Friday, September 5, 2014

Passing negative judgement on parents

So recently I've been learning a lot about judging other parents.  So, I'll admit before I was a mom I didn't see what was so hard about keeping your house clean, taking time to workout, or even making sure your child's hair isn't combed.  Now I get it!  Here are some areas and reasons why we shouldn't pass judgment on parents.

  • Child's shoes are on the wrong feet - the parents are not incompetent.  Most likely this child is learning how to put their own shoes on and refuses any help what-so-ever from his/her parents. 
  • Child has messy hair - this one, I at least think it's worth the battle to get any knots out of the hair before it gets bad.  I don't want to take my child to her Auntie's hair salon just to cut the knots out of her hair.  However, my child does leave the house many mornings with her hair a mess.  No knots though.  It's usually because she thinks she can brush & comb her own hair and refuses any help from her mother. 
  • Child's mismatched or unique outfits - I'm learning very quickly just how opinionated a 1 year old can be on their wardrobe.  Yes, my daughter has left the house wearing a skirt and a dress.  Why?  Because she believed that she needed something to cover her diaper and the dress doesn't have those built in shorts like her skirts do.  Yes, my daughter does have favorite clothing items and will put together her own outfits.  Seriously, is it really worth the battle to make sure your child's clothes match and they're not wearing their pants over their skirt (yes, we've also had that outfit too.)
  • Messy or unkept house - this one is a struggle for me because I can't handle the disorganization and mess.  But, I keep trying to tell myself that my daughter is loved and more important than the mess.  Another reason a parent may have a messy house it because their lovey child wants to "help" with the housework.  
  • Mom doesn't workout regularly - another struggle of mine because I miss it.  But again I keep telling myself my daughter is well loved and playing is working out.
  • Mom's clothes are dirty - I can't tell you how many times I leave the house, get to work and realize that I have chocolate milk on my shoulder or my pants are dirty.  Mom's shirts are a child's napkin and pants are their rug.  My favorite is always when I'm used as the human napkin at a restaurant.
I'm sure there is more.  It's amazing how many people pass negative judgement on parents based on how their children and home like look like.  But, maybe they should be passing positive judgement because they are raising a confident and independent child who wants to do things for herself.

Friday, August 1, 2014

How I wasn't prepared for Parenthood.

When you're pregnant, all those pregnancy books talk about your changing body, labor, delivery and postpartum.  The hospital offers classes to prepare for child birth, breastfeeding, and basic newborn care.  But there is no class that helps prepare you for the extreme lifestyle change you will undergo.  Sure, there is the basic you wouldn't get any sleep and baby eats every 2-3 hours, but the education seems to stop after week 1.  There are so many things that I feel like I was never prepared for in parenthood.

  • How difficult it is to keep a clean house.  I love a clean house.  I used to be able to come home from work, workout, make supper, clean while I cooked, eat, clean-up the house and then still have 2 or more hours to relax or do my own thing.  Not anymore!  A clean house for me now is equivalent to a messy house pre-baby. 
  • How difficult it is to keep up on laundry.  Sure laundry is my Achilles heel of housekeeping and it doesn't help that I absolutely hate doing laundry before I had a baby.  But, after having a baby it's become almost impossible to keep up on laundry.  And if it's possible, I've learned to hate laundry even more.  You go through so many clothes between baby getting dirty and mommy holding a dirty baby or getting food chucked at her by that lovely little baby.  Plus it probably doesn't help that I have a great little helper when it comes to laundry and she thinks she's being a huge help when she 'folds' the laundry.  :)  
  • Going out in public can be stressful.  If you're brave enough (or stupid enough) to take a baby out to eat with you, you tend to choose fast food.  Going out to eat to a sit down restaurant can be stressful with an active baby, especially when service is slow.  If you're nursing, people feel uncomfortable with you feeding your baby in public, even if you're covered up.  If you're bottle feeding, people think you're a horrible mom for not nursing.  Let's just be honest, in general you'll find two types of people, either people can't stand you because you have a child no matter how well behaved they are.  Or people love your baby and think (s)he is the cutest thing in the world.  I like the 2nd type of people.  :)
  • Working out is hard to do.  I thought working out after a baby wouldn't be that hard to keep in my life style because it was apart of my life style before baby.  Well I was wrong.  Somehow time just slips away.  Now, I'm not saying that I'm a complete couch potato.  In fact, I only sit at work (sometimes) and for about an hour after baby goes to bed.  When I'm home, I'm usually up and moving around.  It's just not the same.  And sure, I go for multiple walks (in one night) with my baby but it's not the same.  I miss working out.  It's been hard for me to pick it back up.  Mainly my lack of time and the demanding attention of a toddler eats into my free time.  
Having a baby isn't always that hard though.  Other things people don't prepare you for:
  •  How much fun it is to have a baby or toddler.  Sure it's a lot of work and sacrifice, but it's totally worth it.
  • How amazing God is.  It's so hard to look at a child and think there is no God.  
  • How smart babies are.  Pretty sure my baby is smarter than me.  People never give babies enough credit for their intelligence.  Pretty sure babies are smarter than adults. 
  • Eating healthy isn't as hard as you may think.  Since we started our baby on solid foods I started paying more attention to having a more balanced diet.  Not as hard as one may think.
  • Baby weight may not melt off for you (it didn't for me), but you don't have to force yourself to workout to make it happen.  It can also happen just by eating healthy and do a lot of playing with your baby.  There are also workouts that you can do to incorporate baby. Whatever you do, don't let the guilt get to you for not working out. 
  • Most importantly, no one prepares you for how much you're going to love your child. 

