Wise Words from another Mama: Don’t Blink

Some more experienced moms share some of their parenting wisdom. I am all ears with moms (& dads) of older kids. They seem so relaxed and calm as I may be anxiously expressing concern about xyz for my 2 or 4 year old.  One common theme is how quickly time passes. Certain phases, such as growling in my oldest’s case, will pass in time. More experienced parents know this all too well.

In one recent email exchange about Fly on the Wall with an awesome blogger who writes at Baking in a Tornado and has a high school senior soon to leave for college and another college-age son, I commented that I can’t imagine what it must feel like to have children at that stage, since it seems SO far off for my family. In response to my comment, she wrote, “Don’t blink!”

And it’s so true…just in the past few months, I’ve noticed some big changes in my kids, as they learn and grow and become somewhat more self-sufficient (translation = a little easier for mom).  Here are a few examples:

  • My son gave up his pacifier after 2.5 after chucking it in the car (paci #1) and I discovered holes chewed in one (paci #2). And we were worried it would never happen!
  • “I wanna be your baby,” said my son whenever he wanted to be picked up and snuggled. This happened mostly after bath time, when he wanted to be wrapped up in his towel and snuggled to dry off and warm up.  Now I still pick him up from time to time, but mostly when he’s hurt and crying. I miss hearing those sweet words in his little voice.
  • I noticed my 4.5 year old daughter teaching my son how to go down the stairs outside our house by himself.  It was a sweet moment!  I don’t always have to hold his hand when he goes down those stairs anymore, but I gladly will whenever he asks.
  • My daughter is becoming more and more comfortable around extended family.  At a recent brunch, she was hugging and talking with her great aunts and uncles. A FAR improvement from last year, when she growled at people and would cling to our legs.
  • Another sweet sibling story – big sister will sometimes help little brother buckle-up (both the big buckle and the smaller ones).  She can even tighten the buckle for him, though I have to double check her work.  One I didn’t, and my son ended up going for a short car ride with only the big buckle secured. Oops…they both still need mom after all!
  • Looking back at pictures I realize how BIG they’ve grown.  It’s often when someone else makes a comment on them, making me take a closer look and compare pictures to a few months ago.  Oh yeah…they are losing that baby-look and moving to the little kid-look. (sob. sob.)

In all of this, I want the emphasis to stay on little!  My kids ARE little – even if it will be for a short while.  I can hardly believe big sister will be starting 4 year old kindergarten in fall. Little brother and I will have some one on one time when she’s in her half day class.  I’m looking forward to all that lies ahead, while trying my best to soak up the joy and entertainment that each day brings with them (and getting all emotional as I write this post).

The biggest thing I’ve learned from parents who have been there before, is that I should worry less and simply enjoy more. I can’t think of a better lesson in parenting or life in general than that.

What have you learned from more experienced parents?  Have you also been told, “Don’t Blink?”

Cheers for Friday and a long Memorial Day weekend!  Make it a memorable one!

Be my Baby for a little longer!

“I wanna be your baby,” my son whines in his little two-year-old voice.  This is code for, “Please hold me like a baby, Mom.”  I’ll also sweep my kids into a cradle hold whenever they say in short code, “Baby.”  I can’t resist it!

It started when getting them out of the tub and wrapping them up in their hooded towels.  Snuggling them by holding them as if they were a baby simply worked the best at warming them up.  Since the post-bath snuggles are fading away, I only hear, “I wanna be your baby” every so often – usually when my son gets hurt and rarely from my daughter (who is approaching age four).

There is part of me that just wants my little boy to stay my baby a bit longer! When big sister turned two, I was very busy with a two-month old little brother, so I didn’t have time to mourn her entering toddler-hood. My son is quite the mama’s boy and can still be clingy at times….often demanding and yelling, “I wanna come up!” Though this gets extremely annoying, I usually cave and pick him up.  Sigh…I know these days won’t last forever. Sniff. Sniff.

How quickly you went from my snugly newborn to my big, fast toddler, who refuses to stop for pictures!  Here’s a few of my favorite pictures from little on:

You may not want to hear this little man, but you will ALWAYS be my baby!

Have you celebrated a big milestone lately?  How do you react to your babies growing older?


2012 Off and Gone

The past tense of “on the go” – a phrase I like to use at Go Mama O – is “off and gone,” or so I’ve decided.

