At the beginning of the year, I made a jar to document the good things we experienced that week. It’s been fun reflecting, but knowing Mila, she has to make it a little weird.
That’s just what toddlers do!
I will admit, this one is more cute than weird, but I thought it’d be perfect to share with Valentine’s Day coming up.
Mila has had the same thing that makes her happy every week… ME!
When I go to our jar, I date it, then make an “M” for what makes her grateful. Then I ask her what made her happy this last week.
The second time we did it, she just said, “you.” I thought it was the cutest thing ever.
When it came to ask her again, she replied with the same thing. Admittedly, I felt a little bad. I was writing down things I wanted to remember at the end of the year, not just Mila or Jensen. Maybe it was a fluke of her just saying me?
On the fourth week, she said, again, said I was what made her most happy. Still feeling sad, I asked her to elaborate and she said, “playing with you.”
Since that fourth week, I haven’t re-asked her what made her happy and accepted this cuteness.
As much as she loves Pizza, her grandparents, Max, and Mickey Mouse, I always find it a little weird that she consistently chooses me as her happiness. Of all the things in the world and her lame mom is her answer.
Honestly, I’m going to love looking back and remembering that I made her smile for weeks in a row. I know one week she won’t say me and that’s okay.
For now though, I guess she’s just a weirdo, with a big heart for her mom.
To honor that, I wanted to have another diversity talk with Mila. I figured to keep her full attention, I’d use her biggest motivation: m&ms. The girl loves them and always sneaks them. I guess I can’t blame her for that.
Anyways, m&m’s are a perfect way to showcase different skin colors, but we’re all human on the inside.
I lined her m&m’s up and asked her what colors they were. She told me all of the colors and I mentioned how all of them were all different. I talked about how people all have different skin colors too.
Then, I asked her if she would be sad if I told her she couldn’t have certain colors of m&ms. Of course she was. She told me she liked them all.
With that, I told her in the past, boys and girls who were black weren’t allowed to play with boys and girls with white skin. She seemed upset by this. Yet, i explained that some people judge others by their skin color.
Without giving her much more thought, I cut an m&m in half.
She seemed a little shocked, but I asked her if she thought the other m&ms looked the same on the inside. With a quick nod of her head, she pointed to another one and I sliced it in half too. It may be aggressive, but she liked it.
I told her that even thought people look different on the outside, we’re all humans on the inside. We have differences, but we still have the same emotions too.
Of course, as she gets older, these conversations will get more complex.
I’ll never claim to know what racism is like to experience. The only thinks i can do is teach my daughter to see people’s differences, but love them for their character.
Kids will change the world, but it starts with teaching them about diversity, even with m&ms.
Here’s some videos about Martin Luther King Jr. that Mila enjoyed this morning:
With Martin Luther King Jr day quickly approaching, I knew I wanted to do an activity with Mila.
Plus, I thought it’d be fun to share beforehand in case you have your child home from school and want to do a productive activity with them.
Mila and I talk about race a lot. It’s important to me that she grows up anti-racist, especially in the world we live in now. It’s never too early to start those conversations. She has black barbies and dolls, books with diverse characters, and watches shows with people of all races.
Still, talking about MLK with her was a must. During this activity, I mentioned his name and talked about how people have different skin color. We also talked about how she would play with anyone, no matter what they looked like. She seemed shocked when I told her some people don’t like others because of the color of their skin.
Back to the project though!
This is an easy art project that actually took less than five minutes. The conversation we had before, during, and after spanned beyond that though.
I started off by asking Mila what she thought her skin tone was between the three colors. She chose the middle color which was called “Territorial Beige.” It was interesting to see her perception of her skin tone.
This shade went in the middle because I wanted an ombre affect. Of course, you can do whatever color sequence you want.
I took a paint brush and painted her hand. Then we pressed it on the canvas. When pressing their hands down, make sure to get all of their fingers too. If not, it’ll be really faint. Finally, I cleaned her hand off and did the process two more times.
That part really is that easy.
After her handprints, or she calls them paw prints, dried, it’s time for the words. I ended up painting the phrase, “small hands change the world.’
You can use any quote or phrase here. There are a ton of MLK quotes that would work perfectly.
I have some more ideas to do for Black History Month that I want to share. They’ll be posted in the second half of the month. I have a few special activities for Valentine’s Day that I know you’ll love just as much!
If you like this activity or try it, let me know in the comments!
I just want to start off by saying, I’m not exactly sure if this should be categorized as a mom fail, but I’ll leave it up to you at the end.
Mila has long, beautiful, thick hair. It’s always crazy to me to see how much hair she actually has. I think a lot of people dream about their daughters having nice hair, but, if you’re like me, you didn’t realize how much of a struggle it is. She’s had to have her hair brushed EVERY SINGLE DAY since she’s been a newborn and still hates it with a passion. Lately, it’s gotten worse because she doesn’t want to sit down and wait for me to do it.
Since it’s long, it gets a lot of knots and tangles. My mom always called them rats and that’s what I’m calling them for Mila too. Every night and morning, our routine is to get the rats out of her hair. I don’t even know if she knows what a rat looks like or whatever, but she knows it’s bad and needs out.
I wake up and go to sleep talking about these rats, but I didn’t know how much it was impacting me.
After our normal rat evacuation, I ended up falling asleep with her. That night, I had one of the most strangest dreams. There were actual rats everywhere chasing Mila and I had to shoo them away. It was like little faces and eyes constantly looking at me and I was trying to throw them out of the house. I felt like I was struggling through the dream to get them all away and Mila wanted no part of it in my dream either. Just the whole entire night/dream, I was getting rats away from her.
You can laugh. I would laugh too.
