Thursday, January 31, 2013

It's Over!

I can't believe it's done...just like that! And it was so easy...
Yesterday I woke up and I had made up my mind...I was done breastfeeding.  Done. I want my breasts back...I want to wear pretty bra's again...I want to feel like a woman and not just a milk factory.
For over 14 months I've been wondering how and when this would happen...
But I never could have imagined it would be this easy.
Gunnar did ask "May I please have some mommy's milk?" twice but both times I said to him "No sweetheart. Mommy is not going to give you any more milk. You're a big boy now and you don't need it, mommy can sing you lullabies though."
And both times...he just looked at me and said calmly "Okay mommy. May I please have some Edelweiss?" No tears...no struggle. Amazing.
He even woke up early this morning (from a nightmare, I think) and to my surprise he didn't ask for milk...only wanted "mommy rock you" (aka: mommy rocking him back to sleep).
It's done.
And I feel good...After nearly 26 months...my breasts belong to me again!
No regrets.
Hallelujah!


Monday, January 28, 2013

Finding Fosse...

So I put myself in charge of something new...
A web series. To generate awareness for my theatre company's upcoming trifecta play amazingness (more on that soon...but if you want info now go to: www.akvavittheatre.org)

Please subscribe. Watch and Enjoy! Its for fun! We have 2 episodes out so far...


Sunday, January 27, 2013

How I survived the plague...

Well it's Sunday night...
I have officially made it through 96 hours of the stomach bug plague without succumbing to its power (she types while knocking on her hardwood kitchen table)
It hit Gunnar pretty hard on Wednesday night...
Then John got it hard on Friday night...
...and I just waited for it to take me too.
But I did so with a fighters instincts...and it paid off.
Here's how I survived the plague:

1.  I starved it out...
probably in fear of catching it and in fear of the violent out come I stuck to lots and lots of fluids: Juices, tea, soups, water and gatorade. I had a few pieces of toast, bananas and yogurt...and that was it. Bland, mild...minimal.

2.  I washed my hands like a crazy person...
I'm pretty sure I was washing my hands every 2-3 minutes...with hot water and LOTS of soap, I even sang happy birthday...crazy. My hands may or may not be cracking from over scrubbing.

3.  I sanitized...and sanitized some more...
When no sink was near...I did it everywhere...I might have even threatened to sanitize the cat after hearing he slept next to my husband all night.

4. I slept on the couch...
This isn't about love, I love my husband, but I'm not going to share a bed just so we can romantically vomit in side by side buckets...its not my bag...

5. I did yoga...
there were some moments when I could feel my body giving way to the illness...in those moment I chose to breathe it out...no joke. Down-dog, go, up-dog, breathe...its almost astonishing how much better I felt after after 5 minutes of yoga...word.

6. I got out of the house...
not enough to expose my kid to more germs but enough to get some fresh air and to not go crazy.

7.  I left the sickies at home and saw some theater...
Once John was well enough to get out of bed I left him with G for the night and went and saw 2 shows with friends. At the start of the night I was terrified the plague might hit me while we were at one of the shows...but as soon as the lights went down I let myself relax and enjoyed myself. Laughter and enjoyment could possibly be the best medicine around. And you can't beat back to back live theatre coupled with a day of scary here-goes-nothing blocking crazy scene rehearsal the next morning, followed by an energizing company meeting...I'm surrounded by theatre and life and it probably is the number one thing that saved me this weekend...that I'm sure of.

Now that I've put this out there...I'm probably destined to get sick tomorrow...but the fact that I've held it off this long is a feat worth blogging about!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Hardest Night of Mommyhood thus far...

On my way home from rehearsal last night I got this text...

"G needs mama ASAP. Throw up disaster."

If you know me...this is just about the worst news I could ever get. Mostly because I am petrified of vomit. I'm scared of doing it, I'm terrified of being around someone else doing it...it makes me freak out.
But the thought of my little man having to be around it gave me a new urgency to run toward it...
I arrived to find the situation mostly under control. Daddy had cleaned up the disaster in his crib, put all the "friends" and blankets in the wash and Gunnar had already taken a tub.

