Tag: babies

Nap Time

Little Beej and I have a routine. We like it. As he finishes his lunch and we wash his grimy mitts and his grubby mug, we run through the list of what’s coming next. First, we will change his diaper, then read books. Next I’ll hand him the blanket that I made for him and he will lay it against his belly while I reach for his bottle of milk. “Bottle time!” he loves to call out as he wraps his hands around the bottle.

We listen to the same song (known to us as “the bottle song”) as he drinks but recently he likes to chatter around his bottle. I usually remind him that if he’s old enough to be conversing at Bottle Time, then maybe it’s time for Bottle Time to go away. (He’s just over 2.)

BeejAs the song comes to an end, we wrap up Bottle Time and I offer him his pacifier. One or both of us utters the transition word- “Trade.” And then it’s time for him to roll over onto this belly and we rock while we listen to two songs, known as our “Rocking with Nonna” songs. Sometimes he will talk softly while we rock and other times he passes out. I never know if he’s still awake or not until we reach his crib and I go to lay him down. If he’s awake,I remind him that it’s nap time and I cover him. Most days he lays down, with his little blanket under him and warmer blankets on top. Sounds too good to be true? It’s one of the perks of being Nonna.

This entire routine takes approximately a half hour. I’m not sure when it actually came to be, but it’s been special to us for at least a year now. I didn’t expect it to last too long past his first birthday. After all, rocking? What active toddler, especially one who has been walking since he was 9 months old, wants to rock? Well, my little guy still does but only for me. Both of his parents have admitted that rocking has been a thing of the past for months now. And because I know that this is something special with only me, I cherish it even more.

There is so much of what I do with my grandsons that I did with their dad when he was growing up. And it works.

But this naptime routine with little Beej? Nope. The only resemblance it bears to days gone by is my laying out what is going to happen next. It was a habit I began early in my parenting days, probably for myself more than anyone else, but it certainly helped my kids to know what to expect next. While Michael, my oldest, rolls with the punches easily, Andy, my baby, needed lots of warning and was always asking what we were doing today- meaning he wanted the full line up.

Back then I wasn’t rocking 2 year olds with bottles and then pacifiers. My kids didn’t have pacifiers. And they were off bottles long before they were 2. And I didn’t rock anyone to sleep. I think that it’s because of all of those things, that I don’t mind doing it with Beej. Also, I realize how quickly time passes and you never really know when that last “rocking and holding” session will be.

And so today as I handed Beej his bottle, I told him, “This might be the last time I give you one of these. Your bottle days are coming to an end.” He doesn’t understand and he was just grateful for the bottle and the continuity.

Little does he know that he’s in for so many changes in the coming weeks. And these are not small ones. His bottles and pacifier are going away. The potty chair is coming out. The high chair will be leaving soon, too, and he will be joining us in his booster seat at the table.

He is embracing his “twoness” for all it’s worth. While he tends to be an angel for me (of course), he’s thrown some glorious tantrums for Mommy and he even gives Daddy a run for his money from time to time. He is the busiest two year old in town.

I know that his parents are eager for him to grow up, just a little more. This age can be exhausting for parents. But I want him to stay this size forever. I know that in the blink of an eye he will be in school, reading, riding a bike, playing baseball and the drums. It’s all going to be here soon enough.

And until that time, I’m going to look forward to my favorite part of nap time- the smile that spreads across his face when he sees me after nap time when he gets up and I lift him out of his crib.  He wraps his arms around my shoulders and lays his head down, after making sure his little blanket is smooth on his tummy. We walk downstairs and then I sit down, with him snuggled up in my arms and we rock while I talk to him softly, listing out what we are going to do next and savoring Cuddle Time.

This is the stuff that dreams are made of. 




Hugh’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Week 21- Fresh


For me, this is about as fresh as you can get. There’s nothing quite like a newborn. When my grandson was born 16 months ago, I was immediately transported back to 1990 when his dad was born. Being a grandparent is so different than being a parent. There is a wealth of experience and information brought to the relationship that makes it SO much easier!!! Watching my son navigate parenthood has been fantastic and frustrating all rolled up in a neat little messy package but I wouldn’t miss this time for the world!

You can view more images of fresh items at Hugh’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Week 21- Fresh. 


