My little family is about to make a big change. For the first time in her life, my baby girl is going to go to daycare. We've already enrolled her, and she starts next week.
I'm sure glad I don't remember my teething days. Judging by what my baby is going through right now, they likely weren't pleasant.
The world of online forums, message boards, social-media networks and blogs would have you believe there are two types of mothers - silky and crunchy.
Twice in recent weeks, I've exited the interstate on my daily commute and noticed - in two different places - bags of scattered fast-food rubbish lying in the grass by the side of the road. Both times, the remnants of children's meals - milk cartons and telltale cartoon-character packaging - were among the discarded cartons and wrappers. This tells me that children likely witnessed adults irresponsibly disposing of trash. How sad.
I've recently become a serious label reader. Previously while grocery shopping, I'd glance at the data on the back of food packages to make sure the item I was about to purchase didn't contain an entire day's worth of fat, or I'd do a quick comparison to determine which brand of granola bars contained fewer calories. But since my baby girl began eating solid food, I've pretty much made a career out of studiously inspecting every scrap of nutritional information I can get my hands on.
I usually don't like Christmas. Now, before I offend anyone, let me make it perfectly clear that it's the commercialization and the added family stress that leave a bad taste in my mouth. The celebration of Jesus' birth is - and should be -the focal point of the holiday.
Those little stick-figure families plastered to the back windshields of SUVs and minivans annoy me. Who cares if you have three kids who enjoy wearing Mickey Mouse ears, two dogs and a cat? Not me. From what I gather, I'm not alone on this.
The differentiation between stay-at-home moms and working moms may not be as pronounced these days as it has been in the past, but I do believe it still is alive and well. I don't think either group works hard to keep this barrier in place; it just seems to exist due to different lifestyle habits, schedules and family routines.
I wish I could pick and choose which of my habits, traits and characteristics my daughter will inherit and pick up. Since Reese was born in April, I find myself increasingly thinking about trying to set a good example. I haven't actually implemented any changes, however. It's much easier to talk the talk than it is to walk the walk.
Now that I'm a parent, I'm much more willing to cut other moms and dads slack when their children misbehave or become upset in public. As an impatient 20-something, I used to get annoyed when a crying baby drowned out the conversation my husband and I were trying to have over dinner in a restaurant. In grocery stores, I'd roll my eyes in disbelief as a harried mom tried to coax her tantrum-throwing toddler back to a relatively calm state. In malls, I was quick to judge dads who attempted to placate exhausted, teary little ones with ...
My daughter Reese recently breezed through her first air-travel experience when she and I went to visit family in St. Louis.
Nearly 90 local residents spent a brisk Saturday morning running and walking Hinesville's streets to increase breast-cancer awareness.
I brag too much about my baby. I also email and post too many photos of her on social-media sites. I can't help it. That might not seem out of character for a new parent, but it is for me. I spent all of my adolescent years and a good chunk of my adult life claiming I didn't want children. So, it seems to outsiders that I've done a complete 180, although that really isn't the case.
Motherhood seems to make it nearly impossible to keep and make friends. It's not that old friends aren't still amazing. But if they don't have children, it can be hard to find any common ground. Chances are non-parents and single women don't find discussions about teething and diapers very interesting.
I think my husband and my daughter's pediatrician are in cahoots. Before I elaborate, let me stress that I like our pediatrician very much. He's been practicing for more than 20 years and has raised five healthy children of his own. He previously served as chairman of Memorial University Medical Center's Department of Pediatrics and definitely seems to know his stuff.
Most mornings, I spend about five minutes pulling my freshly washed hair into a ponytail. It's easy, it's efficient, and, I like to tell myself, it's even chic. When I know I'll be meeting important people or attending special events, however (like, say, the United Way annual campaign kick-off party or a chamber of commerce breakfast), I break out the products and utensils and spend an extra 20 minutes or so coaxing my locks into what I hope is a more professional-looking style.
I realize, perhaps better than anyone, that it's not polite to ask others about their reproductive plans. I've long ranted about how much it annoyed me when friends, family members and even perfect strangers would inquire about a possible plunge into parenthood. Even now, as most of my readers know, I get aggravated when people ask whether my 2-year-old daughter, Reese, will ever be a sister.
Last week, seemingly all the national news agencies reported on the American Academy of Pediatrics' new recommendation that middle and high schools start no earlier than 8:30 a.m. to help ensure older children get more sleep.
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