Tag Archives: motherhood

Total contentment

New Year’s Eve, we stayed in. Me, my husband and our three sleeping kiddos.

Except one was not sleeping. That would be Alice, our five-year-old with the lion’s mane of golden hair and the disposition of a saint.

A running, leaping, laughing, shy, fearless, popcorn-eating saint.

And, just a side note, don’t underestimate the power of the static zap produced by the running and leaping in the dead of winter. When I see that blond head of hair standing on end as she hurtles towards me, I run. You’d run too.

Anyway, instead of sleeping, she was listening through her cracked bedroom door to the music we had on, playing with her new Christmas presents, and winding her music box.

When Adam and I had finished our dinner of scallops, brussel sprouts, mushrooms, and a Julia Childs sauce that had three sticks of butter in it (heavens help us), little lion-mane came peeping around the door.

Adam went in.

“Dad,” she said, “I like everything. I like sleeping. I like eating. I like playing. I just like everything.”

Hearing that was an arrow to the heart. One of those piercing feelings you get when something is so beautiful, and so fleeting, and so precious, and so fragile all at the same time.

One of Adam’s biggest fears when we decided to take the leap and see if we could have kiddos was that our kiddos would be unhappy. So the fact that for five years Alice has been so happy is, to me, so beautiful and wonderful, and a gift to him as much as to her.

My mother’s heart can’t help but ache at the thought that it can’t last. No one’s life is 100% happy. Eventually, there will be something she doesn’t like–a teacher. A kid at school. A job. Who knows. But I pray that the joyful contentment she has now will last through it all. That it will be a strong foundation in her spirit. That she will be unshakable, because her feet are planted on the One who gives the gift of joy.

Shine on, little Lion Mane.


My Favorite Nursing Bras

I love nursing.

I haven’t talked about it in a while, but what a magical, wonderful thing.

The thing that can make the magic fizzle a little, though, is clothes: the wrong ones. When I’m wearing the wrong bra, or the wrong shirt or dress and it becomes a struggle to get the baby to the foodsource, well, no one is happy. Babies aren’t exactly known for their patience, and when your milk is starting to let down, well, you gotta move fast or it can become a miserable, damp soakfest instead of a cuddly, warm snugglefest.

So it’s important to wear the right thing.

Especially the right bra. Because besides issues of easy access for baby, you want to be comfortable. Breastfeeding can mean tenderness, engorgement, that weird tingly feeling (sometimes painful for me) during milk letdowns–feelings that by themselves aren’t always the most pleasant. Add to that a bra that isn’t comfortable, and it’s just . . . bad.

So for any of you moms-to-be out there, I wanted to shout out my top two favorite nursing bras.

1. Lamaze Cotton Spandex Nursing Bra (here is the link for a 2-pack)

I bought these bras on my sister Heidi’s recommendation over 3 years ago, and used them all throughout nursing Alice. I also wore them almost exclusively this past summer while nursing Ben. I still wear them sometimes during the day, but religiously wear them every night since they are the most comfortable nursing bra I’ve ever worn, hands-down. Here are the pluses and minuses to consider:

-They are soft, stretchy, and since they’re just fabric, there are no plastic pieces or hooks to irritate the skin.

-They pull aside so quickly! It’s the bra that offers me the fastest baby-to-breast connection–no hooking/unhooking/why-won’t-this-dang-hook-come-unhooked drama.

-They’re awesome for co-sleeping if you’re one of those (yep, I was) that likes to leave things open to baby in the middle of the night.

-Potential negative: they don’t offer a lot of support (no wires, just fabric), so they may not be ideal to wear during the day if you’re well-endowed on top. Of course, I missed the endowment train when it rolled through, so it’s not a problem for me.

-No special care required during laundering–just toss it in the wash and the dryer.

I highly, highly recommend these. I own four (two black, one white, one grey). After three years of heavy use they’re getting a tiny bit stretched out, but they’re still my absolute fave even in their current well-worn state.

2. Bravado Seamless Nursing Bra

If I’m not wearing the Lamaze bra, I’m probably wearing one of these. No wires, so it’s very comfortable, and it provides a little more padding and shaping, which is nice during the day when I go to work and wear clothes that are not my PJ’s. It’s very soft and has conformed to my body over time so that it hugs and supports me in just the right way. It has the typical hook-on-strap system to detach the cup part and pull it down for nursing sessions, but I can usually do it one-handed. If for some reason my hands and the hook are having a misunderstanding, it’s stretchy enough that I just pull the whole dang thing down.

Bravado just came out with a new design–their PR team sent me a free bra to try and I have worn it every day since I got it about a month ago, no joke. It’s the Body Silk Seamless Yoga Nursing Bra (available here). It’s very similar to their existing Seamless Nursing Bra (i.e., awesome).

I have four of these two–black, beige, pink, and the free yoga bra they sent me in grey. Having an abundance of bras is a huge plus especially early on in nursing (and if you’re a first-time mom) because when both you and new baby are learning to nurse, you can really move through that laundry if you know what I mean.

I haven’t shared a pic of my little Benjamin-bear recently, but his rolls have gotten monumental.

photo 2

What a little dumpling.