Thursday, September 27, 2012

Unexpected Weaning

As some of you know, I went on a trip to Denver (alone!) last weekend.  You can read more about my trip here.  I have also recently disclosed that I am pregnant (here). Even though it was a fantastic and spiritually nurturing trip for me, I had an unexpected experience that happened when I milk supply dried up.

Yes, it is true that I have been nursing my 2 and 8 month old son.  We had dropped down to about 3 nursing sessions a day and I made plans to drop another one in the next couple weeks.  Since I have been pregnant, nursing has honestly been uncomfortable and I know it will only become even more so as my belly grows.

A couple weeks ago, I brought up the idea to Tyler about having a "Weaning Party" and he could pick what he wanted to do for his party.  He picked Chuck-e-Cheese with an ice cream cake (specifically mint chip ice cream, sprinkles, and oreos on the sides).  I had him pick a day in November (figuring that by then we would be down to one nursing session) and had him put a sticker on the day.  We've been talking about it and he is excited.

Well, when I returned on Sunday, that was one of the first things that Tyler wanted to do.  "I want 'nums!'" I've been away over an entire weekend twice within the last year and everytime I returned, my body kept my supply going.  Not this time!

Tyler says, "There's nothing in there!"  In an instant, I knew it was gone.  I honestly teared up a bit.  That sticker on the calender was as much for me as it was for Tyler.  Our special time had come to an abrupt end and I found myself unprepared.  Trying to hold it together as to not upset him, I replied enthusiastically "Well, I guess you drank it all gone and we need to have your party REALLY soon now!"  So, this Friday we are celebrating (and mourning a little too) that our relationship is changing whether I am ready or not.

What was YOUR weaning experience like for you and your child?  Any surprises?

Also in transition,

Jen Starks, Owner 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Discovering Idleness

Me at the Farmers Market

If you speak to someone who knows me well, they might tell you that I don't stay still very often.  It's true.  I have the tendency to make daily lists, stay out of the house, and have more than one thing going on at once.  In general, it works well for me but lately it has been getting the best of me.  It has especially been tough with me being in my first trimester and just not being able to do as much as I typically would be doing (see our news here).

Well, this weekend I was given a terrific gift.  Actually, it was a multitude of gifts in which I owe some thank you cards to some people (can you tell that I just added that to a list?!).  I was able to travel to Denver for the weekend...alone.  My Dad and Step-mom gifted me with a free airline ticket within the continental US, my husband agreed to take on the kids for the weekend, my in-laws then took on my husband and kids, and my good friend Bethany let me stay at her house in Denver.  This trip wouldn't have been what it was without all their efforts and made for a budget-friendly weekend.  :)

My goal was to make it a journey where I was being present in the moment, savoring the peace and quiet, reading and journaling, and not putting any expectations on what I "should" be "doing".

I love Denver, the people and the culture.  I love how normal being outside, being active, being healthy, and friendly the atmosphere is.  There is a yoga studio, bike shop, cafe, or health foods store every few blocks.  Bike lanes are common with tons of trails and routes throughout the city.  I definitely overdid it but I probably biked around 50 miles on Saturday.  They have this fantastic program where you can rent a bike at these bike stations all around the city.  It cost me $8 for 24 hours.  I could get around everywhere and enjoy the beautiful view of the mountains and all the many city parks at my own pace.

Denver B Cycle

I went to a great yoga and meditation class, the farmer's market, botanical gardens, spent some time (and money) at a spa, and ate at an extraordinary farm to restaurant.  At each destination, I slowed down.  I found a few spots and just sat.  Here are some pictures I took:
Denver Botanical Gardens
Sugar Creek
Woodhouse Day Spa

I watched the wind blow through the leaves, the relationships between the people who walked by, contemplated about my life and my vision for our family's future. Here I sat and just admired the beauty of this hibiscus and watched a busy bee fly from flower to flower.  Can you see it?

Denver Botanical Gardens
On the bus rides and the flights, I savored the quiet of looking out the window, reading about Mother Theresa, and conversing with the occasional visitor who sat next to me.

I was spiritually filled. We could all use sometime to let go of our expectations of what we think we "should" be doing.  I realized how much I am missing out on my kids on a daily basis, even though I am home with them full-time.  I am looking closer at the little things they do, our conversations, discovering our special moments by looking directly into their spirit-filled eyes.

In peace,

Jen Starks, Owner

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Our Exciting News!

My daughter drew this picture of our family the first week of school.  She's going to be 5 next month, and it has been really fascinating to watch how her artwork has been evolving since she was 2 years old.  Someday, I hope to put together a post showing her dramatic evolution.  But for today, this picture shows her newest stage that began a couple months.  She has been all about drawing people in a story.

So if you look from left to right, there is Daddy (who apparently is really tall!), then me, Rita Clare, Tyler, and then someone in Tyler's arms (our news!). :)  How quick my daughter was to include our new growing baby in her family portrait and I was also surprised to see that she put the baby in Tyler's arms.  She replied that she wanted Tyler to hold the baby, so she could stand next to me. :)

I don't know who is more excited about our news, me or Rita Clare.  Of course, she wants it to be a girl and sets out clothes she grows out of aside for the baby to someday wear.  She has also stepped up to try to take care of me.  She likes to bring me water or Cheerios on my tougher mornings, and is especially taken leadership when I'm not feeling well.  It has been very sweet and reassuring.

Yesterday, we had an ultrasound to check on the due date, since I wasn't confident I was only 8 weeks along.  It turns out my instinct was right.  Instead, I was 9 weeks and 4 days.  It was weird to jump over a week and a half but I am glad I now know with more accuracy.  Silly as this sounds, I enjoy reading each week of development and now I am not a week and a half behind knowing what is happening to our new baby.  Never having had an ultrasound this early, I was really surprised to see how detailed the features of the baby were and that the baby was already moving around in my uterus.  Not only does it feel even more real to our family but it also has personalized the experience for me even more.

Here's our little one:

Estimated Due Date- 4/24/13

Already smitten,

Jen Starks,