Friday, November 18, 2011


I remember shortly after Maisie turned a year old when I wondered if I should try weaning her or let her choose the time. I know a lot of pro breastfeeding women (and men for that matter) and I am so blessed to have all of their support, but when I decided that I would let Maisie tell me when she was done nursing I got tons of mixed feedback (from strangers and/or acquaintances that never breast fed or that weaned right at the year mark). People saying "Oh sweetie, you are giving her the power. You are the mother. You tell her when she is done. You tell her when to sleep." I do agree with this statement to a degree. As Maisie's mother, I have been entrusted with this precious life and it is up to me {and Austin} to guide and teach her, to instill healthy habits and good manners, but when it came to this for breastfeeding I was hurt. Maisie was not doing anything detrimental to her health, but quite the opposite. Yes, there were some days that I felt that I would die from exhaustion, but never once did I. I kept going because in the long run she was going to end up sleeping through the night some day. I kept going because she was still benefiting so much from all her nursing sessions. Also it helped that I am so stubborn. It's rare when some one else's opinion sways me one way or the other. That's not saying I don't value my loved ones views because I very much do, but I have learned (especially becoming a new mother because EVERY ONE has an opinion) to separate myself. To take a step back and look at what's best for MY little family. Breastfeeding has been one of those things that regardless of what others say I was doing it because I felt with everything that I am, that I was giving Maisie the best  for as long as I could. People (including my doctor) would convince me that Maisie still wasn't sleeping through the night because she was still nursing. I was so sleep deprived that I became weak and for a moment started to resent the nightly nursing sessions. The words of all the people telling me that I would never sleep again until I weaned Maisie would replay in my head. Until I snapped out of it. Maisie would nurse as long as she wanted {ok with some boundaries probably not past 2 1/2} but I came to terms that if she wanted to nurse until then I was completely on board, shoot I was the captain of that ship.

But now it has come to an end. 
She nursed a mini session {she was barely interested} early on the morning she turned 18 months old{last Monday the 14th}. Honestly I thought that she was just taking a little break, but since then she has only asked for milk once. I gave her some rice milk (because I always offer that first to see which milk she is asking for} and she smiled and began to sip and happily skip away. Now she will just bring me her cup and say "illlk peeez" when she wants milk. I am emotional about it. I miss it so much. I secretly hope one of these nights she will wake up and the only way I will be able to get her to settle down is to nurse her, but I know that won't happen. She is content and no longer needs it. 

Oh yeah, my doctor and random others were wrong by saying that only when she would wean would I get a full nights sleep, because she has been sleeping through the night since Austin has been off of work (from October 20th) and she just weaned on the 14th of November. I definitely think that she weaned because she started sleeping through the night, but it wasn't the opposite.

I expressed my sadness on facebook with a quick status update explaining that Maisie had self-weaned and that I am having a hard time with it. A handful of friends told me they were proud of me and reminded me how nice it is now that I am getting a full nights sleep, but this comment takes the cake:


That's right ladies, that's my husband. It makes me laugh that it was said over facebook, but that's where I least expected it, which made it even better. Also, that it is in writing, so when I need a pick me up I can read the words over and over and feel loved and encouraged. I am so blessed that my husband is truly so wonderful. He always manages to show me the light at the end of tunnel and to look at the big picture. I am a worrier, so I tend to obsess on the current stresses of my mind {big or small}, but Austin some how shakes me out of it, saying that if there is nothing I can do to change whatever it is that I am stressing out about then worrying is definitely not going to help. He is right. So right.

Anyway, it is so nice being able to get a full nights sleep! I bet I was pretty close to not having a full night sleep in 2 years. The end of pregnancy was rough on sleep too, with my sciatica problems, but I am slowly feeling normal. I feel overall healthier and my mind is more clear. I am no longer walking in a sleepless fog. I have energy! Wow, is that an amazing feeling. I am still sad, but I see the light at the end of tunnel. It will get better. Like Austin said, the bond is still there and it will only grow. Maisie and I now have long nightly back scratches and bath time is so magical. I play some music softly and read fairy tales as she splashes and  giggles. It's amazing. So now that the bonding time of nursing is gone, it makes all the other quality time so much better and for that I am thankful.

