To My Child

To My Child

I hope you learn that life isn’t fair.  But that that doesn’t mean it is all bad.

I hope you smile at people, even strangers, and look people in the eye.

I hope you chew with your mouth closed.

I hope you learn how to listen – really listen – to others when they need to be heard, and to the quiet beat of your own heart.

Headed down the path together.

A post shared by Cate Simms (@sarkytartlet) on

 

I hope you learn to win and lose with grace.

I hope you love and appreciate the beautiful, intricate, amazing body you’re in.

I hope you can be silly for the joy of it, and can laugh at yourself and with others kindly.

I hope you have good manners and know when to use them (almost always) and when to relax them.

I hope you trust. In others, and in yourself.

I hope you know how to make something with your own brain and hands – a song, food, a painting, a stone wall.

I hope you learn, without too many tough consequences, that attempts to escape problems, hurt, and heartbreak never really work for long.

Flying!

A post shared by Cate Simms (@sarkytartlet) on

 

I hope you pick up after yourself.

I hope you decide that it is wise and healthy to get enough sleep.

I hope you learn how to advocate for yourself without demanding, complaining or whining.

I hope you understand that stuff is just stuff.

I hope you learn you can expect goodness, but not perfection, from other people. Or from yourself.

I hope you learn how to own up to your own misdeeds, mistakes and slights without excuses, blame or deflection.

I hope you keep learning, about the world, about other people, and about yourself.

I hope you work in any small or large way to make your community, corner, city, world, a tiny bit more just and beautiful.

And I hope you know that when in doubt, you should just put stuff in the trash, and not the garbage disposal.

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Of Long Labors and Crinkly Whales

Recently, I was asked to offer some words of encouragement and advice to a friend expecting her first child. My first piece of advice? Pay no attention to even the most well-intentioned pieces of advice. With that said, here are a few things I’ve learned on my 3 trips to baby town.

 

  1. Doctors don’t want to scare you, so they don’t tell you exactly how long labor will last. But I will. Labor will last a long time. A few days. Yes, days. I know only two women whose first labors lasted less than 24-hours. Two. (I’m not counting scheduled C-sections.) And when you’re 40 weeks pregnant, anxious to meet your little one, in pain, and don’t know what to expect the whole process will seem excruciatingly long, miserable, and sometimes a bit out-of-control, no matter how well you plan. But you will be okay. You will.

 

  1. Get one of these.
rockn

Fisher Price Rock ‘n Play Sleeper

 

  1. People with children who are teenagers or older will tell you to enjoy every minute, that it all goes by so fast. Those people are wrong. You won’t enjoy/savor/cherish every minute. In fact, I think it is far more likely that you’ll find a lot about caring for an infant to be tedious, repetitive, messy, exhausting and not-so-fun. BUT, it gets better, and there are lovely, quiet, rewarding, amazing moments.

 

  1. Sometimes you’ll feel like you’re doing everything wrong. You aren’t.

 

  1. Forget what the books and registry guides say. Children don’t need much: love, warmth, a food source, and when they get a little older, a toy that makes a crinkly crunchy sound. You have enough and you are enough. Get this whale for the crinkly toy part.
Franky the Hanky Whale by Lamaze

Franky the Hanky Whale by Lamaze

  1. Don’t feel bad about asking for what you need. If someone asks what they can do to help, tell them to bring food and hold the baby for an hour while you shower and nap. Never underestimate the restorative power of a shower and a nap. (In the reverse, if someone is over-staying their welcome, don’t feel bad about asking them to leave.)

 

  1. Bring your own pillow to the hospital. The bed is uncomfortable enough. Don’t add to your misery by sleeping on a pillow encased in rubber.

 

You got this, Mama.

Things I Love Thursdays

I love vacation, I love September, and I love stinky cheese!

The end.

No, not really.


Dye! Dye!!

I did some fun cooking and crafty activities with the kids during vacation.  Tie-dying with children under the age of 6 is… interesting.  But the kids loved it, (some of) the shirts look great, and those tie dye kits make it really easy.  If you are daring and like semi-permanent messes, I say go for it!

Tulip Tie-Dye Kit from Amazon.

Tulip Tie-Dye Kit from Amazon.


Duck, duck, soap!

Thanks to an adorable DIY kit from a friend, we also tried out soap-making last week.  So easy.  Melt glycerin, add fragrance, glittery color and oatmeal, stir, pour in molds and you have adorable duck-shaped soap.  The bonus? I’m all for crafts that encourage my children to wash their hands or other kid parts. If I made them again, I’d use less of the fragrance and skip the oatmeal.  The orange glitter stays, though. Quack!

