Expression Regression

Breastfeeding. Some people love it. Some people hate it. Some people wish they had more milk, others wish they didn’t squirt at the mention of babies. Some people struggle to feed their babies, others do it with ease. Breastfeeding is one of those topics that can divide or unite. For me personally, breastfeeding has never met my expectations (forget for just one moment that most of the expectations I have about ANYTHING are totally and utterly unrealistic and set me up for disappointment, anxiety, frustration and angst). I have longed to feed each of my lads for that magical 12 months. Isaac made it to 11 months before the biting got so severe I chose to stop or lose a nipple. Asher was breastfeed until 7 months due to a tongue tie and the fact that I had to pump and top up after every feed – and I was pumping with a hand pump and have had tendonitis ever since! Worth it?!  Both of these lads were topped up with formula from a few weeks of age, and were only exclusively breastfed for a number of weeks. That brings us to Toby. Well, with him I have chased that elusive exclusive thing down big time. He’s been “exclusive” since 8 weeks of age, but at great cost.  I took domperidone for months, I downed so many fenugreek tablets I was smelling like a walking stack of pancakes covered in maple syrup, and I still drink lactation herbs multiple times a day (which cost a small fortune – I could be buying top shelf).  I have pumped for 1-2 hours a day since he was 2 months old to sustain this exclusivity. But yesterday I decided that I need a break. I have to stop pumping, for now at least. I have to reclaim some of my time. I am tired and I am desperate to continue feeding him, but I have to wonder what drives this urge. Is it for Toby, or is it for me? Is it the competitive streak in me to “outdo” the 11 months with Isaac? At the core, I think there is a part of me that still hopes that one day it will just click. One day, maybe he will feed with ease and without me having to sing to distract him or jiggle him to keep him latched on. One day maybe he will drink more during the day than he does at night and it will mean I have more sleep. One day maybe as he feeds he will gaze up at me, stroking me gently and it will be just like a picture from a breastfeeding website – pure maternal bliss.  Pffft. Yeah right. You know what? The the only time that happens is in the middle of the night – and yes, I enjoy that part of breastfeeding, but I am exhausted by the night wakings.  The day feeds go something like this – suck, suck, bite, scratch, pull hair, suck, suck, look at the big lads, suck, jerk, wriggle, try to escape, jiggle, sing, distraction tactics, suck, suck, bite, pull hair, slap boob, suck, suck, repeat.

So the expectations end here. It is what it is and if I want to keep going, then I might just have to settle with combined feeding, because I am weary from the battle. But I love the fleeting moments (and there are some – usually in the middle of the night!) where it is easy and lovely. They will be the moments I will look back on with fondness. But for now, the pump is having a holiday. And everyone in my house said, AMEN.

Advertisements

Sleep deprived selfie frenzy

I’m not a fan of selfies. I will do the odd baby and mummy selfie, but beyond that I’m not a subscriber to bombarding social media with my mug. But today something came over me. Some kind of sleep deprived frenzy overtook me as I sat, once more under the 10kg of gorgeousness that is my son, Tobias. I suddenly felt trapped. I wanted to break free. So I did. With the one limb that was able to be free, I embarked on a quest for the best selfie. One that shows my husband how good I look after nights of little sleep (what’s new?!) while he’s been away on a school camp. And I laughed. Just quietly without jolting my baby too much. He remained asleep whilst I experienced first hand the utter joy of selfies. I mean, I look incredible in this light, don’t I? It’s the “I’ve had 3 hours of broken sleep one too many nights” look. No filters necessary. You can’t manufacture this kind of art. It’s pure, 100% sleep deprived goodness.

IMG_5029.JPG

IMG_5026.JPG

IMG_5025.JPG

IMG_5035.JPG

IMG_5036.JPG

IMG_5038.JPG

IMG_5037.JPG

IMG_5043.JPG

IMG_5041.JPG

The List: School holiday edition

School holidays when I was a child consisted of a whole lot of reading and playing with the neighbourhood kids.  Life is so different now.  Firstly, most of our immediate neighbours were children 200 years ago, so they aren’t exactly suitable playmates for my children.  Secondly, electronic devices when I was a child consisted of vacuum cleaners and toasters, so they weren’t exactly appealing as objects of amusement.

