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 

 

A Coloring Book Adventure

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My efforts to distract yet another tantrum led to the making of a coloring book.

Backstory
My toddler begs to watch Peppa Pig. So much that one time I made the mistake of making it a reward for taking a nap. And now, sleep = Peppa.

Television was actually something I did not tolerate for over the first year of her life. “No screen time what-so-ever,” I would tell people. But, then life happened.

Taking care of my dad in the end of his life was way more important than being a screen time drill Sargent. And so, she became familiar with Curious George and Peppa Pig.

Birth of a Coloring Book
McKinley starts begging to watch Peppa pig and it’s 10am.

“No Peppa right now,” I say.
“Mama I want Peppa!”
“Later today.” The tantrum slowly begins. “How about we color Peppa instead?” I ask. Diversion complete.
“Yeahhh!!”

Supplies:
•Computer
•Printer paper
•Construction paper
•Stapler
•Marker

Directions:
1. Look on Google images and let them pick out and point to the photos they want to color.
2. Print photos out 5X7 on printer
paper (2 pictures per page).

20131212-002345.jpg3. Stack all printed pages and place a piece of colored construction paper on the bottom.
4. Fold all pages in half together. When you do this, you’ll have a blank page and a coloring page. You can then create stories. (I asked McKinley what she saw and wrote down her words.)

20131212-001844.jpg 5. Staple along the edge.

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20131212-002508.jpgThe great thing about doing this project is it’s quick, easy, and fun! Also, you can make different coloring books as their interests change.

Happy 21 months to McKinley today!

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