Weaning & Growing Up

I’m finally weaning Salem.  Remember when I almost did?

It’s a long time a comin’.

Hard to believe that my lovey-love was this small.

Now she’s practically a grown-up.

She talks.  Her favorite words are Asher, nose, Mommy/Daddy (she get’s these confused sometimes), yay!, hi.  Today she said “strawberry.”

She has personality.  She throws things when she doesn’t get her way.  She snuggles with blankets or her stuffed bear & softly says “babe-y”.  She climbs on top of tables just to see how high she can get & likes to swallow pool water.

And she loves nursing.

None of my kids were like her in this way.  This girl does not want to give it up.  But I do.  I’m done.

When Salem wants to nurse, she comes comes up to me & says “babies, babies,” & beats both hands to her chest.  She repeats this over & over until either 1) I feed her, or 2)  I distract her with a book, something to eat or drink, or animals.

She loves animals.

Especially Narny, my parent’s cat.

Joseph & I have a trip, just he & I, planned for next month before he goes off to bootcamp.

It’s our first ever, leave-the-kids-for-a-week, kind of trip.  It will also be our 8 year anniversary.

Since we got married, especially after having kids, we have made it a high priority to do weekly dates & semi-annual getaways (usually to B & B’s), but we’ve never done anything longer than a day or two.  Mostly because of money & also because I was nursing.  So Salem, will need to be weened by then.

I’m down to just one feeding a day.  It’s really nice to have a bit more independence, but by the same token, I’m having a reflective, sort of sad, why-do-these-kids-grow-up-so-fast kind of moment.

Salem is 17 months.  The same age Mali was when I weaned her.  I think it is time, & I think I can be proud of the fact that I gave it breastfeeding a good 17 months.

I was going through some of my photos, I found these of Mali at 10 months. (Remember these pictures?)

Look at those cheeks.  How I loved to kiss them.   She was our chunkiest baby because she loved to sit.  Really.  She would sit & watch, listen, content with observing.  

Those feet!

Such a happy baby.

Today is Hyrum’s birthday.  He’s 7.

Mali’s birthday was a week ago.  She’s 4.  We’re having a combined birthday party with the local cousins & family today.

Swimming, a pinata, cupcakes.  Joseph’ll head up a water balloon relay race.

Here are some more pictures that get me teary-eyed.

Hyrum 3, Mali 10 months.  Always the loving older brother.

I want to capture this smile in my mind, remember how he was my responsible, little man.  So eager to please.

Narny, again.  (Same cat.)

knew time would go by quickly.  But that doesn’t make the process any easier on a mother.

It’s hard, knowing my moments with my children are numbered.  That their days as free, happy, energetic children are not forever.

 ♥♥♥

Do you have trouble letting go of stages of life?  Seeing people that you love grow older?  

If you’ve nursed & weaned before, when did you know it was time?   Were you ready for it?  

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Comments


  1. on July 23, 2012 at 10:15 pm said:

    Forgot to tell you how gorgeous your children are =) And with the weaning, for me…the oldest was weaned off at 7 months and my youngest was weaned off around 3mos. I didn’t plan either…they were just done I guess. I really wanted to breastfeed both for longer, but they just weren’t havin it.

    • on July 24, 2012 at 11:29 am said:

      Thank you!

      At least you were able to breast feed for that amount of time. Any amount of time breastfeeding is a plus, in my book!

  2. on July 23, 2012 at 10:11 pm said:

    I hate letting go. Knowing that they may be growing older and farther away from me…but at the same time, I’m glad. I know, it’s weird…I’m happy that they’re growing into individuals & that I’m helping them prepare for the world, but I can be a lil’ selfish and say I want to hug them and shower them with kisses for as long as I can right?!! =) A while back I noticed this with my parents…one day they were suddenly..”older.” It made me a lil’ sad…sometimes I just wanna freeze time.

    • on July 24, 2012 at 11:28 am said:

      Yes, if only we could freeze time. It is nice to see them gain indpendence, to grow & develop, but there’s also a tinge of sadness as we realize our own mortality & finite existence as the center of their universe.

  3. April
    on July 21, 2012 at 3:02 pm said:

    Your Mali sounds like my Libby. She is so content to just hang out! She can sit and watch her brother and sister play for an hour and be perfectly happy to just be near them! Love it!

    • on July 21, 2012 at 3:04 pm said:

      I know, such a blessing to our family to have her mellow influence. We’re lucky to have these girls, aren’t we?

  4. Jess
    on July 20, 2012 at 6:14 pm said:

    Weaning can be so hard! I remember weaning Finn, my oldest. I did it because I was pregnant with Evelyn, and it hurt too much. He was close to 18 months, and he surprised me so much – I was expecting it to take a month or so, gradual weaning, but I put him down for nap one day without nursing and that was it. Nurse no more! He didn’t seem to miss it at all.
    With Evelyn I stopped around 18 months, because I was just tired of it. I didn’t want to anymore, and she adapted pretty easily too. Now she is 2, and I can’t believe it’s flying by like this. It’s weird to think these little people will be adults, and that each day they are getting closer. It’s hard to let go of the baby stages… they are just so precious!
    There are definitely some toddler phases I’ll be happy to see go, though… : )

    • on July 20, 2012 at 6:19 pm said:

      Oh, so true. There are things to miss, & things to rejoice that it’s over with, for sure (tantrums, say?).

  5. on July 20, 2012 at 8:38 am said:

    Your children are beautiful! I love those pictures =)

  6. on July 20, 2012 at 7:34 am said:

    I reminisce of the time when my boys (10, 6 3/4, 3 1/2) were babies. At the time it was exhausting and I tried to savor every moment, but it went by too fast! And now that we’re done having children, I miss those times more.

