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Archive for March, 2011

Children continue to surprise – and inspire – us, don’t they?  Just this weekend, Molly provided me with a few “Ha, take that Mom!” moments.

Yesterday at My Gym Molly had a great time.  {Note that I usually make Jim take her, after a few rocky experiences.}  We only have one more visit before we take a break for swim lessons, so I wanted to participate but was worried how she’d do if I was there.  While she flipped out when I tried to get her to play on the bars, she played on the incline, jumped in the ball pit, and even walked across the balance beam – a first for her!  I was so proud of her willingness to try the beam just one time.

We did our usual breakfast, Starbucks, and grocery store routine today and then paid a visit to our friends Andrea, James, and Rae {and baby girl SOON to arrive!}.  Rae got a bounce house for Christmas and today was the first time Molly  had been able to try it out.  I wasn’t sure how she’d react, but I do know that she’s extremely cautious in new situations and she doesn’t like too much motion. After a few tears and 20 minutes, Molly realized that Rae was having so much fun jumping up and down, bouncing off the sides, and sliding down the inflatable slide, so Molly finally participated and ended up having a great time.

And finally, this afternoon we were spending some time outside while Jim finished painting the family room {pictures to come!} and Molly tumbled backwards down our three front steps.  I held my breath, waiting for a wail, but she just grimaced, stood up, and brushed the mulch and dirt off her hands and legs.  She then turned the entire bottle of bubbles upside down on my shoes and I totally took that as a “You should have caught me,” but there were no tears.  Just get up and go.

Motherhood has taught me so much, but I think the most important thing I’ve learned is to give my daughter a little bit of credit.

She is *my* daughter, after all.

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I know that Molly and I will go through a phase when she thinks *everyone* else is cooler than me.  I just hope that it’s short-lived and that eventually she will realize that I really am a wealth of knowledge.  It didn’t take me long to realize my mom was pretty cool.  I was the college student that would sit on my balcony and call my mom first when I had any news and in high school {and after, when I lived at home for a while in grad school} I would come home on Friday and Saturday nights and sit on an embroidered stool by her bed and tell her about my night.

So even though it’s not Mother’s Day, I’ve been thinking a lot of moms and daughters and I realized that my mom has taught me a lot so far.  {And I’m sure the lessons haven’t stopped, either!}  So, this is my Top 10 Things My Mother Has Taught Me list – all things that I hope to eventually teach Molly.:

1.  Compassion and Empathy – My mom always challenges my sisters and I to think about the other person in a situation, and this lesson has served me well. Love fiercely, serve without asking questions, and don’t judge.

2.  Wear sunscreen. I think the message has finally hit home:  a wide brim hat and SPF are the best summer accessories.

3.  Cooking is overrated.  Don’t me wrong, I *love* food, but I don’t particularly enjoy the act of preparing my own food. Neither does my mom. We both have a series of easy to prepare, tasty recipes and no one at our houses has starved to death yet. There are so many things I’d rather be doing than cooking, and my mom made me realize that my husband and child don’t need a gourmet meal every night – or ever, really – in order to be happy.

4.  Charity.  As children, we would periodically donate clothes and toys to Goodwill or Salvation Army, and I have fond memories of going to the mall at Christmas, choosing names off the Angel Tree and then shopping for clothes, toys and necessities for children less fortunate than us.  My sisters and I never wanted for anything {although there times when I’m sure we thought we did} but my mom made sure we were aware some children didn’t even have coats to wear in the winter. Being actively involved in helping others is a lesson I hope to share with Molly.

5.  Take pictures WITH my daughter. I have a handful of pictures of my mom and me over the past 30 years. I wish I had more, therefore I am making an effort to be in more pictures with Molly.  Even though I don’t like the way my teeth look.  Even though I don’t like how I can tell that my left eye is more closed than my right.  Even though I don’t like to look at pictures of my thighs, and in pictures from the beach, I’m going to see my thighs because I refuse to wear dark jeans on the beach.  Even though pictures are great at pointing out my imperfections, I hope that Molly loves me enough to not notice them and focus instead on the happy expressions on our faces and the fact that I love her enough to be in the pictures in the first place.