Gunnar wanted to rock and read stories and he continued to vomit for the next 5 hours. I've been lucky...up until now I've only dealt with G's vomit twice. Once at a Starbucks, and it was clearly caused by excess post nasal drip which he was choking on...it didn't last long, thankfully.

But this...this was something violent.

I never really thought of it before but...you can't really ask a toddler to vomit over a toilet or a bucket...it just doesn't work like that (they don't understand the concept). John did have a brilliant idea of putting a bucket bib on him which helped a little (except when it was off being cleaned and didn't make it back around his neck in time). So mostly I spent the night rocking and constantly cleaning up vomit, on me, on G, on the floor. And yes I hated the smell and everything...but what I hated most was seeing the sunken eyes of my baby hurting and not being able to do anything for him to make it better.

After going through 5 pairs of pajamas and several sheets, I finally laid a towel in his crib and was able to get him to sleep for the night around 3am. Mommy was exhausted to say the least, and feeling quite queazy herself...(though I have reason to believe it was purely from holding in my disgust at the site of vomit and having to be in contact with it for over 5 hours).

He was in good spirits today...but he hardly ate a thing...only finishing one cup of applesauce all day and a cup and a half of juice.  Hoping this will all wash away by tomorrow morning.

And now I wait...to see if it was simply food poisoning or if it was a virus that soon will come to me...
the agony of not knowing...

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Victory!

A gentle hand takes the victory!

As I was putting Gunnar down for his nap he said "mommy I make poop!"

So I got him right over to his potty seat gave him a few books and walked away... 5 minutes later Gunnar comes walking in the kitchen with the biggest grin on his face. "Mommy I all done!" he said as he gave me back his book. I figured he was just done with another practice round... But when I went to the toilet to check I found a very large surprise waiting to be flushed!

I screamed! With excitement and Gunnar did too! He shouted "Gunnar Flush it!" And was so excited to watch his big accomplishment spin away.

I hadn't planned for such instantaneous results so I made up a new rule on the fly...4 stickers for Poopoo in the toilet! Gunnar could not believe the news! What a day for mommy and G! Hooray!

The Potty Seat

So Gunnar finished his first potty chart.
He got 1 sticker for every time he told me there was poop in his diaper and 2 stickers for every time he practiced going potty on the toilet.
We brought the chart with us to Target so he could pick out his potty seat.
He chose the Sesame Street seat (and thankfully he chose the one without any bells and whistles...just a seat, no batteries required, no annoying buttons...just a seat).  He carried it around the whole store until we got to the check out where he showed the checkout lady his completed chart.
Along with the seat we also bought a stool to make it easier for him to get on the potty by himself.
This a very exciting thing.
Apparently.
Gunnar loves to practice getting on and off the potty.
He loves to drag the stool over to the sink to wash his hands.
This is going well.
I'm still not putting any pressure on the situation.
If he wants to practice, awesome. But it's totally his call.
We started a new chart yesterday. Same thing. He's still just learning this concept of letting us know...
We're going to take this at his pace...


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Gunnar's Classes

Last November Gunnar and I started creating a schedule of weekly activities to look forward to.

I still take Gunnar to the Y most mornings so that I can get a workout in and get ready for the day without disruption, and Gunnar gets to socialize and play in the babysitting room (and its free with our membership)

Gunnar started taking a class at our YMCA on Tuesdays called Discovery Fun. This is actually a 90 minute drop-off class which is why we signed up...so that I could potentially get some things done during this class if I need to.  Its a relatively small class with about 8-10 kids and they socialize, read stories, make crafts and sing songs. Gunnar loves it and often talks about his friends in his "class." Cost was relatively inexpensive at $100 for 8 weeks.

On Thursdays we had been going to Storytime at our new local library...(which, for those of you who've followed GM from the beginning, is MUCH better than our old library's story time...they actually sing songs that are supposed to be sung) Gunnar LOVES Miss Jessi and Mr. June and of course he gets to pick out books to bring home on the way out (bonus!).

