A Farewell to Nursies


This photo might cause a letdown. Proceed with caution.

The time has come, and I am no longer a nursing mother. Just like that.

My breasts have been in full production mode for more than three years, and though I had never nursed a child for my previous 36 years of life, this had become such a deep part of my identity that I almost feel like I’ve lost a bit of myself.

But I’ve also gained. No longer obligated to wear a nursing bra, I might be able to have one that actually fits me now. (No one ever talks about this, but apparently nursing bra designers think that only women with large ta-tas breast feed. I am here to advocate for all of the Bs out there, we need bras too! I digress…)

Dresses and shirts that promise no easy access will now be worn again!

My body is my own again, I can eat and drink what I choose, and apply topical creams at will!

So I guess as with all things in motherhood, we trade one phase for another, full of ambivalence. While every step toward independence brings some degree of relief, it also forces us to realize that our children need us just a little less.

This is as painful as it is glorious.

No one ever said that motherhood wasn’t heartbreak and joy in equal measure, but this, this one is difficult. It’s final. The last two times I nursed my little Lila Jane, I was reminded WHY I WANTED TO WEAN.* In all caps.

In December, Sugarpie weaned completely (Yes, she was almost three). Two months ago, I cut Little Sugar’s sessions back to mid morning and early evening. Two times a day, that was it. Surprisingly quickly, she would go all day and not ask for it. I went with it, but wondered if I was really ready for this. A missed session turned into a missed day, then a few, then a week. Here we are.

But I didn’t want to let go, even though it had become unbearable in the most compelling way. I thought, the last time should bring that feeling of peace, love and oxytocin. But it didn’t. My body was done, even if my girl wasn’t. That much had been proven. So I tuned out the irritation, looked into her beautiful big eyes one last time and knew that this was it.

Now, onward we go. I am no longer a nursing mother. I am no longer the mother of a baby. Before I know it, I will no longer be the mother of toddlers, I will be the mother of school-age children, then teenagers, and so on.

But I am so lucky, because I still get to be their mother.

So to my no-longer-nurslings Georgia and Lila: let’s celebrate this new phase. I have grown you in my body, fed you from my body.

We will always be connected in a way that is profound beyond comprehension and because of you, it is lovely beyond anything I could have ever imagined.


*Nursing agitation, it’s a thing. Read about it here.

Peaceful cooking, happy baby


IMG_2869I’ve seen this trick on a couple of websites with pipe cleaners and a colander, so when Lila got a little bored with it, (and I needed to cook), I gave her the basket from the potato ricer and some toothpicks. Voila’! Instant engagement. She stayed busy for at least 40 minutes. For real!


Mind you, this should be closely monitored for obvious, pointy reasons, but she was so fascinated by trying to get the toothpicks in the little holes that she forgot to try to do something dangerous with them.

Happy cooking!


Letter for Little Sugar: HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BABY GIRL!

12 months! That's one year. A whole year!

12 months! That’s one year. A whole year!

Oh my goodness! As of 7/22/14, you are one whole year old! You are officially NOT an infant anymore. *Sigh* You are actually 14 months old by now, but we are going to pretend that you’re still just 12 months…you little pookies keep mommy busy!)

Happy happy birthday to my sweet little smunchie wunchie woo woo. I love you so big. I can’t believe just how perfectly you have fit into our family, Lila Jane. Everybody loves you, even your sister. Mostly. But you are easy to love. You’re smiley and social and what a sassafrass you are. It’s really cute.

I am melting. And where did you get those green eyes?!

I am melting. And where did you get those green eyes?!

We had a fun birthday party for you at home and your family came from all over Texas, just for you. Mommy made a yummy strawberry cake and you had a mini one all to yourself. You weren’t so into it at first, but you warmed up and eventually, it even got in your hair!

First sugar and that was your very own cake!

First sugar and that was your very own cake!

In this last month you have become an excellent communicator. You know how to tell what you want, and also what you don’t. For example, We were lying in bed nursing before I put you to sleep. I was patting your little tushie-woo like I always do, but I must have stopped absent-mindedly. You reached down, grabbed my thumb with your tiny hand, and pulled my hand up and down in a patting motion. “Mommy, come on!”

And if you don’t want something, you make that known by swiping at it or shaking your head no vigorously. But you always, always make a scrinchie face when the answer is no.

I had to include this one, even if it's a little blurry...just look at those piggy tails!

