Friday, May 27, 2011

Mother's Day Month of May: Blog 4- Letters from Mom & Mimi

Ellie loves her baby almost as much as I love Ellie, my baby!

Hi Elle-Belle!

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!).   
For instance, I was able to share your first taste of a Popsicle this week (and as you can see, you weren't a fan).

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!). 
Playing on the kitchen floor.

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!  

Cherish the time that you have with your babies, no matter how big or small.  And for those little girls you may have one day, have tea parties and add lots of flair (dress up, bring out the china, have high tea, or spend a little money to find a tea house).  Your Mimi and I are enclosing recipes for those special moments at home... your Mimi's craisin cookies are my favorite especially dunked in a cup of tea.

Mimi’s Craisin Cookies
1 cup of margarine
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed firm
2 eggs
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.
I love that you not only let me hug and kiss you, you love it too!

I love you baby girl and I am blowing you a kiss as I close this letter,

And now from your Mimi...

Hi Ellie Rosebud!

Your Great Grandmom Jones sent me an awesome booklet called Teatime Treats.  I have just learned from reading the very first page that a "tea" is not really considered a "tea" at all without at least one generous serving of sandwiches and one dessert!  And I also just found out that some "teas" are actually complete meals!  So Ellie, I guess I am considered (one of two... Poppy being the other person) in attendance of an "in home tea party" during my breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Hmmmm.... I wonder what it is called when I am just drinking cup after cup of tea alone?  I don't mean me personally Ellie; I am talking about my teacup of which I am drinking from at this very moment with no goodies present!   But now the power of suggestion has just been placed in my head to go in search of something sweet and tasty!  Thank-fully your Aunt Sammy made and brought over some delicious homemade oatmeal-raisin cookies last week, (my favorite), that I haven't quite finished up yet!  Mmmmmm, they make great little dunkers!

OK... now I'm ready to blog.  Wow, your mommy came up with some great, from the heart, advice as to how each of us can be the best Mom ever.  And you know what?  This list can also be used as a guide for us grandmoms to be the best that we can be too!  I believe that no one is ever too old to learn Ellie!  Kimberly, I love how you started your list off with the most important piece of advice: love your child with all of your being!  I couldn't agree with you more!  
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:

Say "I Love You" daily and often.  You can never say those 3 precious words enough.  Children need to hear this... a lot. And make sure too that your little one knows you will love him or her unconditionally.  It surly will make for a happy child!  Oh, and let them see you smile... from your heart... and often!  I found this to be so true over the years of raising your mommy and Uncle Ryan.  By bringing oodles of love into their lives, they in turn have brought love and laughter into mine and so many others.

Trust your instincts.  Moms have a unique intuitiveness when it comes to raising a family.  Moms are the parent, the protector, the peacemaker, the comforter, the teacher, the disciplinarian, the healer, the nutritionist and the activity coordinator, plus a whole lot more.  Trust in yourself to know which role to play when.  Your child believes in you and trusts you more than anyone else!  For you will always be their mom… from the day God delivers them into your home thru the day God peacefully guides them back to his home.

Be patient with your child.  Their little hands may reach for things they shouldn't touch.  Their little feet may walk where they shouldn't go.  Since everything under the sun is new to them they will need to be taught right from wrong.  And it may take some repetition before they begin to understand this concept.  It is OK to be stern, just make sure to love, love, love them always.  They'll figure it out!  Just like you finding every spec of dirt on the floor Ellie, your mommy and Uncle Ryan found their share of inquisitive gadgets that were (as the warning labels state) not recommended for children under 3 years of age!
 A future chef perhaps?  Always trying to get into the fridge and freezer!

Lead by example.  I shall use Grandmom Mundy's best advice: Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you!    Teach your child that kindness goes a long way. People respond quicker and also friendlier to those who are kind and sincere.  Teach sharing.  By sharing they learn how to be a friend.  By sharing they learn the importance of giving.  By sharing, they are leading the example!

This one goes along with your mommy's "Make time for your child."  Add reading to this suggestion.  Read, read, and then read some more!  Read with expression!  Read with animation! Read as though the story is alive!  Watching and listening to you read will encourage them to follow in your footsteps.  Opening a book is like opening a door to explore the unknown; what is on the other side.  So many opportunities will present themselves.  
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!

Encourage your child to try new things... whether it be tasting a piece of broccoli, letting go and walking on their own, joining an extra-curricular school activity, or whatever direction they may need a nudge to follow... encourage them.  Someday they could be president of the United States!  Or an amazing middle school Social Studies teacher making a positive difference in a student’s life! 
 Trying your first goldfish snack!

Make sure they know their home will always be their home, their mommy and daddy will always be their mommy and daddy and the love that surrounds them will never go away!

Being a mommy Ellie is the greatest honor, the greatest gift and the greatest feeling that God has bestowed upon us.

But that honor, that gift and that feeling can only exist if precious little ones like you are part of our world.  We may make mistakes along the way, we may fuddle and fumble through events and crisis, we may improvise at a moment’s notice... but the one thing that stays rock solid is the love we have for our children.  You Ellie are the love and the light of your mommy and daddy's eyes.  Your name is truly quite befitting of you.  You precious one are blessed and your existence has blessed so many!

I think now is the perfect time to submit my recipe for a Mother's Tea.
Here it is:

Chicken Salad Tea Sandwiches with Pine Nuts
½ cup pine nuts
2 large chicken breasts (baked and finally chopped)
½ cup mayonnaise
Dash of celery salt
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
¼ cup celery, finely diced
16 slices bread
Preheat oven to 275 degrees.  Roast pine nuts on a baking tray for 8-10 minutes.  Stir occasionally to avoid burning.  
Blend chicken, mayonnaise, celery salt, and parsley.  
Add celery and pine nuts and mix well.
Spread over 8 slices of bread and top with remaining bread. Remove crusts with a sharp, serrated knife.  Quarter sandwiches and cover in an airtight container.  Serve within 2 hours of assembly.  Makes 32 quarter sandwiches. Serves 4 per person!

What a wonderful month May has been Ellie!  And now we get to look forward to the month of June… that means celebrating “dads!”  Kimberly, what do you think about June’s blogs following some of the same format we used for our May blog’s plus a couple of surprises? That being said, we should make the coming month’s topic be “Father’s Day” and then some!

Till next time Beautiful Light!

Love, Mimi


  1. Kim and Mickey great job once again. I love the bits of advise, the stories and even the recipies, I know Ellie one day will really appreciate all this work you both have done.

  2. Thank you Jackie! I think (and I'm sure my mom would agree) that this is also really therapeutic- it's like writing a journal or diary (which I have never been able to do for more than a week) so it's not an entirely self-less act! Hope you are well, miss you!