Hugh’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Week 19- Gap

Our resident 16 month old little guy recently discovered the gap between my chair and the table and kept pushing the little person through it only to wait for me to toss it back out so he could push back it in again. There is another gap between his grandpa’s chair and end table where he drops in his ball (which is actually Ari’s but either doesn’t know that or doesn’t care or Ari doesn’t know that or doesn’t care). Either gap is the source of endless entertainment……at least when you’re a toddler it is.


This post is in response to Hugh’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Week 19- Gap.

Season Now

I never knew what the name of this song- The Circle Game by Joni Mitchell-  was and I had forgotten it until now when I was searching for appropriate music to accompany this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Seasons.

beej and star wars

I find myself in a season I had not anticipated. 15 months ago when Beej was born and the baby equipment slowly overtook our house, I found myself plunged head first into the world of a newborn once again. Because Beej is my son’s child, I was experiencing it from the new perspective as grandparent. Watching this little guy, who looks so much like his daddy- but opposite in coloring, grow from infant to toddler these last 15 months has been been amazing.

beej and ari on ari's bed

He is a curious mixture. He is the living embodiment of his dad in so many ways. He is very curious about how things work and spends much of his time examining his toys, discovering all the secrets they hold. He was born with a larger than life personality, just like his dad. He is always smiling and looking for the humor in every situation. And if there is no humor to be found, he will find his own, often laughing hysterically at things only he finds amusing. That really is his daddy all over again.

Beej reading

My son and his family moved in a few months ago while waiting to move in to their new house. I have been granted the gift of seeing this little guy daily. I am so grateful for this time. Because he was here, I was able to build on his interest in books. He has an extensive board book library and every day he spends hours either looking at his books, examining each picture or flipping through to simply look at his favorite pages. On any given day, we read the same book 5-10 times. One day, we estimated that between me, my son and my husband, Beej heard Goodnight Moon 20 times.

beej and ari reading

He loves Ari and she loves him in return. She has endless patience with him and he adores her. He loves to cozy up against her when she’s in her bed, usually holding one of his dog books- either Baby Einstein’s Dogs or Go Dog Go.

Whether it is reading his favorite books, stacking blocks or rocking in my chair listening to our favorite songs at nap time, I will cherish this season in our lives as the special gift it has been.


Forever Young

forever youngsleeping beej

I took this picture yesterday. It’s out of focus and the angle is off. But looking at it calls to my mind all the feelings.

Yesterday was a tough day. There wasn’t much “wonderful” to be found. Baby Beej is now 9, nearly 10, months old. While he has turned teething into a major event- please note that he has exactly 1 (count it- ONE) tooth, he decided to walk this week. He can only make a few steps before he either sinks down to his hands and knees or stands frozen with his arms raised catching his balance. It’s tiring work for a baby, soon to be an early toddler. Teething is kicking his butt- he’s drooling buckets and swatting at his ears as if there are gnats fluttering inside. And he’s sworn off food. The only thing overshadowing his teething event is the incredible awful food experience he hosts at each meal. It begins with him letting out piercing screams, raising his fists in the air and flinging his head back to thump resoundingly against the wooden high chair. If we dare to sneak a spoonful in during these fits, he has taken great pleasure in spitting it out. If he even sees the spoon being lifted, he has mastered the skill of knocking the spoon so the food splatters everywhere.

So, yesterday it was just him and me. Daddy was at work. Mommy had a meeting. While I find I have more patience with him than I had with his father as a baby, I found myself at my wit’s end. Finally, I did the only thing I could think of. I pulled up my Grey’s Anatomy playlist on my phone, picked up his solid 22 lbs of pure baby boy and got my baby bounce going. We stood by the kitchen window, listening to our favorite songs from GA and staring out the window watching the leaves flutter in the breeze and the sunlight reflect off the cars as they drove by, keeping time with the music.

As we let the music wash over us, I felt his body relax and before long that 22 lbs felt like 50! I felt the smoothness of his chubby thigh (along with some dried sweet potatoes that I missed during clean up). His soft, silky curls, which alternate between small curls, loose locks and straight depending on the day, tickled my chin. And his little fingers clutched the sleeve of my shirt, as they always do when I hold him.

I stood there a little longer than necessary, just savoring it all. He’s walking now and I know that these moments will become fleeting. This song came to mind because having three grown children, I know how quickly time flies and I realize the importance of holding onto that feeling. Bob Dylan wrote this song, Forever Young,for his children over 40 years ago. The lyrics stand the test of time and hold up today to be as true as the day they were written.