Juggling the use of devices is an ongoing issue, and we are currently trialing a screen time token system.  Our lads don’t have their own personal device, but we do have a Wii and an iPad as well as 2 laptops which we allow them to access with our permission.  The tokens are working really well so far, as the lads are highly motivated to accumulate screen time minutes; therefore chores are done more willingly, and bedtime is no longer such a drawn out process for Middle Son.

 

However, screen time is only a minimal part of the lads day, so there is a need for other activities to fill our days.  Now with a 14 week old baby in our family (a belated post coming up about this big news!), occupying the bigger boys is a much more pressing issue!  So what does one do when they have a 7 and 8 year old who need to be entertained, but one does not have the same amount of time as in previous school holidays?  Why, you construct a list, of course! I do love lists, and grab any opportunity to pen one. So the arrival of school holidays was a fitting occasion to create a list of potential activities for the lads, so that they had a resource to go back to when the childhood profanity is spoken – “BORED!!!”

After I presented them the list, I requested that they initial any activities that sparked their interest. Here’s what happened…

list

The list has since mutated, with the addition of science experiments involving water pistols, cloud dough and aluminium foil art.  I will post updates as these are ticked off the list.

pirate

 

Asher’s Play

Asher is ultra playful. If there’s fun to be had, you’ll find Ash there in a flash. He’s not obsessed by any one toy, nor is he fussy when it comes to playfulness. He just loves fun, which makes days with him fun for me too! Togetherness is his big thing, so if he’s got a playmate, he’ll generally be happy, whether cooking, drawing, building, puzzling or pretending.

Some of Asher’s playful faves:

Bilibos (you’ve got to google these- they are sensational!)

20120717-155640.jpg
The great thing about these is they can be whatever you want them to be! We spin in them, slide down the snow in them, take them to the pool, wear them as a hat, jump over them, balance on/in them- you get the idea!

Imaginets are a neat set of magnetic wooden pieces and design cards folding up as a briefcase. Opening up with magnetic whiteboard surfaces means the lads can create anything with the shapes, then add their own drawings too.

20120717-155715.jpg

Story cubes are a wonderful way to foster story telling. Roll the dice and use the images to build a story. You can imagine the fun we’ve had with these! “And then… And then…and then…!”

20120717-155835.jpg

Asher is totally into board games these days (in fact, we all are). Monopoly, Connect 4, All the Kings Men and Stratego to name a few. Board games have become a part of our lives in a huge way. Asher trounced us all on the weekend playing Junior Monopoly. See the money pile?!

20120717-155904.jpg

20120717-160018.jpg

He’s at home with pouring coffees too, and for him it’s play all the way!

20120717-160039.jpg

A budding photographer, specializing in self-portraits.

20120717-160200.jpg

An artist with a cool canvas.

20120717-160231.jpg

He doesn’t hesitate to try new things, like a twist on an old fave. Egg carton Jenga was lots of fun!

20120717-160307.jpg

Play time is the best. I’m in no hurry to forget how it’s done.

Picture Books you love/d to read your children

What are some of your favorite children’s books? Not your child’s favorites, but the books you most love reading to your offspring. There are some books that bore me or leave me blankly staring at the last page in disbelief that the book even got published! I’d really love to hear of some well loved, dog-eared books in your house so I can share them with my family. Please leave a quick comment with your treasured titles.

Here’s a list of some of the picture books I thoroughly enjoy reading to my lads. We own loads of books, and borrow around 30 library books a week, so there are far too many to list, but I’ll give you a small sample. These days Isaac is reading lots of novels, but he still loves being read to and snuggling on the couch. Asher is learning to read, and one of his favorite things is raiding the library book box numerous times a day for story time. I treasure these moments. There will be a day that they’ll be too big to fit on my lap (unless I grow my lap!!), and too “mature” for picture books. Loving it while I can.

20120714-210243.jpg

20120714-210247.jpg

20120714-210252.jpg

20120714-210257.jpg

20120714-210301.jpg

20120714-210305.jpg

20120714-210313.jpg

20120714-210317.jpg

20120714-210321.jpg

20120714-210325.jpg

20120714-210329.jpg

20120714-210332.jpg