Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Normalise it

Blogging has taken a bit of a backseat lately as I've just been kicking back and enjoying the summer with my boys, but now that we are back into some form of routine with school, I'm looking forward to finding my voice once again. This post today has been on my heart for awhile however as I've hit the end of an era yet again. My sweet baby Austin is weaned. The milk bar is closed and I feel like my baby has just grown up overnight. We made it to almost 15 months; a little shorter than I had been hoping but still a decent effort. Stress caused my supply to go from low to virtually non existent - poor kid was essentially sucking on air, so I made the decision to end our breastfeeding journey. It wasn't easy. We both shed some tears. For the first week, he persistently pointed to his former milk supply exclaiming buh buh and trying to lift up my shirt while we snuggled over a bedtime story.

It didn't take long before he was happily taking a cup of cows milk instead, but still - this mamas heart has been sad. I had felt the end was nearing anyway as he was getting more and more distracted, but not having it end mutually is something I wish didn't happen. I had been hoping that as he got older, it would just naturally fade out as it did with Ollie. Oh, how I miss those milky snuggles. The way his chunky little fingers would comb through my hair as he fed. The satisfied milk drunk, sleepy smiles. I still get my snuggles but my baby just seems to have grown so quickly these past couple of months. He runs, he has words, he drinks cows milk. He still needs his mama, just like his big bro, but he's getting to be more and more toddler (including lovely tantrums) every day.

With our breastfeeding journey now ended, I've been reflecting on the past year. Trying to breastfeed a baby with a busy toddler underfoot wasn't always easy, especially in those early weeks and months where he was eating every two hours. With a one bad bout of mastitis and a few instances of blocked ducts in the early stages, we had a couple of little challenges but persevered and I'm so thankful we did. While I truly believe the most important thing is just feeding your baby - bottle OR breast - I'm really thankful that Austin and I had a really positive breastfeeding relationship that lasted as long as it did. While breastfeeding did come easier second time around because I wasn't as completely and utterly clueless, Austin still had to learn and we had to find our rhythm together. Breastfeeding is natural but it does not come naturally - it's a learned skill, for both of us.

Between two kids and all our travels, I've breastfed in a lot of strange places and it's been an interesting experience discovering the different attitudes towards breastfeeding in the USA. I've been mulling over my thoughts on it for some time but haven't been able to find the right words. This photograph I saw online today just summed it up for me.

I feel like the USA still has a long way to go in terms of attitudes towards and perceptions of breastfeeding. It's normal. Natural. Healthy. It's just feeding a baby. Nothing more.

Lets normalise it.

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Monday, August 24, 2015

Weekend goodness {Pinnacles National Park}

This past weekend, we took another little camping trip - this time, to the Pinnacles National Park. It was dry and dusty, pretty stinking hot during the day and cold at night but it was a great location not too far from home. We saw lots of wildlife - deer, turkeys and WAY too many bold raccoons trying to steal our food and did a fantastic hike in the national park through bat caves, up to a reservoir and up & down & through rock formations. Probably my favourite hike we've done all year, even if it was a little nerve wracking at times with all the kiddos in tow.

The boys did really well in the tent this time too. It's never been awful (except for our very first attempt back in April) but this time they both slept great. And given that we weren't allowed campfires due to fire danger (no s'mores, boo), we didn't stay up as late in the cold so I even felt reasonably well rested each morning.

My favourite part was discovering the junior ranger program! We've been to a bunch of national parks over here, but I actually never knew about this. The kids filled out a certain number of pages in an activity book, took it back to the visitors centre, pledged their allegiance to the national park and became 'junior rangers'. They each were awarded a badge and sew on patch. Super cute!

Hoping to squeeze in at least one, maybe two more camping trips before the weather gets too cold. It's been fun this summer exploring the great outdoors!

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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Life lately {random August goodness}

Life lately - somehow, school is going back and the summer is almost over! This past weekend was a scorcher and we braved the hot weather to go to Great America, our local theme park. It's much like Dreamworld, with some pretty big thrill rides and some kiddie stuff too - but instead of Wiggles World, it's Planet Snoopy which had a bunch of rides that both the boys could go on.

Although it doesn't have animals like Dreamworld, Great America does have Boomerang Bay - a fantastic water park included in your admission. Honestly, it was the main reason why I wanted to come here! The boys LOVED it. We spent the morning doing rides then the afternoon cooling off in the water.

I think Ollie's favourite part of the day however was when Daddy won him a minion! Then he wanted to play again and won a small minion for Austin (which brought the hugest grin to his face). Love these sweet boys!

Sunday was Oliver's actual birthday, and after the exhaustion of the theme park the day before, getting bunk beds, and his Lego party, we just switched on the air con and spent the entire day inside. Ollie built his new little Legos for 8hrs straight. I was impressed with his dedication!

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Monday, August 17, 2015

A LEGO celebration!

Last Friday we had a little Lego party to celebrate our big boy turning four! Oliver has become a little obsessed with the 'wittle' Legos this past year, ever since we bought him his first big kid set at Legoland last summer. He was SO excited about his party this year. From the moment he woke up on Friday morning, he was running around the house shouting I'M SO EXCITED! On repeat. And every time a guest arrived, he proudly told them about his new wittle wego shirt that he had chosen out himself (yes, I finally caved and bought a licensed character shirt). It was a bit toasty in the backyard, but with snacks, games & cake time, we had a lovely morning celebrating our Lego lovin' boy!

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