I Tri and Craft

thoughts from a mother of boys, a marathoner, a triathlete, a crafter, a wife, and a scientist

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Look! It’s her Teet!!!

I would like to warn you this post is about breastfeeding.

I understand not everyone has the same views on breastfeeding and breastfeeding in public.  This post is about something I recently experienced.  These are my opinions, and I hope that you respect them, even if you don’t agree, as I respect yours.

At the end of November 2012 our zoo welcomed a new member to the elephant family.  This is the second child of two of our elephants, this one a girl named Lilly.  Elephants will nurse exclusively for the first three months.  After a year the young elephant has the ability to feed itself independently but will still nurse till around three years of age.  It is thought that suckling after two years helps maintain growth rate and body condition.

Mama and Baby Lilly in March 2013

Mama and Baby Lilly in March 2013

Since Lilly is still less then nine months she is still nursing fairly regular.

The other week the boys and I were visiting the zoo and were inside the elephant exhibit.  We have a building where we can go inside to observe them, usually eating and this is where we went.

Both mom, Rose-Tu, and Lilly, were inside eating when we were there.  Lilly draws a pretty big crowd, as she is still little and really cute.

Mama and Baby Lilly July 2013

Mama and Baby Lilly July 2013

Also watching the elephants were two women who had at least four children between them, one was still an infant less then three months old.  The others were a girl around the age of 10 and two kids about 3 and 5.  I don’t know their story, or if there was other kids with them.  These are just the ones I saw them interacting with.  I do know that the older woman was mother to the three older kids, at least, by the way she was addressing them and the things she said.

This woman, the older one, talked in a very loud patronizing voice.  The kind of voice that she thinks she is educating and helping, but really just comes off as condescending.

I couldn’t help but notice these things and think about them while trying to watch the elephants because she was just so loud and made her self known to everyone.

Now, the reason I bring this up is because while sitting there watching the Ian and the elephants this woman exclaims “Look, [someone’s name]! It’s her TEET!  The baby elephant is feeding!  OH MY GOD!  Isn’t it the most beautiful thing?  Come look!”  She was practically yelling it, and the room echos.

It made me feel embarrassed.  And she wasn’t even talking to me, or about me.

My baby is still breastfeeding and is under a year old.  I have always thought it very important that babies get breast milk till at least a year old.  By the time they no longer need milk as a meal, and their bodies can digest cow’s milk, it is the time to ween them off mother’s milk.

The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding until six months of age, and then to breastfeed with the addition of foods until at least two years of age.  The main reason for this recommendation is due to the antibodies that are passed from mother to child through breast milk, and to maintain adequate nutrition.

My personal belief, remember this is my opinion, is that it is not necessary after a year.  My children get adequate nutrition from their diet and we don’t live in an area with out appropriate medical care.  So I have made the decision to completely ween my children off breast milk after twelve months.

That doesn’t mean that on their first birthday I cut them off.  It is a gradual process, with Ian it took a two months.  But shortly after that we also eliminated bottles, so there was no need for it.

I think everyone who can, should breastfeed their babies.  Again my opinion, but I don’t judge those who have decided it is not for them, or who simply can’t.  You have to do what you think is best and what works for your family.

I think breastfeeding is great, and wonderful, and yes also beautiful.  But I also think it is something personal between a mother and her baby.

This is why I had such an issue with this woman and her drawing attention to the nursing elephant.  I wouldn’t want someone to walk by me while I was feeding my baby and shout and point at us.

I agree, that it was wonderful and amazing that the baby elephant was nursing, but I could help but feel that I was invading their privacy.  That we were all intruding on something so personal.

OK, yes I understand that elephants don’t understand English, and these ones are used to people standing on the other side of the glass watching them, but that doesn’t mean we have to be evasive of their personal lives.  Does it?

