On my first, technical, Mother’s Day, I was about 36 weeks pregnant with my daughter. I remember feeling torn between celebrating and not, mostly because I was pretty anxious with my first pregnancy and didn’t want anything to jinx it. My all-knowing husband was aware of my feelings and when I made a passing comment to him as to why he didn’t get me a card he echoed my sentiments to the effect of “I figured you wouldn’t want to celebrate just yet.” To be fair, there was enough celebrating the pending arrival of the first grandchild.
When I was born, and until I was 19, I was lucky enough to have all four of my grandparents and a great grandmother. Now I’m a third through my lifetime and my father’s mother is my only remaining grandparent. She is one of the most incredible women I know – she will be 93 this year, still lives on her own, and still works (because she wants to!). She has a more active social life than me and she is not slowing down any time soon.
“Baby” number 2 has books he loves too! Here are the ones he really enjoyed these last six months.
Well it’s been a long time since my last regular post (Jan 1, ahem) so let’s get back on track. I’m a month+ late with this one (oops) but, life intervenes sometimes. Guests, a month of sickness, doctor’s appointments, traveling, and holidays… lots to do.
In the meantime, I have continued to read lots and lots of books. Good thing. I recently learned about researchers Betty Hart and Todd Risley at the University of Kansas and their research on children’s language development. They followed 42 families of different socio-economic backgrounds and recorded every word they said, for one hour per month, over two and a half years. They determined that the number of words the children heard was the most interesting variable as to their vocabulary development by age 3.
They found that babies need to hear 21,000 words a day, or 2,100 words an hour, to have a bigger vocabulary (and what comes along with it). Turns out that’s only about 15 minutes of talking in an hour. (Thanks to Tracy Cutchlow’s book Zero to Five for that information.)
Not only does reading help bring up your child’s vocabulary, but it also gives you some nice family time together.
It’s an interesting thing how I found myself this afternoon – slowly becoming more engrossed in watching the funeral of a woman I never met. Crying during her eulogies as if they were talking about a member of my own family.
I didn’t know much of Mrs. Barbara Bush, former First Lady of the United States, other than her politics and obvious ties to the presidency. I didn’t even realize she was ill until about a week ago when a friend made a passing comment on Facebook. Then I started to take notice.
Wow. Here we are at the end of December. Somehow I’ve made it through an entire year of tracking our meals on Post-its or teeny scraps of paper. I recorded some meals from memory, some immediately on the night of. It’s been strangely fun, although if you know me you’ll know I like to do weird things like this.
Now that the year is over I look forward to a few things in 2018:
- Going through 2017’s meals to get some analytics on what we ate and how often;
- Recording 2018’s meals more thoroughly and in a less stressful fashion (usually because I seemed to misplace the Post-it when the month was almost over, fearing I’d lost 25+ days of data);
- Getting a little more serious about meal-planning (because let’s be serious, I’m not going to do it every week);
- Making some goals for the kitchen (like adding a few more things to my repertoire like homemade veggie burgers);
- And learning new recipes to add to our monthly menus.
Here’s to December and a Happy New Year!
Growing up I recall many traditions for Christmas. Once I moved out of the house for good about 8.5 years ago (to live with my then-boyfriend now-husband) all of those changed. I’m a sucker for nostalgia, but everyone keeps telling me I have to “make my own traditions.” I think this was the first year I actually felt that I could do that while still holding my old traditions dear.
Here’s a few of my favorite Christmas traditions, new and old: