Last weekend Nicholas watched the kids for a bit more than 24 hours so that I could go to Atlanta to spend a night away with my friend Juliet just us...with no kids! Even the drive was relaxing as I got to listen to a book on tape and drive Nicholas's Camry instead of the van! Juliet and I went to IKEA, ate dinner there, chatted a lot, and slept through the night without the sound of crying children! It was awesome! We probably got more talk time in during those hours together than the previous five years! I miss you, Juliet! I wish we lived closer!
Now I will try to stop ending each sentence with an exclamation point.
This trip came at a perfect time, too, because I have been trying to wean Leo from nursing since he was 12 months old. I tried the "don't ask, don't refuse" method. He almost always requested. I tried taking away a feeding at a time and got down to two feedings a day several times, but each time he got sick and we would inch our way back up to three or four feedings a day. Add in trips and poor sleep and a tired mama, and I just wasn't getting anywhere. So, I decided that when I left Saturday morning, that was going to be my last feeding and I was going to stop nursing Leo cold turkey. (Well, I would still pump as little as possible just so I wasn't in total pain.)
Saturday went great!! Nicholas texted me lots of cute pictures of the kids playing. They had Easter Egg hunts, he introduced them to The Sound of Music and they loved the children and the music, and they even did great at bedtime! (Thank you, Nicholas for being a wonderful husband who is willing to watch two kids solo so I can get a break!) But at two AM, Leo woke up and did not go back to sleep except for about sixty minutes between then an 7:30. I got home around 11 and could not get Leo to take a nap. Finally at one o'clock I loaded the kids in the car, swallowed my pride, and tried driving to get Leo to nap. It took 72 minutes of driving and then he only slept for 40 minutes. I almost gave up that day and nursed him. But I hung in there, called my mom for a pep talk, and we got through the night, too, with a bottle of breast milk. Leo is taking a bottle a little now, but that is okay since he doesn't take a paci and we can't have one in the house since Olivia gave up her's in June. (I know! That is another story. Close friends, family, and loyal readers may remember my plan to get rid of Olivia's paci by the time she was 6 months. We finally got down to one paci and when she wanted the toy I had bought one of her friends for her birthday, I made a trade. Olivia regretted it later, but we fought our way through for about seven weeks. She hasn't asked for one in the past few days, and I hope that is over!)
Some pictures that Nicholas texted me on Saturday of our silly kids!
--eating cinnamon rolls
--pretending to be a person with a cane
--getting some "work" done
So, my nursing saga is finally finished. I thought I would be more emotional about it or cry on the last time, but I was just done! My goal had been six months given that I only made it one month with Olivia (due to lots of things...not the least of which was jaundice, she was a terrible sucker, I never made enough milk for her, and then she had a cow's milk allergy), so I never would have dreamed that I would have made it so long with Leo. This just teaches me that every child is different and that different things work for different people. Honestly, in another situation, I probably wouldn't do it this long again! But, I'm glad for the bonding time with Leo given that he has had to share everything with Olivia since birth. At least we had some very special time together that didn't involve big sister. (She is so glad I am finished, as she was jealous of that time.) Now I try to give them both extra cuddles and love! Leo is rarely asking to nurse now, but is enjoying being snuggled before bed by Daddy!!
My mom said one time that some of the happiest days of her life were the days she started nursing her children and those when she stopped. I can see that!