Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sweet 16

For the past month I've been prepping everyone in our family (mainly myself) for the conclusion of my 16 month run with breastfeeding. I can't believe it's been 16 months already. And while I am so proud of myself, I am so sad to see this phase end. It has been such an amazing experience with Mia. I'm not sure who cherished it more, me or her. Every single day we were taken to a place where nothing else mattered, just mother and child, in the purest of forms.

And while her body has been changing and growing everyday, her eyes have been as big and brown as they were the day I first met her.

The worst part? People treat breastfeeding a 16 month old so very, very different than breastfeeding a 1 month old. That irks me. It's just the same--okay give or take a 10 lb. and 13 inch difference, but the intent is still the same.

No matter how I try to defend it, I do know in my heart that it's time to stop. And I also know that my sadness is not because I want to breastfeed until she's 3--no way---my sadness is because Mia is no longer a baby. A fact that I've tried hard to ignore. I've held on to her infancy as tight as I possibly could. And as much as I don't want to, the time has come to let go.

It's seems so much easier than it actually is. In fact, I've postponed this very act for the past 3 months because I wasn't ready to face it yet. But homegirl ain't gettin' any younger and not to mention her grill consists of like 13 teeth already....so clearly I have no choice. But how?

Since applying sequin nipple pasties probably isn't the best way to wean her (albeit hilarious), I figured I should probably put a little more thought into it. So we spent some quality time at a local bookstore. My hope was that if she picked out a couple books that excited her, we could replace our pre-bed nursing time with some pre-bed reading time. Sounds like a good idea, right?

We entered the kids section at Barnes and Noble in search for the perfect night-time replacement and all she wanted to do for the first twenty minutes was get chased down the aisles.

While running like a drunken fool Mia stopped in her tracks as one particular book caught her attention. Immediately she wanted to show me the book. In fact, barely even able to stand from excitement, she grabbed five more copies and stumbled towards me. Okay, I get it Mia...this is the chosen book. After having to explain to her that nobody needs six copies of Missy Kavanaugh and Sarah Gurmans's gripping novel entitled Babies she conceded and was thrilled that she got at least one copy.

After making several other purchases, like Jamie Lee Curtis's Big Words for Little People (because Bella LOVES this book, as do I), Bob Dylan's Forever Young, and a $5 Twas the Night Before Christmas we headed home.

Mia was so excited to explore her new book. She proudly showed it off to her sister and her Dad. It was adorable to watch. In fact, I remember thinking how thankful I was that this book was going to be a perfect transition tool.

We sat together and opened the book.

She loves animals, so it came as no surprise to me why she chose this book. On page 1, aloud, I read this:

Page 2.

Ahh, how sweet. Some sort of badger or squirrel or weasel I think.

Giggling, Mia fumbled to page 3 and aloud I read this:

Ahh, how sweet. Mommy Panda teaching baby Panda how to chill and grub some bamboo.

Page 4.

Page 5.

Mia laughed at this particular page because she noticed that the crocklet was sleeping. Apparently, an exhausted reptile is hilarious to a toddler. What? Okay. Whatever, I'll play along. I laugh with her, and of course my laugh makes her laugh even more. And there we are, merrily laughing along. Then I turn the page and see this:

Page 6.

In my mind I heard the sound of a car come screeching to an excrutiating halt. EEERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mia stared at the picture in amazement. I, on the other hand, let out the biggest laugh. I couldn't help it. Of course! Of course! Of all the books, on all the shelves, this, this is the book that she chose! But suddenly my laughter was interrupted by the sad, piercing, pathetic look on the poor, little, itty, bitty, piggy who didn't get any milk from her mommy.

She just kept staring. Directly. At. Me.

And as funny and ironic as this moment was, it was also terribly heartbreaking. (I'm pathetic I know). Trying my best to hold back the tears and ignore the pain that's obviously welling up in my throat, I fumbled to page 7 and aloud I read this:

and we both turned to the last page:

And seeing this family of Emperor Penguins was all I needed. I started wailing right then and there. I couldn't control myself. Thoughts of devotion, sacrifice, endurance and patience filled my head. I sobbed even louder.

My dear Mia, in this moment I realized that your father and I are much like these penguins: we'd huddle together and protect you through the most terrible of storms, no matter the cost.

However, I also realized there comes a time when I need to let you go. Tonight, I nursed you for the last time and wept through it all.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sunny and warm with a chance of fun!