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Watching my little girl grow

I can't believe how fast this past year & a half has gone.  So many things have changed.  And boy, is my little girl smart!  Sometimes I think she's smarter than me.

Some highlights of the past couple months:

  • Reading is a favorite pastime.  We usually read 2 books every morning before daycare/work.  Then it's not uncommon to spend 1/2 hour most nights reading books.  What's amazing is she has some books memorized.  She can help me read a few lines on of her books "Big Bird is yellow.  What else is yellow?  The sun and the 'duck!'  Elmo is red.  What else is red?  Lady bugs and 'pples'".
  • Vocabulary - I can't believe all the vocab words that she knows.  We will walk down the street, she will point things out to us.  "A bird! A bird!  Tweet tweet! Bye bye!" as the bird flies away.  "Truck!"  "A dog!  Woof! Woof!"  We will flip through a book and she will point out and tell me what the different animals are and the sounds they make.  However, some of the animals she identifies by the sound they make, like "baa" means sheep.  However, try convincing her that a chicken is not a duck is proving to be unsuccessful.  She also learning body parts.  She can identify most of the parts of your face (only missing check & chin) along with belly button, fingers & toes.  And this is just the tip of the ice berg.
  • She is such a big helper.  She will help me in the kitchen when I give her little tasks.  She loves to have things clean and will pick something up and put it in the garbage (and it's really garbage!)  She will go around and close the cupboard doors for us, even when we are trying to get something out of the cupboard.  I am able to get her to help pick up her toys and her laundry.  She even "helps" me stuff her diapers (we use cloth). 
It has been so much fun watching her learn.  I am so proud of her!  I really enjoy watching her grow, even though it's happening a little too fast.

Sunday, March 30, 2014


I think there's something wrong with my child.  She loves to do house work and clean!  But I'm not complaining.  I'm loving it!

Here are a few stories from this weekend.  Tonight after supper my girl apparently hid a lot of her veggies in her high chair tonight.  So I lowered the chair down to her level for her and she individually threw each piece of food in the garbage.  When it came down to wiping out the seat, she would wipe it out, walk to the garbage and drop collected food in the garbage (just like Mommy & Daddy do).  Let me tell you, for a 16 month old she did an amazing job!  The only spots that were still dirty were the very back corners that are hard to get.  When I told her that we were all done & that she did a good job, she dropped to the floor & threw a fit.  Like I said, there's something wrong with my child.  I never thought I'd see my child throw temper tantrums every time I tell her that we're all done cleaning up.  And this happens more than you think.

Another story.  We use cloth diapers.  When it comes to stuffing clean diapers she now has to help.  My little girl will bring over one diaper and one insert.  I'm supposed to help hold open the diaper and she stuffs the insert into the diaper.  Does she do this correctly, not a chance!  But she's so proud of herself when she's done.  So at times now our stuffed diapers will have an insert stuffed into a ball right at the very opening of the diaper.

People laugh at me when I tell them that she makes supper or bakes, but it's true.  I let her do all the "safe" stuff, so stirring, pouring ingredients into the bowl/pan.  There are times when we don't need the oven or stove and she will play a part in the entire process.  And she loves it!  In face we've had many a temper tantrums when the stirring was all done.

