Children/Parenting

My Little Daughter with a Big Personality

The choice was before me.

Let my child be herself or stifle her personality.

What do I do?

This is a choice that is before me more often than not. God gave me two unique children with a LOT of personalities.

Amelia relaxing

But I asked for it. In fact, I prayed for it.

When we were pregnant with Cassidy, I prayed that we would have a child with personality. Sure I prayed for her health too, but I wanted a kid with personality.

Have you ever met a boring kid?

Be honest, you have.

Well, I have met many of them over the years working in day cares and schools. I knew I wanted a kid with personality and boy did God listen.

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First Day of School Joy or Anxiety?

children on playgroun excited for first day of schoolFor some, the first day of school is met with fear, dread, and anxiety. For others, it is met with excitement and joy.

Both can lead to a sleepless night in anticipation of the first day of school.

As a child I was so excited to return to school every fall. I loved school, I loved school supplies shopping, and I loved homework. Brian was similar to me. In fact, at times throughout our marriage, we have said we could be students forever if somehow we could get paid to do so. I imagine once we retire, you will see us both in a classroom again taking classes for fun just to learn something new.

I guess Cassidy came by her love of everything school related naturally. She too loves school supplies, she usually likes homework, and she loves playing school at home. In fact, she was insistent, we home school over spring break and summer.

I recognize how this love of school eliminates a parenting challenge that many of you might still face.  We don’t have a nightly fight over getting homework done, mostly because she’s a strong student and it doesn’t take her too long to complete it. I respect the challenges that other parents face and appreciate the parenting pass we got in this area – for now.

Our school-loving child’s attitude changed drastically last year.

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First Day of School Memories

children on playground on the first day of schoolHow do you memorialize the first day of school?

Any parent who has ever been on Pinterest has seen the many ways you can memorialize the first day of school. Some are simple; some are elaborate. If you choose to do one of these things, remember why you are doing it.

In our family, we went with the very simple approach. It could have been because the year Cassidy started Kindergarten I was home with four week old Amelia. At that point in life we were lucky I remembered to get a picture, which didn’t even turn out well. I forgot to change the camera settings so only a couple of the pictures turned out anyway.

First day of Kindergarten

On the first day of school I take a picture on our front steps of both girls, then of Cassidy alone from the front and back (always fun to see what backpack they are using). I figure if we ever move it will be neat to see which house we lived in when they went to school that year. It’s also neat to see Amelia getting bigger sitting next to her sister every year, especially since that first year she was just a newborn.

Before school Kindergarten

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What Your Child Really Wants

When given the choice children choose quality time with loved ones over toys.

Seriously!Your child wants time with you

At Christmas time I shared a post about giving experiences versus gifts. Check it out if the concept is new to you. It’s a real thing and it’s taking off.

Let’s take a trip down memory lane. Do you remember what gifts you got for your 10th birthday? How about your 20th birthday? Or even your 30th birthday?

Do you remember that time you made cookies all day with your Grandma? Or when you had a picnic at a rest stop on the way to your aunt’s house. How about that 19th birthday to Chuck E. Cheese with all of your college roommates? (Yep, I did all of those things.)

Sure, I remember some of the gifts I got over the years, but it’s the memories of times I spent together with family and friends that I cherish and remember.Read More »What Your Child Really Wants

Our Favorite Children’s Toys

July is a big birthday month in our house, so toys are definitely on our mind. While I always recommend the gift of an experience, I also recognize the importance of toys as well.  It seems the perfect time to share some of our favorite children’s toys. For a toy to make my favorites list my kids have to play with it repeatedly, use their imagination and play for long periods of time.

You never get too old for some good ‘ol toys in your life. This year Amelia got mostly toys, and Cassidy got books and clothes. As she informed me afterward, she was very happy with what she received, but sometimes it’s just nice to get some toys to play with.

Magna-Tiles

My children discovered these at the Children’s Museum in Madison, WI. They are little tiles that are magnetic around the perimeter so children of all ages can easily build with them. They are great for young kids because they can easily stay together and they are great for older kids to use their imagination. Technically, very small children should not play with them because if they break and a magnet gets loose, a child could swallow it. I have never had one break or even come close to break, but toys have to have ages and warnings just in case.

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Epidural? Yes, please.

This is the third part in a three-part series. Be sure to check out the other two parts:

Part 1: “Do You Really Need a Birth Plan”

Part 2: “Emergency C-Section is Only the Beginning”

To get an epidural or not?

That seems to be one of the top questions plaguing pregnant women everywhere.

I’m here to tell you, ultimately, it doesn’t matter.

It is a personal decision that only you, your partner and your doctor (but mainly you) can make.

When I was pregnant with my first child the only part of the birth I actually thought about was the epidural. My husband was under strict instructions that I would be receiving an epidural at the earliest possible time and under no circumstances did I intend to birth a child without medication.

In fact, I was curious if there was some sort of pre-epidural I could take leading up to my due date (spoiler alert: there is not).

I know there is lots of research about why not to use drugs during childbirth, but I have a very healthy and active 3-year-old who is proof that my epidural was harmless.

After having had such an eventful and scary first childbirth with Cassidy, I was hoping for a much calmer more “normal” experience with Amelia. Since I had a C-section prior, I could have opted to schedule another one. However, given the reason for my C-section, I was a good candidate for a VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean).

We decided to try for the VBAC, and the doctor was willing to let me go to my due date, but after that date, the risks went up so I would have to schedule a C-section.

9 months pregnant

Big sister Cassidy was not patient. She wanted to meet Amelia so badly.

Due to my emergency C-section with Cassidy, I did not have any contractions or labor of any sort with her.

With Amelia, I thought she was moving around a lot and “partying” in there towards the end. I was getting tired of all of her partying. Later I found out it was Braxton Hicks contractions.

Huh? You would think a mom would know.

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