Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Happy Birthday, Amelia!

Amelia turned 1 on Tuesday! It was very exciting and there was much celebration in our family. We held a party at Chuck E. Cheese's (not my first choice of places to hang out, but was a suitable neutral location) with Amelia's birth mom and family and our family. It turned out pretty well. We also took her to the zoo! Here are some pics--sorry I have to blur her sweet face!

She was quite the brave one riding the monster truck. There wasn't an ounce of fear in her little body as she rode, often holding on with only one hand. My nervousness was enough for both of us. The girl's a little dare devil!

On a more philosophical note, I've been wondering why we sigh with relief when babies finally turn 1.

Is it because they can now drink cow's milk?

Last month at our playgroup I saw one of the moms feeding cow's milk to her 9 month-old. "Yes," she said, "I've started her early", looking semi-guilty. (She's the same mom who told us at yesterday's group, with the same sort-of-guilty shrug, that she also shares her Frappacinos with her baby!)

Is it because babies can now eat honey?

A few weeks ago someone told me that their relative, in line with our mothers and grandmothers, still dips her babies' pacifiers in honey before giving it to them, long BEFORE they are 1!

Did I pass judgement on these mothers? At first, yes, because the two above-named rules are such ingrained no-no's for me. And while I draw the line at Frappacinos, are there other ways that are OK and work? Yes. Moms have been raising babies for thousands of years, and while we can't ignore experiences and studies of others, amidst all of that we need to eventually pave our own way. Don't we?

The longer I parent, the more it becomes clear. The rules that you read about or think most people follow are not necessarily "rules". People do what they want, how they want in raising their kids. We should take what we hear that has worked and then try other things for ourselves (within reason) to become our own style of parent, whatever that may be.

That's what I think, anyway.

One last thing. I went in to check on Amelia before going to bed a few weeks ago. It warmed my heart to see her lift her sleeping head groggily and pat the mattress all around her, in search for her binky! As I helped her out, I was amazed to realize that this is a trait that comes with us--and not something we learn. Who'dve thunk!?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

On My Honor...

This one's for all you den leaders who think the boys aren't really picking up.

I was taking out the trash yesterday afternoon in the breezeway between the garage and the shop, unseen. As they were walking home from school, I overheard two siblings from my ward talking. The older brother (age 11) said to his little sister (age 7):

"I shouldn't have done that. I'm a cub scout! I shouldn't have DONE that!"

I was dying to lean over my fence and ask what he shouldn't have done, but I didn't. I have been chuckling with joy ever since.

Friday, April 4, 2008


This is my friend Megan. At one point I supervised her at Head Start. Megan loves kids and is great with them. She is one of the best preschool teachers I've ever met, and I've met a lot of them! Megan is going to leave her job as a preschool teacher this June to be a missionary to urban children at Beechpoint Christian Camp near Chicago. She has done this for six summers, but will now work there full-time. Below is a picture of her with the girls (ages 8-14) that she has worked with in the past. Aren't they beautiful?
I will miss Megan when she goes. She is a bright light in my life. She is one of the most expressive, loving people I know. She also loves and cares for the foster children that have come to our home, and is continually affirming to me that foster parenting is a great thing to do. Megan sends notes in the mail just because, and actually brings blank note cards for me to write in so she can take them to people who miss me at work! Who does that?? Megan, that's who. She truly is one of the best people I know.

On another note, Megan and I love to chew gum when we get together, so we have given each other gum in the past. The photo below shows her most recent offering--the best one either of us has done!! What I want to know is who will bring me gallon-sized bags of gumballs once Megan leaves?? No one--that's who!I love you, Megan! My jaw really kills from trying every flavor today, but I love you!! :)