When You Start to Mirror Your Mother

 

 

parenting tips, mother and daughter relationships, grandparents

 

When I became a mother, I vowed to do things differently from my mother.  After all, who wants to be their mother. Did you swear that you would never turn into your mother?  Even as she was baking wonder breads,  maintaining a perfect house, sewing on a button or placing a band aid on a scrapped knee, I didn’t want to be my mother. I had no idea what motherhood entailed at that point in my life. Over the course of the years, I have learned that parenting and keeping a marriage together are tough jobs. Once you step into the arena of parenting and marriage, it changes your life forever.  There’s no manual on parenting or how to have a successful marriage.  Life is simply trial and error.  

I grow up in a traditional household, my father worked and my mother took care of 7 children and the home. Yep, I said 7.  She cooked, cleaned, did the laundry, and made sure homework was done.  Additionally, she attended PTA meetings, got us to bed on time, and sent us to Sunday School every Sunday.  She washed clothes in a wringer washer, hung them on a clothes line, ironed, cleaned windows with vinegar and water, and cooked meals in stockpots.  

I remember taking clothes off the line when they were stiff as boards because they were frozen. I also remember the best smelling sheets.   It was a good life for the most part.  Nevertheless, I still did not want to be my mother.  I just wanted to be me whoever that was.

True to form I kept my word.  I stayed home with my daughter for awhile, but Corporate America was calling my name.  My mother thought my choices were awful. Microwaved food, traveling around the country, and divorcing was not something a traditional woman did. As time went on she accepted my choices, and I didn’t feel guilty about not becoming my mother.  We both realized that times change; where I come from doesn’t make me who I am.   

Many woman were breaking the traditional ideology.  When my daughter was in ballet, dads were bringing their daughters to class.  Men and women were sharing the responsibility of getting kids to their destination and managing the home.  Men were cooking, washing dishes, doing laundry and women were mowing lawns.  Women were entering the workforce, bringing the bacon, frying it up and still taking care of their homes. 
Some were bringing in more money than their husbands. Many were holding it down without a husband.   

I’ve enjoyed my years in the workforce, but I’m entering a new chapter in my life.  I have decided to leave the work force within the next year.  My career has been a journey.  I’ve learned many lessons along the way. Working outside the home has taught me leadership skills. It has also allowed me to become a better business woman. Most importantly it has taught me that I no longer want to be apart of the work force.    

My mother is aging, but I hope she remembers some of the yummy recipes that she fixed when we were children. I’m looking forward to making jams, getting my grandchildren for the summer, and traveling across this great country.  I’m looking forward to scrap booking the thousands of pictures that I have stored.  Last, I’m looking forward to enjoying a cup of coffee on my deck as I’m listening to the birds tweet and bunnies play.  

 

Calendar Gift Ideas


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2014 Calendar

I just made a calendar for one of my daughter’s Christmas gifts at Shutterfly.  I had so much fun going through pictures and finding ones that fit perfectly into each month of Xavier and Zarriah.  Although it’s not clear, this is the cover of the calendar.  The picture was taken at Zarriah’s Christening.  About 20 family members from my daughter and son-in-law’s side of the family attended.  The picture is a beautiful memory. 

This calendar will make a beautiful keepsake.  I’m thinking of making another for my office.  For January I selected a picture of Xavier playing in his first snow.  It was a great moment, January 2009.  My daughter and her family were visiting for a week-end and it snowed.  Xavier had just turned 1 the previous September.  I had a great time watching him play and trying to figure out what that white stuff was.   

                                                                 

                                                                       

How could I leave out Zarriah’s first birthday party, August 2012, and her looking at the clown.  OMG, it was hilarious.  The pictures brought back so many memories.  I’m hoping the calendar will do the same with daughter and son-in-law. 

I’ve been thinking of this calendar for years as a gift, but never made the effort to complete the calendar.  Finally in 2013 I do just that.  The Shutterfly site is easy to navigate.  To cut down on time, I would suggest that you go through your pictures and make a note of which ones you would like to use for what month.  If you’re like me, you have thousands of photos to choose from, so it can become time consuming. 