I had to include this one, even if it’s a little blurry…just look at those piggy tails! I mean, if that ain’t cute…

Since last month, you have learned how to sit yourself up! You have been able to sit independently for a while now, but you just hadn’t figured out how to go from lying to sitting all by yourself until now. You were so proud! (And so were we :)

You have also become a master of peek-a-boo. The changing table is the preferred place for a round of peek-a-boo. You really know how to cover your sweet little face with your open palms, sometimes you even cover your face so hard that it sounds like you’re hitting yourself! Do it like you mean it, Lila Jane!

She's leading you in some hand clapping. Good times!

She’s leading you in some hand clapping. Good times!

You love The Itsy Bitsy Spider. You’ll put your little fingers together (kind of like the sign for more) and I know you want to hear your jam. You also say the same word every time, sounds like “pa-dah.” I think you’re trying to say spider.

You have pushed two more teeth through! But your bottom teeth are still only a pair…it kills me when you do your incredible hulk face with those two tiny teeth sticking up! LOVE. (Look at this video, the Hulk appears at 13 seconds. Ha!)

We had a birthday party for you and lots of family came from all over the place just to celebrate little ol’ you! Aw!

You just started scooting. If we needed any further proof of your being a monkey, this was it. Who cares about crawling, you get around monkey-style and BOY do you like to explore now. You are happy to scoot around from one place to the next discovering what’s hiding in this box or under that toy. It’s so cute!

Look! It's the Lila pucker.

Look! It’s the Lila pucker.

And you also like to pucker your little red lips when you concentrate. I usually take this as a cue to steal a kiss! When you’re mad, like when your sister takes something away from you (which is all the time), you hit the ground with both hands and blow a raspberry into the air–so funny! I know you’re trying to express frustration but it is really one incredible display of cute.

Like herding cats...that's you, Georgie, and your cousin Tobey at cousin Katherine's wedding. He's your sister's fave person in the world.

Like herding cats…that’s you, Georgie, and your cousin Tobey at cousin Katherine’s wedding. He’s your sister’s fave person in the world.

Speaking of big sis, she has really started to see the value of your company. You two engage each other more and more and seem to really enjoy playing together. She is such a good girl, you will learn from the best. Y’all love to play peek-a-boo with the door in the living room, that elicits tons little fairy giggles–best sound ever! You also love of playing peek-a-boo in daddy’s kick drum. *more fairy giggles*

Little Sugar, you have made our little family so much brighter. Sugarpie is even starting to get used to you! You are funny, feisty, and affectionate. You are precious, delicious, and beautiful. I just can’t believe my eyes when I look down at you while nursing and see shiny dark hair, long eyelashes and red cheeks. What a gorgeous and perfect little creature you are, inside and out. I am so glad that it was you. I am so glad that it was your sister. I am so glad that it was your Daddy. I am so glad that I get to be a part of your lives.

So this is our last monthly letter, but I write volumes and volumes of love songs in my heart every time that I see your sweet, tiny little face. You are my sunshine, Lila Jane. You and your sister…my sweet sweet sunshines. Happy birthday, baby girl. Looking so forward to seeing what year two will bring :)

Love you forever and ever,

xoxo Mommy

P.S. Since you turned a year old, you’ve started burying your face in my neck and squeezing your little arms around me so hard! It’s theĀ  most passionate little baby hug I have ever seen and you cannot even imagine how special it is. One day, I hope you’re lucky enough to have a little sugar just like you :)

Letter for Little Sugar, 11 months

What a big girl! And those feet still hold so much allure...

What a big girl! And those feet still hold so much allure…

Dear Little Sugar,

Well, we have just one more month where you will officially still be a baby…can you believe that?! I can’t! I love you so much, little Lila Jane, and you are almost one year old.

You have been a busy little bee with all kinds of cuteness. In the last month you have started to use some signs that mommy taught you. You use the sign for “more” and “all done” and you even made the sign for “eat,” but only once. You used to just imitate me, but you’ve really started to use the signs in the right context. Mommy’s not going to go crazy with it though, I just want you to be able to communicate a little.

You're adorable when you're annoyed.

You’re adorable when you’re annoyed.

Speaking of communicating, you are showing us all just how sassy you are. Your temper personality is REALLY coming out now. You are one cool cucumber, a mellow yellow most of the time, but when you want something or you just don’t agree with the situation, you let us know! Your scary face (the one you started making a couple of months back at the piano) is SO funny. It’s very Incredible Hulk. This happens mostly when you’re eating and you really like something and Mommy is taking too long to get more for you. Anyway, it’s just one of the ways that you communicate.

Your sister was playing peek-a-boo with you! One day she will appreciate that someone looks at her that way!

