I can still remember as a little girl grabbing a big pile of books and climbing into bed with Jen. She would read to me for hours. I still love to be read to. The love of books has been carried on to our kids. I often find Josiah reading Calvin and Hobbes books to Jack late into the night with a fashlight. Lucy is way into labeling every obscure animal in the ever popular animal books from D&K Publishers. Lyra likes to both eat and listen to the famous and every little person's favorite Goodnight Moon.
We all know the books that we can recite in our sleep from years of toddler requests and yet we can't even be annoyed. It's pure learning goodness. I find that books are the one thing I'm a total sucker for. If the kids ask me for a book, it's as good as done.
Did you know we have our very own blogging book experts here at PBSparents? Superpeople, meet the Booklights.
Susan, Gina, Pam and Jen are our new blogging buddies and supersisters. Welcome friends! We can't wait to see all the wonderful suggestions you will be sending our way.
So tell me the current book obsessions at your house. For all of you, your kids and you!
What is the one book being pushed around in the toy baby stroller or the one sitting on your kitchen table that you are determined to read, even in 5 page increments?
My husband is saying that I am a hypocrite for writing this post. How dare I judge the picky eater? I am one myself. There, I said it. When I was little, I may have even promised my parents that I would eat vegetables when I was 7 in order to get out of eating them. My seventh birthday came and went and I still didn't eat vegetables. I did not happily consume a vegetable until I was 23. Now I can eat tomatoes by the farmer's market bag full.
When Ethan started eating food I was delirious. From his first birthday on, he would eat two scrambled eggs every single day. Yes, I am the best mom ever. Or so I thought until he reached his second birthday and he refused to eat anything that could possibly be construed as healthy or good for you. That and he hated when his food touched. How weird is that (as she looks around guiltily herself). He did eat fruit so that kept me off the pediatrician bad list.
Nathan? Depends on the day. Or the hour. Or the alignment of the planets. Sometimes he'll eat whatever and sometimes he'll eat nothing. He is also not afraid to tell you what you can do with those vegetables.
We have a policy in our house that I make dinner and you either eat it or you do not eat it. Sure they are eating macaroni and cheese every day for lunch but I am making an effort for dinner. These are the new things we are doing around here and they seem to be helping.
1. Let the kids help with dinner. My friend got the kids make-your-own pizza kits for Easter and we made them the other day. First let me say that all you gluten-free people, bless your hearts. Rice flour pizza dough was not as tasty as I thought it would be. But by golly, Ethan ate the entire thing. He seemed slightly more motivated because he had made it himself. The same goes for last night's mashed potatoes that he made himself. I couldn't get the kid to touch mashed potatoes before last night (which makes him really weird. Who doesn't like mashed potatoes???). Even Nate ate them because Ethan made them. Suckers.
2. Sit down at the table to eat. I'm sure you all do this all the time and you are looking at the computer screen like I have lost my mind. Well let's just say I haven't seen the dining room table in months. When we did sit there, it was a nightmare. We started eating dinner at the long kitchen counter and suddenly my kids eat their entire plate of food. They get to eat on tall stools and no one is vying for Dad's lap and screaming. Who know? (Thanks for the tip on that one, Ginny).
3. Don't rule out bribery. Just offer them dessert already. If you are sneaky like me, your kids mistakenly believe that applesauce is a dessert, as are fresh strawberries and blueberries. I'm sure they will figure it out at some point but until then, this is me riding the wave to the shore.
Tell us what you do to make sure your kids eat. It's a judgment-free zone here. All you people that give your kids dinosaur chicken nuggets for breakfast? I know you are out there.
Mom, look what I found!
I don't want to tell you how high up this nest is or how my mind started racing to think of what she was doing out here to notice it anyway, but she found it and now here I am teetering precariously on a stool turned ladder, trying to get the shot so we can preserve this moment forever.
Here Mom, give it to me.
I pass her the camera and wish for another so I could shoot her shooting the nest. Her expert eye, her determination to get in close, her willingness to climb, to risk, to hold still in midair so that what she sees can be seen by everyone else she loves who couldn't be there.
That's my girl, and for all my complaints about how she procrastinates or argues or refuses to comply with my made up rules, she also has this part, too--the wild girl with so much magic, so much wonder, so much appreciation for beauty.
