No more kisses

Some mothers cannot wait until their children are much older, or at least old enough to start doing things without their help. But for some others, a heavy cloud follows us around as we push the stroller because we’re in no rush to move beyond the baby phase.

If you routinely look back and stare at pictures of your babies when they were little, then I’m talking to you.

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Oh yes.  I miss the mittens!

In the days when I was out and about with my very own newborn, I could sense how these women (maybe most whose children were already grown) felt by the sight of us.  Nostalgia immediately took hold of them and they would begin,

I remember when my child was that small…

Even before I gave birth and was just showing, it would elicit similar reactions from total strangers.  A pregnant woman is an unavoidable reminder of such a past, but I’m no fool. I knew my days were also numbered.

If you have several children then perhaps you get to hold on to it longer but eventually, even the last one will grow up too. I’ve heard that it doesn’t matter how many kids you have, the thought of any of them (from way back when) still takes your breath away. Sigh.

One afternoon while at an amusement park, the female attendant helping my baby exit a ride squeezed in a hug for herself before handing him over to me.

I suppose it’s just a delicious stage to sniff and squeeze without protest that has a fond place in our memory bank.  Their sweet and affectionate ways delight us deeply during this most precious season of our lives.  But, their refreshing innocence is fleeting.

With every step they take, they shed their former self to make room for a new look. After my child has reached the next milestone I keep asking myself, “Where has my baby gone?” because the one in front of me, is not the original I once held in my arms.

I will also undergo a metamorphosis, eventually.  The mother he remembered will become elderly. I’m sure I won’t recognize myself by then either and will miss what I once was, too.  Appearances aside, I’m sure all parents want to hang around for as long as they possibly can to see it all.

I do try to keep myself in the present.  However, I have my weak moments.  When we’re playing together for example, I can’t help but think about how the time will come when he’ll no longer be interested in my company on the same level.  On another occasion, I’m simply focused on the sound of his voice when I hear him speak, that until puberty still belongs to that of a small child.  I don’t want it to ever go away.

But, the reality is that upon adolescence and beyond it will and that our interaction with our former babies will be very different in general.

For now, I remain thankful that he still engages me with pretend battles while announcing that he is Darth Vader and I’m Yoda as we wait for the school bus.  This won’t last forever and I’m well aware.  It’s an underlying sadness that joins some of us on our motherhood journey.

Well hey.  I am happy that we still have so many more years together before any big changes occur, even though my child has been telling me this a little too much lately,

No more kisses, only hugs.

Sure, I’m grateful for the latter but ugh.

 

 

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Just some quick crafts for Easter

While searching for Easter themed ideas, I came across these adorable little crafts.

For the clothes pin, I used what I had available, which was felt for the little egg shape.  I knew this was a great one by the way for fine motor activities.

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For the lollipops I had to go with a cotton ball for the bunny’s face and its little dot of a nose is thanks to hole punched scrap from pink felt sheets.  (I save the tiny circles from colorful paper for homemade-handy-party confetti.)

In hindsight, I’ll admit that it wasn’t easy peeling off the backing from those tiny circles but the self-adhesive skips glue.  Black marker created the eyes (no glue gun yet so I couldn’t use the preferable googly kind.)  The heart shape base used to stand the lollipop on top is also felt with the sticky side up to affix (if I had glitter I would have sprinkled the rest of that section with it.)

I guess you could say that it’s just how I felt at the time because it sure does go a long way.  But, maybe someone else is thinking how a person sans glitter and glue gun still crafted and lived to tell about it.  It’s okay, I know I’m no expert here.

If you’re looking for an edible idea, check out these Robin’s Nest Eggs we made next.

Follow on Facebook as we share our craft-like trials and errors, along with tips for early learning and more!

Hope you like these adorable little crafts we tried for ourselves and Happy Easter all.  (Find the links for each below:

Daily Prompt: Identical

via Daily Prompt: Identical

Today’s daily prompt brings to mind an episode on 20/20 that aired recently. It was an astonishing tale of identical twins intentionally divided by a respected adoption agency in New York City and placed in separate homes.

None of the families were told and therefore, Secret Siblings were raised into adulthood without ever knowing that the other existed. That is until a former employee felt compelled to divulge the truth from her deathbed.

It’s the basis for the 2017 documentary by filmmaker Lori Shinseki entitled “The Twinning Reaction” and it exposes how twins and their unsuspecting parents were all the subjects of a study they were never given the choice to participate in.

At the time, their knowledge and consent was not required for these so-called professionals to go about conducting their true research. These twins continued to live apart as strangers analyzed them to track their progress over the years.

The adoptive families were all led to believe that the questions and note-taking were for general childhood development studies. But, they had no idea that the child they were raising was being compared to its identical twin somewhere out there.

Sets of twins were even deliberately placed with families of opposing socioeconomic backgrounds as a variable to factor and thus, not every twin reunion story turned into a happy ending. For example, learning of a sibling might also reveal a harsh truth as one sister told the other, “You had the better life.”

In others cases there was no longer a surviving twin around to even meet and many had suffered from mental health issues. It was also revealed by the loved one of a separated triplet (who ultimately committed suicide) that he simply could not get over the time he had lost with his brothers when they were young.