Shutterfly is currently offering free shipping.  Use Promotion Code SHIP30.  Also, new customers get 50 prints free.  The free shipping offer ends 12/23/13.  This is a great idea for your mom, a friend or yourself.  The calendar comes in 2 sizes:  8 x 11 and 12 x 12.  I choose the 8 x 11 for $21.99.  The 12 x 12 is $29.99.  They have numerous designs and layouts to choose from.  Check it out. 


                                                                    

Boo – Happy Halloween!

My adorable Minnie Mouse and Ninja.  Happy Halloween from my family to yours. 
                                                                             

Raising A Preemie

As you know, my Zarriah was born weighing 2lbs. 10 ozs.  She spent the first 3 month of her life in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in Virginia Beach, VA.  This is my preemie a year and half later.  She’s walking, talking, eating everything in site and has proven herself to be one of my greatest blessings.  I look back at the day she was born, Hurricane Irene was coming through.  I nicknamed her “Storm”.

Her doctors say she’s doing fine.  They see no problem with her eyesight.  Her motor skills are fine, she sleeps through the night, she’s walking, and throws the normal tantrums for a toddler.  She has a totally different personality from her brother.  He’s loving and likes to cuddle, Zarriah prefers her independence.  She likes to be held, but she doesn’t hang around long.  She prefers to discover and climb over or under whatever is in sight, and is always up for a fight.  Yep, she will fight.  She fought for her life, and she continues to fight.  Hopefully, she will grow out of this habit.   

She has a huge appetite!  I must say, she eats more than any child that I have ever seen.  There’s times when I think she’s going to be sick, but it never happens.  When she doesn’t want anymore, she will turn her head, spit it out or just stop eating if she’s feeding herself.  Her grandfather and I took her to Golden Corral for dinner.  She ate the biggest plate of mashed potatoes and gravy that I’ve ever seen.  The people sitting next to us looked and looked.  Finally, I spoke up and said she will eat until the bottom falls out.  We engaged in further conversation, and found out that they too had a preemie who was at that time 10.  She had caught up and grown into a beautiful young lady. 

It is such a blessing to be able to write this post.  I want to thank the nurses in the NICU at Sentara Princess Anne Hospital in Virginia Beach for their professional care.  They were all excellent, and will be forever in our hearts and prayers.  I remember the first time that I saw Zarriah.  I truly believed that I would pass out.  She was so tiny, in an incubator and wires everywhere.  I broke out in a sweat.  The nurses comforted me, and assured me that they were skilled and she would be fine.  Zarriah has been back to visit the NICU on several occasions.  We thought it was important for her to keep the connection with those who fought  as hard as she did to save her life. 

Are you raising a preemie or know someone who is?  Have they caught up or did they remain small?  Leave me a comment, I would love to connect with other raising preemies. 

How Do You Choose Grandparent Names

Did your children decide on their grandparent’s name or did your parents make the decision on what they wanted to be called?  My grandson ultimately made the decision for me.  I had initially selected the name Gran, but it didn’t stick. 

I was visiting my grandson one week-end, and when I walked into the house he said Mawmaw.  Where’s Gaga (referring to his grandfather)?  At that moment, Gran went out the window.   I must admit, I was surprised he called me Mawmaw.  I’ve often wondered how he came up with those names for us.  Especially, since I had been calling myself Gran for almost 2 years.  His grandfather had been calling himself granddaddy.  Isn’t it amazing how things can change in a split second. 