6.  Life isn’t *always* a competition.  Although my mom thinks we’re the best, she always recognized that we weren’t actually the best at everything and strived to help us be okay with that fact.  I wasn’t always okay with that, but now that I have a child of my own and I see the constant competition at school, on the playground, and even at the grocery store, I hope to teach Molly that “keepin’ up with the Joneses” isn’t the happiest way to live.

7.  It’s okay to cry.

8.  Paint is an easy and affordable way to change things.  Paint and then paint again.  And then paint again.  {And marry a man that will humor your painting whims.}

9.  The beach is the only place to vacation.  We made a yearly trek to the Carolina coastline every summer, sometimes multiple times a summer.  Once we could smell the salt air and feel the hair on our heads curling up, all was right with the world.  We still make a yearly beach trip and I still feel that there’s no where else I’d rather be.

10.  When in doubt, wear black.

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I’m participating in Mama Kat’s Writing Workshop this week.

 

 

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Before having my sweet Molly, I don’t think I would have ever used the words “diaper” and “cute” in the same sentence.  But then we started cloth diapering her and oh, my…the cuteness.  We didn’t cloth diaper her from the very beginning, but if we have another baby, we will most definitely cloth diaper that newborn baby.

Why, you ask?

Small cloth diapers are even cuter than size medium ones.

A friend of mine is having a baby in July and she plans to cloth diaper, so when she asked if I’d go with her to start her stash, I was more than happy to.  A baby store?  Cloth diapers?  Being asked for my opinion?  Yes, yes, and yes!  So we went to The Milky Way on Saturday to look at cloth diapers and accessories, and – dare I admit this?! – I had to resist buying newborn cloth diapers.  I mean, how in the world would I explain that one?  Instead, I bought Molly a new bathing suit.  A girl can never have too many bathing suits, right?

Last year, Beverly and I found the iPlay swim diapers – totally easy, and so cute, too!  So the first one for this season:

Super cute with a pink rash guard top

I was going to show you Molly’s other bathing suits, but they’re not even available on Gap’s and Target’s websites anymore.  We did get them in February, after all.  And I ordered new bathing suits from Lands’ End the other day but haven’t been able to actually try them on.  They looked super cute online, so we’ll see…I *did* give up sweets for Lent so I’m hoping that I’ll look great in those swimsuits!  Ha!

Is it summer yet?  I feel like I’m already counting down the days to our week at the beach – and it’s not until JULY!

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I’m sure you were expecting a fabulous Life with Sweet Peaches blog makeover, but it’s not here.  We’re trying out a new look at Sweet Birdie’s Nest!

Beverly and I want to redo our Sweet Birdie’s Nest blog, so we tried out a new logo and are playing with colors.  It’s not that different from our old logo, but we changed the brown to grey and I *love* the way it looks!  We also realized our tagline wasn’t in our logo, so if someone found our site, they would have to search around to figure out exactly what Sweet Birdie’s Nest was.

Stop by and check it out.  Let us know what you think!  We can’t wait to revamp the whole site soon.

 

 

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For the first time in I don’t know how many weekends, no one at our house was sick.

We had a great weekend together and enjoyed the beautiful weather – Mexican food Friday night, the park (for Molly, Nana, and me) and golf (for Jim) on Saturday, dinner with friends Saturday night, errands and lunch on Sunday, and then Beverly and I had a Sweet Birdie’s Nest meeting.  We wrapped up the weekend with family dinner at our favorite pizza joint, Hawthorne’s.  I felt like we actually had a good mix of productiveness and fun.  {Although for me, productive and fun usually go in the same sentence!  I’m a dork like that.}

