Spring has arrived in Milwaukee, or at least it has officially begun according to the calendar. You can see buds popping up all over, as long as you have warm layers and a slicker on for it is raining and raining and raining some more. Actually, today it is flurrying! I know, I know, spring equals precipitation, right? In our household, it also currently involves taking care of sick kids. It began with sniffly noses and sore throats in my girls. No biggie – I could handle this. Then last Monday, I was woken up early by my son for some snuggling. This is not too unusual, especially since we just swapped the older two children’s toddler beds for twin beds, and they are still adjusting. Right after Lincoln whispered, “Mama…I love you,” he vomited, all over himself and his bed. Oh brother.
The Living Arts: Nurturing
Bridget writes: My new baby, my third and probably last child, is almost six months old. I have only had the honor of calling her mine for mere months, but Nayana and I have a history that goes back years before the quiet October night when I held her fresh, slippery body in my arms for the first time. Back before my two boys were no more than wishes in my heart, whispers foretelling a girl in our family would come to me in times of solitude.
I had waffled for the last few weeks over whether to buy the cheap Easter egg dyeing kit but opted instead this year to give natural dyes a try. The kids and I boiled some eggs (both white and brown), mixed up some new natural dye concoctions, got out some crayons, and set to work.
Doing a little bit of research on the computer and surveying my own cupboards, I chose paprika, coffee, hibiscus tea and beet juice as our samples for our first year of natural egg dyeing. For the beet juice, tea and coffee I simply mixed in a tablespoon of vinegar. For the paprika, I mixed about 3 heaping teaspoons with a cup of water and a tablespoon-plus of vinegar. The kids all helped mix while I helped hold the cups steady so we wouldn't dye the countertops!
Jaimmie writes: When my husband asked what I wanted for my first Mother's Day, I told him I wanted to go camping. So we packed up too much gear and our nearly one-year-old baby and headed out to nearby Kettle Moraine State Forest. It was cold and rainy at night and the gravel-covered site was swarming with biting gnats during the day. With the baby in the sling, we hiked trails that were buried under increasingly large, swampy puddles until the marshes and the mosquitoes compelled us to turn back. Of course, we had a splendid time.
Today has been a doozy of a day. After about a week of getting actual sleep after about 4 years of not sleeping, the night I knew was coming came and I am exhausted. We recently moved our three children into one room (we live in a small two-bedroom home) and the first two nights were great, with even one night of our youngest simply lying down and falling asleep during stories.
Pamela writes: Whenever I think about my four granddaughters, all born between Michaelmas and Easter, I smile with deep joy and pleasure. Who would have thought that I would have the priceless opportunity to relive the wonders of birth and babyhood, to share in those seemingly moment-to-moment miraculous transformations as each of them has developed into healthy young girls - now 8, 6, 6, and 6. I have also rediscovered my own childhood from a new perspective as a grandmother, reminding me of my very first Anthroposopohical read back in 1972: A.C. Harwood’s The Recovery of Man in Childhood. Although it is a close call, in some ways, love is really lovelier the second (generation) time around...if nothing else, there is a bit more breather space for observation and a few less sleepless nights!
By Jaimmie Stugard
When I was pregnant with my first child, my mailbox swelled with unsolicited parenting magazines, ads and baby life insurance offers. Just open your pocketbook, the ads implied, and you can procure all the items your unborn baby needs to get ahead in the world she hasn't even seen yet. You can teach her to read, or better yet, put her in front of the television and she'll morph into Einstein himself.
A few weeks ago my son, Elliot, won a goldfish. Actually, he got two. Grandma was concerned that his living prize might not make it through the day and so she made sure that he received another. Elliot named his new pets Fred and Jingo, and was very excited about the new additions to our family. Little Fred seemed a bit lethargic as Elliot packed his overnight bag and headed to granny's. “He's laying down,” Elliot explained to grandpa. Shortly thereafter Fred passed away and papa sent his limp, orange body back to the river. And so it was that little Fred gave Elliot his first real experience of mortality.
A series of islands lie scattered in an arc across the immensity of the mid-Pacific Ocean, the largest and furthest south of them is Hawaii Island, or as it is often referred to, ‘The Big Island.’
In LifeWays philosophy and daily care for children, we place a great emphasis on warmth. Dressing a child warmly is vitally important to a child’s physical health and development, and as caregivers we need to ensure they are prepared for the weather each season brings. Here in Wisconsin, that means below zero freezing temperatures in the winter and 90+ hot and humid days in the summer, making the task of ensuring warmth a bit challenging. Dressing a child in layers and wool in winter time, and breathable layers and shade-providing hats in the summer is one way. Another way to imbue warmth is to sharing warm and nourishing foods and drinks to keep the chill away on bitterly cold winter days, and offering refreshingly cooler foods and drinks to nurture a child’s body during the hot summer months.
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