Tag Archives: parenting

And How Would You Like Your Eggs, Ma’am?

My head nearly exploded this morning over breakfast.

Here’s what led up to my brush with insanity…

Me:  Katie, what would you like for breakfast this morning?

Katie: Um… (stares blankly)

Me: Would you like waffles and yogurt?

Katie: No thank you.

Me: Okay, how about french toast and a banana? Does that sound yummy?

Katie: No thank you.

Me: Hmmm…how about scrambled eggs, toast, and blueberries?

Katie: No thank you.

Me: Oh, I have a great idea! How about cereal with raspberries?

Katie: Um…no thank you.

Me: Katie, okay, then you tell me.  What would you like for breakfast?

Katie: Something else.

This is when I nearly lost my mind.

And I woke up.

Our kitchen has turned into a full-service restaurant, with menu items spanning two pages.  I never intended for it to become this way.  When she was smaller, I decided what she ate, put it in front of her, and she ate it. End of story.

There is something about being a mother that I never understood before I had children. We want nothing more than for our children to eat.  We want to know that we’ve filled their little bellies with nourishment. One of the ways that we show them our love is through the food that we offer them.  We take pride in providing them with the healthy foods that they need to grow and thrive.

It is for those reasons that I began offering her choices, I think.  Though I’ve never wavered on insisting that her food is healthy, I have allowed her to make choices that sound good to her in the moment.

Our ship got off course slowly and now I don’t recognize where we are anymore. So, I’m throwing in the anchor and figuring this thing out because it’s that or I lose my mind.

Tomorrow, I’ll begin picking the main portion of the meal.  Scrambled eggs and toast, for example.  And to allow her to practice good decision making, I’ll let her pick her fruit.

Because, honestly, it’s this, or I’m putting out a tip jar.

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Not a Single One…

I am so grateful for this man…

…a man who has been by my side through everything.

Katie recently had her 3-year check up and Craig was there.

He has always been there…

He didn’t miss a single prenatal appointment with any of our three pregnancies.

He never missed a single of the 837 classes we took while pregnant…he even attended the breastfeeding class, as he recognized that his support would likely be what got me through those early days of nursing.

He has been at each and every one of the kids’ appointments with the pediatrician.

His committment to our family and his desire to be there for all of the moments, big and the small, fill me with love and gratitude.

Thank you, Craig. I truly love you.

This post is linked to the Thank You Journal at Alli ‘n Son.

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Throwing Caution to the Wind

Craig and I strive to make healthy food choices for our children.  We realize that it is our responsibility to ensure that they have a healthy attitude toward food and that they make good choices as they grow older.  We’re teaching Katie about serving sizes, which nutrients she gets from each of her foods, and why some foods aren’t great choices. 

Having said that, we’ve relaxed the rules a bit this summer.  She had an ice cream cone last week, a lollipop the week before. 

We’ve come to realize that a large part of encouraging healthy eating habits is teaching her about moderation in all things.  We worry that if we don’t allow some small indulgences now, she may rebel when we aren’t with her.

So, with that, I present to you the following…

That right there?  That is a small moment.  A small moment of pure joy. 

Also?  A guarantee that for a few days, there will be no other treats.  😉


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Beautiful Reluctance

An Open Letter to Those Who Are Quick to Label:

Our daughter Katie is the most observant person I’ve ever known.  As a newborn, we were amazed by just how alert she was and how she would track anything that was going on around her.  As she has grown, she has only continued to surprise with us with all that she catches on to.  Honestly, we can slip very little by her.  Her sparkling hazel eyes take everything in.  She picks up on nuances and subtleties that many adults miss.   

She is also rather reserved.  This is her personality. She watches and tries to figure everything out before she will participate in most activities.  Once she understands how things work, she joins in and giggles and acts silly like all kids. 

Until then?  You have to earn her trust.  Let her get to know you and give her room to figure you out.  When she decides that you are someone she is comfortable around, her heart opens up and she is generous with her smiles, her laughter, and her affection.

In the meantime, please don’t refer to her as shy. 

Don’t label her shy. 

Don’t ask us in front of her if she is shy. 

Please, don’t even use the word shy around her.

Here’s why:

The labels that we place on children impact how they come to see themselves. If we tell her that she is shy, she will soon tell herself that she is shy, and that won’t do. If she believes herself shy, she might possibly hide behind that label, rather than continuing to observe until comfortable and then participate.

Being reserved is not a character flaw.  She is not defective. 

So instead of calling her shy, perhaps you could say that she is discerning?  Or observant? Or reserved?  Or reluctant.  You may even call her hesitant. 

But, I would prefer that you just call her Katie. 

She is lovely and she is our daughter.