This post is a contribution to- Be Wonderful on Wednesday hosted by Ronovan Writes, Writer’s Quote Wednesday hosted by Silver Threading and Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Sense of Touch hosted by Cee’s Photography. Thanks to Ron, Colleen and Cee for hosting these great challenges! Be sure to check out their blogs along with all the interesting challenge participants!

8 Ways I Found 90’s Babies to be Easier

8 Ways I Found 90’s Babies to be Easier

My baby will turn 20 in 4 months. And that tells you how long it has been since I cared for a baby and dealt with all of the accessories and equipment that goes along with the job. With the arrival of our grandbaby last November, I have been learning all about how much things have changed. Being me, and a bit stubborn about these new fangled ideas, I have resisted most of them. It’s okay to pause for a moment and feel sympathy for what my son and daughter-in-law are dealing with. 🙂

7 months into this ‘baby of the 2000’s’ experience and I have encountered some interesting things that I thought I would share with you-

1. Nose sucker thing- Okay, this just takes the cake for me! Remember the blue bulb that you got at the hospital? It was pretty simple- squeeze, insert, release. While wandering Target’s baby department, I was appalled and (more than slightly grossed out by this!!!) Now, I always thought people who siphoned gas were crazy but siphoning snot? Ewwwwwwwww Give me that blue bulb any day! IMG_69212. Food pouches- Baby food is now available for purchase in pouches. You unscrew the lid and it oozes out like toothpaste. This one will end up on my pet peeve list. Really! When I first saw these, I didn’t see the purpose. In order to feed the baby, you either had to squeeze it onto the spoon- spoonful by spoonful- or squeeze the entire tube into a bowl. It certainly made it a bit difficult to feed the baby half of it. Then it happened. The thing that made my head explode and spin into circles while smoke burst out of my ears.

We had a fussy baby at Target and Mommy explained that he was probably hungry. She twisted off the cap of one of these pouches and held it out to baby, who reached for it eagerly- obviously knowing what to do- and he just sucked the food out of the pouch. (So much for learning how to eat with utensils or any personal interaction. And as far as easy goes- boy, it’s so easy….. ) Can you guess how I feel about these handy little pouches? How do you heat it up? (You don’t. They just suck on it at room temp which isn’t really room temp because it’s a liquidy substance so it’s cool- just like you like to eat your mashed up veggies, right?)

Jars (which are slowly being replaced by pouches and plastic little containers) were so easy- you could open it and easily see how much as left and heating it was up was so easy!)

3. Exersaucers/ stationary walkers- When my kids were first getting around there was nothing they liked better than exploring their world in their walker. Sure, there were a few toys in the tray on the front but they loved the freedom to move around and see things from a different perspective.  Nowadays, babies have everything they need right within their reach. No need to look any farther. But if they want to spin around in circles until they puke, they don’t have to worry about their toys every falling off. So, maybe I had to keep an eye on my kids while they were zooming around in their walker but they seemed to stay entertained for longer periods of time with a lot less fanfare.

4. And speaking of their toys not falling off- everything has an attachment! It doesn’t matter what it is- pacifier, toys, bottles, cups….. they are all attached by some means. I have mixed feelings about this one. Sure, when you’re taking a walk there’s nothing worse than finding out that he dropped his favorite toy somewhere back along the mile you just walked. BUT dropping things and learning that they don’t always just magically appear is something he has to learn, too. There’s probably a healthy balance in there somewhere but I’m afraid that these days that gets lost in the convenience of having it all attached.

5. Pacifier wipes. Hmmm, my kids didn’t have pacifiers; they had thumbs. I didn’t use special wipes on their thumbs and I have yet to use one on Beej’s pacifier. It’s easier to swap it out with a clean one or do a quick swipe if the pacifier didn’t actually touch anything. (But that’s just me!)

6. Diapers- They are SO absorbent it’s almost ridiculous. There is one brand that comes with a line down the front that changes color when the baby is wet. The interesting part is that it starts at the bottom and slowly morphs from one color into the other as the baby gets wetter so you can determine how long your baby gets to lay around in his wet diaper. And the scary thing is that these diapers are so absorbent that sometimes you cannot tell they are wet until they are very wet. It took me awhile to figure out which color line I was looking for because I forgot to pay attention when I first put the diaper on the baby.

