Tag Archives: stephanie arnow

Weaning and Heartache

12 Sep

Long before my son had a relationship with me, he had a relationship with a part of me that he still is obsessed with and will seemingly never want to breakup with; my boobs. Before he could recognize me with his eyes, before he could ask for them by name, they were his first love, his first familiar place, his first connection point with life as an “outside baby”. His everything.

It’s not rare that in any public place, strangers can hear him say “Booh, booh?” or “Dis? Dis?” while simultaneously watching as he shoves a hand down (or up) my shirt in the hunt for his true best friends. He doesn’t like a blanky, or lovey, or anything else… just mama and her “nursies”.

This is going to make weaning him hard.

The other night, I was researching weaning and learned about this first relationship, in a more detailed way. I learned that this will be his first true loss… His first “breakup” and that the crying involved in the weaning process isn’t so much that he’ll be pissed off that I won’t be offering him to nurse anymore, it’s that he’ll be literally mourning the loss of this relationship; the nursing relationship, and all the type of intimate bonding that has/goes with it.

That broke my heart.

My boy is already a sensitive soul. He’s in tune with his mama and doesn’t much care for independence from me (yet). Am I really ready to throw that dependence for comfort away, in the name of weaning???

What are the benefits? What are the side effects? Someone please share their weaning stories with me. I need encouragement and to know that I can do this and he won’t be scarred as a result. I mean, I know one day he’ll likely vomit if he finds this post, but for now, nursing is both of our down time, bonding time and way to be attuned to each other. After a long day at work and daycare, nursing is where we share intimate reconnection time together, holding each other and staring at each other. I take my time with him seriously, so it’s not a “sit and pay attention to something else, while taking advantage of his quietness” time, but true bonding time.

He’s 18 months old, so I know that he’s not getting his food from my body anymore, and often times, there’s no way he’s actually getting any milk, but he won’t stop anyway. Even if it’s a drop, it seems to be enough for him, and if it’s less than a drop, he’s angry about it, sad, and will beg and beg, until I can produce just one more drop to make him happy again.

Unlike most of our friend’s babies, he only recently started sleeping through the night (most nights anyway), and still wakes up incredibly early (3:00-5:00AM) just to nurse and snuggle. I’m not sure if his sleep patterns are a result of really, truly, hating being alone in his crib, or if it is because we spend so much time apart during the day, that he needs to connect as often as possible at night? Like I said, he’s a sensitive child. Not a bruiser, or a bully. He wants to be near me, even if it’s just to fake nurse… and I don’t mind.

So, if I don’t mind… why wean? Is it a “must do” before baby #2, or is it a “if you want to” thing? It is something he will decide on his own, or are there kids who don’t decide that (i.e. the annoying little prince from GOT???)?

Please share stories! I’d love to know your thoughts on the issue.

REVIEW: One Last Hug… Bring Tissues

25 Aug
One Last Hug... and Three Smooches

One Last Hug (…and a few smooches)

With tonight being Emmy night, and because I work at the PDC where the post Emmy party-of-all-parties is set to go off, I thought I’d get into HBO-Go’s Emmy Nom category of watchable things over the weekend, and my best choice landed me 10lbs lighter thanks to water elimination by tear ducts.

Seriously.

One Last Hug had me ugly crying less than ONE minute into the 35 minutes of film.

Kids + parents dying + grief camp = SADDEST THING EVER. Of course, there were a few happy moments of resolve at the end, but from start to almost finish was a tear-fest in between.

On a very serious note, however, I’m in love with Camp Erin. Talk about life-changing, honorable and amazing work. The people of Camp Erin all have a special seat reserved for them in the sky for the work they do to help these kid’s grow and thrive amidst the heaviest challenges of their little lives. Kids who’ve lost parents to cancer, suicide and murder (!!!) are all unified through their grieving experience, being encouraged to share their hurt with other kids their own age. Through the comfort of knowing they’re not alone, they find healing and a way to move forward from their individual tragedies, with forgiveness, acceptance and the camaraderie of other kids in their same age group, enduring the same unfair situations.

Camp Erin, created and funded by The Moyer Foundation, is the largest nationwide network of free bereavement camps for children and teens ages 6-17 who have experienced the death of someone close to them.

A truly brilliant film, this exposure to the healing available to kids suffering from loss, was both enlightening, endearing, and heart wrenching. It made me want to give them all of my money, time and resources. It also educated me on the process of grief for children. And, as a mama, I would want this experience for my own child, should something ever happened to me (or my husband). The thought of a young mind in the process of being shaped by their experiences, having to deal with this type of tragedy before they’re even able to understand the word “death” is crippling, but Camp Erin gives them hope.

I highly recommend this film to anyone who’s looking for something to have their heart moved by. Then, do something to help keep this organization alive and thriving, so kids for years to come can have the same opportunity to have a bright future, regardless of their unfortunate and dark past.

Donate to Camp Erin.

Watch the Camp Erin trailer.

Get involved with Camp Erin.

Diaper Sale at Target

10 Jun
$10 gift card with the purchase of 2 boxes!

$10 gift card with the purchase of 2 boxes!

I always run out of diapers.

I’m not sure why/how, but it happens all the time!

Anyway, I typically order on Diapers.com, but run out anyway while waiting for the order to arrive, so I have to go to Target to buy on demand. This week, I went to Target in advance of running out, and they were out of our size in 3 different brands!!! It was like the diaper fairy for size 4 babies showed up and stole them all.

Anyway, thank goodness, because today, I had to go back to Target because we were completely out, and they’re having an amazing sale. Sharing is caring, kids.

For most brands (including our Seventh Generation or Babyganics preference), if you buy two boxes, you get a $10 gift card at check out. On top of it, the box of 80 Babyganics, size 4, diapers are on sale from $27.99 to $24.99, so you save $3 on each box, then get a $10 gift card, so really, it’s like you’re saving $16.

