Monday, September 15, 2014

Winning at Weaning

Today Ezie is officially one week breast milk sober. It hasn't been easy, but on the other hand it wasn't nearly as difficult as I thought it would be. I had a lot of reasons that I chose to nurse Ezie until he was two. Well, technically he hasn't turned two yet, but I wanted to schedule the weaning for a time that I knew we didn't have a lot of other obligations because I figured we were in for some sleeplessness nights, and I was right. 

First off, I feel bad for anyone that has to sit through any of Ezie's milestone stories because I will inevitably share that story in light of the way it happened with my other two children. In this case Z was weened at about 16 months. I knew we were down to very few feedings and when we spent the night at his cousins house one day he was so busy and tired that he just went all day and night without wanting to nurse. When he woke the next day I realized it had been over 24 hours and I wasn't about to turn back. He probably would have continued to nurse if I had planned to, but I never offered it again. It was kind of child-led. Then I breast fed SJ until she was a little over a year. She never cared about nursing though. Unlike her brothers she was very practical about the whole thing. If she was hurt or upset I would often try to feed her to calm her down, except she would just push away and give me this confused baby look like I am not hungry, I am hurt. Totally opposite of her bros. However, she did have a pacifier and when we took that away just before her 2nd birthday she had 3 days of hardcore rehab. There was thrashing and screaming throughout the night, but by the end of day 3 it was like she was completely detoxed. I figured it would be the same if not worse for Ezie, because I have been his "pacifier" for 2 years and I can't exactly removed myself from the situation like I could with a binky. 

The first night he was pretty upset about not getting his "night night milk" as he calls it. The next day he was so exhausted from not getting any sleep that he fell asleep on the way to drop his siblings off at school. He stayed asleep when I took him out at the grocery store. I decided to put him in the Ergo and he continued to sleep the whole time I shopped no matter how much movement, squatting down and bending over him that I did he was just out! 

It's got a little easier each day and once again it only took about 3 days for him to forget about it. However he still wakes up in the middle of the night and he's had some nights were I couldn't get him back to sleep for the longest time. I no longer have a magic potion, but I know he'll adjust.  

I did a lot of research online before attempting to tackle this transition and for me the thing I found to be most effective was trying not to trigger his urge to nurse. This meant high collared shirts with layers if necessary and even crossing my arms if I was laying next to him. I also had to stand up with him a lot because sometimes laying down and cuddling was just too difficult, as you can imagine. Lastly, because "night night milk" was what we always referred to as I had to pull every synonym for night night out of my mental thesaurus and use a lot of words that could be calming and get him ready for bed, but distract him from what that used to mean. For example 

"Let's go to BED, and lay down with an animal, and pillow, and blanket" 
"It's time to go to SLEEP"
"Are you ready to shut your eyes? Do you hear the music? Are you tired?" 

 So, that's my experience and advice for anyone that is in a similar boat where maybe you lay down with your baby/toddler and nurse them to sleep. It's been bitter sweet for sure. Sometimes it's hard to let go of the familiar and step into new seasons,  but I am definitely relieved to have it over with. Next up potty training. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


Back before the American What Not to Wear there was a British version with Trinny and Sussanah. Maybe you remember it? Those girls were great at fashion advice, but one thing they said that I have never forgotten is that they disapproved of shorts. For any occasion or tempeture. No shorts. Ever. Gasp.

Now don't get me wrong, I don't love shorts. Shorts mean I have to shave, or that I have to look at girls/women wearing too short of shorts and try not to stare at their butts. I don't want to see a 16 year olds cheeks hanging out, but it's like someone with a weird birth mark on their face or something. You try hard not to look at it, but it has magnetic power over your eyes! So frustrating. Anyway back to Trinny and Sussanah, I can get why shorts might seem inappropriate for some, but I look at it the same way fellow blogger Amy feels about ceiling fans. Fine for HGTV to be anti-fan , not fine for a family living in Houston trying to keep utilities down. 

Today is a shorts day for me because where I live in Ohio it is a high of 86, but it looks like we may have cold front coming through. Bring on the fall! Until then here is a selection of shorts from my closet.It turns out every pair of shorts that I own are from thrift stores! I probably bought all of my summer bottoms for less than what I would have spent on one pair off the rack. Yippee.

First of all the cut off shorts. You have got to love the thriftiness of repurposing old pants. 

Actually, these were already cut off when I found them at a vintage shop in Lousiville. They couldn't be any more comfortable and yes it is perfectly acceptable to tuck a shirt in without a belt, I read it in a magazine. 

In keeping with the grunge theme, I also have a pair of ripped up shorts. Also very comfortable. 

Now let's get a little more formal with my dress-pants-shorts (oxymoron?). 

They are a little more risqué than what I wear for my day and night job (mother hood), but they make shorts look chic, unless you wear them with brightly colored underwear. That changes everything. Both of these photos were taken on dates with my husband.

Like I said, I have a few other pair like khakis of all colors, but that's what I have photos of. I don't plan on doing a What I Wore Wednesday on a regular basis, but I did want to sneak in some of these summer favorites before it's strictly cardigans and boots. I get giddy just thinking about it. For me it's the most wonderful time of the year.  