My little girl will also find specks on the floor and pick them up and put them in the garbage.  Unfortunately, she will purposely dump water on the floor just so she can wipe it up (because apparently washing floors is fun).  At times she will pick up her clothes after a bath and take them into her bedroom and put them in the dirty laundry pile.  She will also help me load & unload the washing machine and dryer.  She will even bring over wet clothes from the washing machine to hang up on the drying rack.  She has figured out how to work the dishwasher (I have caught her several times starting the dishwasher right after we've emptied it).  My favorite thing though is she has the same obsessive compulsiveness that I have about cupboard doors being closed.  She will go around the kitchen close cupboard doors on you when you're trying to get something or put something away.  Same goes with the freezer.  Dig fast!  She even has to go behind her father and close the doors (that are at her height) for him because he's famous for leaving cupboard doors open.  :)

I could go on and on about how much she loves to help.  I'm just so amazed at how well she helps and how much she loves to help.  I hope that this is something that continues on and that she will have that desire to keep things neat & tidy just like her momma. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Watching What We Say

Mike and I have made some conscience decisions about some of the things we say and don't say in our house.

1) We limit the word "no".  Depending on the situation, we either try to distract her with something else positive or explain to our daughter what she's doing wrong and why it's wrong. 

2) We don't say things like "that was stupid of me".  When we mess up we try not put ourselves down.

3) I stand in front of the mirror with my daughter and we talk to ourselves saying only positive things about ourselves.  We say things like "I love you" and "You're pretty."  (OK, so I speak for baby). 

4) We praise her for everything positive she does, regardless how small or big the task.

5) We speak words of encouragement.  In our house you'll constantly hear "you can do it!"

I have found them to be very productive when teaching and guiding our daughter.  Even though she's one she understands a lot and it shows.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Watching My Little Girl Learn

Lately I have been really amazed at the things my little girl knows.  I constantly find myself saying "Where did you learn that?" or "How did you know that?"  She's only 14 month old and she's just amazing.  It's just so much fun watching her.

Just today I enjoyed watching her play with her Noah's Ark.  I watched her pair up each of the animals, without my husband nor myself showing her which animals went together (there's a male & female version of each animal).

This weekend my husband & I volunteered in the "1's & 2's" room at church.  We have recently moved her out of the nursery at church and up to the "1's & 2's" room.  I was a little nervous because she didn't do well at the nursery.  I spent most Sunday Services up in the nursery.  Plus, she's pretty possessive of her mother.  I can't look, much less hold another baby.  But she was such a good little girl.  I sat her down in a big girl chair at the table and she was in love.  I couldn't believe my eyes.  She sat in that chair for most of the service.  She did puzzles with some of the other kids.  She sat in her big girl chair when I read a couple books to a few of the kids.  But she did get off her big girl chair to go play with some of the other kids.  She's definitely the youngest & smallest one in that room right now and she wanted to keep up with the big kids.  She loved that room!  For the first time, she cried when it was time to leave church.  My favorite part of that experience was the pride she took for sitting in the big girl chair.  She thought that was just the cat's meow.

Not sure how, but she also knows if she comes across a piece of garbage and will go throw it in the garbage herself.  We have been monitoring what she throws in the garbage for fear one day it will not be garbage that will end up in there.

Other things she does is she puts on her own lotion.  She puts lotion on her hand and we tell her "rub rub rub" and she rubs her hands together.  Of course, as she's rubbing her hands together she's also saying "rub rub rub" as well.  She's now able to put lotion on her hands and legs.  I'm working on the arms now.  And don't you think you can help her put lotion on her hands and legs.  She can do it herself!  She also does the same thing when it comes to washing her hands.  When we put soap on her hands she says "rub rub rub" and rinses them off.

She also has learned how to "brush" her teeth.  I handed a toothbrush about a month ago thinking it would take a week or so for her to figure it how what to do with that toothbrush.  It only took one day!!!  She learned from watching me.  She turns her toothbrush in her mouth and moves it around.  However, she hasn't quite figured out the actual brushing part yet.  But I know that will come.

I'm also amazed at the commands and comments she knows.  If you tell her we're going bye-bye, she'll go grab her coat, hat and mittens.  When you ask her to sit or to go get something (like a book or toy or shoes) she'll go and grab a book or toy.  When you ask her questions, like "should we go change your diaper," if she needs a new diaper she will get up and walk to the changing table herself.  Or if you ask her "who's hungry?" she will walk right over to her highchair and want up.  She's also become very good at knowing what she's allowed to get into and what is hand's off around the house.

This girl also loves to help her mama cook.  I let her stir stuff, add ingredients to dishes, and open certain packages.  She just loves it!  She knows what she's doing and has dubbed herself the official stirrer of the household.  However, she gets pretty mad when she can't stir the food on the stove because she's the "Official Stirrer of the Household."

These are just a few things that she's doing.  I am just having a blast watching her learn.  Before having a baby, I never realized how smart they are.  Sometimes I think she's smarter than me.  And what's amazing, she teaches me a lot of things too.  I'm so blessed to have such a wonderful daughter and I'm excited to see what new thing she's going to learn to do tomorrow (just as long as tomorrow comes slowly b/c she's growing up way too fast).