Baby Steps

Ever since getting over my formula stigma, I've felt so much lighter. I've still been nursing Vi, but also introducing bottles of SnuggleMilk. And last night was notable in that I dropped the bedtime nursing -- Vi was so totally fine with it. Which means, now we just nurse in the morning. I don't have to juggle evening plans around nursing. I can stop wearing nursing bras. I can put my pump away (that, my friends, will be a welcome goodbye). The transition has (knock on wood) been so easy that it looks like I will be able to stop nursing altogether in the next week or so, before I leave for BlissDom. Knowing me, I'll want to stop right at Violet's 11-month mark. Easy to remember. Easy to hold on to.

Other little but big feeding things have happened too. The other week, Laurel and Vi enjoyed the same snack together for the first time (pictured) -- one snack box! Last night, they both ate the same macaroni and cheese -- one step closer to making them the same dinner! Vi still doesn't have teeth, but she can definitely squish whole blueberries (even big ones) with her gums -- one less thing for me to cut up!

All of these things seem like such minor little baby steps but they also make me incredibly nostalgic. I can't believe Violet's birthday is next month. Despite my grousing about pumping, I can't believe she will stop nursing soon. I can't believe she will be walking soon. Last weekend I visited with my friend Nicola -- as I cuddled her 3-month-old son, it felt so trite but I kept thinking, "Really? Was Violet ever this teeny tiny and fragile seeming? She's such a big baby panda bear now."

These days I've been a little distracted as Violet's upcoming birthday brings with it some bigger and unresolved and painful issues I have with one of my family members. But I'm trying to not fret about what I have come to realize I cannot fix. Some days are easier than others. Either way, I look around, feel gratitude, and focus on the baby steps.

#reverb10: Lesson Learned

December 17: Lesson Learned. What was the best thing you learned about yourself this past year? And how will you apply that lesson going forward? (Author: Tara Weaver) Well, letting go and following my instinct are big 2010 lessons about which I have already written, but another lesson would be embracing imperfection. This isn't always easy for me; obviously, in my work I strive for perfection, but there are so many other instances in life where perfection isn’t necessary, and even hinders awesomeness.

An example? When I’m doing projects or cooking or baking with Laurel. I want to inspire Laurel towards creativity and joy, not perfection. We made a mile high apple pie for Thanksgiving and normally, I’d want to do all of the decorative cut outs so everything would look perfect. Instead, I gave Laurel the rolled out dough and told her to go crazy with cut outs. Laurel paused and looked at me and said, "For real, Mom?" Then she got busy cutting out leaves and berries and letters and shapes and was so happy and proud of her work.

These are the moments when I feel as if I’m doing things right.

#reverb10: Body Integration

Today's #reverb10 writerly prompt is: December 12: Body Integration. This year, when did you feel the most integrated with your body? Did you have a moment where there wasn't mind and body, but simply a cohesive YOU, alive and present? (Author: Patrick Reynolds)

I’ve done a lot of mind/body work this year, and certainly a lot of thinking about the connection between the two in relation to my unexpected pregnancy. But this prompt immediately made me think of the December 3 #reverb10 prompt and my experience with Eat. Blog. Run.

As context, my mind typically is constantly spinning; I'm always thinking about ideas and people and things I want to do and creative tasks I want to explore. I’m kind of intense that way. And while I have found yoga enormously helpful in slowing down my brain and bringing me into the present with my mind and body, the moment of 2010 where I felt completely cohesive and alive and present was during Eat. Blog. Run. Whether it was due to sleep deprivation or the sheer intensity of the experience, I found myself completely present in mind and body in a way I had never experienced before. It was amazing and life changing –- an experience I will never forget. And one I hope to recreate in 2011, not necessarily in such a sleep deprived manner!