The Guilt

IMG_1850fWhy do I always feel guilty? Why do I always feel that I am not doing enough? Why do I always think that the grass is always greener on the other side? As we approach the six month-mark of exclusive breastfeeding (so proud of myself), and four sharp teeth, I am contemplating the idea of changing things up. I have discussed about potentially getting a pump with some of you, and still haven’t. I am beyond exhausted. I have lost an amazing amount of weight (which is great, don’t get me wrong, but I feel weak), my nipples are sore, and I am just not enjoying it as much. We are still co-sleeping, and she still nurses frequently at night.

I feel the need to mention that I am writing this post during a growth-spurt and therefore, I am very sensitive about the issue. After a couple nights of constant nursing, I am ready to tackle tonight but I can’t help and wonder: Have I hit rock bottom? Is this it? Can I keep going like that for a few more months?

One part of me wants to stop breastfeeding and feels extremely guilty for not wanting to continue to do what is best for my daughter. And the other part of me wants the best for me (mentally and physically speaking). It is just me and the girls 24/7 most of the times as my husband works away, and although we have family here, I care for them exclusively. I dream of a day off. I feel bad about it but it would make me feel so good – walking around, light and free. I would sleep in, read an entire book, window-shop without the stress of being as quick as possible so that my babies aren’t too cranky by the end of it, create, paint, do nothing.

What does it have to do with breastfeeding? Yes, good point. Well, I feel like I am losing myself. I don’t want to be cranky anymore because my child bites me when I feed her. I don’t want to be cranky because I don’t have time for myself in the evening. I don’t want to be cranky because I don’t have uninterrupted sleep. But when she is in her own bed, I can’t find sleep because I miss her.

My first baby drank formula when she turned 2 months old. I wanted the best for her. And I want the best for the new baby. But I know more. I have grown as a parent, and a mother, and it is hard to ignore the simple facts. Breast is best. It is not going to damage her – Sixtine is a beautiful toddler, but I can’t quite tell myself: “Oh, I am tired, I’ll just give her formula. It doesn’t matter that it isn’t best for her.” Pumping would be ideal. Unfortunately, it takes up so much time and energy – I am afraid it might make things even more complicated than they are now.

I am at a complete loss.

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Co-sleeping, bed-sharing, or sleep-sharing.

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Last night, I decided to put Victoire in her own bed, in her own room. I am not sure what triggered the decision – she was starting to fuss and I wasn’t ready to go to sleep but didn’t want to leave my bedroom either (Daddy was away) so I thought: “mon beau chat*”, tonight is the night. You are going to sleep by yourself, like a big girl. I kissed her and wished her goodnight. I left the room and felt sick to my stomach. I wasn’t enjoying not having her with me – as we always do. I felt incomplete. I missed her. I went back. Picked her up. And we had a very good night sleep.

I realize that I am not ready to part with her – exclusively breastfeeding her has created a bond so strong that I feel I can’t let go of her for too long. But I need to find a happy medium, I would like to spend some time with my husband and just cuddle, and dream together without a squirmy little individual in between us.

If you have any experience co-sleeping and would like to share tips or “I hear you” type of thoughts and feelings, I am all ears. Especially if you have experience breastfeeding without co-sleeping! I am not even sure that it is what I want. I just know I need to find a better way of balancing one-on-one time with my husband (or myself for that matter, sometimes, I just want time alone) and cuddly-time with baby.

*I nicknamed her my pretty cat.

Sleeping Nursling

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Toddler Practical Life Activity: Flower Arranging

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Nature Walk. Sixtine, Victoire and myself went for a nice nature walk this afternoon. I thought we could all benefit from the “fresh” air and that it would be a great way of introducing flowers in our “curriculum” if we have such a thing.  Yes, Sixtine has been showing a lot of interest in flowers lately; first by blowing dandelions, then picking up every living flowers possible.

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Material. A basket, a pair of scissors (although I barely used them – I had to put them away for obvious reason. Silly Mama.), hat and water and we were all set. I let Sixtine wandered around and try not to lead the way too much, letting her explore her own way. I gave her the basket and told her to store her findings in it. I like the rock in there.

