Our family has a lot going on this summer, so I'm blogging mostly to process it all!
In a mere 14 days my eldest daughter will celebrate her 4th birthday.
With that comes a whole lot of emotions! Our little girl is no longer a toddler and way past the baby stage. She is incredibly intelligent, reasoning for herself, explaining things very clearly with her verbal skills, gets herself dressed with her unique sense of fashion and so on and so forth.
We purchased our first home as a family in April of this year and so much has changed in a matter of months! Our eldest is now sleeping in her own room. We are in the midst of this transition and it is a bit tough! Never intending to co-sleep/bed-share from the beginning, it was what she needed and what worked to allow us all adequate sleep from the time we brought her home from the hospital. After awhile she became a permanent fixture in our bed & has only known the comfort of sleeping with mom or dad.
When little sister was born, daddy opted to get more sleep in the guest room while I tended to both girls in our bed. This had moments of difficulty but was altogether a cherished time with my girls.
Moving was a big change for our family & just felt like the right time to make some changes.
So we began the transition to her own room. It began with us taking turns sleeping on the trundle bed beneath her bed & now she is doing well as daddy does her bedtime routine & stays until she falls asleep.
She's growing up. This is part of growing up.
Another big change for our eldest is weaning. She had mostly weaned herself from breastfeeding while I was pregnant with sister but once my colostrum came it, she was more interested. Once sister was born it was on from there!
Tandem nursing these 9 months has not been without its challenges, but it has been a beautiful bonding experience for my girls and with me. There have been moments where I can barely stand it, times where I have felt like I just can't give any more, but being able to nourish my two daughters simultaneously with my body- and the awe that God designed my body to be able to do so has been humbling.
With that said, our time has come to a close. The nursing relationship between mother and child should be one that is enjoyed by both & for my eldest and I, it had become a source of contention. She wanted more than I could give & it was hard for her to understand allowing sister to nurse on demand while she couldn't.
I established some boundaries where she could only nurse a few times a day & have gradually (VERY gradually) lessened over time. We were down to once a day & she chose when that was. We began discussing when her "milky graduation" would be and agreed on her 4th birthday.
For her graduation she would like to get her ears pierced, something she's been asking for over a year but we said that not until she was finished with "milkies" could she have done. We also will go to a local ice cream shop & have some mommy-daughter time. She is very excited for this & has been looking forward to it! We created a countdown & have been crossing off the days as we go.
These last few weeks we lessened even further to one nursing session every other day, and now here we are with 14 days to go!
I've scheduled a friend to come and take some pictures of us tandem nursing & some of just C & me the day before we're done. I want to capture the beauty of this time with my girls.
Here I'm getting weepy thinking of our 4 year journey of breastfeeding coming to a close.
But it feels right. My girl is growing up and sometimes growing up is hard. Sometimes growing up means giving things up but getting to do so much more.
I don't imagine it will be easy. I am certain she will ask after we're done. I can imagine her even offering to take out her new earrings to have milky again - haha! But it's time.
Meanwhile little sister is growing up faster than I would like! Our near 9-month old is an adventurous little one. She is a super fast crawler who loves to sneak to the stairs & find ways around the obstacles to get up there. She pulls herself up onto just about anything and anyone & falls & gets hurt - aye yay yay!
She is the most smiley, friendly baby...unless you take her out of mama's arms. Then she's no longer your friend. LOL
She is incredibly vibrant and playful. She is my sunshine truly.
We are incredibly INCREDIBLY blessed to have these two gorgeous daughters who fill our lives with joy & spontaneity. They are resilient & I cherish them.
On another note (if you're still with me reading this post!) we've been doing the Whole 30 this month as a family. We're on Day 21. Only 9 days to go. And I'm freaking out about taking off the training wheels.
More on that in my next post ;)