You’re welcome.

My Hot Bloggy Mess

5 Jun
One Hot Mess; A Linkup by The Fike Life.

One Hot Mess; A Linkup by The Fike Life.

I dream about blogging all day long. In fact, I have written hundreds I witty posts in my imagination that will never be remembered when I actually have the time to write them down.

In my head, I’m awesome. Hilarious. So entertaining. Helpful when help is needed, be it child-rearing advice (because I’m such an expert) or a bubble of laughter. I’m your blogger. You identify with me and I with you. I drink belinis every night as I sit on my porch overlooking the wilderness, computer on my lap, thoughtful gaze on my face. I make your life feel more understood, and well, we inspire each other’s Pinterest boards, because my photography of normal life’s events is just so amazing. I’ve always got my laundry done, my kitchen clean, my roots bleached, eyebrows waxed, bed made, dinner on the table by 5:30, and nightstands clear of glasses and tissues, and I still have time to make my husband feel like the rock of my fortress. Also, my perfect toddler naps for hours on end, and sleeps a perfect 12 hours at night, waking up no earlier than 7:00AM. Of course, I wake up an hour before my family (since my family is on a perfect and predictable sleeping schedule) and have time for “me” as I get ready for my day, showering away the perfectly unsweaty night’s sleep, sipping my cuppa’ coffee, all while preparing for another glorious day.

I am perfect. No, I’m not. 

Living in my wild imagination is pure bliss, but when you’re living in my body, it’s exactly the opposite.

This is my guest room... not that any guests could use it.

This is my guest room… not that any guests could use it.

Computer is still on the couch opened to work emails about motorcycles (yes I work with motorcycles) not all the blogs I’ve bookmarked “to read at some future date”, I don’t have a porch overlooking the wilderness (unless you call West Hollywood “wild”), I don’t know exactly what goes into a belini (just that I love them and have to pay $14 for them at any local restaurant – thanks, WeHo) and I have a house full of clean laundry begging to be put away, dirty laundry dying to be washed (lest my dogs pee on the pile again), dishes in the sink and bathroom needing to be scrubbed. Floors, oh the floors… wearing socks that accumulate the hair of my two dogs counts as “sweeping” right? I party all the time too, but those parties (like the one I just had) consist of cleaning out the fridge and finally cleaning up the sticky salad dressing that spilled on the top shelf two months ago. It’s a blast.

Hooray for reality, transparency and hot messes.

I can’t count on consistency in my family’s schedule, but I can count on the fact that no matter what… baby’s up. Gotta jam.

Attack of the Killer Crows

28 May
Photo Cred: Vincent Bazen

Photo Cred: Vincent Bazen

Crows are scaaaaaary and when you’re on the receiving end of their wrath, they are a living nightmare.

Last Monday morning, I was on my way out to work. Grant was on his way to the library to study. Remy was in the house safe in the arms of his babysitter, getting ready for his first nap.

As I stood at my car, Grant called for me to come “look at the weird crow sitting by our kitchen door on the trash bag”. I sauntered over, as all self-proclaimed (but totally untrue) “animal whispers” would, thinking that this poor little crow was hurt or something. I mean, why else would he be sitting on the stoop by my kitchen door?

I approached him for two reasons; 1. because I’d left something in the kitchen and the baby was going down for a nap on the other side of the house, where the front door is and I didn’t want to distract the babysitter from accomplishing her napping goal; and 2. to see if he would move as I approached. I did not touch him, or even come close to touching him.

Apparently, what it did was piss off his mama.

Suddenly, my head was surrounded by flapping wings and a shrieking crow was trying to ward me off of her young. They must have been in the middle of flying lessons, and he found comfort on my trash (which of course, should have been sitting there in the first place).

I rushed into the house in a panic and slammed the door behind me. Our side door is a window paned door, so I watched as the crow “yelled” at me, beak gaping open and wings ferociously flapping.

Photo Cred: Mark Sebastian

Photo Cred: Mark Sebastian

Not wanting to be late to work, I got what I needed, and headed to our backdoor, thinking I would escape her wrath through the back… NOT SO.

I went outside and my scent must have carried, because suddenly, I was being chased by a big, nasty, PISSED OFF, mama crow. She swooped down to my head several times (see photo above, even though that’s not me) as I ran through my yard, down my side yard (opposite the side with the kitchen door) and when I got to the back gate, I remember that the gate was broken, and I had to run all the way back, around the entire house with an angry crow swooping down to my head, ruffling my hair, and screaming at me. My only options were to run like a lunatic, screaming, swearing and begging for my husband to save me.

I ran all the way to the street screaming and finally, with my protector husband close by, dropped down to my knees (in the middle of the street) and just started sobbing laughing. My husband was there screaming “Fuck You, Bird!!! Stay away from my family!”

If you know my husband, you know how funny this is. At that time, however, I was in tears and dear darling protector of mine flapped his wings so he appeared much bigger that the angry bird.

After the “attack” the crow sat our magnolia tree angrily pounding his (or her) open beak on the branches of the tree, with continued screaming, while ripping leaves off of the tree and throwing them to the ground. Our neighbor Molly said she was “trapped” in her house, and that the bird wouldn’t let her pass, so Grant had to escort her to her car… after all, the birds feared him. It wasn’t the only time he heard someone scream in fear, birds cawing, either. Our upstairs neighbor took to carrying an open umbrella to and from her car as protection!

For several days after, every time I walked outside, a crow would “caw” and I would crouch down… and a few times, I got warning swoops and one time, an extra low swoop to my head.

Thanks, Hitchcock. You’ve ruined me.

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