Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Snow Days

I was a teacher for 3 years, Kirk for 4.  In our combined 7 years of teaching we benefited from just a handful of snow days and only one or two that we were able to share as a family.

Yet another benefit of moving back home is the rapidness with which school is delayed or cancelled due to hazardous weather (or sometimes just the threat of it).  As a high school student, I, too, was calling the school cancellation line over and over again saying "It's busy, maybe they are changing the message," instead of realizing that a majority of the other 1,000 students in the high school were doing the same thing I was.

Fast forward 15 years and I stand in my kitchen wondering how in the world school is cancelled and it's 42 degrees outside without the first hint of wintery weather.  Still, I've enjoyed immensely the added time we've gotten with Daddy with delayed starts and early nights home.  It's been a cozy January and these snow days have been exactly what was needed after crazy first six months and a busy holiday season. 

And now here we are, 24 hours after our first "real" snow, enjoying an altogether different kind of snow day.  I'm not sure what February has in store for us, but for me, my winter is now complete.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

A whole new year

I've been seeing so much about the "Mommy Wars" recently and it's really been weighing on me.

It makes me sad that the way we parent is creating divisions that seem insurmountable.  That it is testing long-established relationships and causing strife in our society.

Then I started thinking.  If your long time friend suddenly went from being an atheist to a Catholic, wouldn't that change them?  If you were both raised in a conservative household and during college one started having democratic tendencies, couldn't that strain your friendship?

Parenting is, in my opinion, an even bigger life change and life challenge than whether you are a democrat or a republican.  And yet, we are surprised when women stand firmly on one side of the division and stop respecting those on other.  Haven't we set a precedent for that type of behavior in this country?  

I'm sure at some point I will share my beliefs, but this isn't the time.  And I don't expect that by sharing what I believe I will convert anyone to my type of parenting. But then again, that's not really my point for sharing.

Whether you co-sleep, breastfeed until your child is five, wear your baby, work out side of the home or home-school doesn't make you a good parent.  Doing the opposite doesn't make you a bad parent.  As a great line from one of the only TV shows I watch on a regular basis puts it "There's more than on type of good mother." (That's from Downton Abbey, by the way)

So what makes a good mother?  In my opinion? Loving your child.  Wanting what is best for them.  And doing what you think is right to give them what you think is best.

So what is the point of this post?  How about a New Year's challenge?

The next time you go out, don't pay attention to whether the Mama you see is pushing a pimped-out, all-terrain stroller or has their squirmy baby strapped to them in some sort of wild contraption of yards of fabric and buckles.  Ignore the fact that she is breastfeeding openly, or under a cover, or mixing up a bottle of formula. 

Watch how she interacts with her child.  See how she loves her child.  And see how she is just like you.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Walking Step 1: Stand up and take a step

And she's off and running... sort of.

Eilidh is finally figuring out that she is capable of walking but isn't confident enough in her newly developed skill to use it as a mode of transportation.  Watch out though, each time she stands and walks she gets a little more sure of herself. Pretty soon I'll have two to chase!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

2013 wrap up

I was told tonight by my dear husband that I was slipping on the blog front.

So what can I blame?  The holidays? Sure, my last post happened around Thanksgiving and after spending about a week trying to print my own Christmas cards it was a bit of a whirlwind from that time through Christmas and a three-week visit from Gram and Pap pap.  Or what about my newly mobile baby?  Can anyone really sit at a computer for twenty or thirty minutes to write a thoughtful blog post with a 20 pound wrecking ball speeding through the house?  Not really.  I'm sure I can blame it on any number of issues, or I could do the grown up thing and say "Yep, I slipped.  Sorry!" Hopefully all of you were too busy with your holiday season to notice. 

And now here's a quick update from our last two months.


Eilidh was 9 months old just before Christmas and we all thought she would be walking to the tree on Christmas morning.  She's kept us waiting so far, but anticipate a post very soon as "she'll be walking any day" is quickly becoming "she will probably be walking tomorrow."

This year we did an advent calendar with Whit and he really understood the concept.... sort of... it took about two weeks after Christmas for him to fully understand that he was no longer getting a treat every day and that we couldn't countdown to the holiday anymore because it had already happened.  But three is a great Christmas age and Whit was old enough to really enjoy the holiday and young enough that "Did ___________ bring me a present?" was still cute.

Getting ready with Daddy

Waiting for pictures with Santa

Looking semi-satisfied with Santa
Eilidh wasn't as thrilled about meeting Santa

Looking adorable for Christmas Eve dinner

The tree and presents on Christmas Eve

Christmas morning!

Eilidh was more excited about some of Whit's toys....

Whit playing with his "trash truck and trash" the only thing he really wanted for Christmas

Eilidh turned 10 months and her development continues to astound me.  Granted, I cooked her two weeks longer than most babies, but I swear she's one of the smartest kids I've ever been around.  She will repeat almost everything you say and seems to truly understand the interaction of language.  I practice baby signs with Eilidh to encourage language development and understanding but more to prevent the frustration that many children encounter when they are pointing and yelling in the kitchen and you can't figure out what they want.  A simple sign for eat, drink, or hey my toy is up there! really helps.  Eilidh, instead of (or sometimes in addition to) learning the sign for things has simply started repeating the word.  She may not understand what she is saying, but it's still impressing me.  The fact that she will also sit with a book and "read" is also quite endearing for a fellow bookworm.

Whit is getting back into routine and settling into the big brother role now that little sister is big enough to really impact his life.  This week he is getting a bit of a break from the constant love and attention Eilidh wants to shower on him by spending some "alone" time with Daddy, Sydney and Nana and Papa.  He's really into active play, any sport, super hero or animal will work and he always wants to do what Daddy is doing and match what Daddy is wearing.
Mommy finding a reason to hip carry in the Ergo

Whit's first bowling experience!

Willing the ball to move!

Eilidh loved the bowling balls.

Looking cute and practicing standing

Working on tackling (and matching Daddy)

Reading with Daddy