Fostering Imagination: Sidewalk Chalk

My daughter has a very active imagination. It’s one of my favorite things about her. We pretend to be different animals. We play house. We pretend to be princesses. We even pretend to be witches that turn each other into frogs… But I knew she had a unique point of view when she wanted to pretend to be a Bergen instead of a troll because the Bergen Chef gets to carry that “super cool purse.” (read: fanny pack.)

With that imagination comes the desire to create, but here’s the thing: her little three-year-old hands can’t quite articulate the masterpieces she envisions. That is where I come in!

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Maternity Leave

Whew. It’s winding down. Sweet Pea is in pre-school 2 days a week right now to reacquaint herself with that whole routine. Brother Bear (working nickname) is still with me for 3 more short weeks. It’s been absolutely amazing.

When we decided that we’d keep both kids home during my time off work, to say I was worried is an understatement. I remember being anxious and unsure after my first baby… until I wasn’t.

If that made me nervous, I thought, how am I going to handle having two?

Luckily, the second time around I have the confidence of experience and the wise words of Goose echoing in my head: When I was overwhelmed by the daily duties that came with my first baby she said, “Don’t worry. It’ll be like you grow another set of hands and suddenly you’ll be able to juggle more.” And this was no different… but there were also some difficulties.

The love was immediate and overwhelming. I was so surprised by that. Your heart really does just grow. #grinch

Onto the difficulties:

In the beginning I had a hard time allowing Pea, our 3 year old, to participate with the baby in the level at which she wanted. His bath time, for example, was particularly stressful. He’s tiny and slippery. I’m in a tight space, hunched over the bath tub, wedged between the toilet, the tub, and a wall. He’s in the infant tub inside the tub – essentially bath time inception. I’m sleep deprived and therefore cranky. Pea is a ball of energy and grabby “helpful” hands. After a few semi-patient, albeit shrill, requests for her to back up, my impatience got the better of me. I snapped at her.

She cried. I cried. I felt awful. Three is already tough. At three, boundaries are being tested. Limits pushed. Independence is wanted but not entirely possible… but pepper in the huge transition of a new baby and all of a sudden sharing Mommy’s attention, and you’re staring down the barrel of a lifetime movie’s worth of emotions. It’s basically the worst time to snap and lose your patience, and yet it’s impossible not to.

This was just one of several moments (and I’m certain there will be more) where I learned and grew. We all did. I’m picking my battles. Pea helps with bath time now. Always. Literally every time. I’ve learned how to situate myself to make the most room. And isn’t that what having a second child is? Finding out you have so much more room than you thought.

Well, it was for me. All -err- MOST OF the doubts melt away and strength, confidence, and love emerge to take the wheel. Now I know I can do it… because I did it. And I’m going to miss this precious, chaotic time so much.

Natural Scrunching Spray / Scalp & Hair Treatment

Do you suppose she is a wild flower?

– Alice in Wonderland

As someone who’s hair cannot keep a curl no matter how much product I use, it simply blows my mind that this picture is after a night of sleep, a half day of play, and another nap. Look at those beautifully wild curls!

My daughter was blessed with stunning blue eyes, and gorgeous soft, curly hair. Since my brown hair is as straight as it comes, I’ve done a lot of research on how to keep her locks in their truest form with as little effort and product as possible.

There are plenty of essential oil recipes that are good for hair and the scalp out there. We tried a several until we made our own combination of two we liked. It’s below:

Natural Scrunching Spray / Scalp & Hair Treatment

  • 6-8 oz Witch Hazel (as the base)
  • 10 drops Lavender
  • 10 drops Cedarwood
  • 5 drops Tea Tree Oil

She loves spray bottles, so after bath time she sprays the mix in her hair. (We also add a little leave-in conditioner.) I handle the combing and the scrunching, which I do with a towel. Easy as that!

Even after a night of sleep, the curls are still in tact, but another small spritz and scrunch in the morning can add a little more bounce… and who has time for any more than that in the morning?

Ignorance is Bliss

I knowingly left the house with snot on my shirt this morning, so that’s kinda where I am in life. 

When you notice your clothes are dirty once your car is already running in the driveway, what other choice do you have?


Saturday Morning

This morning was different. My Sweet Pea slept late so I was able to shower. (Pretty luxurious!)

Then I discovered she spit up a little in her crib. Bummer. Instead of rushing downstairs to let the dogs out, I ran a bath for the poor dear. Bath time is fun. The sounds of laughter and splashing filled the upstairs of our home.

Bear woke up and helped. A change of sheets and a towel-dry later and our regular morning routine  began. I put away Pea’s laundry, and headed downstairs for breakfast.

After I took care of the dogs, Pea snacked on toast and bananas. (She doesn’t always have toast, but always bananas. Always.) she patiently ate and sang in her high chair while I put away dishes, made coffee (finally!) and tidied the kitchen.

When we came into the playroom I sipped my cinnamon coffee, soft daylight poured in through the blinds, and while she busied herself with rocking horses and books, I realized 500 Days of Summer was on. We listened (one of the greatest soundtracks I’ve ever heard) and read books about shapes and colors.

And just like that, the out-of-the-ordinary morning became yet another of our glorious, perfectly imperfect, run-of-the-mill Saturdays. Ah.