As Time Goes By

Photo: Marjorie Bertrand/Unsplash

Yesterday my mom asked me to look to see if I had a group photograph of my grandmother and her seven daughters taken at my grandmother’s seventy-ninth birthday party several years ago.  My grandmother needed a photo for a craft project they would soon be doing in the nursing home and when my mother took the photo she had out of her picture frame the photo tore.  So after Abby went to bed I turned on my laptop to see if I could the photograph she requested.  I looked through several years of photos but was unable to find any from the party.  

I spent about an hour looking at numerous other photographs on my computer: pictures of my neices and nephews throughout the years, weddings, parties, road trips, concerts, holidays, and vacations gone by.  I spent the most time looking at photos and videos from Abby’s birth through when bought my new cell phone about four months ago.  

Where does the time go?  How do we not notice it passing until it is gone?  How does it seem to pass so quickly?

I can’t believe how little Abby used to be.  She has changed so much; gotten so big so quickly.  When she was born she was just a teeny-tiny adorable little thing with big black tufts of hair.  Now she is a wild, silly, funny little nymph who dances around the house and points out letters she knows on signs or on TV.  She amazes me each day with something new that she can do or say.

That video of her rocking back and forth on her hands and knees, that couldn’t have been that long ago.  Oh, look, her first steps!  Geez, was that really in June of last year.  Awww, her crazy dance to Katy Perry music- was that really over six months ago?  What?  

I can’t believe that my little girl won’t be a little girl for too much longer.   I realized that I need to take more videos and more photos, but I also need to take more time to get down and play, snuggle, and just be present with her.  Soon it won’t be just her anymore, there will be another little one in our family.  I want to enjoy every moment because in the blink of an eye she will be big.

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Why Do Mealtimes Have to be so Difficult?

Photo by Providence Doucet. From: http://www.unsplash.com

Lately mealtimes have become a struggle at our house.  Abby used to be a fantastic eater but now I don’t know what happened.  She seems determined to see how much food she can get away with not eating.  Unless the meal is scrambled eggs and sausage or pancakes with syrup she is not guaranteed to eat a thing.  Now I love pancakes, eggs, and sausage,  but I can’t eat it every day to make sure that my kid eats as much as she should.

At breakfast she will willingly eat one or two bites of yogurt or Honey Nut Cheerios (thanks, Grandma, for getting her hooked on Honey Nut Cheerios instead of regular) and then not have any interest in finishing her meal.  

Abby will take a bite of a food that she previously loved and then promptly spit them out.  Foods get pushed around her high chair tray or thrown on the floor.  No matter what she is given to eat she will repeat, “Cheesth!  Need cheesth!” asking for cheese. Last night I gave her some ketchup thinking that if she were to dip her meat in the ketchup she would eat more.  Wrong. She just wanted to eat ketchup using her fingers after that.

All hours of the day and night she will ask for a banana, “Nana!”  This happens she sees a banana on the kitchen counter or sees a banana in a book or on TV.  I usually give her one, figuring that since she barely ate anything else at least she’s eating a banana.  At first she would eat almost the whole banana but now she will just take a couple bites and be done, which is frustrating.  I end up finishing a bunch of bananas these days.

At first she would eat more if I allowed her to use the spoon or fork to feed herself.  I think it worked mainly because she was the one controlling the silverware, I wasn’t the one spooning it to her.  Now that it is no longer a challenge and she has figured out how to use the silverware skillfully, this is no longer anything she cares about.  

I’ve tried to expose her to all kinds of foods.  I don’t expect her to like or want to eat everything, but the list of foods she will willingly eat seems to be dwindling.  

Have your kids gone through a picky phase?  Was it just a phase?  How did you get through it?  I would love to hear from you!

Monkey See, Monkey Do

Photo by Liz Bridges. From: http://www.unsplash.com

I have had a sensitive stomach from morning sickness for a couple of weeks.  So far it hasn’t been too bad and I’ve only had to run to the bathroom a couple times.  Yesterday happened to be one of those times. 

Abby and I were playing with her kitchen set and she had been handing me all sorts of tiny plates and cups full of imaginary food.  The Reuben sandwich I had eaten for lunch wasn’t sitting too well with me but I thought I could power through.

Eventually I knew I couldn’t.  Abby was distracted playing so I went down the hall to the bathroom.  She must have heard me making funny noises and came to investigate.   