I prefer the good old days when a simple poke in the front to determine squishiness did the trick. Or a quick sniff, pulling out the back and peeking in….. or gulp, yes, sticking your finger inside the leg hole…

7. Swings have come a long way since 1995. Not only are they battery operated but they come with almost as many options as a new car. They can swing at a vast variety of speeds- from barely moving to whiplash. They can go in different directions. In addition to the boring forward and back traditional swing mode, they can also go side to side and I believe some go in circles. I get queasy just thinking about it. Then there is the music which can get old really quick!! If you’re not into music for soothing your baby, you can switch to nature mode- complete with crickets and frogs…. Then there’s the light show. Yes, there’s a light show. Heaven forbid baby gets bored with looking out at the world around him! He can look up and see something that I’m sure rivals Pink Floyd’s laser light show.

I can’t help but miss the good old days of cranking the baby swing and then when the fussy baby had just fallen asleep, the darn swing would wind down, causing me to have to very carefully- click by click- wind up again praying the entire time that baby wouldn’t wake up. (My husband preferred the ‘rip the band aid’ technique where he just cranked it as fast as he could and left the poor stunned baby whipping back and forth at 80 miles per hour yanked out of a deep sleep unable to catch his breath.)

8. Bumper pads and other dangers. I did not know that cribs were such dangerous places when I had babies. Mine had bumper pads, blankets, and a few stuffed animals. (And just to add to the danger factor, my kids slept in the same crib their father used as a baby in 1965!)


Back in the 90’s when I was having my kids, I didn’t realize how easy I had it. I didn’t have endless gizmos and gadgets designed to make my life easier. I didn’t know that I was doing everything the hard way. And above all, my kids made it adulthood- unstuffed noses, using utensils, curious, rash free, healthy, and alive- all without these things. And if I can tell you a little secret (but you have to promise not to tell Beej’s parents), I ignore most of this new stuff when dealing with him and he seems to do just fine when he’s with me. (In fact, I swear he might be relieved when he sees me!)

What has your experience been? Is there any new baby contraption that you wish was around a few years ago?

Ari’s Care and Keeping of Pups….er…Babies

Ari’s Care and Keeping of Pups….er…Babies

Hi, it’s me, Ari, stopping in. While Kat’s busy getting Andrew settled back at home (he’s home- my boy is home!!!!! wag, wag, wag!!!), I decided to revive Kat’s 10 Things feature with my own 10 tips for caring for pups….er, I mean, babies.

We have a new baby in our family. My oldest boy, Michael, and his wife had a baby about 6 months ago. (It seems like a lot longer.) I love Michael. He lays down on the floor and roughhouses with me. He also puts me through a rigorous exercise program jumping over him, back and forth, through endless repetitions. And when he was living at home, we would take naps together when he came home from working 24 hour shifts. Those naps were the best!

So now, there’s this baby- Beej- and it was apparent early on that these people do not know how to care properly for a human baby. As far as I can see, human babies are just bald puppies. Spending these past 6 months with the baby has awakened my maternal instincts and I would like to share my parenting tips with you:

1. Upon arrival, it is important to inspect the baby to confirm that he is intact. Sometimes the parents will need encouragement to leave in the form of some gentle barks……progressing to herding them out the door with short, insistent barks if they are slow to respond. ari and beej

2. When suspecting the baby is need of a diaper change, one good sniff is all you need. It’s unnecessary to pull the diaper leg open, peeking in and then cautiously poking a finger in to investigate. Your nose will never fail you.

3. When it comes to cleaning spit up and smeared baby food, there’s no need to wipe ’em down. A thorough licking will get the job done!

clean up4. Get down on their level. Get on the floor and play with them. Babies get tired of looking at people’s feet and legs all the time and it’s a LONG way to look up when you’re standing right next to them.


5. Babies like walks. Lots and lots of walks. Especially if they have their dog to lead the way!

6. Sometimes babies just cry. Learn to tell the difference between a real cry and a simple “I’m bored” cry. It’s easy if you just listen.

close7. Sleep when the baby sleeps. This is KEY. When they are awake, they are a full-time job and constantly being on call can be exhausting.


8. Have patience. Babies are very curious and they like to explore and experiment.tail9. A good game of tug of war never hurts!tug of war10. Babies need love. Lots and lots of love, in the form of licks. loveAnd there you have it! If you follow these tips, your pup- er….baby will grow up just fine!

On a personal note, I think I make a fantastic mother to Beej and hopefully my careful and thoughtful role modeling will set a good example for these people and they will catch onto the proper way to do it!

Meanwhile, Baby Beej has been sitting up on his own, rolling over both ways and scooting. I keep hearing talk about when he will begin crawling. No one told me he would be mobile?!!??!