Ducky Honey Soap by Makers|kit. They make all sorts of affordable crafty kits. Image from Open Sky. Click on photo to go there.

Ducky Honey Soap by Makers|kit. They make all sorts of affordable crafty kits. Image from Open Sky. Click on photo to go there.


Some Good Advice

A lovely video from CBC/Radio Canada on how to age gracefully. Stay weird!

clip


Happy Fall Y’all! 

(I couldn’t help myself with that one.)

PS – As always, no affiliate links – they’re just there for your convenience.

Major Award

liebsterawardicon

I am a slacker.

Alison at Please Stop Putting Crackers Down My Shirt kindly nominated me for the Liebster Award. (Thank you, Alison!)  It has only taken me 7 months to get my rear in gear and acknowledge and respond.  Whoops.

The Liebster Award is kind of like a kind chain letter in the blogging world.  And I am a sucker for chain letters – and probably the only person who ever actually participated in the “panties” and “children’s books” chain letters.  (Please tell me that someone besides me recalls these chain letters?)

The award is basically intended to introduce readers to other good, small blogs they might otherwise miss in their interweb travels.  I am supposed to answer the 11 questions Alison has posed, provide 11 facts about myself and then nominate other blogs for the award.  Forgive me for not following the rules perfectly (does this mean my Liebster will be revoked?) but I figure something is better than nothing, especially after 7 months.  I’m not going to be nominating other blogs here, but I solemnly swear that I will link to and mention my favorites as it occurs to me to do so.

Questions Answered

1. Who is the person you admire the most, and in what ways have they influenced you?
First, let me explain… I think born and raised Yankees are reluctant to use superlatives. We’re often warm, but not frequently gushy. Terms like “most” and “best” are hard for me, so this is a tough question for me to answer. Example of my reluctance to name favorites? Even at 14-years-old I never hung up posters of any teen idols, athletes, or actors, because I just didn’t like any of them enough to do that. I’m weird that way. I admire lots of people, for lots of reasons. Here are a few:

Emily, who is so strong, and might not even know it
Betty, who never stopped learning
My sister, who makes me laugh and knows me best
My dad, for always being loving and supportive and saving the day
My mom, whose advice was almost always right
Mira, the most true-to-herself human ever
If I don’t stop here, the list will go on for pages…

2. If you could have one superpower – any superpower – what would it be and what would you do with it?
Flight, probably. Because it would be fun.
Or maybe I’d like to freeze time like Evie in Out of This World. I’d get a lot more naps that way.

Evie
3. If you could live out your life in a fictional universe (movie, television or book setting), which one would it be and why?
The Wonka Chocolate Factory (Wilder, not Depp). With the Oompa Loompas. I’m not a candy fiend, but I like the innovation, whimsy, privacy, and nifty singing.

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4. What five music albums could you not live without?
I love music. I’ve seen Springsteen 50+ times, and a lot of his music has served as a sort of soundtrack to my life, so a few of his albums would be on the list. The Rising, maybe a live recording of a show I attended, maybe Born to Run or The Wild, The Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle. And Paul Simon’s Graceland. I might add the “Stand By Me” soundtrack too.

btr

 

5. Do you think you’d survive a zombie apocalypse? What would be your weapon of choice?
Nope. Not a chance.

 

6. What is your favorite thing about the area in which you live?
I have so many favorite things. It is safe, beautiful, close to lots of fun things. It is home.

 

7. You’re an adult now, but if you could send a letter back in time – to yourself at age 16 – what advice would you give?
1. If a boy says he’s over you believe him.
2. Let yourself make more mistakes. Speak up.
3. Go abroad in college.

 

8. As a child, what did you want to be when you became a grownup? Did you eventually become that thing?
When it was my special week in 4th grade, I drew a life-sized picture of myself as a veterinarian. I was wearing a lab coat with a mouse in the pocket. I did not become a vet. I think I had changed my mind within a few weeks. I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. I still don’t.

 

9. What’s on your pizza?
I like most toppings, except hamburger. If I’m not sharing, I’ll choose sausage, onions and mushrooms.

Hot_pizza

 

10. What’s your favorite vocabulary word?
I don’t have one. I love a good pun or clever turn of phrase. And my favorite French word is “gaufre” (waffle). Also, I just read a lovely article about favorite lost words.

11. What is the thing you like most about yourself?

Oh goodness, there’s that “most” word again.

I like that I’m still learning and curious.  I like that I try to look for the good in people.  I like that I try.  I like that I’m silly.

 

 

I think this might just be long enough.  I’ll save the 11 facts for next time.  Again thanks to Alison at Please Stop Putting Crackers Down My Shirt!