Also at a loss are the twins interested in reviewing the experimental data that was collected on them as children while another bizarre fact emerges.

The bulk of their records are sealed until 2066 and thus, any access to the files that were written about their own lives has not been granted. With the culprits for this unethical research long deceased, these families are unable to obtain the many answers they seek and at the very least, an apology for all of the damage their actions have caused them.

Finally, what some of these twins are left with is to speculate at length if any of their pain has come from simply being robbed of that special bond twins are known to share.

Paper Planes

For as long as I can remember, no napkin was safe from my father. He would always turn them into paper planes. Actually, any paper.

As a young child I enjoyed watching them fly. As I got older, we’d make them together. I guess that’s why you’ll always find paper planes in my home, too.

Sometimes I wait patiently for my own child to look up at me so I can send one straight in his direction. He tries to catch them as we laugh. It sure gets his attention.

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Recently, I was tearing off the end of February from our large desk calendar when the idea first hit. By the way, these giant sheets also work well in a variety of other ways (for protecting surfaces during coloring, painting, or play dough sessions; tracing objects; sketching; drawing big pictures or words; homemade game boards; signs and so much more.)

The opposite side of the calendar sheet basically doubles as a very large blank canvas. I have even used them on kitchen counters for easy clean-up after meal prep. I’m planning on creating an early learning display with one next on how to set the table. You’ll find there’s ample room for outlining a real fork, plate, knife and spoon.

Fold one and keep it handy on the go because you could probably change a diaper on that thing in a pinch!

But, it was creating a paper plane with it that’s been the most fun. It’s the biggest and best, by far. I mean, it soars well above the furniture and if it’s aimed at you I suggest you duck so quack-quack.

I always repeat that this ain’t Pinterest perfection so don’t expect fancy Origami but rather, your standard-old-fashioned-classic paper craft plane. Maybe next time I’ll give it some life with crayons and markers. For now, I’m just getting a plain kick out of flying them in the air, as is and maybe you will too.

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Oh and one last thing just between us grown folks, I do like to call it a big ass plane. (When the kids are not around, of course.)

Bookmarks for Valentine’s Day!

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Once you’ve fallen into the endless pit of arts and crafts, you save random things. Why? Because it might prove useful later on, of course.

So is the case with the tops of standard size tissue boxes. I noticed that the strip you tear off (which I do ever so gently in case I will need it) looks like your standard bookmark. (Early on I realized that card stock and lamination paper can get costly, so to economize, most cardboard materials in our recycle bin ultimately become the sturdy backing required for various projects.)

With Valentine’s Day approaching, the time was right to finally create something out of those tissue box strips for our kindergarten friends.

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Inspired by templates found on Pinterest, I decided to cut red construction paper to fit the book marks (masking the side that has the tissue brand design) affixed with double-sided tape (which I prefer instead of glue as it tends to dampen the paper.)

This is also the side I taped on regular white copy paper with my own printed message. I traced the heart shapes used at the very top with a puzzle piece we already have on hand, while on the blank side is where my child will add all the “To” and “From” information in his own handwriting for each recipient.

Sidebar. I’m not a fan of children exchanging cards that say “Be my Valentine,” which is why I chose to personalize the bookmarks to focus on our love of reading!

Hope you like this craft suggestion which can be used repeatedly (if you love gifting books as I do for any occasion that rolls around.)

Snakes on a Table

Until I get around to owning my very own pair of scallop paper edger scissors, I curvy-cut the edges of these (roughly one inch strips) myself with a point at the end for the face. That yellow cut out in the mix was meant as a hand puppet attempt (I will continue to refer to my initial statement in earlier posts about this not being about Pinterest perfection.)

The strips were the scraps left over from a much larger snake that took up the majority of the sheet in the center (by drawing a circle round and round and then cutting right along those lines.) I did it free hand, but if you need a template, First Palette has one available online as shown below.

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Maybe we’ll place our random snake crafts in a pretend snake pit with real rocks at the bottom or something. But for now, they’re just some snakes on a table and we’re still having lots of fun with them.

Later on, we came across a great link shared by DIY Enthusiasts where you can find a variety of animal masks such as the awesome one you see above.

The snake stuff by the way all began as I was seated at the dinner table where a snake we found at the dollar store tends to hang out. After our meal was complete, I grabbed orange construction paper and began cutting and coloring away (a therapeutic activity for me.)

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So, if you haven’t gotten around to simple serpent crafts yourself, here’s some inspiration for some early learning fun.

Oranges not included.

BABY BUSINESS

This post will be continually updated to add a suggestion for a play idea with your average household items because when it comes to the business of babies, everything helps!

Baby Wipes Packages can be used a few ways after the wipes are gone.  I personally carry one around on the road to contain miscellaneous garbage (gum; snack wrappers, bottle caps, used tissues etc.) until I reach the nearest trash can.

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As for play, the little ones will open and close the flap maybe while you chant Open Shut Them Put Them on Your Lap.  You can hide toys inside or just give them a good squeeze to hear a crunching sound.