    My oldest 2 boys loved to nurse. They were not good sleepers, but would nurse to sleep great, which made for many night-wakings. It wasn’t too difficult weaning them, they were each 14 months old and I was ready, they were ready, and it was gradual.

    My youngest got a cold a week before he turned one and self weaned! I was mortified! I knew he was last and wanted to wean him forever! Maybe not forever, but longer than 14 months. A week later, after I pumped the whole time (he never took a bottle and took my milk in a sippy cup) he did return to my breast, but not for long. After another week he was done. Nursing was not his favorite thing, sleeping was. And when he was done nursing he was done and wanted me to place him in his crib so he could sleep. I guess it was easier for me that way because he might still be nursing at 3 1/2!

    There is so much truth to this post, with me anyway.

    • on July 20, 2012 at 10:21 am said:

      Ah, your experience with your youngest sounds similar to many women. Sometimes the babies are done & the mamas are not! Funny, reversal of what my experience has been.

      Salem doesn’t like sippy cups. Which is fine, but she doesn’t like drinking out of regular cups either. She just doesn’t like drinking. Working on experimenting with various modes of hydrating her. Water bottles sometimes work, but only if I’m actually holding her.

      You’re so lucky to have 3 boys, thanks for sharing Christine.

  7. Marsha
    on July 19, 2012 at 4:46 pm said:

    I nursed both my children (Jenny now 34 and Matthew now 31) and it was a very special time. My son nursed for 1 year and then I went into the hospital for one week, and when I came out he bit me and drew blood….so, that was that.

    I read all kinds of books when the children were growning and was prepared for each stage. I knew when “it” was going to happen and how it would look. So terrible 2′s weren’t so terrible etc…

    I have to tell you that as special as it is to have children, it is even more special when the grandchildren come along. I felt such a depth of love and anger for my children, but these grandkids have totally stollen my heart. My Jenny has 4 children, Rocco 6, Sabastian 3, Rosalie 21 months, and Adelaide 2 months. This is absolutely, without a doubt, the best time of my life. I take one child per weekend and we go swimming, bake something, play in the toy box, go for long walks, go to the movies, just endless things. Not Adelaide because she is still being nursed, but by this time next year I’ll be taking her also. When Jenny feels overwhelmed or if she is sick, she just calls me up and asks me to take a couple of kids and I am there with bells on. I am the most blessed woman in the world!

    Thanks for listening, and I love your blog!

    Marsha

    • April
      on July 19, 2012 at 8:39 pm said:

      Marsh you sound like an amazing grandma! I wish my kids had someone like you in their lives

      • on July 19, 2012 at 8:42 pm said:

        I second April’s comment. You sound like the world’s best grandma. Wow, are your grandkids lucky to have you in their life. How fun & what memories. They’re going to remember their grandma for all their lives.

        Beautiful, thanks for sharing Marsha!

        (& thank you for your sweet compliment)

  8. Meg
    on July 19, 2012 at 3:32 pm said:

    Oh she is beautiful! And so, my dear, are you. I am so inspired by your get away with your husband. Just so incredibly important to be able to focus for just a moment on your marriage.

    • on July 19, 2012 at 4:36 pm said:

      Thanks Meg. I’m really excited for our trip. It’s going to be epic, I just feel it in my bones. I live, crave time with just me & Joseph, think our mutual commitment to periodic time w/ no kids is one of the keys to our happy marriage.

  9. on July 19, 2012 at 11:48 am said:

    *sniff* *sniff* This post made me all teary eyed! It’s sad to watch and let go as our little ones grow yet it’s gratifying to see them progress and learn. For you to have made it 17 months shows your love and dedication for your little one, I commend you!
    I look at my own little one, 16 months, who has been slowly weaning herself. Doesn’t matter if I’m ready or not! I’m not! When I started I wasn’t sure I’d even make it 6 months because by 2 months she wouldn’t nurse AT ALL. I pumped every 2 to 3 hours to bottle feed her. After about a month and a half she miraculously started nursing again! I was so proud of her, of myself as well. She is now down to one feeding a day and I dread the day I wake to find her unwilling to nurse. :( I know that day is near but why does she have to grow up so fast? Why?

    Good for you for taking a trip with your husband! We are waiting for our day to do the same. We’ve been married 3 years and with his 13 yr old and our 16 month old trips have been on the back burner. A family trip first then an “our” trip! Can’t wait!

    Thank you for a lovely post. I know I will probably being doing a similar one soon. Again, *sniff* *sniff*.

    You are such a wonderful mother!

    • on July 19, 2012 at 4:31 pm said:

      Yes, motherhood turns us all into weepy saps, doesn’t it?

      So awesome you stuck with nursing & it paid off. You rock.

      Thanks, you are too kind, Marsha.

  10. Kit-Kat
    on July 19, 2012 at 11:19 am said:

    My mom nursed my little brother— who is now 11— the longest; untill he was three and a half years old. He weaned off of her himself. Seeing babies go through stages in life is hard for me, because I think of how hard it must be for the mother to see her children grow up really fast. I got all teary-eyed with your post.
    By the way, the pictures of Salem and Narnee. The colors are so bright and beautifull!

    • on July 19, 2012 at 4:28 pm said:

      Wow, 3 1/2 years is quite some time. Your mother must be quite the woman.

      Thank you!

  11. MJ
    on July 19, 2012 at 6:37 am said:

    Beautiful. And what beautiful children you have. You are a rockstar for 17 mos. :) I understand your feelings of it being time. You just know when you know. XOXO, MJ

    • on July 19, 2012 at 4:26 pm said:

      I think that’s what they call motherly instinct.

      Thanks for your thoughtful words!

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