Monday, September 8, 2014

The 7th Birthday

When we Z was 6 he learned to tie his shoes, snap, and he memorized the state capitols. But  it was a week ago just before he turned 7 that I understood just how much of a transformative year this has been. We were at one of Cincinnati's acclaimed chili parlors when when Z said "Mom I did it". "What did you do?" I asked him. "I asked that lady for more chocolate milk and she gave me some". I was really impressed and asked for his exact wording, he said "May I have more chocolate milk please". I smiled and praised him for his ability to take initiative independently and use manners. It was the first time he had ever asked for his own refill.

Now this wasn't one of those tangible milestones where you get an award or take photos. I didn't jump out of my seat to go give him a hug. It was just a subtle choice that really stood out to me. I didn't tell him he needed to handle his own refill. I didn't ridicule him for not speaking up as I am embarrassed to say that I have done in the past. I didn't coach him through any of it. He had a need and he took care of it. It's such a simple act, but so big. He is on his way to becoming a young man. It's like watching plants grow in a garden. You don't see them shoot up, but you know it's happening and suddenly it's blossomed. I can't put my finger on many measurable stats for Z from this past year, but I know a lot of change has taken place.

As far as the actual birthday, it was a winner.

I do what I call Theme Parties every other year so this year was an off year and we just met up with two other families at Chuck E. Cheese on Monday since it was a holiday. It was very low key, but he got a scooter and helmet which was his biggest surprise.


On the actual birthday date he got to have his name on the intercom announcement at school. It was kind of funny because he asked me if I heard it (I was miles away at home during the announcements and he thought the news was broadcast throughout the city). It was also the same day as a cub scouts sign up meeting so J took Z and they signed up. Even though it was a last minute decision I think it will be a great program for Z to be a part of.

Friday was the school carnival which he has been more excited about then his actual birthday.

Lastly, he had his first pack meeting where they did a service act for the community by cleaning up the school grounds the morning after the carnival.

Followed by an outing at the lake where there was fishing and fun for all.

TIt was a typical week for us in a lot of ways, but it was Z's week and I am so glad. He deserved some special attention. He is my special boy.

Friday, September 5, 2014

That's What Z Said

As a follow up to "4 Year Old Funnies" and "Laugh-out-loud conversations with Z" I am pleased to announce the third installment of quotes from my oldest son that made me smile last year. His mix ups have matured as he has grown. At the age of six he definitely has a deeper understanding of things, but there are a lot of words that he has started using that he may not be entirely sure of the meaning yet. It makes for a good laugh.

1.  Z was trying to get out of eating the meal I had served and using every distraction possible he started telling me how much he loved me and I said Show me you love me by finishing your dinner and he replied "I don't think that's love. I think that's generous"

2. Me: I've had enough! You guys have got to quit fighting. I mean it!!!
     Z: Mom, are you going to obliterate us? 

3. Z to his baby brother "Ezie, you sure are a keeper today" 

Which is nice, but let's hope that he's a keeper tomorrow too. 

4. Me: Why are you eating a cookie before dinner!? 
     Z: Because I am unpredictable. 

5. After Z overheard me talking about my Toyota he approached me with a look of astonishment and said "I didn't know that you had a Toy Yoda! Can I see it!? 

6. After Z spent quite some time texting his dad back and forth J had to get back to his online classes. Z continued to text and was genuinely concerned when he didn't get a response.

7. Something I overheard at the playground. I will spell it the way he said it to give the full effect, but for the record Z has eczema

Little boy: Do you have asthma? 
Z: No, it's eggs-ma
Little boy: Oh

8. Z thinking out loud in the car says "I wish I were a Peregrine Falcon". Then a few seconds later, I am assuming after he imagined what life would be like he added "That could play the wii". 

Yes, that would be the ultimate life. 

9. One of our favorite holidays- Thanks Given

10. Lastly, as seen on Facebook 

We had our first appointment with a new Doctor and they have to ask all kinds of routine questions and Z wanted to chime in on ALL of them! I could go on and on, but here is just one example:
Nurse (to me): Do you have any relationships where you have been threatened?
Me: No.
Z: Yes, you have. 
Me: Z what are you talking about!?
Z: I have threatened you, but you told me I'm not allowed.
Me: You mean when you say something like "I am not going to go to bed if you don't let me watch another movie" and I tell you not to threaten me?
Z: Yes.
Nurse: She's right. You shouldn't threaten your mother.

Those are the ones I wrote down or could remember. He brings us so much joy. It's been another great year. Thanks Z. 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

A Non Ficshin Book by Z

Today is Z's birthday and I was going to do my annual post about my favorite funny moments from throughout the year, but then I realized I wanted to share this book that he wrote last year and it deserves it's own space. Consider this part one and I'll do the other post tomorrow.

When Z was 5 he went to New York City with my parents who he knows as MeMe and PePe (it's french for grandma and grandpa). It was just an over night trip, but when he was 6 he wrote this book about it completely on his own. He covered every detail through his point of view. I thought it was too cute not to share. I will translate with the correct spelling, but the way he spelled it is part of the fun so be sure to read his version.