It is so appropriate, as the end of 2012 was off and gone like a curious toddler in the toy aisle among our busy holiday festivities.  I have been mentally writing this post for a few days and feel blessed with some down time to pour it all out for your reading pleasure (by the way, THANK YOU dear readers)!

2012 Badger fans watching the Rose Bowl

2012 Badger fans watching the Rose Bowl – Too bad the 2013 Badger Rose Bowl ALSO ended in a loss. Hmm..I did wear the same sweatshirt both years.  Maybe that’s the problem!

As I reflect on 2012, I am proud to admit that I am happier, less stressed, and a more patient stay at home mama, who occasionally does freelance work.  I think it’s taken me a while to adjust to my routine at home and just enjoy the present. Being at home with my children HAS been such a blessing, and I know I will fondly look back on this time – even when it wasn’t all rosy dealing with diaper duty, potty training, sleep deprivation or tantrums galore. My kids have taught me some pretty amazing things this past year.  See my top 5 things I learned from my kids entry.

I compare the picture above to the ones below, taken about 1 year apart, and it reminds me how far my kiddos have come this past year too.  MAJOR milestones for little brother  – going from 4 months to almost 16 months, he’s now much more a toddler than my baby boy.  He’s been walking much more than his long preferred butt-scooting, and saying a lot of words in his sweet little voice. I love it when he says blanket, sleepy, and TREEEAT.

Christmas 2012 Little Brother on the go

Christmas 2012 Little Brother on the go

My daughter has come a long way too from 2 to 3 years old!  For a while I thought she was in an “anti-mama” mode, but after being at home with her, I feel that we are much closer, and it’s typically me she calls for in the middle of the night.  We’re conquering potty-training and enjoying a lot of pretend-play with our train and animal loving little girl. She tends to carry on a dialogue with herself throughout the day, as if she’s narrating her own life.  Sometimes I’ll hear her say, “Put this over here (or insert any sentence)…the girl said.”  I think she is a blogger or thespian in the making!

Christmas 2012 Mama O and big sister
Celebrating Christmas 2012 – Mama O and big sister (she’s watching TV)

I’m looking forward to a great 2013 with my family.  I’m excited to see what will come along – new opportunities, challenges, and much more to discuss in the coming days.  I’m doing my best not to be anxious about not having a “plan” worked out, which is difficult for a planning girl to do.  I’m trusting in God’s plan for me, trying to listen for signs that I’m on the right track. For the moment, I think my happy, healthy family is indicating that I am where I’m supposed to be right now.

Choose Your Words Carefully!

Mama O's daughter

You really need to watch what you say around little ones.  I discovered this around the time my daughter turned two, when she started talking more and more, and listening all the time!  Little pitchers have big ears, as they say.  Because of this, I decided to give up swearing for Lent, including swearing to myself, which ultimately leads to saying it out loud.  It went pretty well, and I don’t swear much today either, as it’s hard to hold back on the four-letter-words when the kids are awake.  I’m not a goody-two shoes (GTS), though GTS was a high school nickname, but I’d rather not hear a two year old curse at inopportune times in public. This has never happened to me, though I can picture it clearly: daughter swearing in a crowded checkout line at the store causes everyone around us to laugh, which would then make her say it more and more, while my face grows redder and redder!

I love the sound of little voices.  They just sound so cute saying anything. My daughter repeated “chicken broth” when we were shopping together at a young age.  Darling!  Most recently, she came to my rescue with sage advice when I asked her what she thought of all-teal sneakers. She said “Let’s leave them for someone else.”  Smart girl!  That line is typically what I say when she wants me to buy toys or candy that we don’t need.

Some of my other favorite sayings from my daughter in almost 3 years include:

  • When pregnant with my son, she said that the baby in my belly was the “family baby.”
  • “Motorcycles hurt my ears.”  Too loud!
  •  “I will call Daddy Father.”
  •  “I’m the mother, and you’re the honey.”  (I guess I call her honey a lot.)
  •  And probably my all-time favorite thus far: “I had a tootski come from my mouth.”  My husband explained, “No, that was a burp. Tootskis (farts) come from your butt.”

I’m sure more entertaining words will come from her mouth, and she’ll pick up many more as she gets older and starts pre-school.  Along the way, I’ll continue to choose my words carefully, as they’ll be echoed back to me by sweet little voices.

Another related blog to check out:

Why I Write Clean – by Chris Martin