Sunday, June 24, 2012


I will never ever forget the moments when my daughters first latched on to me, minutes old, as I fed them from my breast for the first time. It was the most amazing, natural, life changing experience. 
I will also never forget the moment my 2 1/2 year old was feeding and looked up looked up at me, puzzled and said, "Mama you're empty. You have nothing left." Sigh. Kid, you ain't just whistling Dixie. 
Now I've said before, I'm incredibly blessed that both my girls are efficient, enthusiastic diners and besides the occasional love bite it's been smooth sailing in the breast feeding department from the get.

Feeding Time at the Zoo
Hello, my name is Jenny Lee and I've been breast feeding for the past 2 years and 9 months and I see no end in sight. I haven't slept in almost as long and I feel like a crazy person. I nursed all through my second pregnancy and am now nursing a 14 month old AND an almost 3 year old in tandem for most of the day. Nora is absolutely right. I have nothing left. Well, technically I do. It's crazy! I can barely get through yoga without my tatas becoming veiny rocks. Let alone go out for the night! I recently went to an event with my husband and by the end of the night I looked like a 'ho vying for Flava Flav's affection. It's like I have 3 month old twins. Insanity. But I'm so incredibly torn. I know I'm not through nursing Pats. I want her to have breast milk until 2 if I can and she's still interested. So I feel the old tricks of vinegar or lemon juice on the nips to deter Nora is out. And even though it's a pain sometimes, Nora is CLEARLY not through with me. Am I naive in thinking she knows best when it comes to this? I don't want to deny her of my milk for my own convenience. I'm a crazy person, right? Ugh! My mom says I'm being selfish. That I continue to breast feed them for ME, not them. I really don't even know how to respond to that. Besides being afraid I'm gonna gain weight and my period will return and I'll go through extreme hormonal swings and have a nervous breakdown due to this trifecta, I don't know what she could possibly be talking about. Oh, wait... I don't know. Maybe she's right. 
3 weeks and 2 days later...
I did it. They say it takes 2 weeks for something to become a habit. Yeah, I don't know who "THEY" are either. But they say it. Like if you do hot yoga everyday for two weeks it becomes a habit. Or if you have a drink with lunch every day for two weeks. A habit. Not that I would know anything about either of those things... Anyhoo- I didn't wanna jinx it, so I waited an extra week. And I can say with absolute confidence: NORA IS WEENED! After 15 months of being double teamed daily by two pint sized piranhas, I'm officially down to nursing just one baby. It's strange. If I hadn't kept an account of that first week, I'd think it was no big whoop. Just another stage you go through as a parent. Something you GET through. And yes, I got through it. But it sucked. It sucked HARD. And then it just...didn't anymore. 
Heres's a little taste of how it all went down in the drama I referred to as NO BOOBIES FOR NORA or #NBFN:
DAY 1: 
A random Saturday. My 19 year old niece is in town some have some back up to help look after Pats if things get nasty, and I just decide to go for it. We didn't talk about it. I had no strategy. Just jumping in. Cutting her off cold turkey. Without any warning. I'm a horrible person. We stayed out all day as a distraction. We got home tonight and she's exhausted and a little warm. She tries to nurse and I say no. She doesn't really fight too much and settles for an extra cuddle and some agave-laced soy milk in a baby (sippy) cup. Hm. Maybe this won't be so bad after all... #NBFN
DAY 2:
Nora has a full blown fever of 103 and hasn't pooped all day. She keeps asking for boobies. I keep refusing. She's still not putting up much of a fight. She cries for 3-5 minutes, then settles for a cuddle. But she's so drowsy and pathetic from the fever and bloating, she's not doing much of anything. I feel terrible all I want to do is nurse her back to health. Literally. Maybe I should just quit and start this whole weaning thing once she's back to normal... No. Staying strong. #NBFN
DAY 3:
I'm trying to keep her busy, but it's raining and she's officially sick. She's NEVER sick. And she STILL hasn't pooped. I'm beyond guilty. I know boobies would just make it all better. But I'm not giving in. #NBFN
DAY 4:
I'm just...mean. I'm home alone and I can't just leave Nora downstairs while I nurse Pats in private. If I go into the other room she KNOWS what I'm doing. It's like eating brownie batter in front of someone who's being forced to lose 5 pounds against their will. She's obviously feeling better cause she's beginning to fight. Papa's on duty as she wakes up almost every hour through the night, screams "Mama! BOOBIES!" for 15 minutes then passes out. I have to listen from my room as I snuggle and nurse Pats. I hate this. But deep down I know this too shall pass... #NBFN
