So to sum up for May and our month of Motherhood, your Mimi and I are going to finish with some advice on how to be the best mom ever. Now this advice is a compilation of what we've learned, experienced, and observed- please don't think I am an expert at all (I have LOTS to learn. Your Mimi already is the expert because she is the greatest mom and Mimi ever). Good thing I have such amazing maternal figures surrounding me all the time.
First and foremost, love your child with all of your being. I promise Ellie, it's natural. And Ellie, I don't know how it's possible but I love you more each new day. I absolutely adore you and each new moment with you; just as I did with Kyle.
Pick a name for your child that has meaning. Kyle's name in Celtic means, near the chapel... we couldn't have picked a more perfect name. There was always something heavenly and angelic about him. And God did call him home. As for you, Ellie means shining light. And you really were our brightness after the storm. I sing You are My Sunshine to you before bed every night. You bring radiance, brilliance, and rays of happiness into our lives always.
Share your child with others. Children are a gift and there can never be enough love that surrounds them. Take pictures to document their growth, write down stories, and upload videos. After time passes, memories fade. And so many of our family and friends live far away Ellie, that I want them to know you… so therefore you have become a Facebook and Skype regular (and hence, the start of this blog too!).
Make time for your child. Sit on the floor, turn off the TV, and play make-believe. Children grow too fast and you can't get that time back. Although sometimes Nick Jr. is a savior when making dinner. You love the Fresh Beat Band, Blue’s Clues, and the Backyardigans (and you sing and dance along with them) and I can quickly get the laundry caught up!
Make family traditions- they instill values. For us, we have family dinners just about every night. The gym, pool time, walks, and park are also fun to do together. But this time also includes prayer, reflection, and God; go to church with your children as you do with me (and even though this week, your laps around the children’s’ room totaled 11, I think you still got something out of the sermon… and if you didn’t, I did. The priest talked about interdependence and kindness, but I think that’s when your attention turned to the pieces of paper on the floor that you were trying to eat).
Make sure you are ready for a family. Children are A LOT of work and worth it when you are financially, emotionally, and physically ready. You are only young once so make the most of that time in college, don't rush to grow up. Ellie, I love you with all of my heart but since you have been born there are nights that I don’t even roll over and sleep so soundly because I am just plain EXHAUSTED! You play harder than any athlete I have ever met (and because you get into everything that means I follow you!).
All children are a blessing, even those that have special needs (like Kyle). God gives children to us for one (or both) of these two reasons: 1. You are to parent that child because you have the ability to raise them well and/or 2. That child was given to you to teach you life-long lessons.
I know that it seems like children are a regular occurrence (isn't it something like a child is born every 8 seconds?) but really it is a miraculous event. There is so much that has to go right in forming a baby. Life is to be treasured and celebrated (although that being said, don't live outside of your means. Children are expensive so be prepared). And to celebrate the birth, be ready for that first year- be sure to have a diaper genie, a velcro swaddle, a video monitor, an excellent crib mattress, and a swing. We found those to be our necessities and you were always a good little sleeper since you were 8 weeks old!
1 cup of margarine
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed firm
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3 cups quick rising oatmeal
1 cup craisins
Preaheat oven to 375 degrees. Beat margarine and sugar with mixer. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Add dry ingredients and mix. Add oatmeal and craisins. Drop spoonfuls of dough 2 inches apart on an ungreased (or wax paper lined) cookie sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes.
Above all Ellie, say I love you and hug and kiss your children as many times as you can.
And now from your Mimi...
Mimi has loved you with all of her being since your first day with us!
Here are a few of my own thoughts that I would like to add to yours:
A future chef perhaps? Always trying to get into the fridge and freezer!
Mimi reading to you Ellie as a little baby... she still reads to you over Skype!
I loved reading to your mommy and Uncle Ryan everyday when they were little Ellie, and it definitely paid off. From an early age on, your mommy took to reading just about anything she could get her hands on. As an eighth- grade student, she played the leading female role of Christine in the school play Phantom of the Soap Opera. She nailed her lines perfectly! Then during the fall of her senior year, your mommy tried out for Centre County’s Outstanding Young Woman of the Year. For her talent portion of the pageant, she chose to recite Shakespeare’s: A Monologue from Romeo and Juliet. Well Ellie, she read it with such impressive passion, her talent helped her clinch 2nd runner up! As for your Uncle Ryan, when he was a young boy and being the creative artist that he is, comic strips were his preferred reading choice! He would devour Calvin and Hobbs along with Mother Goose and Grimm! Now he reads books of much greater depth… some that I don’t even understand!
Trying your first goldfish snack!