Now, I must admit that I wasn’t exactly thrilled with the name Mawmaw.  I didn’t think it was a fit for me and it sounded so old fashion.  I felt somewhat disappointed.  Afterall, I’m not your typical grandma.  I’m a high heel wearing diva who’s into blogging, texting, social media, and a need for wine.  I just wasn’t feeling Mawmaw.  I chose the name Gran because I didn’t want to end up with an old fashion out of date name.  Gran was traditional, but still had a sophisticated ring to it.  My daughter stated, “Mom you have to be whatever he calls you”.  I wasn’t sure if I was disappointed because I had spent 9 months selecting a name and it was suddenly gone or because the name sounded so country and out of date.  The only other person that I knew as Mawmaw was my 60 year old Aunt.   My grandson had thrown a wrench into the plans.  My siblings had chosen their names, and I wanted that opportunity too.     

Our grandchildren use a variety of names for us.  In my family there’s Poppy, Nana, Granny, and Granddaddy.  As I was discussing the name change with co-workers, I was surprised to find out that many of their grandchildren called them MawMaw.  It was actually a popular name.  Who knew!

As I continued to think about it, it suddenly didn’t matter what he  called me as long as he called my name.  My grandson had changed my life forever.  I looked at the change totally different.  What’s in a name?  I realized that my grandson had a mind of his own, and he was demonstrating his personality, his individuality, and how he felt about me.  I was a Mawmaw, and he believed it was a fit for me.  He didn’t see me as a diva, texter, blogger or wine taster.  I was simply his Mawmaw.  He has made it clear over the course of the years with his cousins, that’s my Mawmaw.  I have happily accepted the nomination.  I’ve held that title for 5 years, and I’m proud to wear it.  I now have a grandson and granddaughter.  I will continue to strive to be the #1 Mawmaw, because that is what is truly important. 

What do your grandchildren call you or your parents?  Leave us a comment, we would love to know.  

Teaching a Preemie How to Nurse From a Bottle

I wanted to let my readers know that my little Zarriah is up to 4 lbs.  2 ozs.  Quite a milestone for us.  My daughter is attempting to bottle feed her for the first time in this picture.  She needs to learn how to suck and keep her milk down.  This is a task that she would have learned during the last month in the womb.  Once she masters this task, we will be well on our way to gaining that last pound needed to go home. 

In addition to learning to nurse from the bottle, she also needs to maintain her body temperature outside the incubator, pass the car seat test and maintain a steady heart rate.  So we still have a few milestones to accomplish. 

The first attempt at bottle feeding was a little overwhelming for her.  We’re hoping she will relate to sucking her pacifier, which she loves, and she will get the hang of things quickly.  The hospital she’s in, is ranked as one of the best in the country for nursing preemies.  They’ve actually had a speech therapist working with my daughter and Zarriah to help with the sucking processing.  Is that not amazing?  You wonder how they can teach a baby this small to do anything, but they can. 

We’re thrilled that Zarriah is allowed to wear her own onesies and tees now, but I’m having a time finding preemie clothes.  If you know a site or store where we can find cute onesies for her, please let me know.  If you have experience with a preemie, I would love to hear from you.  Please leave me a comment. 

Should We Take His Pacifier?

As you can see my little sweetie is a character. Don’t you love his hat? He also has another attachment, his pacifier. He’s almost 2 and my daughter thinks he’s getting too old to have it. Pediatricians recommend that toddlers be weaned from their pacifiers by 2. She and my son-in-law want to put him in nursery school for a few hours a day so he can play with other children, and they believe he should be off the pacifier. How old should a child be when you take their
nip nip? He absolutely loves it. Gran thinks she should leave him alone and let him give it up when he’s ready. I don’t expect him to be walking around with his nip nip when he’s 3, but now it soothes him.

He was a thumb sucker when he was born, and I’m concerned that he will revert although research has shown that most toddlers don’t revert when they’re weaned. There are also other concerns, interference with speech, dental problems and ear infections. I’ve seen no signs of either. I think he will gradually give it up when he learns to sooth himself. I must admit he hangs on to it tightly. If you try to take it, he’ll fight you for it. I meant that literally.  If we have a discussion about it, he understands.  He will run to it, pick it up and suck on it for dear life. He’s such a sweetie and oh so adorable. I simply can’t stand to see or hear him in distress.

How old was your child when you weaned them? I would love to hear your story, please leave a comment.