Monday, November 30, 2009

Teeth: check

Alright. Let this be my PSA of the week: Brush Your Teeth! But don't stop there. Brush them with a good electronic toothbrush if you can. Floss your teeth, too. Use a mouthwash. Get your teeth cleaned every six months. Be a little obsessive about it. Because if you don't, you'll be like me.

I went to see my dentist in 2007, and apparently it had been a while because at the time they recommended a deep clean, which would cost $195. Totally embarrassing and not at all affordable. I never did go back. Until today.

I knew it would be a bad situation. After all, if I needed a deep clean in 2007, and if my own teeth grossed me out in the mirror, then I knew the situation could not be good today.

I took Caris with me, such a wimp was I to go alone. The x-ray tech took her pictures - both x-ray and actual pictures - and she was just plain delightful. She had a sense of humor that took the edge right off. She took us back to a room and put on The Little Mermaid for us. And ok, I love the music in that movie but I'd forgotten how much evil and magic there was! Eeeks!

The dentist came in and introduced himself and asked, "So, what would you be doing today if you weren't here?" Aww, nice! He checked out my teeth and then explained the whole nasty situation. I need two crowns. Two other spots of decay he just put on watch, since they'd gone ahead and hardened over. (Cool!) And of course, I needed a deep cleaning and also irrigation, which is some technique they use to handle periodontal disease.

Then in came the big bad billing lady. The crown will of course be quite expensive, but I was dismayed when she said that the deep cleaning would be $404 and the irrigation $240. Oh no, oh no! I told her I just couldn't do it, and she said she would go talk to the doctor.

Next thing I knew the hygienist came in and said they could do a regular cleaning and send me home with a bottle of stuff that would swish my gum disease away. Total $35. WOW! Do we serve a God who can handle even our silliest, nastiest problems or what?

I have to tell you, that cleaning hurt. But the hygienist was amazing and my teeth look incredible. Caris was so sweet - she sat next to me and rubbed my arm. LOL Something's very backward about this picture, isn't it?

Anyway, I will be a LOT better about caring for my teeth from here on out, I promise!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

BeSIDE Myself.

This morning the funniest thing happened. Let me preface by saying that Alif and I were both VERY grouchy after having almost no sleep last night due to a certain little someone coughing in our bed all - night - long.

Alif got up and was going through all my CDs and he was just on a roll, trying to get them all organized. I went back to bed for an hour and by the time I got downstairs he'd spent probably 2 hours on the project and there were CDs missing and such - he was beSIDE himself. LOL

So here's what happened. He found this DVD that said "Tater Family" on it, handwritten by me. He asked, "Who's the Tater Family?" Well, I'll tell you who they are - they're a family of potatoes that I dressed up to look like people for an Awana lesson. So my sleep deprivation plus the silliness of him asking so seriously who they were and me picturing "Agi Tater" and "Commen Tater" was just too much. I lost it. I started laughing so hard I knew I looked ugly. I mean, it was BAD. And all the while he was just staring at me like I was retarded, and that made it so much funnier to me, and by this time I had tears going down my face and it felt very red. He kept asking, "Who ARE they? Emily, who are the Tater family?" And every time he asked, I laughed harder.

He said, "Can you go upstairs if you're going to act like that?" and it sounded to me like something one of the kids would say to each other if they were annoyed, and if it was possible, I laughed EVEN HARDER. Somehow I found the breath to say, "What did you say??" and he said, "Please. Please get a grip." Oh man, laughing fits are so, so good.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Weaning Continued

Moving on is not easy. My emotions cover me head to toe, thinly veiled and completely undone by some of life's changes.

I'm ready to wean. Canaan's ready too. He's a big boy, all action and words and ideas. He still cries for mum-mum and there have been a few times I've almost aborted this mission and gone back to our cozy-all-the-time nursing days. I have actually nursed him four times since we went cold-turkey, for less than a minute each time. Each time I try *not* to wonder if it's the last. I try *not* to memorize how his little face looks, how his hands stroke my arms, how his hair feels on my lips as I kiss his sweet head. I try *not* to see how desperate his eyes look when I tell him it's time and break the suction with my finger.

I do soak in how he nestles in with his head resting on my neck once he stops. I cherish the way he still crawls in bed with me, takes my hand and uses my palm as his pillow. I cry even now, not wanting my precious baby boy to grow into a big boy who doesn't need mommy's cuddles nearly as much. Even though big boys are amazing too.

Right after I weaned Canaan, he and I both caught colds. This is the biggest temptation of all to nurse him. To nourish him the way only this milk within me can. I have expressed milk that I thawed and tried to give him in a cup, but it isn't what he wants. It's from the tap or not at all, I guess. I wonder if God allowed this minor illness as a reminder that we are both in His hands, at His breast, nourished by His loving care.

The worst part of nursing is letting it go.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I'm a Weaner

I will try to be brief, but feel free to skip this if you're not a breastfeeding fan. An extended breastfeeding fan. This is my abbreviated chronicle of my weaning times.

