Thursday, April 13, 2017

When One Chapter Closes

I am feeling melancholic tonight as a big chapter of my life is coming to a close.  I am about to get personal but this something I want to share.  Almost four years ago I made a commitment to myself and to my first born.  Andee came into this world and I chose to nurse her. I set a goal for myself of one year.  To say those first eight weeks weren't the hardest of my life would be a lie.  I wanted to quit.  EVERY.  SINGLE.  DAY.  I cried, didn't eat much, and lost so much sleep {mostly, didn't sleep at all}.   Like most first-time moms, those first few weeks brought so much doubt.  Am I making enough milk? Is she really hungry, again? Is that normal? What is cluster feeding and how on earth can she be going through yet another growth spurt?  I had no idea what I was doing.  Andee would cry, I would nurse her.  Andee would wake up, I would nurse her. Andee would laugh, I would nurse her.  What did I know? I thought she was always hungry,  for 15 months, while she co-slept with us.  I was insane. Trust me when I tell you, you don't want to know what's it's like not sleeping for a year.  It ages you my friends.  Even after all that anguish, and I know it sounds cliche, it was completely worth it.  I loved how she would look up at me, caress my chest, pinch my back with her little hand, all while I nursed her.  When she was so tiny and would doze off on my chest, while I smelled her hair.  How easy it was to get her quiet if she threw a fit, you know, as a human pacifier.  The fact that I was burning roughly 500 calories a day, sitting on the couch producing milk.  Seriously, gym who?  It really was an awfully wonderful feeling and so hard to let go.  I bonded with my daughter in a way I never thought I could.

Circa 2013 with Baby Andee

When my second child Kevin was born about a year ago, I prayed that nursing him would be easier.  It was! I attribute the ease to being a second time mom and the few tricks I had up my sleeve.  Like knowing what kind of cry means hunger, not that every cry means hunger.  Knowing that if I want to survive as a mother to a toddler and infant, the infant has to sleep in his crib.  Knowing that it doesn't matter if the house is not tidy, the dishes are piled up in the sink and everyone is starving. They can go grab some take-out while I sit right here and enjoy this moment, that goes by ridiculously quick.

2016 with Baby Kevin

Ending my relationship with nursing this time around is so much harder for me.  With my daughter, she had to be weaned off.  This time, it seems like I'm the one that needs the weaning and Kevin is weaning himself.  I will definitely miss those early morning snuggles while everyone else is asleep and the house is eerily silent.  I will miss those beautiful black eyes looking up at me and that handsome boyish grin.  I will miss our bedtime hour, sitting in a dark quiet room, just savoring the moment.  To know that Kevin is the last baby I will nurse makes me sad, but knowing that I was lucky enough to nurse them both, that's my ultimate joy.

Photos: Aragon Photography

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Kitchen Chronicles

My favorite part of a home is the kitchen.  No matter the size, everyone always seems to gravitate towards it.  Maybe it's the aroma of the food, sharing family gossip over a glass of wine or just the chef's desire for guests to taste what's cooking.  The kitchen is a space where friends and family can come together at the center of a home.  I immediately fell in love with the kitchen in our home.  Although it's itty bitty, it's exactly what I wanted with white cabinets, butcher block counter tops and a farmhouse sink.  A dreamy, beautiful, porcelain farmhouse sink that truly enticed me. The best part was that the kitchen was remodeled two years before we purchased the home. Other than giving it a fresh coat of paint and adding the back splash, it was pretty perfect. Being so tiny though, minimal storage was {and still is} an issue with no pantry. And how were we supposed to fit a fridge in that small rectangular space?

Well, we definitely fit a fridge in there, but not on the first try. We searched high and low for a tall, skinny, narrow depth fridge.  Nada.  We ended up purchasing one that we thought would fit and it turned out to be a miniature fridge.  I finally contacted the ex-owner and she told me where I could find this beauty, and by beauty I mean the fridge. Not Handy Andy, he's all mine.

Can we discuss the bane of my existence for a quick second?  Those butcher block counter tops. What. a. pain. in. the. a$$. Talk about high maintenance. Sure they look beautiful, when they're constantly treated, but who has time for that?  I should have known because when we purchased the house, the counters were stained with water and mold. I did some online research and found that sanding the counter tops and treating them with mineral oil, would revive them to practically new.  It worked,  for like 2 weeks! Look at that fantastic richness.

Don't be fooled, that beautify is superficial - look at them now. Long term goal: switch them out for quartz counter top with new back splash. Short term goal: sand them again, stain them this time and seal them with poly.  

Another long term goal, switch out my hardware to gold.  I like gold.  Gold is dreamy.  Sharing a few more pictures of my un-staged kitchen. Ok, I'm lying, it's a bit staged. I didn't think it was appropriate to show you a sink full of dirty dishes or  mashed food on the counter tops (and maybe the floor), while my dog licks it all up. We're not "there" yet.

Alright, maybe I'll show you a little bit of what was really happening during this "photo shoot" because it's just too good.

{Dirty oven and future gymnast. This was before bath time}.

{This was after bath time. I thought the bath would calm him and give me 5 minutes to spare. I was wrong}. Send help!

If anyone has suggestions on how to care for butcher block counter tops, or how to stain and seal them, please share.  That's our  next project.