"Milk" Is a Four Letter Word

Before Addie was born I read all these books about nursing and thought I was prepared for the "unknown" when it came to breastfeeding. Unfortunately those books became pretty obsolete other than making a firm impact on my mind that nursing is good for your baby's development, the other pearls of wisdom just were not to pearly! At Addie's birth I was looking forward to having her placed lovingly on my chest and starting it all off with a great comfy and wonderful nursing connection like all those books I had read talked about, well Addie had some fluid in her lungs that took a few days to dissipate and so the initial nursing that is "so important" just did not happen. After two days of her being hooked up to monitors to make sure her oxygen levels were good, she finally got to nurse, and that little squirt took right to it. Now for all you ladies out there that hear about how nursing is a glorious, bonding and nurturing experience, well it is, but there is a dark side to breastfeeding that no book tells you about and after experiencing firsthand some of the downsides, I'm left a little miffed that I got only one side of the story. Obviously everyone's experience is different, but here is why I've come to think of "milk" as a four letter word.
During her first year there were minor things I hadn't really contemplated to thoroughly like late night feedings for the first 9 months. I just couldn't let go of the night feedings until I finally just let her cry it out at 9 months and she started sleeping through the night, it was so against my gut to do it, so how come it worked so well? Anyways, another few things were nursing in public, which I am still not good at, nursing in small spaces like airplane seats(once they stuck me by two teenage boys so I resorted to an airplane restroom),and "when your child gets teeth" is definitely not a chapter they cover in breastfeeding books.
My main angst came about when Addie turned about a year old and started signing the word "milk" whenever she wanted to nurse. Of course I thought it was so cute and wonderful that she could express to me what she wanted without me guessing three other things before getting to what she wanted. Well at first she stuck to her3- 4 times a day schedule that she had been on previous to her word usage, as time progressed she would ask more frequently and thinking that is what she truly needed (insert hand to forehead motion here DOI!)I would give it too her and so she became accustomed to nursing when she asked to nurse. Well during Christmas this whole fiasco came to a head and I was through! Our first week back from vacation she was nursing 7-8 times a day and was relentless with her asking,she would nurse then five minutes later ask to nurse again, and then throw tantrums if she didn't get it. I tried all sorts of things like offering another drink instead, but she would drink a little bit then, ask for "milk" right after ward. By this time she had added the actual word "mil" to the sign so I was always apprehensive to when she would ask for it next and if I would give in or if I would try to be stalwart against her forward advances on my waning patience. One morning I tried to just ward her off by ignoring her but this just made her more upset and I gave in finally out of frustration, exhaustion and anxiety. This whole charade was making me crazy, I could feel my body shutting down mentally and physically from all the exertion, I flopped in to bed one night and totally broke down to Mitchell, that poor guy, saying it had to be over, I was anxious all the time about when she was going to ask and if I was going to say yes or no, and besides the mental siege, most of my day was spent nursing or anticipating nursing, so I didn't get anything done.
I'm not sure why she went through this spurt of cluster feeding, it might have been because she was bored and it was something to do, it might have been just a comfort thing to be next to momma, but whatever it was it left pretty quickly and relatively easily, thanks to lots of prayers and some good advice from a friend. I really do believe that Heavenly Father understood I was at my wits end because I had tried to wean Addie before this week of death but without even the slightest smidgen of success. So when my friend ( thanks Meagan) offered her advice on how she weaned her little one I thought it was worth a try. She told me to use the step down method and distraction as my tool, so you take the feeding that you think you can get rid of the easiest which was Addie's mid morning so I filled that with activities to distract her from "milk" and it worked. The next one was her morning feeding which I enrolled Mitch to help me with, I asked him to get up with her for a week instead of me, as he got her up I prepared some breakfast for her so it was ready when she came out, when she asked for "milk" she got breakfast instead, Brilliant!The last two feedings that were regular and not weird every hour ones that she had been instigating, were the afternoon and the one right before bed. I knew these were going to be the hardest so I decided to tackle the one right after her afternoon nap first, when she woke up she automatically got a snack and then we went on an outing to pass the time away until dinner, after dinner time flies as we do our bedtime routine so if I occupied her during the time between 3 to 5 she was golden. All three of these nursing were gone within the week which I wasn't expecting at all but I guess when you are asking to nurse every hour or so, the accelerated version of weaning seems to fit too!
The last one to tackle was right before bed and once again the Lord provided a means to and end. We had the Schows over for dinner which occupied her up until bed time after they left I simply did all the other routine things, brush the teeth, a drink of water, prayers and voila, skipped her asking for "milk" all together. The next night afforded another opportunity like this, we had a birthday party for Mike Larson that kept her up until past bedtime again, so we did the same routine without nursing and ta da night two without asking for "milk".
It's now been a whole week without nursing and although I miss it a little bit, the last month was so frazzling that I'm glad it's over. She does still ask occasionally for "milk" but I just offer a drink now instead and she readily accepts that this is the new norm. So my experience with nursing has been for the most part all those gooshy and wonderful things, but at least for a couple of months in the Oliver house, "MILK" was a four letter word.

