She’s Baaaack

Call us crazy, but Entrepreneur and I have agreed to have Twix come back to our house during the weekdays while Mama is at work. Last August, when Entrepreneur was in the throws of oral chemotherapy and life was more unsettled than normal, we all decided it might be better if Twix went to an actual preschool for her last year before kindergarten.

One was found that was affordable and in a convenient location. It was housed in a church and we were told it was a daycare but had a Pre-K program. After a few months, we found out that, while being run by very nice women, it was not facilitated by an actual preschool teacher. Although Twix was doing well, she was not learning much above and beyond what she already knew. Everyone complimented her on how advanced she was and how well behaved she was in class….which was awesome. But the question became, why are we paying Pre-K pricing if it’s primarily a daycare program? Sort of defeated our purpose.

So, as of last Monday, she’s back at Nana & Papa Preschool. Yes, I know how crazy that sounds since I lamented on Monday all the things I have to get done in the next few weeks. Perhaps I can incorporate parts of my to-do list into some sort of learning activity for her.

Fortunately, being the pack rat I am, I’ve saved a truckload of some educational items from years past. When our girls were young, we had almost every age-appropriate Discovery Toy item in the catalog. Many of them have survived periodic purges and are being called into service once again. But, now they’re considered “vintage” toys.

Nana & Papa Preschool has its share of phonics and writing activities, but also incorporates lots of play. This vintage 1991 “toy” is designed to match objects and shapes by wrapping the string around the base to solve the question. Some are easy, some require abstract thinking. We also have these “wrap ups” in addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Twix can easily do the abstract set marked for 6+, so we’ll be moving up to the abstract set for 8+ shortly.

A more recent educational toy at our house is called Imagination Magnets from Mindware. As you can see, it’s manipulating geometric shapes to create pictures of things. Of course, we have a Discovery Toy version that predates this concept, but this one is a favorite of both Twix and Peanut.

Twix also has an electronic LeapStart with interactive activity books so I think we have about everything covered for core academics, spatial reasoning and science. And we have books….oh so many books! Being a pack rat does have its perks.

Most of all, we have the opportunity to continue to play with our grand girl in such a way to get her ready to love learning, as well as making lasting memories. And for that we’re truly thankful.

Playing along with Thankful Thursday, hosted by Brian’s Home.

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Awwww Monday: Mom and me

When you become a parent, you finally appreciate and understand what your mother did.
~Julianne Moore

Last Saturday was my birthday and we took a day trip to Kansas City. While we were there, we stopped by to see the woman who birthed me all those many decades ago.

At 85, she is still kicking’ and lives independently with her husband in their own home. Good genes. May I be as fortunate when I get to be 85.

Like all mother/daughter dynamics, those teen and early adult years were all sorts of challenging. I remember giving my parents flowers on my 21st birthday with an “I’m sorry” card. A perfect child I was not.

Appreciate your mom. She’s wiser than you think and stronger than you know.
~Steve Maraboli

So fast forward to 2019, and I’ve come to realize just how difficult it is to parent young children…..as well as adult children. And, over the years, I’ve developed an appreciation for my mom’s back stories and the experiences she had as a young woman, wife and mother. Perspective is everything when you take yourself out of the center of attention.

I’ve also come to realize a child’s birthday is just as much a birth day for the mom as the child. Moms usually get lost in the hoopla of the child’s special day, surrounded by well wishers and gifts. For most moms, the joys of watching her children upstage the sacrifices she made physically, psychologically, emotionally and financially. Sacrifices many women will never begin to understand until they are mothers themselves.

So next time you have a birthday, enjoy the attention, say thank you for the gifts, and don’t forget to acknowledge the woman who made it possible.

Blog hopping today with Comedy Plus and Awwww Monday. 

Awww Monday: Five year old spitfire

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.
~Dr. Seuss

In a few weeks, this little spitfire of a grand girl will celebrate her fifth birthday. It’s really hard to wrap my head around that fact. With a style all her own, she’ll take on kindergarten later this year and, no doubt, dazzle all her teachers. 🙂 No, I’m not the least bit biased.

She began a preschool program last fall and I must admit, it’s very quiet here every day without her. She is so far ahead of the rest of her class and the curriculum that Mama is thinking about pulling her out and giving her back to us for the rest of the school year. I suppose she could “graduate” from Nana and Papa Preschool in May. We’ll see. While we do miss her, Nana and Papa sort of like not being tied down to a preschool schedule!

One thing is for sure….there is definitely  no one else like her!

Linking up a bit late today for Awww Monday over at Comedy Plus.

Fearfully and wonderfully made

Last month, just before Christmas, a dear friend of mine got promoted to Nana. I’ve watched for more than 20 years as her daughters have grown into beautiful young women with lives of their own. The birth of their first grand girl was cause for celebration and, since the family is so dear to me, I simply couldn’t help myself.

