Friday, August 28, 2015

To My Baby- On Your First Day of Preschool

Well, here we go.  Your first day of preschool is upon us.  I’m not quite sure how this happened, since just the other day I was accepting your tiny body into my arms for the first time.
I was scared, then.  Were you?

It was a whole new world for both of us:  a world full of selflessness and exhaustion for me, a world full of uncertainties and helplessness for you, yet, that world we were scared of soon became a world full of life and vibrancy and smiles and giggles…
We made it through, didn’t we?
We figured things out and made it through together.  It was my job to comfort you, to love you, to sing softly and hum songs in your ear, to cradle you in my arms and assure you everything would be okay.  It was your job to giggle and smile and squeal with delight to assure me that we were doing just fine…

And… we made it through.

Now you and I are about to venture into a whole new world just as we did that day you felt my embrace for the very first time.  We were in that adventure together, weren’t we?  But, this is one adventure we will have to take separately, at least for a little while. 
You are about to enter a whole new world of school. 
A world where you will probably feel the same kind of uncertainty you felt your first day on earth, but I’m quite positive that your world of school will soon be filled with the same life and vibrancy and smiles and giggles that filled your world with me. 
I will still be there at the end of your day to hug you, to whisper comforting words and hum in your ear when things seem uncertain or you feel vulnerable.
And you know what?
I might need those hugs as well.  This is new for me, too.
You’re my first child and we’ve learned a lot in the three short years we’ve been together.  But, what I haven’t learned, is how to leave you in the care of someone new.  I don’t know how I feel about not being your only teacher.  I don’t know how I feel about not being available to be your voice when you can’t seem to find it yourself… 

But, we’ll both be okay, won’t we? 

You’ll make friends who will love your giggle and your mischievous grin and I’ll be happy to see you learn and thrive with others.  This is just one stepping-stone into the many new worlds you will face, and just so you know, as long as you need me, I’ll be there.  Maybe not at the exact moment you call or the very second uncertainties arise, but I’ll be there.  And although I won’t be showing it, I’ll probably be needing you, too. 
           Stesha Whitney Photography

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

If I Could Keep You Little..

So, I’ve been second-guessing my decision to send Keegan to preschool this year, like extreme, hard-core second-guessing: thinking about it all day, praying about it all night kind of thing.  This book, “If I Could Keep You Little” by Marianne Richmond, brought on an epiphany, one that I think I needed.
I had bought this book on a whim: cute illustrations, short n’ sweet, and it seemed to have a cute message, but what I didn’t realize until I finished reading with Keegan, was that it probably wasn’t made as much for children as it was made for mommy’s, just like me.  …Mommy’s who are sending their babies out into a different world for the first time, mommy’s who have a hard time wondering how their child’s going to do in the care of an unfamiliar teacher in an unfamiliar setting surrounded by unfamiliar children, or, Mommy’s who simply have a hard time wrapping their head around the fact that their children are growing up!  It’s really a good encouragement for all the in-denial or worrywart moms ;) Ugh, SO. ME. 

Just wanted to share this book and how it seemed to make its way into my life when I needed it to the most!
It was the kind of reassurance I needed, that I can’t keep him little, he needs to blossom himself, and a few hours a week away from me isn’t going to harm him………. 
It isn’t.
He’ll be okay.
 I’ll be okay.
BRB going to read the book again….

To my Keegan:

If I could keep you little, I’d keep you close to me.  But then I’d miss you growing into who you’re meant to be!
-“If I Could Keep You Little” by Marianne Richmond

-I can’t wait to see you become YOU!  Although you may still be “little” for a short while, bit by bit you will need me less and less, and that will be a bittersweet time for Mommy.   I can’t keep you little or close to me forever, but, I’ll always be there for the times you to decide you need to stay close to me.    

Love you, Mommy

Friday, August 7, 2015

Creamsicle Cookies

If you're craving a sweet, and creamy summer cookie, look no further!  This morning we made one of our favorite sweets, Creamsicle Cookies- all the flavor of the ice cream treat, packed inside a cookie.  
So easy and quick to prepare, the only thing you have to worry about is not eating the whole batch.  Seriously.

What you'll need:
1 box Duncan Hines Orange Supreme cake mix
1 egg
1/3 cup vegetable oil
6 Tbsp orange juice
white chocolate chips

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees
-Mix the first four ingredients together
-Fold in the chips (I don't use a whole bag, probably 2/3)
-Bake 10-12 minutes and ENJOY! ;)

These are one of Keegan's favorite to help with because the steps are so simple.  We have, for the most part, been eating healthy and making wise food choices, but you have to indulge every once in awhile.  Why not treat yourselves!!

Have an extra sweet day ;)

Monday, August 3, 2015

Chores for Toddlers

While I don't have a set schedule for our days, I wanted to have something set in stone to help with Keegan's responsibility, helpfulness and independence, so I decided to assign him some CHORES.  What a dreadful word for me growing up but so far so good for our three-year-old.  With that being said, a three-year-old's skill level can only go so far, so the chores are limited and still quite fun for them, but I think it's important to learn responsibility at this young age.  
There are currently three chores on his chart every morning, sometimes two, all supervised, of course:  Feed the dog- Bear, water plants, and clean the door windows where Bear rests his nose :)  The last one is a favorite, because what kid doesn't love a squirt bottle full of liquid?!  For this, we use The Honest Company window cleaner, a safer alternative to the chemical based cleaner, or you can find a similar recipe to make your own, here.  As he finishes a task, he "checks" the box off next to the list of pictures I draw for him on our chore chart.  I bought a cheap white erase board and made it more fun with some washi tape, can't beat an opportunity to craft! ;)  After breakfast and teeth brushing, we complete the chores before the fun can start, except for on the weekends.  Weekends, there are no chores!

Amongst other things Keegan volunteers himself for doggy duty quite often.  Don't ask me why but he seriously loves helping and hey, I'm not about to complain about that, but this chore in particular needs extreme supervision...... LOL! Occasionally he will help with the wash, dishes, and preparing meals (pulling grapes off the stems, washing fruits and veggies, tearing lettuce, etc.)  and everyday he must help pick up toys, make bed and put dirty clothes where they belong.  Believe me, the three chores on his chart don't always get done with a huge smile but for the most part, Keegan is a great helper and I'm thankful for that. 

These are just some ideas and I don't ever MAKE Keegan do the helpful things like supper and dishes, but he knows that it is his job to complete the chore list and that's wonderful enough for me.  You can't make a child want to help, you just have to guide them to find it in themselves to want to be a helper.  

What kind of chores did your children have at this age?
Have a wonderful day :)