 Unfortunately the toddler storytime got cancelled for the month of January so we were stuck with nothing to do on Thursdays until I found a music class at Gymboree to fill our time.  Gunnar took his first class this week and he really enjoyed it. The theme of the class was Queen music which made it enjoyable for mama too! We signed up for a month of classes but I think once Toddler Storytime gets back to Thursdays at the Library I think we'll stop taking the music class (only because storytime is free...) Our Gymboree class runs about $79/month (which is 4 classes with unlimited playtime) We did get a big discount this month which brought the cost down quite a bit...

Gunnar's been loving the socializing and mama's enjoying the freedom that scheduled activities provide.


P.S. Gunnar finished his Potty chart today...off to buy a potty seat!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

have a chat...eye to eye

I've noticed a pattern.

When I get down at Gunnar's level, really squat down and explain to him what's about to happen...I believe I'm capable of diverting atomic bombs (also known as toddler melt downs).

Melt downs tend to happen when I go about my day and forget to clue Gunnar in to what's happening.
Today we could have had a bad moment. You see Gunnar's beloved owl lovey was sent to "time out" (or rather the washing machine) after he decided to put him in the garbage can (the stinky diaper one, yeah that happened)...so when he needed Owl for his afternoon nap, and owl wasn't dry yet...I knew it could be bad. So I got down to his level and talked it out with him...I found some alternative loveys (stuffys he hasn't seen in a while which made it special) and he was totally okay with it...no tears! Took it like a pro!

yeah...I'm good! Super mom! The only unfortunate side-affect was when he woke up mid-nap with no owl...then we had a few tears, and less free time for mommy...I guess I'll have to save learning lines for tomorrow's nap.

Favorite Gunnar moment of the Day: Hearing Gunnar sing along to Rufus Wainwright's "Hallelujah" which sounds more like "La-lay-lu-leee, La-lay-lu-leee!"

Monday, January 14, 2013

Who's kid is this?

I took Gunnar to a new French Cafe called Le Cafe in Lincoln Square today. I decided to treat Gunnar to his first Banana Nutella Crepe...because he loves Chocolate, he likes bananas and LOVES pancakes...he'll LOVE IT! Oh wait, what was I thinking? I have that child who loves to say "NO!" when it comes to trying new food...so despite my efforts to paint his lips with Nutella, he still refused to take a single bite. WHO'S KID IS THIS? This from the son of a girl who always asked what was for dessert before I even had dinner...
Needless to say...I couldn't let a perfectly scrumptious and decadent crepe go to waste...so I ate it.  Poor mommy (or yummy, depending on which way you look at it).


favorite Gunnar quote of the week: "Sorry for throwing COWS!!!"

Sunday, January 13, 2013

creating his own ritual

I love a good bedtime ritual we've had one for Gunnar since he was 6 weeks old. It's changed a little as he has gotten older, for instance now the ritual starts with dinner, and after dinner we sometimes take a bath and then take our vitamins and brush our teeth, jammies & sleep sack comes next, followed by 3 stories from daddy and then lullabies from mommy and then we go straight to our crib with our sleep sounds on and owl lovey in hand, mommy whispers "night, night, sweet dreams, I love you Gunnar" which Gunnar repeats back every time.

Recently Gunnar's been helping us add a little to that ritual. After a visit to Nana's house where he slept under blankets for the first time, Gunnar has demanded this be the new staple over sleep sacks. He particularly asks for both his "monkey blanket" which was a gift from Besta for Christmas, and his "Owl Blanket" which is a beautiful quilt made by Grandma. And just last night he requested one more thing...

"Stars in the Sky" he said as he reached back up for one more hug. I picked him up and racked my brain to figure out what it was he was wanting...and then it came to me.  Maybe only once or twice after putting Gunnar to bed I have said to him "I love you Gunnar Miles, more than the sun and the moon and stars in the sky" and this is exactly what he was asking for....as I repeated it back to him he said "Yeah...love mommy more than stars in the sky. Night night. Sweet Dreams"

And as I put him down for his afternoon nap he said the same thing "Night, night, sweet dreams, love mommy more than stars in the Sky"...ritual complete. 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

"50 dollars!"