DAY 5: 
"O. PEN. YOUR. SHIIIIIIIIIIIRT!" "GI. ME. SOME. BOOBIIIIIEEEEEES!" Her fever broke and she's fightin' hard. Screaming for up to 35 minutes at a time. It sounds like Mardi Gras in here. With less beads. And more booze. As for her constipation....she did eventually go, but my brilliant plan backfired on me. Literally. In an effort to prove to Nora how DELICIOUS prune juice and dried apricots are, I am now sharting. But standing strong. #NBFN 
DAY 6: 
It's 3:30 am. Why am I doing this again? I've completely lost sight of the reason. I lay in her little bed as she paces manically around her room and cries "Boobies, Booobies, BOOOOOOOOOOOOBIES!!!!" She's sweating, out of breath. This has been going on for 1 hour and 12 minutes, without intermission. I'm sick to my stomach. Not giving my child what she's begging for when it's right at my fingertips, well, nipple tips (?) whatever... Something that is healthy and natural and comforting ... Ugh! It's not like she's crying to stay up and watch Showtime and binge on Milky Ways. She doesn't even want to snuggle me at this point. She hates me. I'm so sad. If it were up to me, we'd eat cupcakes everyday for breakfast, she'd never go to school, and I'd nurse her till she got her first period. Wait. ISN'T it up to me? Damn you...society! And...Social Services! You ruin everything! #NBFN
Day #8: 
HO. LEE. SHIZ NUGGETS. She slept through the night! She slept through the mutha-humpin NIGHT! I sleep trained her at 12 months old. It took in one session. It stuck for almost 4 months. Since then shes been in bed with me, draining my dry every 2-3 hours. This is EPIC. Now, granted, she slept through the night on a blanket on the living room floor. But it counts. It counts. #NBFN
Day #9:
She pulled down my shirt and called Pats over. Like a dog. "C'mon, Pats. Time for boobies. C'mon." Slept through the night again. On the floor. Like a dog. #NBFN
Day #10:
Not so much as a whimper of "The B Word" all day. 
Day 11, 12, 13, and beyond...I mean we did it. Its done it really happened. We don't talk about it. It Pats gets boobies. Nora doesn't. No fits. No fights. Well, not about boobies anyway.
It's crazy. I was so nervous that if I weaned her, Nora wouldn't love me as much anymore. Terrified we'd loose our special bond. But it's the opposite. It's like we've become CLOSER. Instead of just whipping a tit out every time she gets a little upset, we actually have to talk things through and COMMUNICATE about what's really bothering her. Imagine that. In my guilt, I've started to find special things for us to do together. Just us. Art projects, trips to the store, things that only "big girls" get to do. And it's totally working. And that's that. I have absolutely no regrets about nursing Nora until almost 3 years old, and absolutely no regrets about stopping when I did. 
Now we just need to get her off the living room floor and into an actual bed. Then, we need to get her out of diapers full time. I'm REEEEEALLY looking forward to that. Especially as a New York City Mama. I can't wait to stop every hour while we're out and about and wedge my double stroller into a Starbucks bathroom where I can then hover her above a toilet seat that a homeless man no doubt jacked off on moments before. But that, my friends, is a blog of a different color. A tale all it's own. Stay tuned. 
Grown up Girl Bonding. Boobie-Free. 
Nursing two babes, pounding the pavement, hitting the hot yoga room, surviving in New York. I'm eating for FUEL. I'm starving and dying of thirst as soon as I wake up in the morning and for most of the day. But I refuse to grab crap. Except for my almost daily Black and White cookie. And my nightcap slice [of pizza] anytime Jeremy and I are out on the town. Neither of which I consider crap! Anyhoo, point being, I need things on hand to grab quickly that taste really good, are in someway healthy or appear to be so (I believe half of everything's in your head anyway), and fill me up and sustain me for as long as possible. These are two recent recipes I am obsessed with. 
1 lb pasta  I originally used a gluten-free brown rice penne for this dish. It was awesome. I had never used it before, but had some gluten-free guests coming so i gave it a try. Super yummy. However, I'm not crazy about the rice pasta straight from the fridge. I prefer it room temp. Thats just me. Feel free to use and short cut pasta you like.  Rotini, penne, farfalle, whatever tickles your pickle that day. I will always vote for a multi-grain or whole wheat, though. More fiber and protein to keep ya going! Also, I think, a better match for the veggies. 
1 small onion
10 garlic cloves (I know that sounds CRAZY! 10 garlic cloves. But trust me when they're roasted up they are so sweet and mellow. Delicious. And they won't burn a hole in your stomach, blow out your ass, or make your breath reek.
