stayed in. We took a bath together. I then explained to her that mommy was going to stay in the bath and relax and daddy would read her books and put her to bed. She said, "Night night, mommy" and then looked at Jeff and said, "Out?".

I heard them cozying up together with Goodnight Moon and Bunny. I heard them exchange, "Love you's". I heard the door gently close.

At eight thirty this morning we heard her talking to her babies. She had a wonderful nights rest. We all did. And this morning, we walked in her room together and welcomed our beauteous daughter to another day.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Sometimes I feel like I'm making way too big a deal about this weaning thing. I know I'm absurdly sentimental. That sentiment seems compounded by hormonal upheaval. And the exhaustion of being out every night to avoid bedtime.

Don't get me wrong. I'm having a blast. Last night I drank way too much wine and said way too much. Loose lips got the best of me. I felt raw and real and in a space of total comfort and acceptance. My friends are truly tremendous. I can hardly handle what a lucky girl I am.

But then Elie squawked in the night and I was up, the heaviness of red wine in my head, the pull on my chest as I thought about going in there and helping her back to sleep. I feel a bit like a junkie. Like I just can't get enough of her. Somehow having her on the boob, even once a day, took the edge off. Now I feel like I never see her, that all I do is work and play, that I can't take the time to just hold her like I used to.

Like she can't be a baby anymore with me.

Last night after I showered, I checked to see if I still had milk. It was pretty surreal because I haven't leaked or squirted or oozed in months. It kinda felt like I've been just giving her my empty breast because they seem so small and listless these days. But good god, they are still flowing. I was thoroughly impressed by my body's ability to still shoot that super stuff out in all kinds of directions. It was thick and white and full of goodness.

What a waste.

It dripped down my belly and I just sort of stared at it for a while. I felt kinda like a freak then and even more so now for writing about it. But it was poignant. It was major.

Now I sit here at this computer thinking about how badly I want to go in and just watch her sleep. Just watch her in her baby-ness and vulnerability.

Time is moving too fast and I'm not ready to let this go.

Monday, December 8, 2008

the big W continued

I guess I finally am ready. The fact that I begin with, "I guess" means that I'm doing it, but only because it seems that the time has come. It doesn't mean that it isn't super tough. I just put her down for a nap. She has a fever and is grouchy and clingy. It's heartbreaking to ignore her, "Nurse? Nurse?" and read her another story instead. I don't even sit in our nursing chair because I don't want her to remind her of the good ol' days.

Backing up. We hit a couple rough patches earlier last week. She showed some true signs of being a toddler. Some night waking. Some freaking out. Some screaming and banging around in her crib, shouting out my name. Of course I hit the books. Apparently toddlers have awful nightmares. Separation issues. All of this is compounded by change. Not nursing is one of the greatest adjustments for a toddler.

I took lots of deep breaths and read on.

On Thursday night she woke up in a total state of panic. Jeff and I had a hugely important day at work on Friday (of course), so I was ready to do whatever it took to get her to go back down or at least to get her quiet so that Jeff could go back down. She went nuts with the nursing. After forty five minutes on one side, I tried to gently move her from my breast. The crying began again and demands of, "Nurse?" Trying not to wake Jeff, I moved her to the other side. There was still no stopping her. I was totally parched and exhausted, so I tried to put her back in her crib. Screams. Cries. Head banging.

I went back in. I tried real food. I tried rubbing her back. I tried singing. Still, when I put her back, the freaking out began again. My little sweet thing who usually is so happy to be in her crib with her Baby and Night Night, who usually talks herself to sleep sweetly, who usually has no trouble going to sleep was totally out of sorts. Three hours later, she finally succumbed.

It was a power struggle. It was not right. Nursing was a symbol for something else. For her control over me. For my weakness when it comes to her. We were thick in symbolism.

My friends kept saying that I had to be ready.

She pushed me over the edge.

On Saturday night we had our "last nurse." I had a dance party to go to, which was the perfect diversion for what could have been a weepy, wine-y, blogfest. Instead I talked to her about how she was a big girl and that this was her last nurse. She somehow seemed to suck in a more concentrated, focused way, knowing the importance of it all. I tried so hard to take in every sensation in those moments. I felt myself drifting off a bit, the dark room enveloping me, the sleepy calm that of holding your baby in your arms.

A few minutes later I came to.
"Mama say, mama saw, mou ma cou saw, mama say, mama saw, mou ma cou saw...."

Michael Jackson was singing us through these last, poigniant moments.

I wanted to laugh out loud. Of all the damn songs to pop in my head. It should have been something sentimental. Something that I used to rock her to when she was a baby. Norah Jones or Joni Mitchell. Womanly and maternal and deep.

Instead it was M.J., reminding me of how I used to shake my thang on the gym floor during half time at high school basketball games, "Wanna Be Startin' Something" the most fabulous of all our dance numbers. I was thinking about what kind of music the DJ would play at the dance party, thinking about if he'd fill the house with some good, old school favorites, or would he be all cool and cluby, house beats or bust.

Clearly I was ready to transition to the next phase of my life, take back the night on my body, get funky with my bad self.

And I did.

Oh, and the DJ was awesome and played lots of Michael (though he missed my number one jam).

Does that mean I'm not still totally sentimental about Elie being off the boob? No. I've had my share of spontaneous little bouts of tears, of kinks in the road. But I have a plan for every night this week and Jeff has agreed to bedtime duty. So I'll rock it with my girlfriends and my grooves and try to stay distracted, the same way I try to keep Els distracted when she looks at me with those ridiculously huge eyes and says, "Nurse? Nurse?"

Monday, December 1, 2008

buv you

An addendum to the lovefest, thankful post from yesterday sounds something like this.

"Buv you!"

It means, "Love you!" and Eliana has taken to saying it.

It's probably the most heartbreaking thing yet. While she's parroted us saying it for a week or so now, she just last night started shoutin' it out on her own.

It was after her 10:00 explosive poopy wake-up. We had changed her and fed her, put her in a new sleepy suit. As I was carrying her back into her room she looked at her daddy and said, "Buv you, dad."

Come on. It doesn't get much better than that.

Then this afternoon, when I was walking out of her room, after putting her down for a late nap, I heard those sweet words again.
"Buv you!"

I turned around, a ridiculously huge smile on my face.

"Oh honey. I love you too. I love you so much. I love you more than anything in the whole world."
"Night, night mom."
"Night, night sweetheart."

I then stood outside her closed door, heart full. I heard her talking to her baby and her puppy and her yellow blankie, spreading the love their way as well. What a wonder to have so much love in one heart. So much goodness to bring to your world.