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The Default Parent

Lately everything on the internet seems to be regurgitated info. I’ll read something, then I’ll see it shared out via HuffPost or some other outlet, then four friends share it, then a month later another friend shares it and so on and so forth. I find myself questioning am I nuts or is it just Facebook deja vu?!

One article I’ve seen a million times — but read each time someone new posts it — is The Default Parent.

I am grateful to have a husband who is very much a parenting partner every step of the way: from diaper-changes to story- reading to laundry-folding to dinner-prepping … we very much share our parenting responsibilities. We both work full-time, and we both co-manage our household, we both take care of our kids — nurturing them, teaching them, grooming them to be good citizens of the world. He does drop-off, I do pick-up. We have a nice system going.

But when push comes to shove, like most moms, I’m the “default parent.” Continue Reading »

Tiny Dancer

Before class ... looking in

Before class … looking in

About two months ago I contacted a well-known, local dance studio to see about enrolling Maya in formal ballet / tap classes. She is very theatrical and into pretend play, loves music and dance right now, and I thought it would be good prep for kindergarten in a couple years: unlike school or the activities we’ve done with her friends, she wouldn’t know anyone (teachers or students).

Also, she’s at the prime age to give it a shot: I had started dance at age 3 and danced til Varsity cheerleading conflicted sophomore year of high school — starting young was a huge benefit in terms of learning discipline, building confidence, making new friends, and of course, the physical aspects of dance. Continue Reading »

Rushing for Nothing

I’ve blogged ad nauseam about my anxiety issues over the years. It’s no surprise that, while I try — maybe too hard? — to live in the moment, my brain is still always thinking ten steps ahead. In some instances that can be a benefit. But in others, it isn’t so great.

Lately my anxiety has (stupidly) stemmed from Ben not walking. I know, I know … kids walk and talk and all that when they are ready. I know Maya didn’t walk til 13 months (where Ben is now). And I know all kids are different.

But I have been so focused on Ben not walking that I missed some other super-awesome things he can do now. In the past month or two, he waves bye whenever leaving the room (or if someone else does); climbs on furniture; can climb up stairs (and semi-scoots down with assistance); he throws balls with such dexterity that there’s no way he’s my kid; dances — like bops and shakes his head side to side; puts a “phone” to his ear and “talking” when he hears a phone ring on TV or at home; and he blows kisses — to name a few. Continue Reading »

I’ve seen lots of bloggers do posts like this, offering a glimpse into their lives outside of their normal blogging beats, and so I thought I’d take a stab at it tonight.

Here’s what I’m loving lately.

*Chocolate. [see also, Sweat]. Halloween. Need I say more?! I keep thinking I’ll be “over it” but then find my hand in my daughter’s Halloween pumpkin every day. It’s not like I don’t know what a Snickers bar tastes like but it’s mini! I shall have three! Sigh. Continue Reading »

The Last Bottle

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my sweet benny. photo courtesy of staci ainsworth

Ben turned one a month ago and I had fully intended to begin to pull the bottle plug at the one-year mark, as we did with Maya. With her, it was a slow transition to the sippy cup that probably started a tad too late. I ended up ditching the paci first because that had been her crutch, and then working on the sippy cup transition once she had that down. The whole transition took about six weeks and it was not easy; in retrospect I probably should have just cut her off cold turkey from her bottles, too.

Oh well, no harm, no foul: lesson learned for baby #2!

Ben never really took to his pacifier … and by the time he came along, our pediatrician was now recommending water in a sippy from six months on — and so he was acclimated  to it somewhat. He didn’t have a problem drinking water, and when I introduced milk at dinner over the past two months, he would take a couple sips before whacking it to the floor in true baby fashion. I didn’t think the change would be as dramatic for him as it was Maya — even though I was going with a cold turkey approach to weaning, and I was right — but we had a bit of a set-back earlier this month. Continue Reading »

Choices

Ever since Maya was a tiny tot, we knew she was going to be opinionated and headstrong. Given who her parents are, this comes as no surprise: we’re both stubborn as hell, headstrong, and think we are right all the time. Naturally.

And from an early age, even before she could talk, it was evident she had a stubborn streak in her. When she was really small, it was cute — endearing, even. And ironically as an adult, that assertive, confident attitude will carry her far (provided she doesn’t stomp on the little people on her way up … !) But as a preschooler, it’s been a challenge, to say the least.

There’s a great phrase to describe these adorable little opinionated monsters/angels … #threenagers. They’re moody teens squished into toddler bodies, irrational as hell one minute and then clinging to you the next … Continue Reading »

Precious Jewels

Motherhood can be messy. Frightening. Demoralizing. Stressful. Challenging. Complicated.

Sometimes you wonder (or maybe it’s just me?), how can you love someone soooo much and yet at the same time, find yourself screaming like a totally irrational tot at her (the actual tot) … only to cry after she’s asleep because you realize that showing your true colors to a 3-year-old is as useless as wearing snow pants in July and really, at the heart of it, you were just PMSing and “fwus-ta-wated” [frustrated in toddler-speak] at the pile of dishes in the sink from the night before that neither of you could get to, the work project still on hold for the third day in a row with the unmoving deadline, the jeans that aren’t fitting as well as you’d like (because you’ve been avoiding the gym like the plague) … and she just happened to push your buttons on a day when you were already late for a morning meeting.

You snapped. And it isn’t right … but it happens.

Yea. Sometimes motherhood is really, really hard. Continue Reading »

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