Thursday, April 22

Grilling With Grandparents

Sunday, the Bear and I went to Nana and Papa’s for a luncheon with the fam. They cooked some delish steaks, and N entertained herself playing with chalk, water, and the crazy neighbor boy. You know, the 4-year-old who said, “I know how to use saws, I’m trained.” Remind me never to allow Nora over there unattended, please.

Wednesday, April 21

Wordless Wednesday: Silly With Dad

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Friday, April 16

Spanking: The Argument Against Corporal Punishment

This is a repost of a column I wrote for Since I love including thoughts, logic and insight to our jouney through parenting for the Bear to have later on, I thought it appropriate to include this article here. You can see (and comment on!) the original article here.

I linked to an article on spanking and it's correlation with aggressive children in this week's Tuesday Tours. I don't believe spanking is an effective or humane way to raise a child. I know many disagree with me (as can be seen from the comments section of the article I posted), but here's why I don't -- and never will -- spank my child.

1. It is abused. No, I didn't say abuse, I said abused. The arguments for spanking usually ramble something about how when done correctly, it can be an effective tool for...blah, blah, blah. The truth is, rarely is spanking done in a calm, collected manner. Usually when parents spank their children they do it out of anger. When children stop or don't respond to the spank, parents spank harder to get their message across. It's a fine line and an easy one to step over when you don't have a clear boundary to begin with: How hard is too hard? How often is too much? How old is too old, and what age is too young? In fact, I don't think any form of discipline should be given in anger. Refraining from spanking is difficult, especially if the parent was spanked as a child, but doing so will give the parent a chance to gather thoughts and respond in a more effective manner.

2. It is illegal for adults, so why would we condone it for children? Even the death penalty in most states is performed in such a way that doesn't inflict pain on the convicted. How did we, as a society, ever decide we didn't want to harm death-row criminals, but that it should be legal for a parent to intentionally inflict pain on their children? It is a fact that judicial corporal punishment has been completely outlawed in most of the Western world, and yet corporal punishment of children by parents is still legal in all 50 U.S. states, and legal by teachers in 20 U.S. states.

3. It's contradictory. You are an example for your children; do they get to hit you when you do wrong? To hit and also prohibit hitting sends mixed messages. Often children who are spanked or otherwise abused focus physical aggression on smaller children and animals the same way they are by their parents. If we want our children to make good decisions and be compassionate toward others we have to model it, and that includes being forgiving and offering solutions when they make a mistake or are defiant.

4. Misbehavior is an effect, not a cause. Defiance often is the sign of a bigger issue -- instead of spanking, try to find out what is triggering the misbehavior. It may be as simple as wanting your love and attention -- now is that worth hitting over? It certainly isn't going to halt the behavior because the need still isn't being met. There are better ways to teach right from wrong, patience and tolerance. Actions are visual emotions -- if she is behaving negatively, she probably needs me so I need to assess what cues I'm missing to make her behave this way.

5. Spanking breaks trust. As an attachment parent, I constantly and consistently aim to instill in my daughter that she is a person. No matter how small, she has a right to an opinion and she will be treated with the love, trust and respect of any other being in our household. As such, I would not condone hitting her any more than I would my dog, cat or husband. It's devaluing and implies a structural superiority that ultimately lowers a child's self esteem and can cause insecurities throughout childhood.

6. Fear is not respect. Children should behave because they respect their parents and their authority, not because they fear punishment. If the child is too young to understand the correlation between respect and good behavior, the child is too young to be spanked anyway.

7. Spanking doesn't work. Children should have boundaries; and they will test them. How you react will determine their decision to do it again. Spanking, while potentially a short term fix because the child fears the repercussions of recreating the act, doesn't address the actual concern. If you spank your child for running toward the street, s/he learns mama/dada might hit me if I do that -- so then what happens when you aren't around? If you educate them on why it's dangerous and address the issue rationally, you will have taught them a lesson that will continue to benefit them their whole lives. Same goes for drinking, smoking and sex with teens: if they only fear the parental punishment, the likelihood of experimenting is increased; however, if you have taught them that their actions are directly affecting themselves, not you, they are less likely to intentionally abuse their own bodies.

8. I love her too much. Even on an off day, I count my blessings. Tragedies happen to children every day, and I don't want to have any regrets if something were to happen to my baby. I don't like to see her sad or in pain. I would never allow anyone else to inflict pain on my child and, by extension, I could never allow myself to do it either. Children are curious, children are rambunctious, children make mistakes -- don't we all? It's how they learn, and how we react to them -- how we read their signs and embrace their adventurous side -- will ultimately shape who they become. I know who I want my child to be. Do you?

If you find yourself struggling to react appropriately in a calm manner to your child's behavior, consider seeking anger management help through the Iowa Anger Management Directory.Alternatively, a family councilor may be able to help get to the root of behavior issues. There is no shame in asking for help, and doing so may result in a happier, more in tune family that everyone will be thankful for.