Family Photos II

I was {finally} able to transfer all of our family photos onto our computer tonight. This move makes even the simplest task difficult, but I am so excited to have all of them readily available right on our desktop. I am just so happy with how they turned out, sI thought I would share few more of our {unseen} favorites. You can see the first batch here.


We had Pandora playing {a mix of Walt Disney radio and Phoenix} on our phones and this was the outcome. Boy, does this girl dance.











Erich posted more pictures on his photography blog. 
You can view those here.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Santa Cruz

Our first Saturday in California we decided to take a day trip to Santa Cruz (about 30 minutes away). The weather in Santa Clara was wonderful, mid-70's and our iPhone's forecast said that the beach wouldn't be any different. So we had some breakfast and made our way down the beautiful highway to eventually be so excited at the sight of the Santa Cruz Boardwalk. 

We walked down the entire pier and spotted some sea lions that were trying to get cozy on a crowded wooden ledge. They weren't the most pleasant smelling of creatures, but Maisie loved all the barking and burping. When we finally reached the end of the pier we noticed tons of commotion, people trying to make their way to the front of the pack and occasionally start oohing and awing. We managed to get a peek and sure enough a pod of humpback whales were feeding in the bay. Unfortunately, we couldn't time our camera right when they surfaced, so no whale pictures, but we managed to take a couple through out the day.









A couple days after our beach trip we saw this on Yahoo news:

The Pier in the background is where we were standing. They have paddle boards and kayaks to rent so you can paddle out and watch the whales from only a few feet away, but as you see in this video, you could be just a little too close. We joked about renting a kayak, but since Maisie is still so little we decided to hold off. Thank goodness!

Trunk or Treat

This Halloween was a little crazy. We were only one week into California, so that cut out a lot of our normal Halloween traditions {pumpkin carving, seed roasting, apple cider brewing} but this was the first Halloween that Maisie truly experienced the beauty of Halloween. We went to a local trunk or treat { a huge parking lot packed with cars that set up stations using their trunks/bumpers/parking space full with treats and fun decorations}. It was much easier than traditional trick or treating because Maisie had a whole parking lot to run around in, without us having to worry about busy streets, hard to get to porches, or getting lost in some neighborhood we have never been in (let alone city). She was a champ. She held her basket and patiently waited to be handed a piece of candy to proudly plop into her basket. She was so confident and loving all of the attention she was getting from quacking her little heart out. She was such a little ham.
 I was one proud mama. 

Austin and I enjoyed our little candy stash the rest of the week. Maisie did manage to gnaw through half of a mini butterfinger before we caught her, but other than that no candy for her. She would much rather have lemon slices any way. She's a silly one, that Maisie.

I apologize for the not-so-great pictures, but it was impossible to get her to stop for more than a second. She was quite the busy girl.




Maisie last year on Halloween. So small, so cute.
See what we were up to last year here.



Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Sauvie Island pumpkin patch {take 2}

Last year we took Maisie to her very first pumpkin patch {read last year's post here} and we knew that before we moved to California, we needed to enjoy Oregon's beautiful autumn the correct way, trudging through the mud, child in tow, whist sipping on fresh apple cider, all while finding the perfect pumpkin. We had plans to visit all of our favorite patches {Sauvie, Canby, Bauman and possibly Roloff Farms}, but we were insanely busy due to our impending move, so sadly we were only able to squeeze in one short trip to the beautiful Sauvie Island to enjoy some cider and let Maisie roam the fields. Uncle Nat fat even joined the fun.






Can you believe how tiny she was last year?
{Maisie Moo @ Sauvie Island 2010}