I'd like to take just a moment this week to thank all my readers out there who've been so kind and complimentary to me since I began writing this column a year and a half ago. People regularly call, email and stop me in public to praise my writing and tell me they enjoy the stories I tell, and that means so much to me. I'm grateful to you all for your willingness to step into my chaotic, messy, unpredictable world each week, if only for a few minutes. In addition, I've received some good advice ...
My husband and I are about to make our first big purchase since Reese joined our family. Don't get me wrong - with the amount of clothes, food and miscellaneous supplies a baby needs, a trip to the local big-box discount store does, on occasion, makes me feel like I've been taken to the cleaners. Technically, though, I think our seemingly imminent acquisition of a new vehicle would count as our family's first major expenditure, post-child.
Please, thank you and excuse me are some of the first words a child should learn, and I've tried to put that belief into practice with my daughter - once she mastered "mama," of course.
When it comes to parenting, there's a fine line between active participation and overinvolvement. That said, I am of the believe that moms and dads should take an interest in what their children are doing, from infancy into adulthood.
My daughter takes after her father in nearly every respect, especially when it comes to the traits and characteristics my husband exhibited as a child. From her sandy blonde hair to her blue eyes and left-handedness, Reese and Noell are two peas in a pod. I'd even go so far as to say she gets her fiery temperament from her dad, although I'm sure he'd say it's from me.
My daughter got her first dose of culture last week when my family took advantage of Super Museum Sunday to expand our horizons and learn a bit about regional history.
My 21-month-old daughter, Reese, is sweet, gentle and trusting. My husband and I have gone to great lengths to teach her not to express her emotions through toddler-like acts of violence - hitting, kicking and biting. As a result, she's mild-mannered and happy-go-lucky. So, it's easy to understand why I'd be particularly aggravated at the fact another child at Reese's day care seems to be working hard to undo all of our teachings.
The next big milestone on my parenting horizon isn't really something that's fun to talk about, let alone figure out how to handle. It's not a dinner-table conversation topic, but it certainly is a necessity - potty training.
Awhile back, I worked with a woman who was vocal about her belief that potential parents should have to pass a strict screening before welcoming children into the world. Although, from a purely scientific standpoint, there was no way to enforce my coworker's slightly far-fetched proposal, she maintained all human beings should be stripped of their fertility at birth and should have their ability to procreate returned to them in their mid-to-late 20s only if they meet certain criteria.
For months now, I've heard complaints about the current state of the U.S. health-care system, but until recently, I had no specific reason to be dissatisfied. Then, I started my search for a new pediatrician for my daughter and "got a taste of some bad medicine."
Recently, a co-worker who is fairly new to our staff here at the Courier made a comment that sent a wave of various emotions crashing over me.
My house just became a much more positive place. My husband and I usually do watch what we say when my daughter is around, but now I have iron-clad proof that she is always listening, watching and, more importantly, mimicking. Now that we know this, exclaiming, "Oh, fiddlesticks!" is about the only thing that is still permissible in our family.
I often think about how nice it would be to have a break from all my familial responsibilities for just one night. I dream of a quiet evening alone - no dinner to cook, no lunches to pack, no dishes to wash, no whiny pets to walk and feed, no toddler to bathe and put to bed, and no intermittent wakeups throughout the night to soothe said toddler, supply milk and coax her back to bed.
My daughter, Reese, started at a new day care two months ago. My husband and I had been pleased with her former day care until they went through several leadership changes, and the resulting policy alterations were disconcerting. The facility's lunch menu, which had been pretty healthy when we first enrolled Reese, took a turn for the worse - lots of processed, preservative-laden food; fruit drowning in sugary, heavy syrup; and snacks full of sodium and food dyes. No thanks!
My attempts at making more mom friends still are failing miserably. At this point, I'd probably try an online "matchmaking" site for women with children who are looking to befriend other women with children. Sort of like eHarmony, but with sippy cups and strollers. Actually, that sounds like a great idea because then I'd get to be very picky with my criteria, thus reducing the chances I'd get "matched up" with another mom I have absolutely nothing in common with, which has kind of been my problem so far.
Two weeks ago, my husband, daughter and I struggled to come up with a fun way to pass a Sunday afternoon. My mother-in-law had just been staying with us, and she left that morning to head back to Florida. Since I'd given our house a good, thorough "pre-mother-in-law-visit" cleaning before she arrived, I was completely caught up on chores and housework.
St. Anne Catholic Church's new 26,000-square-foot sanctuary is well on the road to completion, and Father Joe Smith couldn't be more pleased with how things have gone so far.
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