“Hi, Mommy!” She sings as she runs into the room.  I continued heaving and feeling ill as I bent over the toilet.  Immediately she stops and watches me, head cocked to the side, with a worried look on her face and concerned about what I am doing.  Then, she smiles.  

I flush, stand up, and turn to the sink to wash my hands.  As I turn on the water I hear, “Bleegh bleegh, ugh.”  She had positioned herself as I was, hunched over the round clothes basket in the corner.  She held her stomach with both hands and again says, “Bleegh bleegh, ugh,” acting as though she were sick and throwing up.  She was actually doing a pretty convincing job mimicking me.  

“Silly girl, are you acting like Mommy?”  I ask.  She turns and grins at me before running out of the bathroom and back to her toys.  

Even though I was feeling bad she made me laugh.  That’s one of the things I love best about being a mom- no matter how rough things are or how bad I feel, there is always a little person that can make me smile and feel better.

Coffee, a Mom’s Best Friend

Photo by Drew Coffman. From: http://www.unsplash.com

Oh, coffee, how I love thee.  How else would I function at 5:00 a.m.?  

I cut out all but one cup of coffee a day when I found out I was pregnant.  I knew I couldn’t go cold turkey without getting headaches from not having the caffeine.   This one is almost half unsweetened vanilla almond milk, so I don’t really feel too bad about drinking it.

Abby has been awake since 4:30. Currently she is wearing her elephant footy pajamas with a yellow and pink plaid sundress on top, trying to balance as she is sitting perilously on top of a green punching balloon while watching Curious George 3: Back to the Jungle for the tenth time.  I keep telling her to stop, that balloon is going to pop, but she isn’t listening and I am not quite awake enough yet to argue too vigorously. 

  She woke up multiple times last night.  How can she be so wide awake and have so much energy this early?

Abby in motion: spinning in her dress

She can certainly run circles around me.  I think I’ll take some time to finish my coffee and then get in on the fun.

Have a great Sunday, everyone! 

Stuff My Parents Did to Prepare Me to Be an Adult

Photo by Catt Liu. From: http://www.unsplash.com

My parents taught my sister and I a lot of things growing up.  They gave us responsibilities and taught us to be self-sufficient and self-reliant, preparing us to be grown-ups.  They taught us how to do a lot of things that many of my peers never learned to do until they had left home and had to figure things out for themselves.  Although I sometimes grumbled as a kid, I am now grateful to my parents for all their guidance.  We learned the value of hard work and the satisfaction of a job well done.  

I am a big believer in getting children involved with learning how to help out around the house early.  Already Abby has her own chores- she puts her dirty clothes in her hamper, picks up her toys each night before bed, and “helps” me fold laundry (which mostly consists of running off with wash rags and unfolding towels).  As she gets older I want to teach her all I can to help prepare her to be a successful adult.

Below is a list of ways my parents taught us or things they did to help us learn to be adults. 

1. Cleaning house

Each Saturday morning from an early age my sister and I would help our mom clean house.  Our chores were age appropriate, of course, but we learned how to do all sorts of things from cleaning out the refrigerator to dusting to vacuuming to watering plants.  

2. Laundry

My mom taught us how to help with laundry, even before we were big enough to run the washer and dryer ourselves.  We would often help with collecting laundry from the laundry hampers, separating the clothes into different piles for washing (whites, darks, jeans, delicates, etc.), matching socks, and putting our clean clothes away.  Later we learned the ins and outs of washing and drying.  We also hung wet clothes on the clothesline outside and took them down and folded them.

3. Washing dishes

As kids we began washing dishes.  Mostly in the beginning we just liked to stand on a chair at the sink and play in the sudsy water, but we learned to really wash them and also how to load and unload the dishwasher.  Later when I was in middle school it became our job each evening after supper to put the food away, clean the table, and wash dishes.

4. Cooking

I remember being very young and “helping” Mom cook.  A lot of “helping” was begging to be allowed to lick the beaters when she made frosting or to taste test cookie dough.  My sister was never as interested in cooking as I was, but we both learned basic cooking early.  We were allowed and encouraged to experiment with cooking.  I’ll never forget my sister’s first attempt at making a cake all by herself- she didn’t follow the recipe and instead of baking the cake in the oven, she tried cooking it in the microwave.  I’m not sure how she didn’t start a fire with the aluminum pans in the microwave.  The cake was soupy around the edges and hard as a rock in the center.

