Tuesday, July 30, 2013

away we go!

lucy is learning to walk! she is a careful little thing, but finds that the fun of practicing standing up and stepping outweighs her innate sense of caution. she likes to take one step, maybe one and a half, then fall gleefully into mama's arms. she thinks this is hilarious.

in other news, we are going on a trip! we leave early tomorrow morning for WYOMING. the whole beatty clan will be road tripping and camping throughout Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park for ten days. we will be cavorting with bison this time next week. wish us luck travelling with our little wolf cub. awwwoooooohhh! we'll howl at the moon and stars to you all, good night!

Monday, July 29, 2013

breastfeeding, boobs, weaning and other motherly woes

i have been lucky with breastfeeding. things have gone smoothly since the beginning when lucinda latched right on as soon as i got her in my arms, and we've never looked back. it did hurt at first, they told me the tenderness might last for ten days or so, but my nipples were in pain for the first several weeks of nursing. but only for that first moment when she would latch on, i'd take a deep breath and relax myself and feel the milk start to flow and everything would be comfy then. it seemed like i was nursing round the clock for months. she was a very frequent eater and i just kept it coming. to me it was cozy to have my spot on the couch or the hammock, quiet time with a big glass jar of water, my book and journal, ipod, perhaps a snack nearby, and my sweet content baby nursing away snuggled in my arms.
lucy's nursing time has flown and i've tried to enjoy it fully. 

 now it is getting very near weaning time for my sweet toot. she only nurses once a day now, at bedtime, and that is on its way out for one reason: my milk is drying (has dried?) up. 

i think this drying-up process has been frustrating for her and it began to change her nursing patterns a couple months ago. we were down to once or twice a day plus a night nursing or two. i had to cut out the night nursings completely when  i got a horrible case of food poisoning on top of being sick in my first trimester. pure misery (on memorial day when i was supposed to meet up with these lovely gals. boo.)  i was too dehydrated and exhausted to nurse that night, and she was used to needing a few feedings during the night at that point to help her get back to sleep. so around 2 a.m. darin and i just comforted her as she cried. it was heartbreaking but we were there for her, too sick and tired to move so we just held her close. she cried herself back to sleep and we have never nursed in the middle of the night again since then. so i consider that bout of food poisoning somewhat of a blessing in disguise as i don't know how we would have given up the frequent night nursings if it weren't for that night. i am hoping that eliminating this last final nursing session goes smoothly. i worry because she is very attached to it for bedtime, though it does not get her to sleep anymore. in fact, when i slip my boob away she often wakes up fully to either cry or play and crawl around on the bed. after that, bedtime may take up to three hours sometimes and is usually grueling. i am often alone as darin works until 11 pm or has band practice. and if he is here to help it's sometimes even harder because he has to take her away from me and put her in the Ergo to walk her to sleep and she struggles against that. she does sleep through the night now which is wonderful, but it's getting her there that is rough. i think all these sleep woes started as my milk began to dry up. nursing to sleep was just so utterly relaxing for her, she is having a really hard time with that change. she still sleeps between us too. horizontally. we've got a lot to work on around here. 

nursing in the new year:

bf'ing break while my sis was in labor:

interestingly, my boobs are right now the smallest they've been in over a year. they hurt like hell and the nipples are dark, but they're back to my normal B cup size. it's just so fascinating to me the way our bodies change with birth and pregnancy and the physical ways that we adjust to motherhood. the ways that we share so many experiences while we are also each so unique. many women's breasts grow during the beginning of pregnancy; not mine. neither time so far. instead, mine expanded enormously at the very end.
and then stayed big all through the heavy nursing months...case in point below (a picture i was too embarrassed to post at the time, but hell, this is officially a boobs post)

i had dreams of nursing a baby for years. right before i got pregnant with lucy i dreamt that i nursed my friend elsie's babe. i did indeed end up nursing my sister's babe. i find breastfeeding to be one of the most sweet, poignant, empowering and yes, i'll say it, magical activities that i've ever had the chance to experience. i thought i would nurse lucy until about 18 months or even beyond, but i am content with the way things have gone and pray for a smooth transition for her as we cut out her sweet bedtime treat. i very much look forward to the chance to breastfeed another baby this winter. and i thank the universe, my stars, life, god, mother goddess and love every day for the wondrous fact that this happened to me at all. that i have become a mother like i always hoped i would.

