It’s a Beautiful Life

Boy, oh boy, was I wrong. Yesterday should not have been called gorgeous or beautiful. No, no. Yesterday was merely mediocre. Today is gorgeous. Jonathan and I spent Hula Girl’s first nap outside, planning out where exactly we’re going to plant each plant in our garden. We also watered the back lawn (which we’re bringing back to life through intense labor and re-seeding- you’re welcome, Land Lady), weeded, and marked out the pathways through the garden. During her next nap, we’ll be back outside, weeding (we’ll be doing a lot of this all summer long), starting some seeds in the garage, and doing a general clean-up around our property.

We live at the intersection between two streets- both streets end at our corner. Our house is situated up against the foothills of the mountains, in an area affectionately known by the locals as the “Hogbacks.” This area hosts a variety of activities; namely, elementary and middle school boys go up there and shoot each other with paintball guns. Because of the geography of our location, we tend to get a lot of wind. This wind brings with it the filth and refuse from all our neighbors within a 2-mile radius. This morning’s sampling included an empty Pop Tarts box, a broken yellow balloon, a bit of Styrofoam,  about three boxes’ worth of cardboard, and some electrical tape. Typical haul.

Yesterday, Jonathan came home early and watched Hula Girl so I could get out and do something. I went to the coffee shop and had an iced caramel latte. Then I went to WalMart and bought wooden letters, craft paint, ribbon, and silk flowers to make Hula Girl’s name on her wall. I finished this morning- it turned out far better than I expected! Here are some of the letters:

These are my 2 favorites!

I love crafting. I love making things. I get creative little spurts. Jonathan and I have decided that I am very good at making things, but they have to be things I can make in under three hours. If something is going to take longer than three hours, I will run out of steam and will not likely ever finish that project. The exception- if something is a gift, I will spend more time on it, but I will need to space it out over the course of months. This is why my adorable sister-in-law has yet to receive her Christmas gift. I’m making it, and it’s taking longer than three hours. Sure hope she likes it after all!

Did you do anything fun for April Fool’s Day yesterday?

 

Loop’n’Swoop or Bunny Ears?

Oh, what a beautiful morning! Oh, what a beautiful day! Seriously. It is gorgeous here today. Everyone is out and about. There are two yard sales on our street, all the neighbors are out watering their lawns, and there is far less wind than there was yesterday. Hula Girl and I have seen more neighbors today than we’ve ever seen the entire time we’ve lived here. No one has been outside at all this winter! Thank goodness for our first taste of glorious spring.

I take Hula Girl out for a walk every morning. We stop by some houses on our route that have pretty flowers, trees, or bushes or interesting rocks. Hula Girl loves to gently stroke flowers. She touches them with just the tip of her little left index finger and then looks at me and smiles with a huge dimply smile, as if to say, “See, Mommy?! I am so careful! And these flowers are such a delight!” It’s simply precious. I have to say, she is somewhat less careful with rocks and sticks. Those tend to go straight into her mouth. Tasty!

In preparation for our daily walk, we have a simple routine that we follow. (Not surprising, I know. We have simple routines for every single aspect of our day.) I tell Hula Girl to come to me so we can put on her jacket/snowsuit/hoodie, socks, and hat. She does not yet wear shoes, although they are not far off in her future, I have no doubt. Then she watches me put on my jacket/hoodie and my shoes. I do wear shoes, and have for many years.

The past couple of days, I’ve worn different shoes than normal. They’re plaid “Airwalk” shoes with Velcro. For some reason, whenever I undo the Velcro and it makes the riiiiip sound, Hula Girl freaks out. She is absolutely terrified of the noise. I’ve tried having her do it, with the same result. She almost cries every time. This got me thinking. What will we do when she’s older, and she needs to be able to put on her shoes by herself? Will we have to teach her to tie her shoes before she turns one?

 

Someday, Hula Girl will be here...

 

 

I know this is a ridiculous question, particularly because she will likely outgrow the fear of Velcro ripping far before self-shoeing is necessary. I bring it up simply to highlight something I have been learning and relearning for months now: first-time parents worry about the silliest things.

I am a moderator in an online Babywise help group. Some of the questions that moms ask just seem so silly to me now, but I remember when I was far less experienced than I am now, and Hula Girl was far younger. She just seemed so fragile, like any little mistake on my part was going to mess her up forever. I am not going to say I have completely gotten over that fear, but I have learned to have a lot more flexibility with things than I had when she was first born. But just for kicks, here is a list of questions that I have asked in the past, and that I have seen recently on the board. Let’s see if you can guess which ones I asked and which ones are from other moms.

A. When will we need to start giving her water?

B. When will she need to start wearing sunscreen?

C. Is it ok to let her sleep at night until she wakes up on her own for a feeding?

D. Is it ok to let her use a pacifier?

E. Is it ok to let her sleep on her grandfather’s chest?

F. Is it ok to give her a bath every day?

G. What should I do when she spits up?

H. How far should I let her go between feedings?

There are so many more questions. Some of them are far sillier. For example, here’s one I actually asked. In the interest of self-preservation, let’s remember that when one first has a baby, one is extremely sleep-deprived. “Is it ok for her toenails to be growing like that?”

Jonathan and I are considering having another child. As in, we are considering whether we want to or not, and if so, when. I can’t imagine going back through all that silliness again, but then I remember that I have learned so much. I will never ever be as ignorant again! It’s all downhill from here! (Right, seasoned moms?) Maybe by the time we do have another child, we’ll know some of our neighbors.

How did you learn to tie your shoes and/or teach your kids to tie their shoes?

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