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Set up our flower workshop. I used a cutting board (the only tray in this house is very – too? – colorful aka distracting and plastic. I plan to get some wooden trays when I can). A vase (tall glass in this case), and a pitcher (measuring jug – can you tell I am on a budget?) is all she needed to make a beautiful bouquet.

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Pouring water into the vase. Proved to be the most challenging of the activity. Practice makes perfect! I love the concentration look on her face and the movement of her hand. She tried really hard to pour without spilling. Love it.

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Gently place flowers into vase. A couple of flowers she picked got tired from the trip and the heat so they didn’t have an obvious top and bottom. So she misplaced them and eventually got rid of them.

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So proud of my little florist! Call us if you have any flower arrangements needs for your events.

Clean up.

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Display and enjoy.

Toddler Cooking: Mixed Berries And Banana Smoothie

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Ingredients + Recipe for Mixed Berries and Banana Smoothie:

  • 1 cup frozen mixed berries
  • 1 frozen ripe banana
  • 1/2 cup of quick rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt (we used organic)
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Shake it up
  • Enjoy!

Little Miss Yellow Rubber Boots At The Beach

Introducing Retro Love Photography: Fine Art Prints {giveaway}

HOW WE CAME ACROSS EACH OTHER

I met Nastasia 9 years ago. We were both working as nannies in London, we were young, wild and free. We both had a passion for photography, languages and traveling. Today, we are both happily married to foreigners: she moved to the US, I moved to Canada. She managed to turn her love for photography into a full-time home based business and I couldn’t be more proud of her. I love her and I think everyone should hear about her and what she does.

THE ARTIST BEHIND RETRO LOVE PHOTOGRAPHY SAYS HI

nastasia buttonShe says: “Hi! I’m Nastasia, a 26 year old photographer based in sunny Orange, California. Photography has always been a big passion of mine, and after growing a nice collection of photographs from all my travels, I decided to start an Etsy shop in the summer of 2011. What started as a side hobby of selling some fine art prints has since grown into a full time business that I run from my home studio. My art can now be found on multiple mediums such as Iphone cases, pillow covers, photo wood blocks and jewelry. All of these products are  handmade by me with lots of love!” 

SIXTINE AND THE LITTLE THINGS’ SELECTION

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PROMOTIONAL COUPON CODE FOR ALL MY READERS!

All my readers will be offered 10% off on pillow covers and wood blocks using SIXTINE10 and 20% off on everything else using SIXTINE20.

GIVEAWAY! 

And because I love you that much, we are also running a giveaway contest. One lucky winner will receive an art wood block with picture of choice. Similar as these one, available in black or white, all art wood blocks come ready to hang. Beautiful nursery and home decor, it would also make a wonderful gift for a new baby! “Your first breath took ours away”, “She will move mountains”, “Young wild and free”…and so on!

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To enter the giveaway, please do as follow:

You have until Tuesday, May 28th to participate! Giveaway open internationally. Good luck to you all! And a special thank you to Nastasia, founder of Retro Love Photography for her fabulousness!

CONGRATULATIONS LAUREN JAMES (KNACKERED HOUSEWIFE). You win “She will move mountains” in white! Thank you to all participants and stay tuned for the next giveaway! 

Put On Your Sunday Clothes Emile et Ida & Gap

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Put On Your Sunday Clothes Petit Bateau

Sixtine And Her Terrible “Twos”

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This seemingly angelic little girl turned 18 months about a month ago, and she has well entered the terrible twos. I will say that the terrible twos are, rather than a set age, a state of mind. Sixtine says no a million times a day. And I, say no a million times a day. She says no when she means yes. She says no when she means no. I don’t think she realizes what she is saying no to – most times, she says no for the sake of it. I know it is her way of showing me/us that she has become her own person. And I am happy for her.  But I really hope that it will pass rather sooner than later.  I have been working on redirecting her positively – didn’t think it would be so hard to break the habit of saying no! (Ie: “Sixtine, don’t scream.” Instead “Sixtine, use your little voice.” ) but it definitely needs improving.Yes, I have to confess, sometimes, I react/ed childishly – trying to be the loudest. But a fault half confessed is half redressed, isn’t it? Reading on the subject has given me the opportunity to step back and realize that the most important thing was to keep calm (and have a cupcake)!

How did you get through the terrible twos? Aside from eating cupcakes?