Christmas 2009 Pics

A request was made for more Christmas Pictures to be posted so here are a few good ones. We loved being able to go home and see family for the holidays, we sure appreciate Grandma and Grandpa Oliver and their gift to us so we could travel home! The flight to Utah did not go so well. We planned our flight for Addie's bedtime thinking she would sleep but that plan did not work at all. She screamed almost the whole time on both flights, and she wouldn't nurse so her ears wouldn't pop, so I think that just made her even more upset, she finally did settle down the last half hour of the first flight, but then it started all over again on the second.
We spent the first couple of days at Mike and Emily's new home in West Jordan and visited with their family and Marc and Molly's family before going down to Ephraim. We got to go see Grandma Nancy's first grade class perform in their Christmas Program which was wonderful along with our Nephew Dane's first grade class as well! We also got to tend our nephew Tristan that night so his parents could go out for B.J's birthday.
We went sledding with the Christiansen side of the family, well got pulled behind the four wheeler on a sled, but that counts right? Addie fell asleep in Grandma Christiansen's lap while they were riding behind Grandpa "C" on the sled. I guess it just wore her out. The Oliver side had an awesome carnival and lunch for the family and kiddos. Mitch and I were in charge of the fish pond which was a lot of fun!I got to tease the kids a little bit by pulling on the string to make them work for the prize, or not sending one over at all. When Uncle Mike came to fish he got my shoe instead of a prize, but I guess he didn't want that cause he threw it back. Addie had a great time going around to all the stations and eating all the chocolate prizes that people had, that little moocher!There was also some good news from the Seely's, they are going to have another baby! ( and we just found out Matt and Christy are expecting too, so there will be a few more cousins coming around August time!)
Christmas day was lots of fun, to see the kids open presents, Addie who could have potentially been spoiled to death got just the right amount of fun things and just the right amount of things she needed which is always good! My parents surprised me by getting me a clarinet which I've been practicing and I'm a little glad at how easily it has returned to me.
We got to go out to dinner with both families, we went to Los Amigos with the Oliver side and we had such a big group and the place was packed so we waited a long time for our food, but it was good when it came. We went to Chinese with the Christiansen's side after we got to go to a session at the Manti temple. I was not feeling so well and I was coughing and sneezing the whole time, but it was worth it to go with my parents and brother and sister in law.
Mitch and I wanted to go to the Salt Lake temple too but I was feeling so crummy after waking up at Marc and Molly's house with pink eye that we decided I was probably too contagious to go. ( we've never been to the Salt Lake temple yet, and every time we plan a trip to go when we are in Utah, something always comes up.)
Well after much love from the family and a pack of throat lozenges generously donated by my sister in law Emily we were on our way home and luckily this trip was a lot better. Addie slept the whole time on both flights and although we thought we were going to miss our second flight it was a little late boarding so we got on in time which was great because some of the people on our flight were not so lucky.


Thanks to all the sisters who helped make these quilts during 2009. They all turned out so great and I'm sure they were appreciated. Thanks again for all the ladies that cut out squares, sewed quilt tops, donated backs and batting and helped tie the quilts at Super Saturday. There ended up being 12 baby sized quilts and they were all so cute.

