Where we see playground equipment, my son sees armour, a sword–a noble knight! (Do you see it?)
Where we see playground equipment, my son sees armour, a sword–a noble knight! (Do you see it?)
Click here to view the previous post in this series.
If there comes a day when your eight glasses of water are hard to swallow, remember this post. When you dread every drop of liquid because you know it means that you will wake up five times in the night to waddle to the bathroom, remember this: it is preparation.
I heard about it when I was pregnant with my first. An older friend told me that the disrupted sleep is nature’s way of preparing a new mother for the first several months of motherhood, a sort of warm-up for those nights of broken, restless sleep. I thought it was a brilliant theory! But, after having four kids and mothering for several years, I think the frequent potty breaks get us ready for a lot more than just the first few months.
Consider this: going to the bathroom once an hour is tedious and inconvenient. You must stop what you are doing, use the restroom, readjust your lovely maternity garments, wash up, spend minutes checking out your preggo profile in the mirror to see if it’s changed in the past hour, then finally return to what you were doing. It’s not like you have a choice, either! The bladder calls; you must respond.
That’s parenting, sister. (Well, not the bladder part.) Parenthood is strewn with endless mundane, sometimes mind-numbing tasks. Through diapering and potty training, instilling good habits, tieing shoes, settling squabbles, helping with homework and always disciplining, a mother (and a father) is called to do the same thing over and over and over and over.
I know. It doesn’t sound very fun. Please keep reading!
Just as the incessant need to relieve yourself is a good thing for your body, the consistent, routine tasks of parenthood are good and necessary for your child. Yes, it gets tedious (oh believe me, it does!) But one of the wonderful things about raising a child is that they are constantly maturing. Their well-being and good health, that first smile and laugh, the first step, the first time they “help” you clean up; all of these are in great part due to your diligent care. You constantly get to experience the reward of your work!
These rewards are a sweet (and necessary) boost when you are cleaning soggy toast chunks out of their neck folds for the 273rd time.
So when you are visiting the ladies’ room for the fifth time (before noon), remember that you are a parent-in-training. Like a professional athlete conditioning their body for competition, you are getting ready for a mighty big challenge. Just remember, your reward is not the top podium, a trophy, a medal or your face on a cereal box.
It is simply the sweetest thing you will ever hold in your arms.
The previous post in this series is found here.
I mean it. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Thank you for not waiting to find out the gender of your baby. Thank you for choosing to let that sonographer rub all over your preggo belly until the great secret is revealed, because I might spontaneously combust if I had to wait until your due date to find out! Hold on…
I’m back! Just the thought of not knowing for five more months sent me to my Halloween stash for another fun-size Snickers. Anyway, despite my desire to tell you everything I can about pregnancy, lately I find myself thinking about your baby and wondering if we’re going to welcome another boy cousin into the family, or if you’re going to even things out for the girls. Instead of dispensing maternal wisdom I chew on my nails and check the calendar to see how many more days until the crucial appointment.
Now, I have to admit something here. I think I know what you’re having. I know it sounds ridiculous, but I feel pretty confidant! You’ll encounter other people–friends, perfect strangers–who will declare the gender of your child based on how you’re carrying, the type of food you prefer, or simply their own intuition. (They might be really obnoxious about it and depending on your hormone levels at the time you may or may not respond graciously.)
But I’m your big sister. I’m not sure why that makes a difference here, but still, I think I know and I’ve revealed my guess in this post! Try to find it! Or not. Perhaps you rolled your eyes after the first couple of sentences and went off to do something more interesting like winterize your pool. But it’s here, on record, so that if I’m right I can slide into big sister mode and say:
I told you so!
If I’m wrong? I sincerely, absolutely, unequivocally do not care. The gender, when revealed, will suddenly be exactly what I wanted my baby sister to have. (It’s crazy how that happens!)
To view the previous post in this series, please click here.
I’ve worried about this message for a few days. It involves a topic that is particularly guilt-inducing for some moms. Perhaps–I thought– it’s better to just leave it alone.
Wait…what? Leave it alone? I’d have to give up my Bossy Big Sister status! No way. I’m licensed to interfere, push, prod, nag, pester, bug, irritate, dictate, speculate, never hesitate and when all else fails–boss. (Or tie you up ’til you promise to behave, whatever works.)
Anyway, I’m talking about preserving memories for your sweet baby and I’m going to keep it short and sweet this week. If you want to create a scrapbook that weighs fifty pounds by Baby’s first birthday, go for it! If a pre-fab “baby book” is more your style, grab a cute one and start filling in the blanks.
But if traditional, detailed chronicles of any sort are not your style, don’t beat yourself up about it. Just save something. You’ll enjoy the flood of memories every time you reexamine the keepsakes and your child will treasure them all their life. Here’s a few no-stress suggestions to get you started.