Ian and the Elephants

Ian and the Elephants

I am pretty sure the elephants didn’t notice or minded.  But I couldn’t help but think that if I had tried to breastfeed Sid while sitting there, she would have made a big deal of it, or at least drawn attention to the fact.  I know crazy thoughts, but what else do expect from me.

We just ended World Breastfeeding Week (Aug 1-7) and it got me thinking about all these issues.

It is hard enough for us mothers to breastfeed that others shouldn’t also make it social awkward for us.  Especially if we are nursing in public and accidentally have a some boob showing!

Happy Breastfeeding!




Bye-Bye Binky. How we weaned the pacifier

The pacifier, the binky, the mouth plug, the whatever you call it…

As parents we love them and hate them.

We love how they calm our babies down and gets them to stop crying.

We hate how dependent they become to them, how they look blocking that cute little smile, and how it can be a nightmare to wean the baby off them.

This would be such a sweet picture of Ian, with out that binky!

This would be such a sweet picture of Ian, with out that binky!

We, as parents, can also become addicted to the pacifier.  It is a quick, easy, fail safe way to sooth an upset child.

Some parents are totally opposed to them, some insist their children have one, while some just let the infant decided.

The American Academy of Pediatrics have concluded that pacifiers, among other steps, might help to reduce the instances in SIDS for babies who are more vulnerable to it.  They recommend introducing it only after the first month if baby is  breast-feeding and for no longer then 12 months.  They also say not to force your child to take one; my nephew would have nothing to do with one.

When I was pregnant with Ian, I had decided I would not force the issue one way or the other.

Ian was four weeks early and had a hard time nursing.  He wouldn’t/couldn’t latch on.  But he wanted to suckle on something so I had asked one nurse for a pacifier.  She flat-out refused me.  She told me it would only make things worse for him and eating. (She was also not very nice about our issues breast-feeding)  So I waited until shift change and asked the new nurse.

She brought Ian one of the Soothie pacifiers that they give out at most hospitals.  It is designed more like a bottle nipple and made out of one piece of silicon.

For about a week I had to pump and then feed Ian with a syringe, tube and a finger in his mouth.  This is not really doable with one person.  So instead of a finger I would have him suck on his pacifier, while I plunged the syringe releasing milk in his mouth.  It was these two actions together that helped him figure out how to suckle to get milk.

However, Ian became increasingly dependent on the pacifier to calm him and to help him to sleep.


I became more dependent on it so he wouldn’t cry in public.


I figured I would wean him off the pacifier around two-years old.  But we had a lot of new things happening to him, we made a trip out to the east coast, he was getting a sibling, his dad was working out-of-town, he was changing to a toddler bed and getting potty trained.  So I figured I could let him keep his binky.

Ian and Baby Sid.  Both with binkys...

Ian and Baby Sid. Both with a binky…

I decided to wait till he turned three.  I am not sure why we are dependent on some kind of mile-stone to in order to make this type of change.  But that was the one I chose.

When he was approaching his third birthday we discussed what would be different about this age.  One of the things I told him was that he wouldn’t get his binky anymore.  I should note that after the age of two I didn’t really let him have it unless it involved sleeping or sickness.

I decided that we would go to Build a Bear and he could pick out a stuffed animal.  He would then have to say good-bye to the binky and place it in the stuffed animal.  That way he would always have it, just not in his mouth.

Shortly after his birthday we were going to the mall for Easter Bunny pictures and he decided that he was ready to trade his binky for a stuffed animal.

He decided on a penguin, he loves penguins, from the movie Happy Feet.  It has a bow tie on that lights up.


He chose sound box that plays the Darth Vader march from Star Wars.

ByeByeBinky02 ByeByeBinky03

The employee had him give his binky a kiss, say good-bye to it and place it the penguin.

ByeByeBinky04 ByeByeBinky05

It was great that she had him put it there, so it didn’t appear to him that she was taking it away.