Yesterday I took Gunnar to the mall to pick up a few presents and supplies for my etsy shop.
While we were in Forever 21 Gunnar started shouting "FIFTY DOLLARS! Fifty DOLLARS!!"
Which is hilarious because we all know NOTHING in Forever 21 costs $50...I'm pretty sure their highest price point is $34. I just laughed it off and figured he picked it up from some kid in his class...
but then he kept doing it...in every store he said "Fifty Dollars!"
I was recounting this story to some friends last night while Gunnar was attentively listening to my retelling...he waited until I was done telling the story and then very calmly said "Movie says Fifty Dollars!" Apparently my son has already started quoting movies!
(That's also when I realized he's so verbal now that I can really ask him where his references come from and he just might tell me!) It took me a few minutes to think of which scene in which movie (though it wasn't quite difficult considering he's only seen 3 movies since he turned 2)...the quote came from Jim Hensen's: Emmet Otter's Jug band Christmas.  Quite a cute flick for kiddos of all ages!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Keepsake hands

I made these hanging wall keepsakes for Gunnar's nana and grandma this Christmas.
I just traced Gunnar's hand and had my sister trace William and Charlie's hands....I then used the tracing as a pattern, cut our fabric with wonder under and appliqued the hands onto fine linen and embroidered their names and ages...
Make your own...
Or buy one from me! 






Thursday, January 10, 2013

G's New Sticker Chart

Gunnar loves stickers...
I took him to Target today and showed him the potty seats. He wanted the Sesame Street Potty seat.
We started a chart. Every time he tells mommy that he has a poop he gets to put a sticker on the chart. When the chart is full...I will buy him the potty seat!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Almost Potty Time...

I've been trying to take it easy when it comes to potty training...
Our pediatrician suggested we wait until Gunnar shows us the signs that he's interested in potty training. For us that has to start with Gunnar letting us know when he has a soiled diaper...
Up until very recently Gunnar has been mostly "lying" or maybe not understanding the concept (?) of telling us when he has poop in his diaper...
He has done everything from say "POOPY" when he has nothing in his pants...
to flat out denying he has poop when asked.
But I've tried to be patient and let Gunnar guide us...after all I know that once we start the potty training venture life will inevitably be "less convenient" for us until he's completely trained...so might as well enjoy the freedom diapers provide while it lasts.
But this morning the first thing Gunnar shouted when he woke up was "MOMMY I HAVE POOP!"
I jumped out of bed to congratulate Gunnar on:

 1. Saying a complete sentence!  -and-
 2. Letting me know that he has poop (a first!)

and then just before nap Gunnar asked to use the potty! So I let him sit on the potty (with me holding him as he practiced pooping and actually squeezed out a little pee) He was very proud of his progress and thrilled that he got to FLUSH as a result! So...maybe he's getting there...

Decision Time:

Potty Seat? or Potty Chair?

I see benefits to both but am leaning toward the seat since Gunnar has a keen interest in the real thing already....

Please discuss... What worked for you and your toddler? 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Blog Makeover

After I wrote my post last night I realized my title picture sorely needed an update...and once I did that I just kept updating until we get this...
A complete page makeover.
Let me know what you think...

Monday, January 7, 2013

Toy Time Out

I finally got so sick of Gunnar throwing EVERYTHING! Gunnar loves to love up his toys and books, run around the house with them and then chuck them as hard as he can at walls, people, down the stairs, etc.
When he threw my mother-in-law's porcelain salt and pepper shaker when I was trying to get it back from him, I decided enough is enough...I've got to stop this habit. But how?
Just putting him in time out wasn't enough...
So I finally sat Gunnar down and explained to him that things are not for throwing.
Balls are for throwing, but we only do that outside.
So from now on...if I see or hear him throw something he will get an instant time out AND so will the toy or object he threw and he will not be able to play with that toy for the rest of the day.

We implemented this new rule about a week ago...and I am SHOCKED at the transformation! Only a few toys and books have gone to that time out spot ontop of the bookshelf...and that's really all it took for G to kick this bad habit!

One big pat on the back for mommy!