Invisible Mother

It's really amazing the invisible little things that your mom does for you. For instance I have been feeling especially ragged as of late and this email appears in my in box from my lovely mother, who I know has felt the same way I do sometimes about being a mother, but the beauty about her is that she carries a different perspective and now passes a little bit of that on to me, thanks mom for the great story, it has helped immensely. To all the other mom's, wives, father's, husbands etc. out there that sometimes feel recognition is due and none is to be had, someone is watching! *wink*

Invisible Mother......

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store..
Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?' Obviously, not.
No one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all.
I'm invisible. The invisible Mom. Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this?
Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it?' I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'What number is the Disney Channel?' I'm a car to order, 'Right around 5:30, please.'
I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated sum a cum laude - but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going; she's going; she is
One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England .
Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself. I was feeling
pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, 'I brought you this.'
It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe .. I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: 'To My Dear Friend, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.'
In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names.
These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.
A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam; He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it..' And the workman replied, 'Because God sees'
I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place.
It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, 'I see you. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become.'
At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride.
I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on.
The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.
When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, 'My Mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table.' That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, 'you're going to love it there.'
As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right; And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

Trash to Treasure

So coming home from the grocery store I had stopped at Lloyd St., at which I would usually turn right to come home, when I look up and see what looks like a white headboard sitting on the curb across the street. It wasn't big enough to be a full sized head board but I thought I better investigate and lo and behold, it was a toddler bed! Let me tell you the Lord provides! I have a twin size bed that I got for way cheap at a garage sale during the summer, but that would be too big for Addie to use for at least another year or two, and even then I'd be afraid of her falling off and hurting herself, so this bed came as a blessing. The only downside was that one side of the frame was cracked in half! Luckily all the hardware was there and although the previous owners had tried to fix it with what looks like electrical tape, the faulty fix job had obviously not lasted the treacheries of a toddler. But I thought to myself, it wouldn't be too hard to replace that side board and save this piece of furniture from the landfill heap it was bound for. My project for today was therefore to fix the injured toddler bed and it turned out great and at a nice price too. I looked up the similar style of bed on K-mart.com and it sold for 78 dollars! I got the piece of wood for 5 bucks and with a little elbow grease finished it all up by dinner time, accept for the paint! It pays to turn trash into treasure!

After Christmas, Christmas Crafts

Today I hit all the after Christmas Holiday clearance sales and got some smokin' bonuses.I went to Wal- Mart with the intention of only getting some holiday colored totes to keep all the winter decor in, but everything holiday was 75% off so I had to take a gander. I got two 20in wreaths for 50 cents! 6 green place mats for 75cents each, a gravy boat that matches my dishes for 1.25, and a matching huge oval platter for the same price! I also got a set of 4 dinner plates, 4 salad plates and 4 bowls that match my other china for only 3.00 dollars!Well when I got home I was putting all the Christmas stuff away and was reorganizing it all when I came upon the fake Christmas tree that I had found on the side of the curb last year, that had unfortunately been broken. Well all the branches were still good, so I decided to make door swags out of them to be used next year, so I went to Joanne's and got two 24 count sets of jingle bells for 5.00 dollars each originally 14.99 and some cute garland with jingle bells to match that can go on our tree, if we ever get one. Well on the way home, I thought that I should stop by Steins to see what they had left over and this is where I found the goods! four cute ornaments to go on the swags for only 2.19 each marked down from 9.00 and a 11 piece nativity set for only 7.49!!Well when I got home I got to work putting together all the swags and I used one of the 24 sets of jingle bells to make ornaments to go on the tree. So now I have ribbon on the swags that match the ribbon on the stockings that I made, which I will hopefully have enough of to wrap around the tree too and to use on the tree skirt which I have still to make, so that all that will match, then on the large swag is the set of jingle bells which will match the jingle bell ornaments I made and will match the garland that I got too and it's all matchy, matchy, which is good right? of course right.


For Christmas Addie received some really cute hair "diddies" so that I could actually start doing something with all that hair. Today we got to use them and Ta da, her first hair do and what a cute do it is. She was a little exuberant while we tried to put them in this morning, Mitch had to hold and distract her while I put in the elastics and cute little bug clips, but after they were in she hardly touched them all day. She did end up pulling out the bug clips, but the pigtails remained intact thankfully. So now every morning I'm hoping to add "do something with Addie's hair" to the routine and hopefully there will be cooperation!