The First Time

by Lara on April 4, 2014

When Gray was about ten weeks old and nursing every hour, I called my mom crying that he wouldn’t even go to my husband long enough for me to shower and dry my hair.

“Just wait,” she said.  ”Just wait until the first time he cries and wants his daddy.  It will knock the wind out of you.”

And today, five days short of 20 months old, Graham rounded the corner faster than his little toddler legs could carry him, and his sock-covered feet slid on the hardwood floors.  I heard the BONK.  His top teeth went through his little bottom lip. There was blood.  And amidst the hysterical sobs and scared whimpers, I cradled him in my arms and suddenly heard him cry, “Dada.”

Sob.

Poor kid is blabbering whatever words he can think of to tell me he’s hurt.

“DADA!”

Sob sob.

“DADADADADA!!!”

And luckily Matt is working from home today and heard the commotion and came right in to scoop up his big boy.

And luckily G is fine and they are now outside doing yard work while I sit here catching my breath, from the wind being knocked right out of me.

And yet again I have further confirmation that my mother is always, always right.

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Silent Observation of Toddlers

by Lara on March 21, 2014

Gray and I are newly enrolled in a fantastic toddler/parent ed class at our local community college.  It was something we kind of fell into while registering for another class, and it is just amazing so far.

Today during class, the teacher called for a period of “silent observation.”  The entire concept was new to me, but when I came home and googled, I found that it is a common practice in RIE parenting (big fan, though I don’t follow any parenting practice exactly).

Silent observation of toddlers

The class has a strict no-phone policy, so I have no photos.  I can only tell you that it was really a special thing.  To have 18 parents scramble with their toddlers to get to class on time and all come together to put away our phones, stop our adult conversations, stop our corrections of their behavior, and just observe, was refreshing and magical.   I’m not  a religious person, but this felt like an almost prayer-like experience (perhaps the relaxing chant music contributed to this).  I watched my son, really watched him, and all at once felt grateful and proud and in awe.  I didn’t worry about the number of words he has.  I didn’t ponder if I should interject and make him share.  All of this was off limits. I could only watch.

I will definitely be carrying this exercise into our time together at home.  When it’s just the two of us, I try so hard to be interactive and talkative and work on things I know we need to work on together, and when he plays independently I usually run off to the other room to do the dishes or prepare our next meal.  But to sit back and silently observe him this morning for a good length of time was so enlightening that I may just make it a daily ritual.

For a more detailed idea of what I’m talking about, check out this post:  Observing a RIE class: a quiet afternoon with 2-year-olds.

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Myths About Birth Photography

March 14, 2014

  I am happy to share that I have joined the team over at Daily Mom as a contributing writer! My first post went live this week, and it’s on a topic y’all know I hold near and dear: childbirth!  I hope you will click over and check it out!

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Indoor Activities for Young Toddlers (No TV!)

February 17, 2014

It’s been a long, rainy winter in Seattle.  It’s important to me (for his sanity and my own), that Gray has opportunities to explore, learn, and get his wiggles out without making a mess or watching TV. Here are some of the things we’ve been up to these last few months (13-18 months) to have […]

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Toddler Busy Book

December 9, 2013

Gray received an awesome Christmas present this year that I wanted to share with you all!  Our dear friend Brandi is not just a talented photographer…she is also super crafty, creative, and generous.  She made this amazing toddler “busy book” for our very busy 16-month old. Brandi used three rings, felt (a soft felt on […]

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First Birthday Gift Guide

November 11, 2013

Also known as, Favorite Baby Items, 12-15 Months. Here’s a quick list of some of Gray’s favorite things during this fun, exploratory age! 1) Water table:  We enjoyed this all summer outdoors, and I think we will be getting it out this winter for some indoor sensory activities as well.  There is lots of fun […]

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Fun Stuff Friday – Parenting Reads

October 18, 2013

Source I don’t know what I did with my time and money before I had dogs, a baby, and a house. At any rate, I’m popping in to share a little of what I’m reading lately.  I’m on a Facebook hiatus (more on this soon), and I’m finding that I have more time in the […]

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I Am Enough.

October 4, 2013

Do you ever just want to slap yourself? I have these moments a lot. In the process of moving into our new lovely home, I have found myself feeling oddly without.  My mother might say, I’ve had a mentality of scarcity.  It started with the kitchen faucet.  Stiff as a board, about ten years old, […]

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Moving With a Toddler

October 1, 2013

So, we grossly underestimated what moving would be like with a toddler.  I’m popping in to share some tips.  Here we go: Tips for Moving With a Toddler Don’t do it. If you are really thinking about it, see above. If you really must do it, beg, borrow, and steal as much help as you […]

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A Place to Call Home

September 25, 2013

If you ask my husband where he grew up, he will, without fail, stumble on his words a little as he tries to give an answer. It’s not because he’s inarticulate; it’s because he could rival any army brat with the number of places he called home as a child. Between three countries, he lived […]

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