I planned to wean Malachi between 12 and 13 months. The "thing to do" was to wean at a year, but I didn't want to cut him back too drastically, so by 12 months I had him down to 4x a day and figured I'd cut one out per week until he was 13 months and we were done. Except that the time came and he really wasn't fond of weaning, and neither was I. I didn't realize a person could just keep nursing. How ridiculous that sounds now! So I tried weaning him many times, and was unsuccessful many times. I even snuck nursing him when we were out of town one time, and when Alif walked in he said, "what are you doing?" He was asking out of surprise, not condemnation, but the fact is that I felt guilty about nursing my son for so much longer than was normal. I had another son when he was 20 months, and by around age 2 Malachi had just tapered off and wasn't nursing any more. His weaning went largely unnoticed by us both. Sorry I don't have a picture of him at weaning age - I was still using *film* and don't feel like trying to figure out scanning and all that.

Here's Graham right around his weaning time. He was two and a half. I had been nursing for over four years, and I was pretty much ready to not be nursing any more. Graham was (and is) such a creature of habit, and he was totally thrilled with the 10 seconds he got on each side when he awoke in the morning. Literally - I would count from one to ten on each side, and he'd pop off, happy. Well, you'd think there would be hardly anything left, but I was excruciatingly engorged after he weaned, and that was no fun, but he was fine with weaning, as far as I remember.Caris was almost three when I weaned her. I was going on a trip to Scotland and needed to not be nursing her, because there was no way I was going to pump for 8 days when she was almost three. Not gonna happen. But it was hard. I shed A LOT of tears. SHE shed a lot of tears. It makes me tearful even now, reading again about it and remembering how hard it was. Then I read the updates and it's so encouraging to see that it really did get easier.
And now here I am, being a weaner again. I cut Canaan back to twice a day about a month ago, because it was just too frustrating having him whining for mum-mums all day long and even sometimes at night. Well, that plan didn't go all that great because he just kept whining for it. A lot. A few nights ago he crawled into bed with Alif and I just after 12 and cried on and off the entire night. I just kept telling him no, and he kept crying. It was miserable. Alif called me from work the next morning to see how I was doing after such a long night and I said, "I'm done. I'm just done."

If he would happily nurse 1-2 times a day, I would love to nurse him at least until his Birthday in February, and wean him pretty quickly after that. I wanted to make it all the way to age three with him, and it's stupid to wean him now, in the midst of flu season, but this crying and whining is just too disruptive to our life. It's not fair to him, me or the rest of the family. So basically, I think I have only nursed him two times since then. He hasn't nursed at all in the last two days. Yesterday when I put him to bed, I had a little cry - it was the first entire day I hadn't nursed him. When Alif and I sat down at the end of the night I told him so, and asked if he was a little sad that I'm not nursing the baby any more. He knows me well and assured me that he isn't. I'd have crumpled for sure if he'd admitted that it is a little sad. LOL

Canaan has had a very, very hard time with the adjustment. The first day I didn't give him mum-mums after nap, there was almost a solid hour of crying no matter what I did. I promised to buy him a very big sucker from Target that he'd seen and he got excited about that exchange - until the middle of that first night, when he cried, "I don't want suckers actually, I want mum-mums!" Heartbreaking!!

I've pumped 3x to relieve the throbbing pressure, and the mum-mums are slowly adjusting. I'm both glad they're less sore and sad that they're starting to realize that there is no need for milk.

Oh precious boy, I love you! I am so sad that this is hard for you, but it is exciting seeing you growing into a big boy. Please don't ever stop being my cozy baby. My heart can't take it.

Monday, November 09, 2009

It IS November, after all

We made popcorn balls for my mother-in-law's Halloween party. Oh friends, they are good and so easy! Go make them! Or don't, and be thankful that you don't know what you're missing. We may be guilty of making several batches of these and consuming them all.

So at the same party, mil hosted a carving contest. Graham carried this one over for Alif and I oohed and aahed over it like nobody's business. As you can see, I even took pictures of it. "Oh my goodness, it's the cutest one ever! Alif, I love it!!" He soaked in my praise, beaming. Yeah - it was FAKE!! That trickster! He even had Graham pretend it was heavy-ish so I wouldn't suspect anything. Boo! LOL

Here are all the actual jack-o-lanters on display. Look at darling Brea in the middle, holding Canaan. I kid you not, that girl tried for over a year to court Canaan and he would have nothing to do with her. This soccer season he suddenly fell in love with her, and he just can't get enough of her now!

Here are all the kids, ready to gather candy. Malachi and Graham were white ninjas, Caris was a cheetah and Canaan was accidentally the evil spider-man. Don't blame me, I didn't know what I was ordering. Ebay took over my common sense.

We decided, incidentally, that next year it's going to be a church carnival for our family. Caris commented twice about the gory stuff around and said she was afraid she'd have nightmares.

She sure looked cute, though, and her two missing front teeth made her look like she had kitty fangs. LOL
Saturday was our last day of soccer, and both boys won their last games (so did Caris, the week before). And actually, that may have been far from our last weekend of soccer because Malachi's team is in the playoffs and I think he has been picked up for a spring select team. See me (not) jumping for joy.
Canaan had fun modeling Aunt Rabae's green glasses. Not sure if these are for real or what but they were hilarious on him.

I half-jokingly tried to line up all my boys in that cheesy between-the-legs portrait pose and was sure they wouldn't do it - but they did. ROFL
Kinda cute, yeah? Look what happened next:
Goofy goofballs! LOL I'll end with one of my favorite pics of Graham - love him!!