Friday, July 24, 2009

The NEW and IMPROVED Grateful Mama Site!!!

"It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change."
Charles Darwin

I'm SO excited to announce my new website @ !!! (You can just click on the link at the top right of the green sidebar.) I was going to wait until I had all of the kinks worked out before launching the site, but I might be waiting a long time for that day to come! (A technological whiz I am NOT.) And most importantly, I'm eager for you to see it.

Over the next few weeks you'll probably notice little changes to the site every day, (it might be kind of fun,) and I hope to have all of the old posts archived as soon as possible.

I know that change is sometimes tough, so give it a few days before you tell me that you miss the old site. (Besides, it'll always be just won't be current!)

So please check out the new site: there's a new post for you today, I've written new content on all of the pages you'll find in the top menu bar and you'll also find a few photos! I HOPE YOU LIKE IT!!!

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Change your language and you change your thoughts.
The other day I was reading a board book with Crazybaby, and on one page there were about ten different items illustrated. Just for fun, I started questioning her about the items, "Can you point to the Tiger? Can you point to the shovel? Where is the bucket?" And she got every single one! I was shocked. I hadn't talked to her about tigers, had I? When had I shown her a tractor? And these were kind of artsy illustrations; not very realistic renderings at all. I asked my husband if he'd read the book with Crazy before and he had, but not many times. Impressive.

At sixteen months of age, Crazybaby is really excited about language. She's been blathering on in her own little language for months, but now some of her words are clearly recognizable to us, and I'd say that over a dozen of her words could be understood by anyone.

Maybe you're at this stage with your toddler, or perhaps you're going to go through it soon, but I find it fascinating. The rate at which children acquire language is astonishing, and the amount they actually understand is even more impressive.

I remember my sister saying that when my niece started talking, she often spoke about experiences she had before she was able to talk. (Did I explain that well?) What a concept! I imagine Crazybaby's tales:
"I remember cutting that first tooth; man, my gums were on fire!"
"Being burped was humiliating."
"I used to get so frustrated when your breasts were engorged and I couldn't latch on properly."
or my favourite, "I liked living inside your belly."

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

My New Book!!!

Okay, I'm going to indulge in a bit of shameless self-promotion here...I've written a book called, (you guessed it,) The Grateful Mama, and, if you're a fan of this blog then I think you might like it. I held the published copy in my hands today for the first time and I was really pleased.

It's a great little book for mamas; I edited some of my favourite blogs, along with inspiring quotations and put them together with photos I've taken of my girls. (If you've been wondering what my little family looks like...the wait is over!)

Anyway, I wanted to invite you to check it out and let me know what you think. There is quite a good preview option that allows you to see about fifteen pages or so. You can also order it directly if you feel so inclined.

Just click on the badge in the right sidebar.

I hope you like it!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


It's happening. Pip and Crazybaby are starting to play their own little games together and it's an astonishingly exciting development.

Before we had Crazybaby, I sort of took for granted the fact that my daughters would be playmates, but there have been times during the past year when I had my doubts. Pip's feelings toward Crazybaby have ranged from mild interest, to tolerance, to blatant resentment. She has uttered the words, "I don't love her," and more recently, "We should sold that Crazybaby."

Today, however, genuine enjoyment shone on the face of our eldest daughter as she played some form of chasing game with her toddling sister. When Pip yelled, "WE'RE JUST PLAYING A GAME, MAMA!!!" from the living room when I called the family to dinner, I nearly jumped for joy. I'm not sure excactly what the game entailed, but it was all their own. Crazybaby would walk Frankenstyle past the kitchen, then I'd hear two voices scream excitedly before erupting in fits of giggles.

My husband was the 'parent-in-charge' of the girls while I was making dinner, and at one point I heard him try to discipline them with a firm, "There'll be no screaming in the house young ladies," but we were both so thrilled at our daughters' mutual delight, that there was no rule enforcement whatsoever.

Later, while eating dinner outside, out of the blue Pip announced, "I'm going to tickle some toes." She got up, walked over to Crazybaby's high-chair, and tickled the naked little piggies that wiggled before her. Crazybaby was over the moon. (And so was her Mama.)

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Chair

It feels good to sit right down in the middle of Gratitude once in awhile. I was upstairs nursing Crazybaby the other evening when my mind flashed back to a time before babies; just before Pip was born.

I remembered sitting in the same old, comfy, kiwi-green armchair with my hands spread wide upon my pregnant belly. I just sat and rocked and took it all in. I was in love with the nursery: all of the baby-paraphernalia, the crib, the change table with wicker baskets full of all things infant, the precious little clothes, the bookshelf filled with stuffed animals and baby books, the gorgeous knitted sweaters and bonnets and booties that lived in the chest that my dad had made, the cheerful sunflower painting on the wall...I loved it all.

I loved just sitting and imagining the little person who would soon be around to use all of these things; to sleep in the crib and have her diaper changed on the change-table and inhabit the wee clothes. I couldn't wait to meet her. I wondered what she would be like and what I would be like with her. I usually wondered aloud, talking to Pip as she was rolling around in my belly. It was a tender, thrilling time.

Much has happened since that time; I've welcomed two babies into this room; this world. When I first met this old chair, I had no idea that we would become so intimately acquainted. I know where every spit-up stain has altered the texture of the velour-ish upholstery, and I know exactly how to sit to avoid creating rude-sounding squeaks. I can't think of another chair I've spent more time with. We've held precious passengers in our arms, this chair and I. I feel as though we're old friends, but I wish it could talk. I'd like to hear a few tales of the bums who have gone before mine.

Friday, July 17, 2009


Crazybaby says, "Ya," to every question she is asked. We've been having a lot of fun with it. "Crazybaby, are you hungry?"
"Do you have an appetite for camembert and a nice Pinot Gris?"
"Would you prefer to dine outdoors?"

Yesterday we invited a sweet little girlfriend of Pip's over to play, and I noticed quickly that she used the word, 'Yes,' instead of 'Ya.' It sounded lovely, and a little foreign. With some degree of disappointment I realized that Pip used 'Ya,' instead of 'Yes,' except when she said, "Yes please." In fact, when I listened to myself and my husband throughout the afternoon, I found we rarely used the word 'Yes.' Bummer.

We sometimes forget the power of modeling. Our kids pick up on everything we say, and copy it. Crazybaby and Pip are little mimics at the moment, so we should be more conscious of the language we're using.

When our little guest's mother came to pick her up I complimented her daughter's lovely manners and also the way she uses the word, "Yes," so nicely. The mother laughed and shook her head, "I know...we don't use it! I'm not sure where she gets it."

That made me feel a bit better, but I'm still inspired to use 'Yes' more often. As of today, I'm on a YES-MISSION. Watch out family.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Wild Animals

"Logic is the beginning of wisdom, not the end."
Leonard Nimoy as 'Spock'

Pip and Crazybaby have a small collection of plastic animals that they play with, and the other day a few creatures made it into the tub for bath time. Pip was playing with a seal. "Dad," Pip asked, "is a seal a wild animal?"
"Well, we've seen seals swimming in the ocean haven't we?" Daddy-O asked.
"Yes," said Pip.
"And animals that live in the ocean are wild animals."
Pip looked down at the seal in her hand. "But what if they live in the tub?"