My baby–isn’t so much a baby anymore.

It’s pretty custom to write a fresh blog post for the New Year.  But, this time it’s not about resolutions or solutions.  And, it’s not a trip down memory lane either.  I get tired of reading posts like that.  You know–posts that are full of optimism and hope for the New Year to bring new things.  Posts that ramble on about new goals and ideas.  Posts that reminisce on all the woes and triumphs of the past year.   Seriously though, how many goals do you attempt to achieve in one year and actually achieve them?  Okay, I’m guilty. I’ve written these types of posts.  We all have. But, this year I’m just not feelin’ it.   Don’t get me wrong–I did make a goal list and I’m very excited for 2016.  I’m just choosing not to share it this year, because I’m assuming you’ve read enough of these posts.

  
Maybe it’s because Cora (my youngest) turns 1 today,  and that’s what I want to write about.  The fact that my baby– isn’t so much a baby anymore.  And, it’s totally heartbreaking.   Insert 1,000 tear emoji’s. Sure she will always be my baby, because she is the youngest.   But now, she is a walking toddler.  A freakin’ one-year-old!

  
Each age comes with new responsibilities, stages, and developments.  And, with Cora turning one I’ve slowly entered into this world where my children are starting to fight.  Sibling rivalry has officially begun folks.  Uhh surprise! –Yeah, no.   It’s not fun.

And if you have kids you know how it goes:

Cora is holding a toy.

McKinley grabs the toy.

Cora starts flailing and screaming.  Technically a tantrum. (And not a cute one).  It’s the kind where you actually scrunch up the side of you lip, raise your eyebrows, and say, “Are you serious?”   Then you attempt to correct the situation.

“McKinley, you took that from your sister and she was playing with it.  Please give it back to her and when she is done you can have a turn.”

Boom. Fireworks.

McKinley starts stomping her foot with hand on hip.

My eye starts twitching.

Cora grabs toy from McKinley.

“Hey, that’s mine!” as she grabs back from Cora.

Eyes bulge. Teeth clench.

“If you guys cannot share, then the toy goes.”

Thankfully at this point I can still distract Cora—but with effort.

It’s obviously not all like that.  Now, when McKinley stubs her toe, or is crying about her newest and latest “boo-boo,” Cora toddles over to McKinley and repetitively pats her with both chubby little hands.   And smiles.  McKinley giggles. They hug.  Ah!  I live for these moments.  Every parent does.  Because, It’s better than gold.  It’s a calm and peace that rushes through your mind and body.   Where the world makes sense.  And you understand purpose.  And love simply permeates the room in a profound way.

  
“Cora say, “MA-MA,” come on you can do it!”   McKinley has become an amazing sister.  I think it’s a big milestone–developing that role and understanding what it means to be a sibling.  But, in a year, McKinley has owned it.  Cora cries and in a matter of minutes McKinley returns to the rescue with a teddy bear.

Another aweing thing about having a big One-year-old is that their personality emerges.   Cora is a sweetheart.  And that’s the best word to describe her.  She stumbles over to give my legs a hug while I cook dinner.  And is laid back enough to let me hold her in an Ergo carrier for hours.  She has gentle eyes. You look into them and see a softness. I recognize them, because my father had the same blue eyes.

  
Cheers to parenthood and Happy Birthday to our sweet Cora. We love you!

 ~g 

 

Monday Milestone: McKinley Reads!

Okay, McKinley is not “reading reading,” but she can distinguish the words by color!  And  later I rewrote all the words in the same color (black) and she was able to distinguish some of them.

It was so special for her to read a word! 

And of course… I made her show off to daddy, and then for a video, so I could show the moment to you guys!  Near the end of the video she is sick of reading!  🙂

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Wordless Wednesday: Step Stool

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Monday Monologue: “Uh-Oh Meme”

Okay, McKinley is 18-months-old now.  We should probably talk about what that means.   And…more what that entails for Mama G (a.k.a me).  18-months is a big milestone.  The reason people say, “she is 17 months” or “She is 8-months now” is because infant’s cognitive and physical development is vastly different from month to month.

18 months.  McKinley’s next “well-visit” or check up at the doctor is now 6 months away, instead of 3 months.  It is developmentally when Telegraphic speech begins, symbolic thought, and the use of their emotions to manipulate (my personal favorite).   It’s important to mention here that every child is different and develops differently.

Telegraphic speech is when they start stringing words together.  For example, McKinley will say, “Uh-ohh Meme,”  “down there,” or “bye-bye Dada.”   And symbolic thought is when they will use language to think about their actions before performing them.  It’s a great age.  I look at McKinley and I start thinking, Oh man, you’re not my little baby anymore. You’re getting big.

It comes as no surprise to you that this age comes with new territory. Mainly: climbing on everything– throwing mini tantrums that half the time make no sense–hiding–well she thinks she hiding–bigger poop ordeals, bigger messes, and of course emotional manipulation.

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Last night McKinley screamed, because her hand was stuck in a jar. When I rushed to help, she pulled her hand out, and started laughing.   I most likely reinforce behavior like this, because I’ll shake my head and say, “Oh man McKinley, you got me!”
Although, I can’t say I’m 100% surprised. After all my father was a huge prankster.

Do you have any great moments or insane stories from this age?! Mine are starting to pile up!

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Discipline Don’ts

If you’re a first time parent, or a parent of five children, learning how to discipline your children can be a tricky process to learn. How do you do it? Is one parent the good cop and the other the bad cop?

Applying multiple parenting strategies can allow us to be more well-rounded parents. Parenting isn’t black and white. We shouldn’t have to be the friend or the boss, we can be both. Strict and laid back.

Though it seems in the world of parenting we are critical of one another and our choices. But why? Why are we so divided? Is it because we’ve never actually grown up? Were we all not judged enough through adolescence? There’s no official rule book for parenting. Otherwise we would be boring.

I will say, when it comes to discipline however, abuse and neglect is never an option. No matter how angry or upset we get, we should never take our emotions out on our children. Verbal abuse is something parents can neglect to realize as harmful.

Have you ever screamed “Shut up!” or “Your dumb!”? These type of comments can be harmful to your children. I’ve had many clients recall verbal abuse growing up. It sticks. I get it, it’s hard when you’re trying your best and your tactics just don’t seem to work. It can be frustrating. We’ve all made mistakes as parents, but it’s our job to set an example. We need to practice stress management and learn to control and understand our emotions.

10 Discipline Don’ts via Parents Magazine 2013IMG_7437

  • Yell
  • Offer empty threats : Say what you mean, and mean what you say
  • Undermine your partner
  • Fail to set rules
  • Bribe:
  • Argue about consequences: Not up for negotiations
  • Compare
  • Spank
  • Cave in to whining
  • Set a bad example

 

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