Phase 3: Childproofing

Phase 1 (0-3 months): Clockwork. Feeding, changing diapers, holding, napping, going for walks. Then, feeding, changing, holding, napping, feeding, and changing some more. Also, getting used to new life.

Phase 2 (4-7 months): Cruise Control. You’ve created a system that works. You’ve adjusted now to the new family. You go from having a dependent newborn to an active and responsive being. It’s when personalities start to emerge and everyday brings new insights to your little one. While there are many dramatic changes during this time, as parents you are quicker to adjust, so the ride is smooth.

Phase 3 (7-12 months): Childproofing. Your little one has realized they have control and power. You feel pride and happiness while your internal alarm is going off: SAFETY! SAFETY! SAFETY! This phase has a similar feel to clockwork. It’s crawling, and walking, and crying, because they crawled away from you, or bumped their head, or fallen down. It’s here, then there, then back over here.

And….Phase 3 has begun. Let me tell you, we have quite the crawling caterpillar!

I’m beginning to childproof, in the words of Dane Cook, Stat-Pronto-Tonight! And, I’ve already managed to plug the outlets. Although, I tried to vacuum the other day, and couldn’t get the childproof plug out after trying for 5 minutes. Seriously…5 minutes!!! The “childproofing” phenomena should be simplified to “proofing,” because it’s just as challenging for adults.

This looks like a science project. What has been you’re experience with childproofing!? Please Share!

For Animal Lovers

Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.

-Anatole France-

My family are more of dogs lovers, but I truly love all animals.  McKinley loves and I mean seriously loves the puppies.  Here is a heart warming video for animal lovers out there.  You can hear McKinley talk to our little Jack-Russell Terror/Husky, Roxie.  Enjoy.

My dear old dog, most constant of all friends.

-William Croswell Doane-

Solitude

McKinley loves her time of solitude.

As I slowly sip my coffee and scan other blogs, I hear her high pitch sounds and babbling conversations with toys as she peacefully plays in her playpen for 25 minutes.  I give her time of solitude.  A time where she is free to explore without a frantic-hovering mother.  It’s time alone to her anyway, because in reality I am there.

When we go outside, I watch her in complete awe while she examines the grass.  She tends to be more serious outside.  Studying and reflecting on the wind, sun, flowers, and trees.  As she embraces the outdoors, it’s clear to me she is my daughter.

A time of solitude is not for everyone.  Some people prefer to be around others.

Which do you prefer?

Living with Parents

Everyone has been wondering—What’s it like to be back living with the parents again?  And actually not “everyone” is wondering, I tend to exaggerate. My husband and I are living with my parents while he attends Law school.  Just so we are clear: two married couples, a baby, and three dogs.

Wishing to move out starts sometime in high school when you’re trying to distinguish and create a sense of identity.  Screaming inside your head, “I’m not a child anymore!”   And once you do move out, you are either free from the rules that bound you, or free to create rules to ground you.   But, there is never a real moment when you wish to move back in.

Nowadays it has become a necessity for survival.   With a job that pays over minimum wage it’s almost impossible to support yourself.  $700.00 rent is too high.  Add utilities, cable, Internet, car payment, insurance, telephone, gas, food, and SCHOOL LOANS.  You’re looking at like $2,100-$2,300 a month!  And that’s a rough estimate for a single person.  Now add baby costs, health insurance, and your spouse, oh yeah, and law school.

To be honest, I enjoy living with my parents, because I’m close to them.  And really, to me– it’s a cultural thing.  I appreciate cultures and traditions.  In African American, American Indian, and Hispanic culture living with extended family is normal.

So what’s it like to be living with the parents again?

Well, there is a parade of baby crap everywhere you look. Playpens, high chairs, bouncy chairs, burp cloths, clothes, bottles, and toys.  It’s like a mini frat party- dogs wrestling, people coming and going, and it’s loud.  Though, I’d say it’s quite the blessing in disguise.  Not to say that I love sweaty, gross, loud, annoying frat parties.   I don’t.  But, mini frat parties are my thang.

My financial burdens are eased and my immediate support system has doubled.   One week my husband and I do all the cooking while my parents are on “clean up” duty.  The next week we switch.  We eat like kings.  Check out photos of dinner below.

Veggie Curry with Quinoa

Cajun Fish with a candied walnut, apple, blue cheese, and fennel salad

Jealous right? Mmmm.  What’s on the menu tonight? Peppercorn Pork tenderloin with an orange wasabi kale salad.

Now, I’m not saying it’s perfect, but it’s definitely a different feel this time around.  I’m not screaming inside my head.   I’m just so fortunate to have parents who are extremely supportive and welcomed the idea for us to move in with them.   (Let’s be serial here: first grandchild).

If anything, the question should be, what’s it like to have your children move back in?  Are you living with your parents? Or have your children living with you? What has been your experience?

Human Condition

It’s taken me approximately three years to start avidly writing again and only about twelve to finally start blogging.   Crazy right?  What always held me back was finding a topic area to write about consistently.  Sure, “life” seems like the obvious choice I should have chosen those twelve years ago, when I was writing dark poetry in high-school, but at the time it seemed unoriginal.  I was the girl who had to be different, because everyone around me seemed the same.  And come on…predictable equals boring.  That’s probably why countless times in my life I’ve been called a weirdo.

Then, freshman year of College, my incredibly sexy english teacher asked me, “what do you want to be when you grow up?”   I said,

“A writer.”  And, I was not saying this because he was sexy.  It was the truth.

“Well then, what do you plan to write about?”

“An autobiography,” I responded.

He crossed his arms, “what makes you think people want to read about your life?”  My cheeks flushed… my jawed dropped…and I’m pretty sure we call this condition embarrassment.

“Because, I’ve seen things people my age have not.”  That was the end of the conversation, but I was left wondering, then what do I write?

~McKinley deep in thought~

You should know that today is a special day.  It’s McKinley’s ½ Birthday.   And we’ve spent the day reflecting (a common practice in the household) on the things we have learned the past 6 months.

McKinley’s Journey includes learning:

  • 1)      To hold her head up,
  • 2)      To roll both ways,
  • 3)      To reach & grasp for objects,
  • 4)      To sit,
  • 5)      To eat cereal,
  • 6)      To crawl,
  • 7)      To screech & babble
  • 8)      Her likes & dislikes
  • 9)      And other codes of communication.

My journey includes learning:

  • 1)     New responsibility becoming a mother
  • 2)     A new meaning of life & evolving love
  • 3)     The DSM-IV (diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders)
  • 4)     Administration, Childhood development, Intervention Theories & Techniques, Ethics-and basically anything Social Work related.
  • 4)     Never to plan on the plan, but have one.  And, it’s okay to abandon the plan.
  • 5)     No one can take your education from you.  It’s worth the money.

Later in life I realized people want connection, want to feel like, Oh hey, I’m actually not alone.  You see, we enjoy reading about the human condition.  Therefore, autobiographies are awesome and sexy teachers suck.   I’m not writing because I have something interesting to say, or have random experiences that you don’t.  I’m writing for me, the weird girl who doesn’t have to be different anymore, to write.  And, I don’t love any one thing enough to consistently write about it, other than my family.