Over Half Way To Two

Friday at 9:16 p.m. marked 19 months since our baby girl entered this world at a teensy 5 pounds 3 ounces. Today she is nearly 25 pounds and a smart, funny, adventurous little girl with an attitude that can go from gleeful to tantrum in 2.5 seconds.

Her most recent, and possibly new fav, word is dude, which is admittedly hilarious and comes out sounding more like a drawn out "due".

I'm amazed every day at how loving and compassionate she is -- hugging everyone and blowing kisses to strangers -- and equally amazed at how quickly she can do a 180 when she doesn't get her way.

As the weather warms and we spend more and more time outside, we're starting to see she has inherited her mamas grace -- or lack thereof. With a skinned knee that keeps breaking open and a bump on her head the size of a golf ball, we're lucky we haven't been accused of abuse.

Some things we've been doing are composting, building a laundry line and getting ready to plant our first garden. Nora loves to be involved and active.

Our most recent venture was riding a bike, which to say the least, didn't go so hot. After a month or more of searching, I finally found the perfect bike trailer to pull her in and she hates it. Despises it. Wiggles so hard I can't get her near it. We will rest and try again later, I suppose. Hopefully she come around because there is a beautiful trail along the river just down the street from our house.

What else? She's starting to love dressing herself. She continues to love to eat. This weekend N got her first dance pictures taken, even though we won't be doing recital this year -- and she's still loving tumble bears. Most recently, she learned how to balance on one foot and she now enjoys practicing all.the.time. Oh, and ring around the rosie has become a regular family activity in our home...just make sure you remember to fall down because N gets really angry if you don't!

We're still working on weaning. Some days she is completely fine with it, and others not so much. We often go several days without nursing, and then she has an off day or gets overly tired and becomes relentless that she must nurse. Originally, I was so burnt out and ready to be done, but with our new arrangement it doesn't bother me as much. As long as we've weaned completely by the time she turns 2, I'm OK with the every once and a while schedule we currently have. I definitely never imagined we would continue this long, but am very proud of us for our accomplishment -- and I have a whole new respect for mamas that are able to breastfeed for an extended period or with one child right after another!

Cheers to a happy, healthy, loving toddler!

Sunday, April 11


Six is the number of outfits the Bear wore today. It was a long, fun-packed day at the house and it seemed every time I turned around she was a mess and in need of a change of clothes.


She modeled the dress Aunt Tiffany made her for Easter, and had fun admiring herself in the mirror. P1050669

Yesterday Nora skinned her knee pretty bad, and today she fell down and scraped the same one again. P1050672

She’s definitely recovered from her previous illness, because man, today all she wanted to do was eat. I could hardly get a meal in because every time I’d go to take a bite N would say “eat” or “bite” and anxiously await me to hand over my food.

She especially loved my homemade yogurt. P1050676

Then she helped me bury some food scraps in the compost pile. After which I lectured the dogs about not getting into to the pile and N felt the need to reiterate. It was hysterical watching her fold her arms and jabber away, occasionally pointing her finger at Chateau in a stern manner. P1050679 P1050680

Later N went swimming while I laid out. It was SO beautiful out and just warm enough for a luke-warm swim.

Later we planted some seeds for our garden… OK I planted and N dumped out my previously planted containers – we’ll see how those turn out! LOL. P1050687

Overall it was a spectacular day. Looking forward to many more days of warm, outdoor enjoyment.

P.S. Happy birthday, Nana Buskirk! Hope you had a wonderful day – xoxo.

Monday, April 5

Easter is the New Christmas

Well one would guess so by the number of gifts N got anyway. The day started with an Easter basket opening and egg hunt at home. We spent most of the day in Swisher with Charlie’s family. Nora had lots of fun. I won’t bore you with my ramblings though, here is the proof.

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Thursday, April 1

My Little Sickling

I've been out of town for work and the Bear has been sick and at home with dad. Talk about mama guilt!

It started last week. She had been feverish on and off, but we get that a lot with teething and growth spurts so I didn't think anything of it. Then she developed a rash. It was mostly in the diaper area but had creeped down her thighs a little too. Sunday we woke up to find the rash had turned to blisters and sores. NurseLine said to keep her diaper off and to get her to the doctor first think Monday.

Went to the doctor Monday, and doctor said to keep it covered and clean. He also gave her an antibiotic. He diagnosed the rash as a form of impetigo and said he needed to see her again in two days. The rash got better but she still had a fever when she went back for her checkup. Doctor said he couldn't see anything else visibly wrong with her and that if the fever continued for another 24 hours we needed to take her to the hospital for further testing. He also noted that on some rare occasions the perscription can cause a fever.

Last night she was relatively chipper when I got home, but within an hour she was burning hot again. We gave her some tylenol and went to bed (OK I passed out from exhaustion and N came to bed with me). This morning she seemed to be fine again. So far no fever.

Time will tell right? Crossing our fingers for no e-room visits this week.