Re: Weaning a 4 year old?
You're nursing a 4 year-old for 45 minute stretches? You're a saint.
I think at age 4 they are perfectly able to understand that nursing comes at a price: exhibiting nice nursing manners. When my daughter was 3 and was in the process of weaning, we had rules. No kicking. No wriggling. If Mommy said "Stop," we stopped. And nursing was not going to go on very long at any one time because "Mommy has chores to do." So we would sing a song- I think it was Twinkle, Twinkle- and then be done.
I know it's tough to break the nursing habit when it's part of your sleep routine, but I think it's okay to say "We're going to nurse for x amount of time" (duration of a song, until the big hand reaches the 12, until daddy's done showering) "and then we are going to do y" (have stories in bed, cuddle, get up and start our day, etc.). I think it's very helpful to introduce a new sleep crutch- instead of nursing all the way to sleep, you nurse enough that your child feels like she's not being cut off and then get her to finish the going-to-sleep process with stories or a backrub or cuddling.
Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"