Weaning Cold Turkey

I never wanted it to go this way, but I cut Charlie off cold turkey. Our nursing relationship began like any other, with a few glitches along the way. He nursed exclusively for six months, then we began to introduce solids. He’s never been much for food, opting for my breasts instead. His desires never seemed to be satisfied. As an infant, he would nurse for hours on end. Just days away from his third birthday, there were no signs of tapering off. He wanted to nurse every time I sat down and every time I lay down. He could nurse for a good half hour and still ask for more!

I have been waiting and waiting for him to show signs of weaning. I just want to be able to sit down w/out having to get out my breasts. My husband, who was supportive up until recently, told me to just cut him off. I haven’t been ready to do that. I’m sure that the nursing is filling some need he has. Others tell me Charlie has been taking advantage of me. I never saw it that way. But I’m ready to have my body back. I’m ready to be more than just a milk machine to my son.

Today is Thursday, and he hasn’t nursed since Sunday afternoon. Sunday afternoon, I left to spend a night away in a hotel. Before I left I explained that I was going to “have my milk taken out” and that I wouldn’t be able to make any more milk. I nursed him one last time and asked him to say “goodbye” to the milk. Sure enough, as soon as I walked in the door the next day, he asked for milk. “Charlie, you know I don’t have any,” I replied. He didn’t take “no” for an answer. He asked me if he could just “see” if the milk was gone. He wanted to “try” them out. Of course, I can’t let him try. I have lots of milk left and my breasts are killing me (that’s a whole separate post).

Charlie is still asking for milk at all the “usual” times: upon waking, after my morning shower, prior to the afternoon nap, prior to bedtime, and whenever I sit down. It has been really difficult for me to say “no” to him, especially when he gets hurt. Nursing was the easiest way to comfort him after a fall or a bump. I feel very sorry for both of us. I miss being able to comfort him so easily. I miss having him in my arms drifting off to sleep. This is my last child, and I will never nurse again. I have to come to terms with that too.

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Do You Have “Walking Money?”

“Walking Money” is money saved up in your (I’m referring to you as a wife) own account where only you have access to it. It allows you to walk away from your marriage if things in your marriage ever get too bad. It also protects you in case your husband leaves you and cleans out your bank account. Think this won’t happen to you? Read my post here at Chicago Moms Blog.

I Finally Understand the Subprime Mortgage Crisis and I Want Blood

Do you understand the subprime mortgage crisis? Do you ask questions like, “Wouldn’t it just be better for these banks if they just cooperated with the homeowner and reduced their rates?” Ah, if only it were that simple. I have no economic education in my background, so I need to have it all spelled out for me. I finally get it! If you listen to this hour long podcast from NPR and This American Life (originally broadcast on May 9, 2008), you will finally understand the subprime mortgage crisis! However, like me, you will (and should) get very, very, very angry at the mess mortgage lenders, borrowers and Wall Street got us into.

You will hear about the guy who only make $45K a year, and was granted a loan for over $500K! The NINA loans stand for “No Income No Asset” loans. Virtually unheard of until recently, one could get such a loan w/out anyone ever checking to see if you had any income or any assets! This is so crazy to even think about. Who would EVER loan a stranger a large amount of money w/out checking out his/her assets and income? Well, as you will find out, Wall Street! Who are these risk takers? People who got very greedy and really raked it in for awhile. The mortgage broker who lied about his client’s income and made $18K on one mortgage transaction (and all those like him) should go to jail for fraud. Is anyone going to prosecute these liars? Gadget Man says “no” because “there are too many of them, and besides, what good will it do anyone now.” Oh yeah? How will we ever prevent this from happening again if we don’t go after these guys? It would be easy to go after them. All the fraudulent transactions are on paper in black and white. I say, get ’em!

I am really mad about all of this because good people like me and my husband are suffering. I say “good” in the sense that we have always lived w/in our means. When we purchased our home, we made sure we were not overextending ourselves in any way. We made sure we would be able to afford it if I eventually got pregnant and decided to stay home. We made sure we would be able to afford our home AND save for college tuition AND retirement. We have been saving and saving and saving. We NEVER buy more than we can afford and we NEVER carry a balance on our credit cards. Apparently, most Americans have been spending and spending and spending. Buying giant homes with giant amounts of space for all their giant TVs and giant gas guzzling cars. Sure, I would have liked a bigger house and a bigger TV and vacations. But we took a conservative path. What did we save it all for? Now the money we saved is worth less and less. I’m angry for two reasons. First, I’m angry because I’m going to suffer because others were out having a party. Second, I’m angry because I missed the party.