Your sister was playing peek-a-boo with you! One day she will appreciate that someone looks at her that way!

For a little while, you would pucker your lips like you were concentrating…I just couldn’t stand how adorable it was! But you’ve moved on, ah well.

Sugarpie, your big sister, doesn’t get to push you around as much anymore either because you sure know how to make an impression when she takes your toy or tickles you when you’re not in the mood. Girl’s gotta stand up for herself!

Our family :)

Our family :)

You aren’t crawling yet, but you’ll get there…what’s the rush? You seem like you’re trying to pull up in your crib, but we haven’t gotten past wanting to action. In time!

You got your first hair cut this month too! You have a lot of hair, girfriend, and we cut bangs. I cannot tell you how much of love it!! And I bet you’re happy too, not to have all of that hair in your face.

Daddy has his first Father’s Day with TWO GIRLS. How lucky is he? When he hugs you and your sister, he has an arm load of love for sure.

Y'all were watching the rain. My girls love to play in the crib together!

Y’all were watching the rain. My girls love to play in the crib together!

The other day, I realized what color your eyes are. Mommy used to live on an island in Southern Italy called Ischia. The water was crystal clear, beautiful, and turquoise. But there was one little corner of the island that Mommy just loved called Cartaromana. There, the water was a little different. It was a deeper, darker green with a little blue, depending on the sun. On a hot summer day, all you could do was jump in and feel the cool green relief of that water. Magical! And your eyes are just that color. How special!!

Teeth!! You are working on two more.

Teeth!! You are working on two more.

Little Sugar, I love you and all of your chubby, soft, sweet, and delicious babyness. Please don’t grow up too fast. Here’s to our last month of being an infant!!

Love you forever and ever,

xoxo Mommy

Letter for Little Sugar, 8 months (and 7!)



Delicious! And you're outgrowing Teddy!

Delicious! And you’re outgrowing Teddy!

Dear Little Sugar,

You are 8 months old! Well actually, you are 8 and a half months old. Mommy is very late AND missed your 7 month letter because you two girls keep me BUSY. Not to mention that we moved the day before your 7 month birthday, that was no easy task with two little stinkers! I am sorry.

So what’s new since your 6 month letter? Well…we live in Houston now, for starters. Sugarpie transitioned immediately, but you had a harder time. But now, there are so many fun things to do in our house and in our new city! You seem to be enjoying it.

In your seventh month, you started eating real food! It was a slow start, but man you are HUNGRY now. Your first taste was an avocado and a banana, self-fed, just like your sister. You didn’t care for the avocado at first, but now you love it. We also started sleep training. It was slow-going, but we’re getting there. What else, oh…you said “Daddy!” on February 18 and you say Mamma and Nanna all the time.

Month seven wasn’t spectacularly eventful but month eight has been full of good stuff. For example, you started sitting up, and really sitting up confidently on March 17. Also, you got your first tooth followed immediately by your second, they are SO cute!! I am not in a hurry for you to lose that gummy grin, so don’t rush those top teeth out, ok?

Clapping is your favorite new thing. The sound of your tiny hands patting together is the cutest thing ever invented. Ever.

Trying to get a hold of that there banana

Trying to get a hold of that there banana

So back to eating, you love it. You eat so much sometimes that I cut you off because I don’t want you to get a tummy ache! Your favorites are meatballs, yogurt, apples, beans and you ate so much chicken curry that I thought you would burst! You also like broccoli and cheese and pretty much anything that I put in front of you. Really. We’re trying work on not getting too constipated, but it still happens sometimes.

You have had 2 ear infections in the last two months. I hope you don’t take after Mommy! I had them a lot too, they hurt. Georgia still hasn’t had one.

We have a little red piano and I put you in front of it to play. You thought it was so cool that you got all excited! When you get excited about something, you stare straight ahead, open your eyes really wide, and you shake your head like you just can’t stand it! It’s about midway through this video:

You also have your very own crib now! You really seem to like all the space and you have discovered that you like to sleep on your tummy. When you sleep like that, you wake up with the craziest sleep hair! It’s the cutest.

I get to see this little face every single morning.

I get to see this little face every single morning.

You love to lay back on my lap and let your head hang over my knees, upside down. It’s funny.

So I guess I’ll be writing your 9 month letter pretty soon! And I just can’t believe that your first birthday is right around the corner. I love you so much, sweet little Lila bear. You have stolen my heart! I can’t believe how lucky I am that I get to have a glass of fresh-squeezed Lila Jane every morning, and a big warm mug of hugs from your sister. Who could ask for more?


xoxo Mommy