The words just sort of tumbled out of my mouth when I offered to take newborn photos. I quickly cautioned her I was not one of those awesome, professional newborn photographers, but I’d do my best to try and capture her new baby daughter’s first days of life. I later found out she was deeply touched by my offer since the hospital photographer didn’t do a very good job. This was my gift to the family and it warms my heart to be able to give them these moments. Moments that are gone in, seemingly, a split second.

I’m sharing them with you for Thankful Thursday to highlight how awesome and precious life is when we stop and think about what it took for each of us to get here. I swoon every time I see newborn photos and bow in awe to those who do this for a living.

I know just enough to be dangerous. It’s a goal of mine this year to become better at reading light, selecting poses and paying attention to small details in my photography. It’s more trial and error at this point. Will it grow into anything other than a hobby and a favor to those closest to me? Who knows.

For now, hope you enjoy pics of a precious baby girl, born a bit before schedule, but a miracle none-the-less.

The heartbeat of a human fetus begins around three weeks after fertilization. Doctors are able to detect it around 6 weeks.

At 9-10 weeks, the baby sucks his thumb and unique fingerprints form.

At 12 weeks, the end of the first trimester, a baby is completely formed and many body functions are already developed and working.

A baby can hear her mother’s voice while in the womb around 24 weeks.

Around 24 weeks, the lungs are forming substances that will allow him to breathe outside of the womb.

Eyes open and close, and produce tears around 27 weeks.

At eight months, taste preferences develop and she will physically react to loud noises from the “outside.”

In the last nine weeks of pregnancy, a baby’s brain doubles in weight.

A firm hand grasp is seen around 8-9 months.

Women are amazing. When a female fetus is born, she has all the eggs in her ovaries that she’ll have in her lifetime. That means, if you are a woman, when your grandmother carried your mother, you were a tiny egg inside both of them!

The development of a human baby, from embryo to fetus to birth is an amazing process. And, the ability for a baby to successfully live outside the womb as early as 25-30 weeks is changing perceptions on viable fetal development and survival.

There is a reason why the birth of a child is called a “blessed event.” The journey this child took to get here is as fascinating as it is complex.

Sweet dreams baby girl. When you wake up, you’ll move mountains.

For You formed my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. ~Psalm 139:13-14

Linking up with Brian’s Home and Thankful Thursday.

Almost Wordless Wednesday

Certain is it that there is no kind of affection so purely angelic as of a father to a daughter. In love to our wives there is desire; to our sons, ambition; but to our daughters there is something which there are no words to express.
~Joseph Addison

I amend this to include granddaughters as well. There is simply nothing this man would not do (or try to do) for his daughters and grand girls.

Linking up with Wordless Wednesday and, of course, breaking a few rules.

 

The end of an era

I’m not going to cry. I’m not. I’m not. I’m not.

Okay, yes, I cried.

Today is the first day of Pre-K for Twix. And, I’d be a liar if I didn’t admit this is a bittersweet day for both Entrepreneur and me. She has been with us since the day she was born. We were at the hospital when she arrived three weeks early, one day ahead of a February snowstorm.

She came home to our house when our daughter and Peanut were living with us. We were right there with her Mama when there were concerns about health issues stemming from her premature birth.

After our daughter went back to work, I transitioned to working my job from home so she didn’t have to worry about child care. And so my journey  with our second grand girl began.

Twix’s health issues improved and she flourished with so many caregivers watching over her. I made her baby food and she went everywhere with me. She took her first steps in our home and it was here she said her first words.

Even when they bought their own home and moved out, she continued to show up Monday through Friday at 7:30am while Mama went to work and Peanut went to school. We watched her grow from an infant into an inquisitive toddler…and now into a precocious preschooler.

I know she is, technically, not my daughter, but she has become such a part of me over these past four and a half years.

And now we have to let her go. As hard as this is for me, I believe it’s going to be doubly hard on Entrepreneur. She’s been his little shadow ever since she could walk, and a shining light in the middle of a very dark time for him.

She has her new backpack, new first day of school outfit, Nana-made quiet time blanket, pillow and small luvie. She is ready.

I’m just not sure I am.

Blog hopping with Happy Tuesday from Comedy Plus and Pictorial Tuesday from Peabea’s Photos ‘n Scribbles

Thankful Thursday

Trying out a new blog hop today called Thankful Thursday. I probably need this hop to actively remind myself to look for the positive things in life since so much of my last few months have been spent in the company of anxiousness, stressfulness, irritation and frustration. They are really not good company and even worse influences on others.

But, semester is (mercifully) finished, grades are recorded and school is officially out! All my college seniors are scattered to the wind to take on the world…God help them AND the world!

So now, I’m thankful for time spent with our two grand girls before they leave to visit their dad 12 hours away for the majority of the summer. At nine and four, they are handfuls, and they can test the patience of Job….but for Entrepreneur and I to be an integral part of their lives is a blessing we simply cannot overlook.

So, today I’m linking up with others for Thankful Thursday.  A big thank you to Sandee at Comedy Plus for introducing me to this worthwhile weekly opportunity.

I hope life settles a bit so I can participate in more of these hops in the future!