5. Yardwork

My sister and I would pick up rocks and sticks before our parents mowed the lawn.  We helped water flowers and water the garden.  We picked vegetables and pulled weeds.  In the fall we would rake leaves.  

6. Taking care of pets

Over the years we had several outdoor cats and my sister had a hamster.  It was our responsibility to make sure the animals all were fed, watered, and taken care of.

7. Shopping

Mom did most of the main shopping, but occasionally we would be sent down the block to the local grocery store.  My father had an account set up on credit (we lived in a very small town) so we could pick up the sugar or butter or whatever it was Mom needed.  

8. Homework 

My parents allowed us lots of freedom to play and have fun, but they always put a emphasis on the importance of our education.  They encouraged our academic efforts and made sure that we always had our homework done each night.  Schoolwork had to be finished before we could play video games or have TV or computer time.

9. We weren’t spoiled 

As a parent I want to give my child so much.  I see toys she would like or a cute outfit and sometimes have to fight the urge to buy it.  She has enough and wants for nothing.  If there is something she needs she gets it.  It is hard to say no sometimes when she asks for toys in the store, but I feel it is important not to always give kids everything they want, just because.  I remember lots of kids from school who I always considered spoiled back in the day… they always had new things, never did chores or anything to earn them.  The kids didn’t appreciate or take care of the things they were given.  I knew my parents worked hard for what we had, and the same goes for me now.

10. I had a job

From about age 12 and on I “worked.”  I took babysitting jobs on weekends to pay for stuff like makeup, books, posters for my bedroom, and other stuff.  When I was a sophomore in high school I babysat each day after school, which gave me spending money for going out on the weekends and clothes.  When I was a junior I wanted to drive to school instead of riding the school bus so I worked afternoons and weekends in the local hospital kitchen to pay for gas.  I lived 17 miles away from my school so I had to be responsible and earn money if I wanted the privilege of being able to drive.  Even though I had a job my parents made sure that I still put my school work first and still had fun.

Ten Ridiculous Things I Have Told My Toddler

Photo by Beatriz Perez Moya. From http://www.unsplash.com

A few weeks ago I realized that I say some really weird things to my kid sometimes.  I decided to keep a list and share it with you.  Maybe some of you can relate, maybe some of you will think I am crazy.  Enjoy!

Here is a list of some of the of the stupid (or hilarious) things I have told my toddler:

1. If you’re not going to drink your milk responsibly,  I am going to take it away

2. Quit trying to wipe your butt on my face

3. Quit licking your legs and don’t chew on your toenails 

4. Don’t lick the bedpost

5. I hate this wallpaper, but please don’t pull it off of the wall

6. Tacos don’t belong in your nose

7. Peas don’t go between your toes

8. Don’t pick your nose and draw on the glass of the front door with it

9. If you keep eating troll hair it will keep getting stuck in the back of your throat 

10. I know you want to be close to Mommy, but I don’t need you on my lap while I go poop

My “Fortune” and Evening Plans

Last night we had Chinese food for suller and the following was my fortune:

Treat yourself to a good book for a needed rest and escape.

It sounds like pretty sage advice to me.  

I have had a cold since Sunday.  I’ve been feeling good pretty rough and it has pretty much wiped me out.  I felt bad enough yesterday morning that I went in to the doctor’s office.  Negative for Strep and negative for Influenza. “Probably just the nasty viral stuff that’s going around right now,” said the doctor, “Expect to feel bad for the next week to two weeks.” OMG- another week to two weeks?

I have gone to bed early each night but hardly feel as though I have gotten any rest or time to relax.  Since I have gone to bed early the dishes and laundry are beginning to pile up, as they tend to do. 

  I should work on getting things cleaned up, but I think tonight I will take the advice of my wise cookie and take a little time to read.  Who knows, maybe I will finish that Stephen King book I have been gnawing at for a year (really! It’s so sad how little time I spend reading these days).  

Fun in the Sun

The weather in our area has been unusually warm lately.  Today the temperature reached 77 degrees  Fahrenheit, which is definitely not normal for February.  

This afternoon we took advantage of the nice weather and spent some time outside.  We explored the yard, chased a ball around, looked at a bird’s nest, and played with rocks.  I’m not sure who had more fun, me or Abby.