2 carrots
1 c broccoli florets
1 c cauliflower florets
3/4 c roasted red peppers
1 ear of corn off the cob
Now, these just happen to be the veggies I had on had that day. Asparagus would be awesome in this. Mushrooms, artichoke hearts, zucchini, almost anything would be amazing. 
Baby arugula I'd say a good handful. About a cup or so. If you don't have or don't like arugula, fresh chopped baby spinach would work fine too. I like the arugula because it's a little peppery and spicy. 
Olive oil
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Fill a large pot with water and a generous amount of kosher salt and set it n the stove to boil. Slice onion and de-cob corn and throw into a skillet over medium-low heat with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Keep an eye on it, stirring occasionally till soft and caramelized. While thats going...Place peeled, whole garlic cloves on a piece of aluminum foil. Lightly toss with olive oil, salt and pepper, and wrap loosely. Set aside on a baking sheet. Cut up carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower (or whatever veg you're using). Scatter on that same baking sheet and, again, olive oil, salt, pepper. Toss the whole sheet into the oven for about 20 minutes. I actually usually do the garlic in my toaster oven. I pop it in before i start anything else and the whole house smells amazing! I'm obsessed with toaster ovens. I seriously use it very day. 
Ok. Cook pasta according to package directions, usually 8-10 minutes. Drain. Now any time I make any kind of pasta, pasta salad, Mac and cheese, I always reserve a small Tupperware's worth. With 2 girls under 3 in the house it never hurts to have some extra plain pasta ready to go in the fridge. Ok, veggies are done. Pasta is done. Now we just toss and serve. I like to put all the veg in the bottom of a large bowl and toss with half the dressing, add the pasta and toss with the rest. Then I stir in the arugula at the very end. I still like it with a little bite to it, not too soggy. I Ok. So here's the dressing:
2/3 c olive oil
1/3 c red wine vinegar
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp agave nectar (you could prob substitute honey and it would be fine, but I like the agave)
Salt and pepper to taste 
Whisk it all together. This is so yummy. Use it on salads, chicken, fish, steamed or grilled veggies...whatever. Fresh and delicious! You could also add a teaspoon or more of fresh tarragon, chives, thyme for a delicious herb vinaigrette. 
I'm allergic to nuts. And peanuts. So it's hard for me to grab any old granola bar of the grocery store shelf and feel 100% confident that it's not gonna kill me. I was so happy when I found Sunflower seed butter or SUNBUTTER. In some stores it can be a bit pricey, but Trader Joes's their own and it rocks. I use it all the time. These bars, I'm sure, aren't low in calories or carbs or fat, but I need the calories like most moms who are running around all day. They're full of good fat and fiber from tons of dried fruit. I don't know what a nutritionist would say, but I say they're delicious and I know EXACTLY what's in them. And that's a big deal to me. And your kiddos will love them too!
2 egg whites
1/2 c SUNBUTTER (like I said, I'm allergic to peanut butter and all other nut butters. If you want to substitute, go ahead. But then they really wouldn't be called sunflower bars anymore...)
1/3 c brown sugar
1/4 c honey
1/2 c (1 stick) melted butter
2 c old-fashioned oats
1/2 c roasted sunflower seeds (salted or unsalted, up to you. I like salted!)
1/2 c each: craisins, raisins, dried apricots (again, this is what I happened to have on hand. Almost any dried fruit would be fine. Apples, mangoes, pineapple, papaya, coconut. Just dice up anything bigger so all the fruit is about the same size.)
1/4 c semi sweet choc chips
1/4 c white choc chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Liberally spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray (same size pan you would make a regular lasagna in). In a big bowl, whisk egg whites until frothy. Add in SUNBUTTER, brown sugar, honey and butter and whisk well. Sir in oats, sunflower seeds and fruit until well mixed with a big spoon, then fold in the chocolate chips. Spread mixture into your prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes. Let cool completely on the counter, then transfer to the fridge. When is fully set and cold, cut into bars and individually wrap if you wish. I store them in the fridge. They'd be fine to throw in your diaper bag if you plan on eating them that day. Otherwise, I'd keep them cold. They also freeze well and are so delish crumbled on top of vanilla ice cream or stirred into yogurt! 
PS: I want you all to check out TRENDY NEW YORK MOMS on Facebook. Whether you're a New York mom or not, whether if you're a MOM or not this is a great page providing tips on fashion, trends, affirmations...I know you'll love it if you "LIKE" it! So do it. Now! 
The Original To-Go Cup