Treasures are waiting to be discovered--even in that kid in your family who you hate to admit sometimes punches your buttons. Especially in that kid who reminds you over and over again the rules don't always apply.
Can you see your "difficult" child as a treasure hunter bringing you back to the forgotten parts of yourself? Here's hoping you can claim your bounty today--in the form of an egg or a nest or a girl who happens to be a lot like you.
It hasn't been my most stellar year of mothering. I have discovered a new level of hard I didn't know about yet. The sheer number of little people, the drama of a three year old with a lovely and yet intense personality, the needs of a baby. I kind of thought I had this thing under control up until now. It's a gift really, being humbled and joining the ranks of real parenting. Even though I like to reflect (i.e. mildly obsess) on my parenting on a regular basis, this Mother's Day I find myself with new and confusing feelings.
I'm not sure I deserve all the hoopla of honor, I have never been so edgy and made so many mistakes. It's been more of a triumph of survival and I'd be horrified and hurt if there was no fanfare at all. Sound familiar?
This is the year when I remember I birthed these children.
This is the year I discover how forgiving children are when they proudly present me with a macaroni necklace made at school.
This is the year to tell my husband what I would like to do because I need to know I am loved regardless of my performance.
This is the year to remember the 1,000 tiny things I do to keep this family going.
This is a year for self care, forgiveness and a new start.
This is the year that I run towards what brings me joy so I can bring it back to my family.
This is the year I tell my mom I understand her and love her in a new way.
Are you having the opposite kind of year? Do you desperately need everyone around you to see you in all your mothering glory?
Every mother I know seems to have a love/hate relationship with Mother's Day. What's your feeling about it? Tell us in the comments.
This is actually a hug of love. If the middle one was holding him, we would have to keep a closer eye on things. Nathan has taken to giving his baby brother Mason huge hugs that knock the wind out of him. I have taken to carrying the baby everywhere and never putting him down. You know those parents that say crazy things like "Billy loves his brother soooo much" and then you look over and wonder, if only for a second, if Billy has murder on his mind?
That would not be me. I'm not that parent. I know that my second born is extremely annoyed at the entrance of his brother. It's not that he was particularly clingy before Mason was born, but Nathan is definitely irritated now by the fact that I am irritated all the time. I can tell it is my fault. If I stop screaming for even a second, everyone is cheery. I am just getting tired of pulling people off of the top of the fridge or out of the baking cabinet.
Go on and eat that baking soda. See if I care.
No, wait. I don't want to clean up that mess. And I know someone will vomit, just to annoy me. Can't you keep that baking soda down, for heaven's sake? And the milk pouring? I feel like I need to take this kid to Montessori. Age appropriate, developmentally appropriate, blah, blah, blah. I don't care if he pours his milk. It's the $4.50 worth of milk on the floor that annoys me.
I know. What was I thinking going to the bathroom again? Tomorrow I'll be instituting liquid holdback/forced dehydration or I could always get a catheter.
This post could also be filed under "things you never thought would come out of your mouth in your lifetime." So fess up. If you have more than one, did you delusionally think your older child was in love with the younger? It's okay, this is a safe place to confess. I promise not to point and laugh.
We also want to remind everyone about the transition to Digital TV that happens on June 12. Although if you haven't heard about it by now, you probably shouldn't be surprised when your t.v. goes to snow on the 12th. :-)
Has swine flu frenzy hit your house? Are your kids worried about getting sick or wondering what's going on? Here's a collection of helpful resources about staying safe and healthy--in your mind as well as your body.
If your kids are scared about the flu or other big things happening in the news these days, here's good advice about how to begin a conversation that will put everyone at ease. And if you're wondering what's appropriate for your five year old vs. your eight year old, here's age appropriate advice for everyone in your family.
Need to know the details about swine flu? Check out the specifics about how the virus works and then head on over to this great resource from the CDC about how to avoid germs of all kinds, especially during a time like this. And if you're looking for information specifically geared towards children, don't miss this from Kid's Health.
Supersister question of the day: Alright, Mother's Day is right around the corner. Tell us your dream day, beginning to end. Then leave this post up on the computer screen for several days for all partners, husbands and children to find. No seriously, let us know in the comments.