Remember, these memories are not just for you and the hubs to savor, they are the beginning of Baby’s personal history. Trust me on this: kids love hearing their story. It doesn’t need fancy, color-coordinated packaging, it just needs to be preserved for all of you to enjoy.
Don’t ever hesitate to call your doctor if you have a question. Ever. I’m feeling really very bossy about this right now, so if you’re not in the mood you might want to come back later or block me with security settings or something because it feels sort of like when I was twelve, you were six and I knew everything. (I think I should have made that latte I ordered this morning a “tall” instead of a grande.)
Okay, where was I?
Right. Calling your doctor. If you have an absolutely fabulous doctor then she has already assured you that you can call any time you have a concern or question. Do it! Don’t ever talk yourself out of a phone call because:
I’m going to ditch these objections for you.
1. It’s a silly question. Really? Why? Because you think you should already know it? Because you think everyone else probably knows this and has never called your doctor to ask it? Not likely. In fact, I would wager Grandmommy’s cake stand that someone has asked it before. In fact, I challenge you to come up with a sincere, pregnancy-related question that your doctor has never heard! Now, for the sake of argument I’ll admit that silly questions are possible. If you called your doctor to ask, “What’s the likelihood that I’ll deliver a six-toed cat with black ears and a purple tail?” even I would call that silly.
2. I should know this. Why? You’ve never had a baby before! Don’t trip yourself up with this one; it’s silly ill-advised.
3. I should be able to figure this out. Well, if you let yourself go down that road, you just might convince yourself that you and the Hubs can ditch the doctor and deliver the baby yourself! Seriously, I know you’ve got a lot of great resources (ahem!) to consult when you want some information and I’m not suggesting that you ignore these, but just keep in mind that your doctor is the medical expert here. She’s the ultimate resource.
4. I can’t say that word out loud. Okay, I get this one, I really do. Fortunately, if it’s a problem, you have a great vocabulary and can probably get the idea across without saying the actual, precise, completely mortifying, anatomically correct word. If not, drive to your doctor’s office and write it on paper or draw a picture.
5. She’ll think I’m an idiot. I’ll make this brief: (a) No she won’t. (b) If she does she’s too professional to show it. (c) If not “a” or “b”, then get a new doctor! (On this point, please refer back to number one.)
The thing to keep in mind is that the doctor knows you are totally new at this. Guiding a first-time mom through all the little details is part of her job.
I’m so glad I got this out of my system!
I’m a fan of cornbread. I like it sweet or savory, but always buttery. I like it with any meal, any snack, but particularly with beans.
Last night I made Creamy Bean and Vegetable Soup, adding cooked, crumbled, sweet Italian sausage at the very end. The soup was delicious and hearty without being too heavy. These muffins–slightly sweet, buttery, moist and tender with a bit of crunch on top–were a perfect side.
Sweet Buttermilk Cornbread Muffins
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup melted, unsalted butter (about 1/2 stick)
1 egg, beaten
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease or line with paper 12 medium muffin cups.
Combine dry ingredients. Stir in buttermilk, butter and egg, mixing just until dry ingredients are moistened. Pour batter into prepared muffin cups. Bake 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
The best part of this recipe? I’ve got leftovers for breakfast!
To view the previous post in this series, click here. ~K
When I was pregnant with my first baby, a good friend suggested that I start buying diapers well ahead of my due date. I don’t remember her rationale for doing so, but I followed her advice!
I purchased two to four packages of diapers a month, starting in the middle of my second trimester. I had a nice stockpile by the time my baby was born! Here is why I recommend it:
Preparation boosts confidence. Every action you take to get ready for the baby boosts your self-confidence as parents. It’s good to feel “ready”. Building up many week’s worth of diapers feels “really ready!”
It’s one less concern. Instead of running to the store for a package of diapers when your baby is a week and a half old, you can do more worthy things with your time. Get to know the newest member of the family. Grab sleep when you can. Chat on the phone with all of your well-wishers. Go get a pedicure. Call your big sister and tell her that you would never have survived pregnancy without her timely, brilliant advice.
You can get used to the expense. Frankly, I was shocked when I took my first stroll down that foreign aisle stocked with rows of diapers, wipes, soaps, lotions and pureed human food. Was it possible that it cost that much for disposable infant underwear? At the time, we kept a strict grocery store budget of $50.00 per week. A month’s worth of diapers increased that amount by just over 50%–if we bought the store brand. The first month that I purchased diapers, I bought only one package (about a week’s worth). The next month I bought two. By the time our baby arrived I was buying one package a week and we had adjusted to our new budget.
It’s fun to shop for your baby! It feeds the excitement, the giddy, joyful anticipation of that sweet little person you are waiting to meet. Yes, even something as utilitarian as diapers contributes to the fun.
There are other consumables such as wipes and formula that I also suggest stocking early. Start slow if you like. Ease into it. Most of all, enjoy the preparation!