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The park in our neighborhood is situated right by the railroad tracks and this weekend, I have a whole new appreciation of that train.  Usually, I’m annoyed because it’s so close to the house and it never fails to come when I have no time to spare.  And then it’s really hard to turn left off our street.  Or, I remember when I had a 45-minute commute home from work and I’d be 30 seconds from home but the lights would start flashing as I approached the tracks.  However, watching Molly watch the train speed past was one of the coolest things I’ve witnessed.  Mind you, we see the train every day.  She can see it from her crib in the winter when there are no leaves on the tree and I’m worried we’re going to lose the blinds on her window because she pulls them back and chants, “Choo Choo” or “Twain Twain” while she’s supposed to be napping.  And she sees it on a regular basis from the car.  But she saw it up close for the first time on Saturday, and her mouth formed a big “o” and she pointed and gasped and then ran the length of the park like she was chasing the train.  It was pure wonderment and I loved it.

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I know I’ve mentioned this before, but there’s a Dairy Queen less than a mile from our house.  It’s one of the “old fashioned” ones where you stand in line outside and order from the window.  My parents used to take us there as children and now I love that I get to take Molly.  Well, usually I love it.  I gave up sweets for Lent, but Jim and Molly didn’t.  After pizza last night, Jim wanted ice cream, so I sat in the car while he and Molly shared a Blizzard.  A Snickers Blizzard, which is my favorite.  I have a feeling Lent is going to be a loooong 6 weeks this year!

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I’m wanting to make some small changes to our house; we’ve lived here five years this month and with the exception of a few new pieces of furniture and Molly’s room, everything has stayed the same.  I really want to freshen things up and organize the house so it works for us.  It’s so funny because Jim thinks we’ve made a lot of changes {which we have done a lot, mind you, it just depends on who you ask as to HOW much we’ve done!} and I think it looks the same as it did when we moved in, except for the paint colors!  But anyway, my first priority {well, today’s first priority – it could change tomorrow!} is to paint the family room and update some of the accessories.  I bought new pillows for the couch last week that I love and we tried out two paint colors.  Jim likes the one we currently have on the wall, and while I do too, I think the room will seem bigger if we go lighter.  And, as you can tell, we will obviously – eventually – do something, since we already started the job.

I’ve already decided which one we’ll use but could probably be easily swayed…want to vote?  Let me know “left” or “right” in the comments.  I’d love to see if your opinion matches mine!

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Calling her bluff

While Molly was so sick, she used her pacifier a LOT more than normal.  It’s usually reserved just for sleeping, but I know she would use it 24/7 if we’d let her.  I’ve even gone as far as putting her IN her crib if she finds a paci somewhere {like in my bag or under the crib} and then won’t give it up.

So on Tuesday, when it was time to go to school, we had a bit of a problem.  Jim was changing Molly’s diaper and she kept crying out, “Nap!  Nap!”

Jim said, “It’s not time for nap, it’s time for school!”

MJ:  “Nap!”

me:  “You’ll have fun at school!  Everyone has missed you so much!”

MJ, tearing up: “Naaaaapp!”

J:  “Ok, do you want to take a nap with no paci?”

MJ, tears stop: “School?”

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I’ve got to give it to her, she’s one smart cookie.  Lucky for me, her dad knew exactly what she was thinking!

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Poor Molly…last week, she finished her first ever round of antibiotics for a double ear infection Dr. H found at the 18-month well visit.  It took us what felt like days to get back on track and I felt like Peaches was feeling much better.  Until Thursday, that is.  She was still sound asleep when Jim left for work, and I knew then that she wasn’t feeling well.  When I finally went in to get her, she looked miserable and had a fever of 102.  I called the pediatrician, explained that she just finished the antibiotic, and I’d love for her to be seen that day.  Lucky for us, we live only five minutes from the doctor’s office, so I scooped Molly up, threw some shoes on her and we were on our way.  Sure enough, she had another – or the same? – double ear infection, so we got another antibiotic and settled in for a day of cuddling and napping on the couch.  Renee came over so I could go to work in the afternoon, and Molly fell asleep in her lap on the couch well before her naptime.  Friday, she still had a fever and was out of sorts, so we stayed in on Friday, too.  She asked to take a nap at noon and then, when she was *still* asleep, I went to wake her up at 5 o’clock.  I had been pacing outside her room for about two hours, trying to decide what to do.  She was so limp and warm and it totally freaked me out.  When I took her temperature, I got even more anxious:  it was 105.5.  Yikes!