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It Might Be Time To Let Her Grow Up…Just a Tiny Bit

If I could freeze time and forever keep my kids little, I wouldn’t even hesitate to do so.

I love the squishiness of their little bodies and the wonder that they see in everything.  I love holding them and feeling the way that they just melt into me.  I even love the way that they are still dependent upon me for so many things.

I won’t even pretend that I’m one of those moms who eagerly awaits the first day of school, sleep away camp, proms, graduations, and weddings.

I’m the mom who truly mourns the end of babyhood and toddlerhood and I’m often in complete denial that my children are getting older.

I’m starting to realize, however, that it might be time for me to fully acknowledge that Katie is a preschooler and as such, she is ready for some big girl stuff.  (Thank goodness for Craig’s calm demeanor and his encouragement to let them grow and change.)

This is a picture of Katie’s bed:

Katie's bed as it was when we brought her home from the hospital and as it still is.

Yep, our three-year old still sleeps in a crib (and yes, we still use a video monitor on her).

I’ve often joked that we were going to keep her in her crib until college. And while that’s clearly an exageration,  we did plan to keep her in her crib until Matthew was sleeping through the night, as we thought it would be easier to handle one nighttime challenge at a time.

Well, that day has come.  Matthew’s been consistently sleeping through the night for a few weeks now.

My list of worries for why making the switch from a crib to a toddler bed worries me is long.  Here are several of them:

  • Will she still nap?
  • How will we make sure she stays in her bed?
  • Will our great sleeper suddenly start waking in the night?
  • Will bedtime be stressful?
  • Will she wake us up at say, 5:00 am, by standing at the side of the bed and giving me a heart attack?

Although my worries are plentiful, I’m beginning to feel that the list of benefits to her being in her own big girl bed is growing longer.

And as much as I dread the switch, there’s also a tiny part of me that is eager to see her face as she realizes that she’s being given a bit more independence.

There will be tears…and they will all be mine.

If any of you have any tips on how to make the transition go smoothly, I eagerly welcome them.

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Reason #63 Why Having a Preschooler Rocks

This morning we were running errands when Katie spotted a huge fountain and wanted desperately to get closer.

We didn’t have a ton of time to finish our shopping before we had to hurry home for lunch and naps, but she asked so nicely that I indulged her.

We sat and watched the fountain for 15 minutes and she laughed with glee every time the water shot up.

There was no errand more important that seeing how happy that little bit of time in front of a fountain–a fountain that I’ve looked right past more times than I can count–made her .

Lunch was delayed, naps were late, but we were happy.

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They Let Her Do WHAT?

I’m completely fascinated with the recent story of Abby Sunderland’s rescue from her damaged sailboat while attempting to circumnavigate the globe. 

Here are the parts that I find most shocking:

She is 16!

She was in a sailboat, by herself, in the stormy Indian Ocean!

She was stranded for three days! 

And what about her parents?  The New York Times reports that “Mr. Sunderland praised his daughter’s skills as a sailor. He said he not only would let her try the voyage again, but would also ‘absolutely endorse that wholeheartedly.'” 

Under what circumstances would I allow one of my children to attempt such an endeavor? Over my dead body.  That’s when.

To be fair, one of my biggest weaknesses as a parent is my difficulty in letting my children take risks.  I’ll admit that I am at the extreme opposite end of the spectrum from Abby’s parents.  I don’t let Katie play in our fenced-in yard by herself.  I don’t let her eat grapes unless they are cut into four pieces.  I won’t leave the room if she’s bathing. 

They let her attempt to sail around the world.  Alone. And, I’ll repeat it, she is 16!

While I admire parents who allow their children the freedom to explore their world, I can’t comprehend the Sunderland’s decision to allow their daughter (and their son, who attempted the same journey last year at age 17) to take such a risk. 

There has to be a happy medium doesn’t there?  Remembering to find a balance is something that I work on every single day.

I participated in a parenting webinar last week offered by Tiffany from Bloggy Moms and conducted by Amy from Positive Parenting Solutions.  One of the biggest things that I walked away with was the idea that children need to know that they belong and that they are significant.  Amy inspired me to allow Katie to take on tasks that I had previously done myself, to either save time or because it hadn’t occurred to me that she could do them on her own.  She’s now setting the table, helping to empty the dishwasher, and thanks to Jen, over at Denton Sanitorium, she’s also sorting laundry.   (Jen is an inspiration, across the board.  I am constantly learning new things from her.) 

Thank you, Tiffany, Amy, and Jen!

While I applaud the Sunderlands for encouraging their children to take on challenges, I can fathom neither the magnitude nor the danger associated with their choices. 

Anyone want to share their thoughts with me?  Do you agree with the Sunderlands choice?  How much risk is too much?

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