ByeByeBinky06 ByeByeBinky07

He went to sleep the first night without any issues, but he wanted his binky when he woke up.  He was pretty upset when he couldn’t get it out of the penguin.  When he was more awake, he didn’t find it quite so upsetting.

I would give him his penguin and explain again how his binky is inside it, because he was a big boy and didn’t need it in his mouth anymore.

He has only asked for it a couple of times since.  I thought it would be an issue because his brother now uses one, but he understands that Baby Sid is a baby and that is why he gets one.  Although, Ian does like to take it away from Baby Sid when he wakes up.  Ian says “Baby Sid not need dis, he awake now” and then puts it in the baby crib.

I have decided that I will take away Sid’s around his first birthday.  By that time he no longer needs it to learn to suckle and needs to learn to sooth himself with out it.  Plus I feel he is too young to put up a protest about it.

Baby Sid's first Halloween, with a binky

Baby Sid’s first Halloween, with a binky

I also think it will be easier on Sid because he doesn’t really depend on it like Ian did.  In fact when he was younger he didn’t really like it.  I am also trying to limit the amount of time he has it.

There is a book written by Melissa Burnett called The Paci Fairy.  It is a story book designed to help wean your child off the pacifier with some tips to help you.  On her website you can download a form for your child to write a letter to the Paci Fairy.  I have not read this book, but I do know someone who has used it.

Whatever your feelings are about the pacifier, make the choices that are right for you and your family.

Click here to read the AAP guide lines for pacifier use.

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Pinterest Tuesday Feb 5

On the first Tuesday of every month I will post about something I found on Pinterest that I actually did!  Sometimes it will be about a craft project, sometimes about food and sometimes about a ‘miracle’ cleaning product.

So this months Pinterest Post is actually something I didn’t make, but enlisted my to do so for me.  While I probably could have fumbled my way through this project, it was much quicker to ask my mom.

It is all about nursing!

I saw this pin:

and knew I needed to do this.

One of the things I hated about nursing was the exposed stomach and/or back.  I have a few nursing tops that fix that problem, but they are expensive.

I also have a few of these nursing tank tops from Target.  Which I love, but let’s be honest, there is no support for anyone larger than a B cup.  Plus they are thick and so not very good for wearing under shirts.  But I do live in them at home.

I have a nursing cover, so that takes care of the front, but I still hated thinking my back was exposed.  Not to mention when I am pumping, while no one can really see my torso, it gets uncomfortable and cold.  I thought this was a great solution.

I am not going to post a tutorial because I want you to visit her site to get it.  It is really easy to do, you don’t really even need to know how to sew.

Basically you start with a tank top/cami, I got mine at Forever 21 and only paid about $3 a piece.  I guess everyone knew about their cheap cami prices, but it was news to me!

I then printed the tutorial out for my mom and gave her the camis.

This is what she gave back to me:


My finished cami

I  had her add a little bit of elastic to the back to help hold it up.  They actually stay up just fine as long as the tank is not too big, but it makes me feel better to have the elastic.

Pinterest Cami02

How my cami hooks to my bra

I just attach to my bra and go!  They are not really good for layering if you have a low-cut top because they do sit kind of low on your bust line.

The tutorial is really easy to follow and these are so easy to make!

My mom is so handy with a sewing machine!  I also had my mom make me one of these when I had my first son:

She just used whatever fabric and bra clasp she had around. It fits more like a bikini top then the ones you can buy.  If you are handy with a sewing machine it is fairly easy to make.  Sorry, I wish I had directions on how to do it, but my mom was the one who put it together.  If I have her make me another one I will post it.  She really made me more than one, but I ended up giving them away!

This is another great tutorial for us nursing mamas:

Source: hourglassy.com via Dawn Marie on Pinterest

It is hard to find a good bra, let alone a good nursing one.  So it is great that you can take a normal bra that fist the way it should and turn it in to a nursing one.  I haven’t made this one yet, but the tutorial  makes it look easy.

Happy Pinning