When do we become “the age our parents always were”? What do I mean? When we think of our parents most actively making the memories we most connect to them, what age are they? Were they in their 30s, 40s, 50s maybe? Where do we picture them being… at home, on family vacations, at holiday gatherings? I think I picture mine being the age they were when I first started having children, their grandchildren. I picture them holding each of my children for the first time in the hospital. I picture them at the kids’ first birthday parties and I picture mom rocking each of her five grandchildren in her burgundy colored leather recliner.
Mom had less wrinkles than she does now; she was more mobile than she is currently. Three things will forever be the same though… her perfectly teased hair following her Friday visits to the “beauty shop”, the familiar smell of a country style dinner on the stove, and her radiating face upon seeing her grandbabies! Both of my parents LOVED to have those children walk through their back door. Actually, I can’t find the words to describe how much they still do!
Their world is now being rocked with the issues of older age but their grandchildren’s visits and calls still bring the calm and the sunshine.
As I fondly smelled the smells and remembered the sights, the realization overwhelmed me. Greg and I are living through that stage right now! I wonder if our children will think of us at this age when they remember us most. Nah… they will think of me with memories of when we went on imaginary safari hunts, won’t they? Won’t Preston remember doing the moonwalk to a blaring rendition of “Buffalo Soldier” and Brendan remember us singing Davy Crockett for the millionth time? Then I thought that surely Courtney will reminisce about us cooking an assortment of leaves and twigs as we sat on the sides of her sandbox and prepared menus for the day. Well, maybe not. I guess I don’t really remember my parents most in the days of my childhood nearly as much as I remember them as new grandparents, do I? Oh, how happy they became around those little ones!
Isn’t it funny how I have now become “the age my parents always were”? It makes me smile but at the same time tear up. So much time has passed and so many fantastic memories were made. Sometimes I wish I could have a constantly streaming video of the days when our little static hair blonde toddler woke up rubbing his satin pillow against his sweet face, when that first really “unique” piece of pottery came home from school and when the first corsage was slipped on my little girl’s wrist. Maybe that wouldn’t be so healthy though. Those memories were and still are priceless to me but so are the moments of today. I try not live in the past but instead reflect on it and gain wisdom from it.
When my children become "the age my parents always were" they might just think of me stuck in the 2015 time warp – the long shirts, the leggings under my boots, the silly memories I retell over and over. However, when they remember me, I hope it’s also with a smile on my face and a light in my eyes as I wait for them to slip into my “momma arms”. That's when my arms are stretched wide in anticipation of a BIG encompassing hug radiating so much love that I have to close my eyes to consciously lock it into my memory. My children will know exactly what I'm talking about because they probably stopped breathing when they got one! No matter how much time lingers between visits, it’s the hugs I savor and the feeling of them still being my babies. Honestly, I still love them to the moon and back with every breath that’s in me… just like my parents do… just like their Heavenly Father does.
Moms, I know some days are hard and they may at times seem downright impossible to get through. However, when you become “the age your parents always were”, the difficult moments will be gone. The pots boiling over and the toddler flopping on the ground in a tantrum won't be the focus. Those memories will just bring under the breath sighs. What you truly remember will be the BIG hugs, the tickling laughter, and the precious "unforgettables" of your life. The precious moments you are making right now will be that streaming mental video of tomorrow.
Enjoy today with your little ones and savor everything it brings. Grab them for BIG hugs and tell them you love them to the moon and back! These moments are the most valuable of times and you won’t regret a single one of them...ever. Your Heavenly Father will also never regret a single moment that he spends with you. Just as you love your precious one, he loves you even more. Can you fathom that? It’s true. He waits on you with a chance for that BIG encompassing hug just as I wait on those I get from my children. Can you feel it? Ahhh…..
Walking the road with you,
I'm a grandparent and I would LOVE this as a gift! (Hint, Hint!)
blank canvas frame
green acrylic paint and brush
small red Christmas balls
pretty ribbon of your choice
black paint or marker
paint sealer such as an art fixative spray or Mod Podge
Paint green paint on you child's feet (one at a time). Blot on paper towel to remove excess. Press onto the canvas. Repeat with other foot. Tie and attach the ornaments to the ribbon and bow with hot glue. Write "Mistletoes" on the bottom. Watch the hugs and kisses come your child's way!
Have fun with your child!
(Thanks Jenny for sharing this cute idea!)
Here's some Mom Favorites:
For the 3 month old and beyond (maybe even through teen years!), moms love the Arm and Hammer odorless refill bags for their diaper pail. Your nose will love this investment especially when solid foods are introduced!
