The Empty Chair

I had a goal. A goal to give my baby breast milk for twelve months. Whether that may be through bottle or breast. With my first one, I pumped milk for 8 months but with so much we had saved up, we pretty much made it to twelve months with JUST breast milk. With my second, I wanted to do it similarly. As Abbie’s birth was quickly approaching, I had my mind made up that I was going to give breast feeding a shot. I forewarned myself that I would at least try but if she didn’t latch or I was getting too frustrated with trying that I would stop.

Breastfeeding is HARD, boy is it. No one ever tells you how hard breastfeeding actually is. All you hear is how good it is for your baby and how the bond between you and your baby will strengthen. I didn’t know there would be more sleepless nights with me crying in my bed because my boobs hurt than actual restful  nights. I didn’t know that I couldn’t go anywhere without my baby because she was exclusively breastfeeding. Worst of all, I didn’t know that I could get so upset for her not latching, that I would yell at her.

If only I had someone to tell me back then that I was going to make it to eighteen months. I guarantee that a lot less tears would have been shed. During month zero through seven, my nightly routine of bathing and feeding her became a two hour deal. It became very draining since I would be away from my family for two hours EACH NIGHT just to get her down to sleep. She would eat for about 45 minutes and then doze off while I was rocking away in the chair. Right as I put her in her bassinet, she’d wake up. I didn’t know what else to do but to start all over again with nursing her for another half hour. That was my night; just me, my chair and my baby.. each and every night. But like all else, I knew this too shall pass.

Each week, it became easier and easier to put her down. After we got our bedtime routine down to under an hour, things were more enjoyable and I began to LOVE our time we had together, just her and I. Breastfeeding became a bonding moment that I looked forward to every night.

EIGHTEEN MONTHS. The reason I keep saying it is because I am so damn proud of myself. After the twelfth month, I often got asked by my husband and other family members when I was going to stop. I just politely told then that I would be done when she is done. Side note: When did it become the “norm” to stop ALL breastfeeding at twelve months? I don’t think I’ll ever understand that.

Everything comes to an end at some point and that day was four days before her eighteen month birthday. If I said I was completely thrilled about being done with breastfeeding, I’d be lying. I think it was harder for me to let go of this phase of life than it was for her. I guess in a way I didn’t want ‘our moments’ to end. However, I knew our breastfeeding journey was soon coming to an end when she was becoming less and less interested in latching for more than 5 minutes. It was the perfect win-win for both of us to draw a line in the sand and stop.

So for now, the rocking chair where we once spent hours each night together, remains empty. Does she still ask for ‘boobies’ if she sees me naked? Always. Would I ever go back and not breastfeed her? Never. I feel there will always be a special bond that only her and I share and for that I am so grateful.

Xox,

Marlee

*Mamas, this post is in no way promoting breastfeeding over bottle fed over formula fed babies. This post was just simply just share my journey of hardships and joys throughout my breastfeeding experience. I support ALL mamas because we are in this together!

” As moms, we are in it together — raising the future. We are a tribe of future makers. So let’s support each other.” Marrisa Hermer

A Date with Disney

Over this past weekend, my family had the chance to visit “The Happiest Place on Earth.” We thought it would be fun to take our girls to see the Magic Kingdom during Halloween time since neither of us had gone before. So we packed up the girls and Nana and left for our magical vacation.

I am not the type of person to just go on a trip all willy-nilly without some kind of plan of attack.  Before embarking on our adventure, I did a ton of research on ‘tricks and secrets’ behind Disneyland. I was always curious on if these secrets were really true, so I compiled of few of them and put them to the test. So here they are for you:

  1. You can get free souvenirs simply by asking. Verdict: FACT. Before entering The Jungle Cruise, you can nicely ask a cast member for a antique style map. Also, each cast member around the park has stickers that they keep on hand. If you ask nice enough, you can have one or two.
  2. There is a real pet cemetery near The Haunted Mansion line. Ask a cast member and they will take you to it. Verdict: PARTLY TRUE. Disneyland does in fact have a pet cemetery behind this attraction, however, the cast members are NOT allowed to take guests there. When I asked one of the cast members about this secret, they said that they used to be able to take people there, but due to a safety issue they can no longer do this.
  3. Make your single day ticket worthwhile. Make sure to look out for a worker with a tablet and answer their survey. You’ll get a free ticket for another day. Verdict: MYTH. I am so bummed about this one. Although, I thought it was kind of a long shot, I was most excited to try out this secret. BUT it is a big fact myth. First off, the surveys are given to random guests, so if you ask to take to a survey, they will do do that. On our final day of Disney, we were chosen to do a ‘random’ survey, I was ecstatic! We finished our 3 questions, and then the cast member said “Okay, that’s it! Thank you!” My husband and I looked at each other, deeply saddened because we didn’t get our free Disney ticket. So, either I am just an extremely unlucky person or, whoever came up with this Disney secret is delusional because there was definitely no free ticket for doing a survey.
  4. In the Haunted Mansion’s ballroom, lean forward until you can see the floor where there’s spilled wine. There is a ghost passed out under the table. Verdict: FACT. You have to look really hard and not blink because you will miss it. However, there is indeed a passed out ghost under the table.ACS_0209
  5. Always try to go to the line of left instead of right line. Verdict: FACT. We’ve tetsed this theory over and over again and it deems true! Out of instinct, people usually head towards the right lines which makes them super long. So try it out and go towards the left and you’ll thank me!
  6. At any pickle stand in Disneyland if you ask an employee how their day was, they’ll give you a free pickle. Verdict: MYTH. Unfortunately, this one was a myth as well. When we asked a pickle stand cast member how their day was, they replied “good, thank you!” And then we stood there looking at each other. My husband finally asked if we get a free pickle. The cast member had no idea wheat we were talking about. Needless to say, we felt pretty stupid haha.

Welp, those are the ‘secrets’ we tried out this time while at Disneyland. If anyone has any other ‘Disneyland secrets’ that they have tried out, I would love to hear them!

Xox,

Marlee

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Rainy Day Blues

Picture this: It’s raining. You have two toddlers who need to let out some energy. They’re going stir-crazy because they cannot go outside. You’re on your 3rd cup of coffee but wishing it was 5:30 so you can switch to wine.. Does this sound familiar?

I’m from Phoenix, AZ where 350 days out of the year there is sun. When it is raining outside, all my kids want to do it go outside and play. That would normally be okay if it was 90 degrees outside, but not when it is 65 degrees and pouring. So my oldest, who is 3, helped me come up with fun things to do with toddlers inside when it is pouring rain outside.

 

Fun things to do with littles when its raining outside:

  • Bake: We made cookies this day. It was such a fun activity that took up a good amount of time. Note: A lot of patience was tested during this activity. I mean, have you tried cooking with toddlers before? However, the girls did have fun!
  • Make slime: This was another fun activity that my older one likes to do. I didn’t let me 1-year-old help make slime because my house would literally have glue all over it, but she did play with it afterwards. Scroll down for slime recipe.
  • Make a fort and read books
  • Find your child’s favorite children’s book and draw, or trace pictures from it. Let them water paint
  • Board games
  • Hide n’ seek
  • Paint nails: This is a perfect opportunity to get the little ones to sit still. Both of my girls love getting their nails painted. Just plop them by the window so they can see the rain and “voila!”
  • Building with magnetic tiles: These things are magic. They are amazing and keep them entertained for a while. Click here to purchase them!
  • Dress up: whether you have boys or girls, who doesn’t love to play dress up? Especially on a rainy day, dress up is a perfect way to pass the time.
  • Playdough
  • Make homemade popcorn and watch an agreed upon movie. It is always Hocus Pocus at this time of year.

What other fun things do you like you like to do with your kiddos when it is raining outside? I’d love to hear your ideas.

Xox,

Marlee

SLIME RECIPE:

  • 1/2 tbsp of baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tbsp contact solution
  • 4 fl oz Elmers white school glue
  • your choice of food coloring

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