We Went to a Chickenpox Party

Chickenpox

At a chickenpox party, the only favor is contracting the chickenpox virus (about 10 to 21 days later). I took Charlie. He’s over the pox and doing fine. Am I a monster or a mom who is just trying to do what’s best? You decide after you read all about it here where I also blog at Chicago Moms Blog.

I Am So Sick of Family Right Now

ballet feet

Right now, I am feeling very sorry for myself. I feel like my extended family (as in the various in-laws) is really letting me down. I grew up in a very close family. That is, closely bonded, but not closely located. My grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins would come great distances for any family event. For example, I had twelve family members travel long distance to my college graduation. I had to beg borrow and buy extra tickets. I felt so special! I have been granted unconditional love, affection and attention throughout my life. Naively, I assumed all families were as caring and as involved.

Take my mother-in-law, for example. Seven weeks in advance, I told her the date of Eva’s ballet recital. “Oh, I have Goodman tickets.” She reported. She has a subscription. “Well, you’ve got plenty of time to change them.” I suggested. She replied, “We’ve already changed them once and our friends are too busy to change the date along with us.” Casually, I remarked, “Well, I’m sure they will understand.” Her response shocked me. “No, we are not going to change our tickets. We will not make it to the ballet recital.” She said matter of factly. Excuse me? You will not be attending your own granddaughter’s ballet recital? A ballet recital that occurs just once a year? I was flabbergasted. I simply can’t understand why this particular date with these particular friends at this particular theater is more important than her own granddaughter’s performance! I just can’t get past this. She has always proudly insisted that she “has a life” beyond grandchildren. But this is taking it too far! My whole view of her has changed.

Right now I am also pissed at my brother’s in-laws because they insist that he be completely unavailable to visit with me and my children (his niece and nephew) for the three days he will be in town for his wife’s sister’s wedding. They insist that the entire weekend will be taken up with events and that as a family member and a groomsman, he must attend them all. This wouldn’t be such a big deal if my brother didn’t live two thousand miles away. He will be in town for this wedding and they don’t want him to visit with us at all! Thankfully, he has promised to get away. He won’t miss the rehearsal, the rehearsal dinner, the wedding or the formal brunch the next day. However, he may miss some other ambiguous events (of which they refuse to divulge the details). Hers is a family that seems to value appearances over substance. They don’t want to have to make excuses for why he is missing an event. Don’t they realize that if anyone inquires about his absence at an event, it is perfectly understandable that he would want to see his niece and nephew? They claim that family is sooo important, yet they can’t see that my brother’s family is just as important.

Finally, there’s my brothers-in law and sisters-in-law. My father-in-law, who seems to be losing it, spread the word, to all of them, that Charlie had the mumps. Actually, he had the chickenpox, but that’s not the point. Do you think that even one of these people called to check on the health of their nephew? No! I just don’t get it. I know we are all busy, but are we too busy to make a telephone call to a sick family member to check up on them? I’m just disgusted by the lot of them!

Listen to This!

If you think you or a loved one will ever be in a hospital, listen to Julia Hallisy tell the story of her experience at the bedside of her daughter on NPR’s The Story. She has also written a book called The Empowered Patient. I’m going to get it!

The Power of the Blog: Katie Couric Posts on Our Sister Site!

I also blog for Chicago Moms Blog. Our sister site, New York Moms Blog had a special guest recently — Katie Couric! You can check out what she has to say about the blogging atmosphere and cyberbullying right here.

Personally, I don’t like cyberbullying for obvious reasons. No one likes a bully! However, I posted the following comment to Couric’s post: Back when I was a high school teacher, I began the first day of class discussing the power of language. I asked them if the old adage, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me” is really true. Actually, it is the opposite. I broke my arm when I was a child and I can’t remember that pain. However, some people called me “big nose” in junior high and I still remember how that hurt. Words are VERY powerful. We need to preserve our rights to use them freely. However, just because adults have the right to free speech does not mean minors should. Parents and teachers have a duty to help children understand the power of language before these children earn the right to use it freely. I’m not saying that the answer is to censor or gag these children, I’m just saying that children have a lot to learn before they are able to use words wisely. As far as all this hateful stuff going on at college campuses, I hope that, by now, these kids have been around long enough to recognize bullsh*t when they see it. We need to give them more credit. True, anyone can say anything online these days. But it is that very fact that will negate most of the hatred and lies that are being posted. In this brave “new” world of the internet, we all must learn how to determine fact from fiction.