We've been having a ball enjoying this warmer weather. Recently, we stopped by an art festival that also had a pretty decent carnival. Bella took advantage of the situation!

Instead of screaming bloody murder on the sidelines, we found a ride that Mia could actually participate in. She was pretty stoked to ride the "horsey-horsey" and Bella INSISTED that she ride the strung out monkey. Since when have you ever seen a monkey on a carousel?

On our way out we all shared some delicios New Orleans style beignets. Move over munchkins, these donuts are insane!
Watch as the girls (Mia) devour the beignets.

Mia could be heard babbling, "yum, yum, these donuts are yum"

"it's so warm on the tongue"


"What the hell happened? Where's my donut?"

The following day our family visited the circus that came to town.

Aren't elephants so mysterious? I love them. Everytime I see them in a zoo, I am so fascinated. Here though, it was a tad bit sad making them prance around in sequins.

Isn't this such a cool pic?!

Mia was excited to take her first pony ride.

And here is a picture of Fernando the Amazing, Mexico's most talented juggler.

However, five minutes after he wowed us with his juggling skils, he resumed his post as cotton candy/peanut seller. Which in my mind reduced him to something like Fernando the Amazing Multitasker. Upon closer examination, all of the acts had two to three other jobs in the circus. Talk about a circus sweatshop.

Bella and Mia however, thought it was the greatest show on earth!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

And so it begins...

Today was Bella's first day of school. Preschool that is. But from the ridiculous tears that I shed you would have thought she was a high school valedictorian. Seriously Gina....it's PRESCHOOL. TWO DAYS A WEEK. FOR TWO MEASLY HOURS. I know, I know, get a grip. But the scene was so precious. She picked out her own dress that I proceeded to iron for her (which I rarely do) (okay, never). We filled her very pink backpack with all her school supplies and she could barely stand up it was so heavy on her little body.

She was so excited. As she should be--her preschool is fantastic. First off, it's literally two miles from our house. It's a quintessential little red schoolhouse located on a Children's Farm. Their mission is all about learning and appreciating through the natural environment. Environmental education is integrated into the curriculum, which I think is awesome! I love the idea of learning through nature.

Last week Bella and I went to the open house, so she saw firsthand what it's all about.

Brushing a bunny with a toothbrush!

Getting attacked by a pig

Petting a duckling

We know this is a perfect fit for her. But deep down, a part of me is sad. Very sad. This is the day when I let someone else teach her....someone other than me. From this day forward there will always be someone else teaching her. Which is a good thing, I know. But I'm still a little mushy anyway. We've had a good run, her and I.

Like the time when she learned about the power of helping others

Or the time when she learned all about the importance of trycycle safety

Or when she mastered my Harry Potter lesson

Or when she made new discoveries

Or the first time she played a piano

Or the time she learned all about friendship

Or when she realized our family was changing

Or when she learned the meaning of responsibility

Or when she learned where her family came from

Or when she learned about true love

When Eugene picked her up from school he took one last picture of her in her classroom.

She looks so old, huh? She's growing up faster than I want her to. As you can imagine we had so much to talk about over dinner. Of course, Bella was the recipient of the special plate which meant that she spent the whole dinner basking in her glory, too excited to even eat.

After reading through all the take-home material that was securely placed in her backpack, I was surprised to find that she already had homework!

And so it begins......

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Beach Babes

While in Hawaii we hit up the beach for some fun in the sun. I was leary at first since the last time we "beached" it, all Mia wanted to do was shove every grain of sand into her mouth. Thankfully this time she decided she would rather wear the sand than eat it.

Every time we take the girls to a beach I envision the worst possible scenarios. Ya know from tsunamis to bloody shark attacks, my imagination runs wild. Trying not to be such a paranoid freak, I chillaxed and let the girls roam free.


Bella loved sitting in the sand waiting for the tide to come in....it made her laugh every time the water hit her.

So, I'm fully aware that ten years from now I'm going to have to explain my justification to Mia why I posted the following pictures...but they make me laugh so hard! She's looks like a cross between an angry drunk and Sloth from Goonies.

We had so much fun--hours of it actually. And luckily, as opposed to my exaggerated thougths, no one got stung by a poisonous jellyfish! We were covered in sand from head to toe and it took about three bubble baths to get them clean, but very, very well worth it.


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