There have definatly been some low points over the last few days.
The weekend went well. Saturday, I took Natalie to the craft fair over at the high school I worked at for a couple of hours and then we went food shopping. We walked around the fair once, but I barely looked at anything since it was hard to navigate our terrible stroller through the crowd. But, we stuck around for a while after looking around to spend time with my friend who still teaches there. I gave Natalie her lunch and let her run around the lobby. Shopping was pretty straight forward. Natalie took both her naps in the car, first on the way to the school and then on the way home from the store. Since we were gone the whole middle portion of the day, it was the first day we didn't nurse at all. (Meanwhile, Mike was home doing the lawn one more time for winter and vacuuming).
Sunday is when we spent a lot of time together, but it was a little sad that Saturday's weather had been nicer. We went to the mall to return some things to Sears, then let Natalie run around. Next, we went to the park. We fed the ducks and then brought Natalie over to the equipment. It was the first time she really enjoyed being on the swing and slide. She ran around some, too, of course. She slept on the way back to the house. The high point of this day for me was getting my birthday present from Mike (and Natalie) in the mail. I had three guesses as to what it was since he had told me it was kind of expensive: ereader, ipod, or digital camera. I was leaning hard towards ipod because we had discussed the downsides to ereaders. Mike told me to open it early because he knew I would want to use it right away. I'm glad that he did because we took lots of great pictures at the park. Also, if we had waited until my birthday, we wouldn't have gotten to use the camera on Thanksgiving since 1) we'd be opening it more than half way through the day and 2) the battery wouldn't have been charged.
The evening of Sunday though, about 10 minutes before bed time, Natalie had a meltdown. We were just laying on the floor watching TV, and she starts crying. We got her to calm down a little bit before bath, but she started up full force again when we put her in the water and then again when we lifted her up to wash her bottom half. We had a ton of ideas about what the problem could be (teething of her molar, diaper rash, sore from falling down a lot that day, tummy ache, starting to get sick, a UTI, and the worst idea was having eaten a wood chip at the park (I hate those wood chips!)), but we had no evidence to prove any of them. I gave her a cup of water in the bath, and that coinsided with her calming down and she drank the whole thing. It could be that it was comforting or that it helped make her gums or stomach feel better, but we don't know. By the time we were reading her a story, she was happily laying on her back on the bed still holding the cup. That was unusual for her to not be in my lap, but otherwise good. She slept fine and was fine in the morning.
Monday, Natalie napped too late for us to go to play group and we wound up just staying home all day since things were going smoothly. That evening though, Mike and I argued about Thanksgiving, which is also my birthday this year. I didn't think we would have enough time to let my family see Natalie and go to his aunt's house without rushing and making everything too stressful. I felt since it was my birthday, and my immediate family, it was more important to spend the time at my parents' house. Also, I knew that we would be spending a large amount of time at his aunt's on Christmas, just a month away. But, Mike thought this was being selfish and that we should see his aunt's family since it is the only family he has in the area. Eventually, I just snapped at him that of course he is going to get his way because I'm not going to continue having him be mad at me. Anyway, we stayed angry with each other the rest of the evening, including a stupid argument over a TV show and over him not wanting to play with the cats. We were over it by morning, but it was an unpleasant evening.
Tuesday, Mike got to stay home from work because his work is moving to a new building. It was very nice to have him home an extra day and conveniently timed, too, since I had a dentist appointment. (I need three small fillings, but since we are trying to conceive, I have to wait until we take a pregnancy test (on Thanksgiving morning) to schedule them. As I told them at the office, I don't mind waiting to have my teeth drilled!). Mike spent most of the time I was gone with Natalie napping or eating, so he watched played with her in the living room while I made cookies and cooked sausage to put on pizza for dinner. We got a lot of little things done yesterday as well, such as cleaning the stove and Mike cleaning up the office.
The last two days, Natalie has given Mike kisses. Not blown him kisses or put out her palm for him to kiss. But given him that lovey look and leaned in and kissed him. I haven't gotten a kiss like that for weeks it feels. I'm a tad jealous, but more sad that she doesn't want to kiss me. Sometimes I feel like it is because I don't connect with her enough. Its hard to stay engaged in a one-year-old's play day after day. Its easy for me watch the TV or try to get small chores done, or even to read if she is playing on her own. I feel like I don't pay enough attention to her, yet at the same time I know I could be doing a lot worse. I also wonder if she is becoming more attached to Daddy because we are so close to weaning. We went the whole weekend without nursing with really no problems; its been fairly easy to distract her. Then I nursed Monday because the breast that got the infection seemed a little hard. Then yesterday we didn't nurse. I'm thinking that we might just not nurse again. If that doesn't work, I think being away from home for three days next week might be distraction enough to do the trick. Even though I was worried about an infection, I know that a big part of the reason we nursed on Monday was for me. I was sad thinking about nursing on Friday being our last one without me knowing it. It felt better knowing that it could be the last one. It wasn't one of those sessions that were perfect, like you would want it to be, but knowing it could be last made me feel a lot better. I am sad about weaning, especially now that Mike is getting kisses and I'm not. But, I am also serious about getting pregnant again and I know that being done nursing will help and that once we are pregnant we are going to wean anyway.
Of course, Natalie's kisses for Daddy could have nothing to do with me, and that is probably the case. I think it has a lot to do with Daddy being alone with her more recently. This is a good thing, but its a little hard, too. I want Natalie and Mike to have a wonderful relationship, but its a little sad that she doesn't need me as much anymore. And, I think it will be very hard when the day comes that he is her favorite and not me. (Hopefully by then we'll have a second child who will be dependent on me to ease the blow). Its hard to shake the idea that weaning has leveled the playing field between us, even though I still spend all day with her.
However, I don't feel I can complain at all to Mike. Its been clear this first year that Momma was favorite, and he's had to wait for kisses and deal with her pushing him away. These kisses could just be signaling a more balanced family life, which is really what we want in the long run. It would just be a bit easier to deal with if it was Mike was getting kisses in addition to me, not me getting none.
Last thought on this: the leveling of our family life is showing in other ways, too, a lot of it having to do with more balance in the time we spend with her on evenings and weekends. Mike is feeding her more and putting her down for naps more. She's asking him to read her more books and sitting in his lap while he does or while they watch TV. I think that Mike doing more of these things that I usually do is also a big contributing factor to his kisses.