After an hour and a half of being on the phone with the nurse and Dr. H, and giving Molly a bath and some fever reducer, her fever came down to a still high 104.5 and we decided that we did not need to go to the Emergency Room.  Whew.  We chatted with the doctor again, worked out a plan to make Molly more comfortable and decided what symptoms would warrant a visit to the ER.  Without examining her, Dr. H couldn’t confirm it was the flu, but said most likely that’s what we were dealing with.

It was SO sad.  The fever continued Saturday and Sunday and our sweet, smiley baby girl was sad and lethargic (but still sweet!).  At one point on Saturday, she threw up in her crib and didn’t even bother to roll out of it.  I mean, how awful do you have to feel to lay in a pile of your own throw-up?!  I took a nap with her on the couch Saturday afternoon and she took a few minutes getting settled, rustling around and finally fell asleep.  She then stirred in her sleep and rolled right off me and the couch onto the floor, where she continued to nap for two more hours.  It was hilarious, but I felt so bad for her too.

Finally the weekend – and her fever – were long gone.  We stayed home on Monday to make sure she was back to 100% and I danced all the way to preschool on Tuesday.  But only after I told the director and her teachers three times each to call me if they needed me and made sure they all had my cell phone number!  Yesterday afternoon and this morning were back to normal.  {Well, as normal as life with an independent toddler can be.}  I have never been so excited to see her smile.    While I was secretly happy to have a reason to stay in a few days and get some couch time with my baby, I was about to lose my mind on Monday.

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Dearest Molly,

Today you are 19 months old.  I almost let the day slip by because you’ve been so sick, but that’s a story for another day.  I was talking to your dad today about something I’ve wanted to work on since before you were born, and it took me a minute to process exactly how long ago that was!  As I am ordering you spring and summer clothing, I keep selecting 12-18 month sizes and then have to correct myself – you are most definitely not 12-18 months in age or size.

When I picked you up from school last Wednesday, your teachers Jeana and Molly told me how talkative you were and what a big vocabulary you have.  All I could think was, I know!  At Starbucks last weekend, you wanted to sit in the chair while we waited on my coffee and the barista got a kick out of your chatter.  She asked me how old you were and when I told her 18 months, she said, “Wow!  She talks a LOT for an 18 month old!”  You are quite quiet around new people, but your eyes and ears are always open, taking it all in.  I am constantly surprised at your recollection, even days after we’ve experienced something together.

Your new favorite toys are your Fisher Price mailbox {I don’t turn on the sound, but know that Nana and Renee do!} and the wooden alphabet blocks.  You love to look at the pictures of the animals on the blocks and you can name almost all of them.  You recognize all of your caregivers {Nana, Renee, Miss Lisa, Jeana, and your new teacher Molly, as well as your dad and me} and you know the names of most of the children in your class.  The last time we went to the park, Cam called out, “Molly!  Molly!” as we walked towards the swings and you pointed and said, “Cam!”  You love to give hugs and kisses to your dad and me, but you also love to tell us no.  You don’t like to have your clothes or diaper changed and you are still SO picky about your food.  You also love to swing and play on your slide.  We had the slide in the front yard but I made your daddy take it to the back yard.  You had to go down the slide every time we came and went!

You are such a smart girl, and you usually know exactly what we are saying to you.  Today, I told you that your paci was only for your crib and you walked over to your crib and threw the paci between the slats.  {Although you did go back and get it a few minutes later!}  You still won’t watch a television show – even when you’re sick! – and you still love to read.

You constantly test your limits and somedays I have to work hard to keep you safe and myself sane.  I love that you’re exploring the world around you; I find so much pleasure in your small accomplishments and discoveries.  You are such a sweet child.  I am beyond proud to call you my daughter.

I can’t wait to see what this month holds for us.

All my love,

Mommy

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