The Magic of a Blink

It’s amazing how quickly time passes once you become a parent. You find out you are pregnant, blink, and then there is that little miracle looking back at you.

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Before you know it, you foolishly decide to blink again and your newborn is becoming an interactive little one. Our Cupcake was so fascinated in the world around her and loved exploring. Every day was an adventure. You are happily going along when the urge to blink hits once more. Suddenly your infant has transformed once again.

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Now you have a baby. She can play. She can coo. She certainly can tell you in her own little way what she likes and doesn’t like. A personality emerges. Time passes as it always does and you let those eyelids touch for but a moment and instantly a toddler is born.

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These days are punctuated by a flurry of energy. Movement is the name of the game. What is this and how does it work motivates their world. Life is so fun as you crawl, walk, climb. But just as you settle into your new life of action, that blink is waiting.

IMG_7008Now you have a kid. Not a big kid, in global terms, but a bigger kid than you’ve ever known. She not only walks and talks, but she has opinions. Strong ones. And she knows how to express them! Not every adventure is a new one, but it is always an adventure. Don’t blink just yet, mama.

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Raising a Reader

As a former teacher, one thing that brings me immense joy is watching my seven month old adore books.

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From her first day home, my husband and I surrounded her with books. We read to her each night and had books out during the day. While she played, I would often sit beside her and read whichever book was closest. Now we can’t keep her away! It makes my mommy heart smile to see her so excited by books!

She’s nearly eight months old, so we are early in our journey. I love taking her to the book store and library. I greatly look forward to when she’s a bit older and she focuses more on the story (and less on trying to chew on it)!

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As a teacher, there were a few commonalities I found with those kids that enjoyed reading and those that did not.

1. Books were available

This may seem silly, but making sure your child has access to books is essential! Books can be quite expensive, which is why we LOVE our public library. For real, we have a place with thousands of books for free. Let that sink in for the immense miracle that is! We also frequent thrift shops for books. Cupcake has a huge collection on a wide variety of topics.

2. Daily reading was encouraged

Growing up, I was read to every night. Once I learned how to read, I continued to do so each night. Sometimes I read to my parents; sometimes they read to me. It was just what we did and it never occurred to me to do anything differently.

The students I’ve had who love reading come from similar families who place a high value on reading every day.

3. Understanding what “counts” as reading

All too often, I hear people say they do not like reading. Then I see them scanning through news stories on their cell phone. Or reading a magazine. Or reading the latest football stats so they can update their fantasy team (hi sweetie!).

Reading comes in SO many forms. It’s so limiting to think that reading only counts as sitting with a large fiction novel (although that sounds lovely for me!). Reading happens all the time and kids need to know that. Reading is comic books. Reading is the newspaper. Reading is sports statistics. I’ve never found a single person who doesn’t like reading in any form. It’s so important that parents help their child see the many types of reading there are!

4. Everyone in the family reads

This is a biggie! I can remember multiple parent-teacher conferences about a kiddo who did not like to read. The parents often admitted to not reading much themselves.

Seeing parents reading is so important for a child. As per the last point, there are many types of reading. My mom loved fiction, while my dad was all about biographies of baseball players. It’s wonderful when parents read to their children, but it is so important that children see parents read on their own, too!

5. Reading happens everywhere

A lot counts as reading, and therefore reading happens in so many different places. Granted, Cupcake’s seven month-old self might not have fully understood, but you better believe I told her how happy I was to read that Dunkin’ Donuts now has almond milk. Mommy is so lucky to be able to read that big sign or she would not have been able to order her coffee! Isn’t reading helpful, Cupcake?

Wow! Thank goodness that blue car could read the stop sign so that our car was safe!

Hmm, I’m looking for Poppy’s house. Thank goodness I could read the number on his house so I know for sure this one is his. Whew.

Reading is one of the best gifts you can give your child. It is never too early to introduce your child to books and it is definitely never too late!

The Joy of Momming

Let’s be serious, ok?

When I first found out I was pregnant, my husband and I decided I would stay at home from my teaching job for the first year of our little one’s life. During the autumn, I imagined apple picking and our first Halloween as a family. Every snowy day, I imagined baking cookies and cuddling under blankets together. As it turned to spring, I thought about enjoying the beaming sun on long walks.

In late March, Cupcake came into our world! She was healthy and perfect in every way.

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I was so ready to be a mom. What I wasn’t quite ready for was momming. Yea, you’ll learn quickly that I frequently make up words-you can blame my mom for that. Sometimes the English language is too limited, so I make words that better express what I mean. Momming is the perfect example.

Momming (v)- to mom.

For me, this means all the hugging, kissing, cuddling, boo-boo fixing, nursing, and diaper changing of motherhood. Since I stay at home, I also do all the meal planning, cooking, cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, errand running, chores. [many working parents do all these things, it’s just how it breaks down in our world!]

So, I am momming. And it is a joy. Except for when it’s not. So join me for all the ups, downs, and everything in between.