Tuesday, January 1, 2013

being a mom

So there are some things I've learned about being a mom that I never knew before. I think I'll take the time to share some of them with you.

1. Never just whiff the bum. I know, everyone does it to check for a stinker, but really, it's like sticking your face down there right as someone farts... NOT pleasant at all. I go for a more long distance whiff. If I can smell if from the top of his head, or from arms length, it's good enough for me.

2. Always pack diapers. Even for those "quick trips" where you just need to run in for one thing. Chances are he'll be fine, but there will be that one time where he will poop AS soon as you get the car parked and he crop-dusts everyone behind you until you get home...

3. He doesn't need (or really) want the newest, bestest, loudest toy out there. Don't spend the money on it. Sweep thrift stores, check discount aisles, or opt for one of his(her) favorites. Each child is different, but I know quite a few who played more with the box this year than their gifts on Christmas...

4. Keep it simple. Danger is only 1, and he's my first but so far, one of the best things I've learned is to keep it simple. He doesn't need his bread cut up, I rip it up, he likes fruit right outta the can and he LOVES those Apple on the Go things, he can't get enough of them, and he hardly squeezes them anymore! Keep the clothes simple, they're just going to get dirty or changed anyways.

5. If you don't want him to have it, keep it out of his reach. Now, Danger is at the stage where he is blindly grabbing things off any surface he can reach. He wiggles his way into any crevice he can find. He grabs at anything he can get his fingers on. He shakes things to see how strong they are. He pushes and pulls everything to its limits. Phones, laptops, sunglasses, remotes, cords and shoes are NO exception. There are no exceptions! If he can grab it, consider it tossed down the stairs, or over the fence onto the tile. Everything is his sphere of influence, is ok for him to get.

6. Never miss an opportunity. There are days when he's got the grumps. But there are days when he is NOTHING but smiles, and I feel bad cuz I've skipped a few of those days to do something else. I shoulda been playing with him. I shoulda been building things out of blocks. I shoulda been wrestling with him. I shoulda been on the floor making car noises or boat or airplane noises. We shoulda been playing with the loudest toy he has!

7. Babies are smart, teach them NOW! If there's something you want your child to learn or know, start right away. As soon as Danger could move and grab things, I immediately started putting my hand out to ask for things I didn't want him to have. Now whenever I put my hand out or say "Can mama have that?" he hands me what he's got. I babysit a little girl, and I started teaching her sign language, it worked so wonderfully, I taught Danger too, so now when he wants something, he asks for it. As soon as he could crawl, if he'd reach for something we didn't want him to, we'd say NO and flick his fingers. He knows what NO is and goes a different direction when he say it.

8. Babies watch everything. EVERYTHING! They watch the TV, they watch you, they watch strangers, they watch family, they watch dogs, they watch cars, they watch guns, they watch balls, they watch bikes, they watch fruit. And they try to copy it all. I caught Danger trying to PEEL his pants the other day. We had bananas for lunch. He picked up a car 6 months ago going "vroom vroom" I did NOT teach him that. Shark and I had a dart gun war last Valentine's Day, Danger was 4 months old. He learned that guns go "pew pew pew" and he makes that sound when holding any gun OR pointing! I caught him holding a pair of scissors the other day, just like he was cutting a snowflake outta paper. Seriously, they pick up on everything. So watch what you do, and don't be shy about asking friends/family to watch what they say/do. If it becomes a problem, just leave. Yeah, it might disappoint people if you leave, but it sure beats your kid cussing it up! BABIES ARE SPONGES!!

9. Little hands don't get crayons or pens until they can use them, for real. Until they don't immediately stick crayons in their mouth or bend the pens in half, they do not get them. There is no need for them to have them. I give Danger clean paint brushes with water, and he doodles on the chalk board. It's very very fun. Sidewalks work for this too. Crayola also has crayons and markers that ONLY work on a certain type of paper, we might venture into those... (The house we bought has nail polish on the walls downstairs, did you know the paint under the nail polish comes off first?!) I'm not a crazy mom, but no crayons in my kids hands until they can hold 'em to write.

10. Cherish nap time. Ok, the most repeat advice I got when I had Danger was SLEEP WHEN THE BABY SLEEPS. Seriously. Do it. I did it when he was way little, but as he got bigger, I started doing other things during his naps. I've started watching a neighbor girl, and when Danger and I get home at 4, he goes down for a nap, and then after I get dinner for Shark, I go down for a nap. It helps so much! It's freaking awesome! (I just hope when I have my 2nd kid, they have they same nap schedules and I can still have my nap!)

And 1 last thing!

11. Babies LOVE to smile! Be sure to capture those smiles on camera, even if it's just once a month, or whenever. Make sure you keep some of those smiles! I have enjoyed Danger's smiles and he has learned to HAM IT UP for the camera! Whenever I pull out the camera, even if I just snag the card out of it, he grins so big and cheeses it up! I send those smiles to everyone! My family isn't close to us, so I send as many pictures as I can. (I hear there will be times where there won't be so many smiles, so it'll be nice to have those smiles saved up!)

I absolutely LOVE being a mom. It has been such a blessing! I think everyday Shark and I say, at some point, "I sure do love that little guy!" He is such a cute adventurous little man! He's so strong and he gets into everything! He's so stinking cute and he freaking knows it! He seriously HAMS it up, gives huge grins, plays peek-a-boo, giggles, he hides his face, then pops out. He really is an absolutely miracle. Here's the birth story, but here is the doctor visit drama story, and more, and even more adventures, and even more! So, seriously, he really is a miracle! We are so blessed to have him in our life and we are thankful everyday! Yeah...

Behold your little ones!

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