Wednesday, July 18, 2007

My Week is Different

Today is Wednesday. It feels like a Friday. Wednesdays always feel like Fridays nowadays. It has something to do with working at a church.

When everyone else is happy to be off for the weekend, I am gearing up for a long day on Sunday.

Monday is spent on the little tasks that went undone on Sunday.

On Tuesday, my old church is having Vacation Bible School (for 5 consecutive Tuesdays--2 down, 3 to go). I am still a little involved at that church for the sake of my friendships and for the children I have taught. On Tuesdays, I am helping with the VBS for now. I am teaching the bible story...three three very different but all boisterous groups.

On Wednesday night, I teach both the youth and the children. Usually it is some missions related stuff. Last week, I had to teach the adult bible study instead.

By Wednesday, it feels like a Friday. I am ready for two days of downtime. I use Thursday as my day of rest when I can. Resting does not include resting from laundry however. I don't mind doing laundry though.

Friday is the day when everyone says TGIF. But I have to say, at the end of this (Wednes)day, TGIW.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Thoughts about Breastfeeding After It has Ended

Last Tuesday, July 3rd, my youngest child turned 2. He is a sweet toddler. His temperament is wonderful except when he is tired in the late afternoon. He doesn't communicate with words much yet, but we have a speech therapist who visits once a week for 30 minutes to work with him. His lack of speech/communication issues is one of the reasons that I was still nursing him up until the day he turned 2.

Yes. I breastfed my child until age 2. There. I said it. Draw your own conclusions and then read why I feel compelled to justify this decision.

His older brother breastfed until he was 21 months. That was close to 2 years old. I kept nursing the younger brother because it was the strongest communication we had between us. I knew exactly how to calm him down and get him to settle down for a nap or for the night.

Yet, why should I feel so guilty admitting it?

I have always been pro-breastfeeding. I am not a breastfeeding Nazi like I used to be when I was nursing my first--I have met far too many women for whom breastfeeding did not work out even though they were desperate for it to work. But for me, breastfeeding was always the priority. My boys never tasted a drop of formula. It was difficult--especially with my first. All I can say is thank goodness for Lansinoh and the fact that I learned how to nurse my children while laying on the bed.

It is recommended that mothers try to nurse their babies for the first year of life. The World Health Organization even recommends two years. My goal for my first was 12 months. And then I took it month-by-month until I could tell that it was time to stop. My goal for my youngest was 18 months. And I stopped last week at his 2nd birthday.

Nursing in public has not been an issue with me with the second child. I kept to dressing rooms and out-of-the-way places with my first, but I was nursing my 3-day old infant in a restaurant without a second thought. We have nursed at the play area at the mall. At the circus. At the zoo. At church. At Christmas parties. Etc. Yet I did not nurse in public past 12 months.

The surprising fact to me is that I have felt guilty admitting to breastfeeding my toddler. Especially after 18 months, I never brought up the fact that I was still nursing. Honestly, I may have thought people would judge me for admitting it. I do not know of anyone who made it to 2 years (I just haven't met them yet). But why should I feel this way?

In the early months, breastfeeding is all about nourishment. In the last months, it is all about comforting.

Instead, I want to hold on to my memories of this time of my life. It opens a new understanding of what it means to provide nourishment to someone and, later on, comfort. It makes me reflect on the image of God as a nursing mother. A man can never understand that.

To nurse, you have to take care of yourself and be willing to provide for another creature. It means that you have slow down and stop something because your baby needs you. It forces you to pay attention and read the signs. As you look at the face of your baby and see the contentment that relaxes him or her to sleep, you see that you have a power in your milk.

I am excited to see how my toddler will grow. It is a bittersweet time as I have finished nursing. At my son's 2 year old checkup yesterday, I sheepishly told my pediatrician that I had nursed until he was 2. He said, "Good for you!"

RevGalBlogPals Friday Five: Choose your own adventure

Today's F5 is a Choose Your Own Adventure: do the magical version or the Muggle one, or both:

Option 1: Accio Friday Five!

1. Which Harry Potter book is your favorite and why?
My favorite has been the Goblet of Fire. I don't know why. I guess it was because I didn't like Order of the Phoenix when I read it. I did like Half-Blood Prince though. And after seeing the movie last night, I am rereading Phoenix, so I may end up liking it better than I thought.

2. Which character do you most resemble? Which character would you most like to get to know?
I like Neville the best. Ever since he stood up to Harry in the first book, I've been interested in him. I probably resemble him the most, too, as I feel that I am a late bloomer.

3. How careful are you about spoilers?
a) bring 'em on--even if I know the destination, the journey's still good
b) eh, I'd rather not know what happens, but I'm not going to commit Avada Kedavra if someone makes a slip
c) I will sequester myself in a geodesic dome to avoid finding anything out

A! Bring them on. I love spoilers. I read ahead in almost every fiction book I pick up. I love knowing how movies end before I see them.

4. Make one prediction/share one hope about book 7.
I predict that I will cry at some point during that book. Probably at the end.

5. Rowling has said she's not planning any prequels or sequels, but are there characters or storylines (past or future) that you would like to see pursued?
A prequel would be great. We have some glimpses into Harry's parents' lives. I would like to see the story of his mother and her family.

Option 2: Please Mommy, Anything But Those Blankety-Blank Books!

And we do mean anything:

1. Former U.S. First Lady "Lady Bird" Johnson died this week. In honor of her love of the land and the environment, share your favorite flower or wildflower.
My favorite flower is the tulip.

2. A man flew almost 200 miles in a lawn chair, held aloft by helium balloons. Share something zany you'd like to try someday.
I'd like to learn to play the banjo.

3. Do you have an iPhone? If not, would you want one?
I do not have one. I do not care for one. My VCast phone (that I inherited from my husband) will do fine until the battery wears out.

4. Speaking of which, Blendtec Blenders put an iPhone in one of their super-duper blenders as part of their "Will It Blend?" series. What would YOU like to see ground up, whizzed up or otherwise pulverized in a blender?
A Blendtec Blender--let them see if their own blender will blend.

5. According to News of the Weird, a jury in Weld County, Colo., declined to hold Kathleen Ensz accountable for leaving a flier containing her dog's droppings on the doorstep of U.S. Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, apparently agreeing with Ensz that she was merely exercising free speech. What do you think? Is doggy doo-doo protected by the First Amendment?
It may be protected as free speech, but it is not in good taste. Surely there were other ways to make a statement.

Friday, July 06, 2007

RevGalBlogPals Friday Five: Hasty Edition

Today, what are you:

1. Wearing T-shirt and jeans and my new watch I bought for the times I am not carrying my cellphone (Sundays at church when I need to know when to dismiss the youth Sunday School class)

2. Reading A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini (I just picked it up at the library at 11:30, and I am already on page 52--I cannot put it down. It means that it is a good thing that I wrote 95% of my sermon for Sunday already because this book is going to be finished by this time tomorrow!)

3. Eating I just at a McDonald's Big Mac. I know, I know. But it is fast food friday here at the house after preschool (since the summer preschool session does not do a lunchtime). On the other hand, the Happy Meal toys are good ones this week.

4. Doing Reading my book, thinking about all the responsibilities I have for Sunday (and stressing), thinking of the last few paragraphs I need to write on my sermon, and checking in on my Neopets (and my friends who play Neopets and are in my guild).

5. Pondering 1. Why does my little boy not take naps since he turned 2 (on Tuesday)?

2. Are there enough clothes washed and ironed to take my husband through the middle of next week?

3. How much sunscreen am I going to need (for my pale self) next Tuesday when I take the youth to the water park?