Friday, July 19, 2013

lucy's first birthday bash

photo by cassie

my baby turned one! it's so crazy to me. i haven't even fully processed that yet, the fact that one year has passed since i became a mother, the fact that it has been one full year since i met this dreamy sparkling hummingbird of a girl.

we threw her a garden party in our backyard. i spent the early part of the week trying to tidy up our backyard and make it cute, which is an endless task, the results of which will never completely satisfy me. but in any case, we had a nice place to hang out, play, dance, eat and celebrate this precious little girl of mine.

party prep:

sunflowers remind me of her birth because several people brought me sunflowers in the hospital, that and fresh lavender. it was this that made me want a "garden party" with visions of a bumblebee pinata (till i realized none of my friend's kids really eat candy) and little potted flowers for party favors (till i realized i was broke.) it pretty much turned out to be just a plain old backyard picnic; the most gardenny thing happening was little oliver watering my marigolds.

as could probably be expected, naptime was a no-go that day until about 4:30 pm. so she was still asleep when the party got started. when i finally brought her out she was a bit overwhelmed, taking the whole thing rather seriously.

photo by cassie

warming up, greeting her guests. i mean, c'mon, all her favorites were here! including abby the dog!
photo by cassie

picnicking on the lawn.

baby central on this here quilt. lucy and aesop both wore vintage 50's baby outfits. dying.

photo by cassie

cousin utah is such a curious little gent! lucy can't keep her mitts off him.
photo by cassie

photo by cassie

KIDS GALORE! it's so fun to have everybody around. 

photo by cassie

lucy was back in fine form in no time. giving out topes and everything!

prepping for some cupcake action.

emily made her famous fresh strawberry cupcakes!

aaaannnnd she digs in!

she picked up plops of frosting rather daintily at first, but it wasn't long before she was grabbing the whole cupcake and basically shoving it in her mouth. and it wasn't long after that she was reaching for more....but i was so pleased that the only thing she wanted more of was the fresh strawberries on top!

feeling GOOD.

it was such a nice evening. i felt surrounded by goodness and so glad to raise our children in this community, and it was nice to just know that lucy is so appreciated and loved. not just by me, and her dad and grandparents and aunties, but her whole tribe adores her.

photo by cassie

she got some rad presents. 

but i think what she loved best of all was the helium balloon papa brought her. she sees them at raleys all the time and goes nuts for them. to have one in her own home was just too much. 
still thrilled the next morning.

what a joy this past year has been, and the quickest blink of an eye i've ever blinked! 
i am so lucky to have this happy-go-lucky little charmer in my life, and i couldn't be more excited to see her in action as a sister come wintertime. happy birthday, my sweet sweet girl.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

heal the world

the fourth of july had me thinking this year about what it means to be a patriotic american. i want to be my own brand of patriotic, one that means questioning, challenging, dissenting, changing. helping to shape a better future for our children. where true freedom reigns, and rad journalists don't die mysterious deaths....but i won't get into that. the other night michael jackson's song "heal the world" popped into my mind and for the rest of the night i could not get the chorus out of my head! (so annoying. but i kinda loved it.) do you remember? it is soooo cheesy but the lyrics are all about love fighting fear and providing the inspiration for trying to make the world a better place. 

what do pool parties with big fun rowdy groups of friends and their children have to do with healing the world? probably nothing. but i hope a tiny little something.
because when you go to a pool party hosted by this little family of rad people driving veggie oil cars and making sustainable clothing, 

among a million other healing choices, and your other friends there are farmers and musicians and artists and dreamers, you just feel part of something wonderful. you can just feel that you are all influencing each other in becoming better friends, parents, americans, human beings.
not to mention the simple act of sharing good homemade healthy food together seems to promote a unique sense of capability. not only can we be good to each other and laugh and spread love, we can make a difference! 


my particular challenge is to not think about this once and a while, but to put activism into action. there are things we do as a family that come naturally, that are really just pretty easy for us to do: we live a frugal life and avoid over consumption, we believe that eating vegetarian is healthier for the planet in general, we try to buy our food locally grown as much as possible. but we know there is so much more we could do! for example, in the interest of time, i often drive my car down the street to the bookstore where we both work. it would be so easy, and so nice, to walk or ride a bike every single time; why is this a habit i cannot get into? the answer is, as always, i run out of time. i'm too busy. this is a mindset i am trying to change, among other things. 
and if there is one thing i love about being an american right now, here today, it is the embraced cultural value of change. i like to think that we are open as a society to the idea of change, it seems to be one thing everyone agrees on. what changes need to be made, well of course therein lies the dilemma, but i hope that it is a dynamic path we can all traverse together.

meanwhile i will take notice of the many lovely things my friends are doing that are making a difference in our world, whether it is spiritual healing work, creating a tarot deck, always riding her bike downtown, growing her own tomatoes, or attending protests.

these two little darlings put on a rousing "show" for us all complete with announcements, singing and dancing, and costume changes. enchanting indeed.

we rounded out the evening with fireworks at the fairgrounds. it's an event i've avoided for at least the last ten years because the crowds are insane, but we picnicked up on a hill by darin's work with a nice view. a bunch of our friends joined us, lucy stayed up till ten pm, and i have to admit, the finale really got my heart racing. it was so beautiful to see all those bright exploding colors just up above the ridge of pine trees, and i truly felt lucky and amazed to live right here amongst these wonderful people and in such a beautiful place. 

hope you are all feeling patriotic in your own personal favorite ways this summer! any particular thing you do that makes you feel like a "good american?"