For the 6 month old, Allyson loves the Exersaucer by Evenflow. It strengthens Titus' fine and gross motor skills as it entertains him and gives her time to fold the laundry or grade papers for school.
For the 9 month old, Lauren loves the Portable Diner Placemat by Summer. It keeps the eating surface at restaurants sanitary and the small trough catches dropped finger foods so the waitress will welcome them back the next time!
Also for the 9 month old, Harper loves her Sit and Stand Learning Walker by V-Tec. It's very sturdy and supports a wobbly toddler as she learns to take steps independently. She also loves the activities for counting, shape recognition, and learning her animal sounds that are located on the front panel.
So moms and dads, consider this your sweet baby's first Christmas Wish List! Have a great and memorable Holiday and take lots of pictures!
Want to squelch the sugar at Halloween? As moms, we try to focus our children on healthy lifestyles. Then the school or neighborhood parties come around and they are bombarded with sugar and processed foods. I remember throwing my hands up, feeling totally defeated, and saying "I give up!". Now, I realize that doesn't have to be the case. The internet (which wasn't a household resource when my children were small) has given us a way out. Look at all these creative ideas for Halloween treats! If you are a class mom in charge of the holiday party this year, why not go healthy! The other mommas would LOVE you for it!
1. Fruit Tray - Bananas (cut in half longways) with raisins ghosts, "Cuties" with celery stem pumpkins, red apples with mini marshmallow teeth, grapes (halved) with Greek yogurt and raisin bits for eyeballs. the dip is 1 large container (unsweetened) Greek yogurt mixed with 1/4 cup Nutella. Put plain white Greek yogurt in a piping bag to form the spider web. The spider is made with black olives. How cute is that!
2. Deviled Egg Spiders - Spiders are just cut black olives! That's all! How simple!
3. Banana Ghosts and Pumpkins - This is another way to make healthy pumpkins and ghosts.
4. Veggie skeleton - This is so cute and if this won't encourage your child to eat veggies, nothing will! Head is ranch dressing veggie dip in a small bowl. The body is a combination of celery, red peppers, cucumbers, mushrooms and cauliflower.Use lettuce and broccoli for hair and hat.
Have a ghoulishly good time with the children this Halloween!
For generations my family has played around the beaches of SC. I wanted those same wonderful experiences I grew up with for my children and now I love nothing better than seeing our granddaughter begin to make that same love connection with the sand and salt water. I’ve learned a lot about what works at the beach with young children and what ideas I could throw out the window. Mainly, you don’t want your day at the beach to be a military operation but there are things that can help you enjoy your day to the max.
1. Remember the sunscreen, sunglasses and hat with an "under chin" tie for your toddler. Extra care now avoids an unhappy baby later.
2. Put “stuff” in a wagon or cart of some kind so you have one hand free to keep hold of your little guy. Going to the beach or not, toddlers love to run in the opposite direction of the way you are going.
3. Bring a large Ziplock bag for those beach treasures you know your toddler will want to bring home. Also bring one for your cell phone and camera. Sometimes the upcoming tide will surprise you!
4. Put snacks in single serving containers. Simple foods such as Goldfish, Cheerios or cheese and turkey cubes put in serving size Ziplock bags work well. (Avoid sticky foods as sand will attract like a magnet!) Small bottled waters or multiple sippy cups work well, too. It’s best to take multiples of everything so if one is dropped into the sand you won’t have a crunchy mouth or a toddler meltdown.
5. Pack baby powder to put on little arms and legs before heading to the car. The wet sand brushes off so much easier when you sprinkle a little on.
6. Meat tenderizer…. Yes, meat tenderizer! From years of experience, sometimes the unplanned happens and a jellyfish swims too close for comfort. One touch and any adult or child will come barreling out of the water for relief. Meat tenderizer combined with enough water to make a paste works best . If you forget and don’t have any tenderizer, make a paste with water and sand and put it directly on the area. The pack will draw out the sting.
Catch this really cute idea!
A friend was at the beach last week and told me of a smart idea for a toddler that they saw while there. They were beside a family who had a small pool under a tent on the beach. The pool was filled with ocean water. We’ve all seen that, right? Well, here’s the cute part. Around the pool they put a 3 foot plastic garden fence (with rounded, safe edges). On the fence they tied all kinds of little toys with cute little ribbons. They even had a frozen teething ring. She said the child played there happily for a very long time and never lost a toy to the sand! When they were ready to leave, they just untied the toys, folded up the fence, packed it into their cart with the tent and chairs and away they went. So creative!
Hope these ideas help make your vacation at the coast a safe and happy one!
“I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them.” -John 17:1
Mom 2 Mom
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