Book Cover-

Non Fiction. Zion Goes to New York.

Page 1. Hi my name is Zion. I'll show you my story. 
*He is wearing his school walkathon shirt in the drawing

Me and MeMe and PePe are at the airport waiting for our plane. Page 2. 

Page 3. Finally our plane has arrived. We all get on it. 

Page 4. It took a long time, but we still made it. 
*He drew the world with the United states and the two states he was flying to.

Page 5. MeMe and PePe went to Nintendo World. It was fun.

Page 6. PePe decided to go the Apple store. I did not. But we still went.
*Note that Pepe is happily expressing his decision while Zion says no with an exclamation, and MeMe seems indifferent with her question mark. 

*At this point in the story there is a page his little sister had previously scribbled on and Z crossed it out and wrote "not part of the book". He had to do this multiple times.

Page 7. We went to a store. We got a shield for me 
*It was FAO Schwartz and he got a Captain America Shield

Page 8. Then we went to our hotel. Our hotel has a TV.

Page Nine. We watch TV in our hotel then went to bed.

Page 10. The next day we went to McDonald's. It didn't have a play land, but I didn't care.

Page 11. Then we passed Time Square and went to the airport.

Page 12. We head home.

Page 13. I told my mom and dad all about New York City!!!!

*He has a lot to say. J and I look overwhelmed??

To learn more about me just call my mom or dad. My dad's # is ____ and my mom's is ____
*I had to cross out the numbers because he knows are numbers accurately and I don't need to get hundreds of phone calls from people wanting to know more about the author. 

The End. Thank you. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Beginning of the School Year Mom's Wardrobe

It's a new school year with a  clean slate and that inspires me*. No more roll out of bed, put shoes on and show up at the school in a wrinkled frump of whatever I wore to bed or picked up out of the laundry basket. I am turning a new leaf. It's hard to say how long it will last, but I am going on a full two weeks *gasp* of having clothes picked out ahead of time. I am actually getting myself ready in the morning. 

Last week after lining up some of my favorite combinations I noticed a trend. 


Along with trying to dress decent on a daily basis I tried to get photographic evidence. It wasn't all that easy, but I wrangled up a few pics for ya, and I am going to use all of my God given restraint to forgo dozens of disclaimers about the way I look or the way the photos looks, because ain't nobody got time for that. 

Now then, lets see some stripes!

This first outfit is a favorite go-to of mine. 

It's casual, comfy, and summery. 

Shirt: JC Penny Clearance.
I wasn't even looking for clothes, but it was such a rock bottom price it grabbed me and forced me to buy it.

Shorts: Old Navy (although I bough them at a thrift store). 
They are called the perfect 5 inch short and they really are the perfect fit for me. 

Shoes: Gap (a gift from a friend who bought them used). 
These are my favorite summer sandals.

So just how practical is this outfit for a stay at home mother of 3? 

I give it 4 out of 5 stars. Even though it's great for so many family activities, the white shorts make it less than perfect for all the messy hands I deal with. Still, not bad. 

This next outfit I wore to the parent info night at Z's school last week. 

Shirt: Forever 21.
I bought it used of course, do I have to mention this every time? I think I should so that I can show people the variety available second hand!
Jeans: American Eagle (thrifted)

Shoes: Gap clearance center 

And just because it's so cute, here is a shot of SJ trying to wear my shoes. 

Why the low score you ask? Well, the outfit is fine, but this score has to do with how well it fits the busy mom lifestyle. It looses points for the low rise jeans because it's no bueno if you can't get each of your kiddo's shoes back on without exposing your crack to all of chic-fil-a. Even if that was still the style, I wouldn't be interested. It's both outdated and just uncomfortable so those jeans are probably seeing their last days. Also, the shoes will not be worn in a situation where I know I need to chase toddlers. They are extremely difficult to run in. I am cool with high heels, but the flatness of the wedge just adds another level of awkward when I walk. I still like the way they look though. #wedgesnotwedgies

Lastly, I have another combo that has gotten a lot of wear this summer. The first of the two pics was a hair selfie, but you see the shirt pattern.

shirt: Old Navy clearance
Shorts: Aeropostale (thrifted)
Shoes: (same as above) Although, normally I would wear Sperry's with this, but it was a hot Saturday and loafers can be stuffy. 

This outfit gets 4 stars because I wear it so often (shoot, I'm wearing it now). It's comfortable, breathable fabric, modest, and both items stretch so it's good for postpartum and all kinds of other body issues moms have to deal with. The reason I didn't give a whopping 5 is because it's pretty boring. These clothes are going to have to work hard to earn a 5. This is serious stuff. 

In conclusion, I have spent a lot more time considering what I am going to wear and sometimes even taking pictures of it. I am not going to lie, it was fun. I feel womanly. Will I keep it up? It's hard to say, but for now that's my 

"What I Wore Wednesday"

Pampers & Pearls

*If you have read Jen Hatmaker's essays about the beginning of the school year mom vs the end of the school year mom then you  pretty much know what kind of mom I am.