Let’s just say, the next day I went to go get detangling hair spray to add to our after bath routine. The less ‘rats’ I have to think of and deal with, the better.
I’ve yet had any other rat related dreams and plan on keeping it that way.
Again, maybe not a mothering fail in terms of not providing for Mila, but definitely a dream fail, to say the least. A little tip to not have rat nightmares, buy detangling spray before that’s what you think of before bed.
Any parent knows that smell. You don’t even know what it means until it’s truly gone. I remember everyone telling me she smelled so good and I’d think, ‘obviously, I bathe her.’ Then when it went away, I knew what they were talking about.
And today I got it back.
Somehow the smell fought through her hands and face covered with Cookie Crisp cereal. It overpowered the candles burning and the flowers on our dining room table. I don’t know how it pierced through the after smells of lunch, but there it was.
Maybe it was because she napped on me on the couch like she did when she was itty bitty. Maybe it’s because you never notice the last time you’ll experience something, but I know this moment was it.
This is the last time my Mila will ever smell like a little baby. It was only for a few moments, but it’s all I needed.
It’s a bittersweet symphony of being happy she’s growing, thriving even, and a sweeping melancholy for knowing she’ll never be this little again.
So for the rest of the day, I’m just going to keep her close. We’re living today in a mix of crazy toddlerhood and sleepy infancy. It’s not going to be long until it’s full out toddlerhood and into independent childhood. I know I say this a lot… but I’m really going to miss these moments.
This week has went so quick, but has felt like a lifetime with all the things that have happened. Since Mila kicked me off our new toy, I’m reflecting on all the pictures we took this week. During this time we can all use a little happiness, so I just wanted to share ten moments that have made me the happiest.
I’m unsure if she knew my heart has needed them, but Mila has been so cuddly lately. She’ll come sit on my lap to watch movies and at night she wants me to lay right by her while she plays with my hair. It’s made my heart feel so full lately.
The Piñata Beatdown
All of Mila’s second birthday was the best, but watching her spear the piñata… I don’t think anything can top that. If you didn’t see her second birthday blog post, go back and watch it. I giggle the whole entire time. By the way, the piñata is still being used. It’s broken, but can still be hit multiple times.
Two has also brought all the singing. Throughout the day, she’ll just start singing as loud as she can and want me to join along. Her favorite song to sing is the intro to Frozen, the ‘nah nah nah nah.’ If you’ve watched the movie or have an obsessed toddler, you know. I’ve also been listening to “My Favorite Murder,” which is a podcast, and she sings the intro tune for it too. Maybe I should mute that when she can here, oops.
An Organized Fridge/Snack Drawers
This is the smallest things and no one really thinks about, but this week, I cleaned out my fridge. I feel like a new person. Now I know all the food I have in there and everything has a spot. Mila even has her little snack and juice corner that she has complete access to. It’s the little things that make you happy and life go a lot smoother.
I’m officially a plant mom. I check my little plants multiple times a day to see what else has sprouted. Anytime I see they need watered, I have my little squirt bottle and go to town. I didn’t know how seeing that sort of growth would make me smile so much. It gives Mila and I something to look forward to doing every day. A new part of our routine!
If quarantine has shown me anything, it’s my Pinterest addiction. I’ve found SO many new recipes to make now and try in the future. This weeks new recipe was this bacon cheeseburger grilled cheese meal. Oh my goodness, it was amazing. I’ve been craving grilled cheese lately, but this new recipe is just so good. I’ve also found new vegetarian recipes to make on Mondays and whenever I’m not feeling meat. It’s gotten to a point where I want to share all the new recipes I make, but that would be bombarding.
Mila’s Crafts and Independent Play
For the last few weeks, Mila’s started to play more independently. I’m unsure if it’s because I’ve put more thought into her activities throughout the day or she’s just getting older and her imagination is growing. We do an art craft or experiment almost everyday then talk about it, which she looks forward too. Then we read all the time, but she’s started ‘reading’ to her stuffed animals and Max. Another contributing factor is she got a lot of independent play toys for Easter and her birthday that have worked. I’ll try to write a post about toys she likes and maybe that could help another parent in deciding what to gift their two year old (or around this age) for whatever. One thing she’s gotten that has been used multiple times a day is her new easel. I love seeing her creative side.
This venture will definitely be a blog post… or two. I’m converting Jensen’s room into a playroom. It’s been hard, but I know it’ll be worth it in the end. Again, I’ll save this for a future post when the playroom is completely finished. ANYWAYS, I recently found a college student who makes this artwork from pictures. It’s like she takes a photo of you and sort of makes like pop art. There’s bright colors, the outline of the bodies, and the details in the clothes, but all other details are blurred. It’s so beautiful and I’m thankful I found her!
Almost Finishing Spring Classes
If you didn’t know, I’m so close to finishing all my classes to teach full time. After this semester is finished, I’ll only have four more classes and student teaching. Not a lot at all! But, I still have to finish the two classes I’m in right now. Anyways, the stress of everything going on right now has made it hard to work on my finals. I kept putting them off, but as of yesterday, I’m done writing papers for the spring semester. That’s something to celebrate!
The new toy I Mila kicked me off of is a trampoline. It was put up last night and it was a birthday gift for her from my mom and dad. Every time she saw a trampoline, she’d tell us she wanted to jump on the ‘lean.’ Mila is so active and even though she’s a little young to have one, she’s obsessed. While we were putting up the safety nap, she was on there jumping and all day today, she’s been jumping. I love that she’s so active and seeing her get more comfortable with her body makes me happy. It’s crazy because it seems like she excels at whatever she tries to do. No matter if it’s gymnastics or running or doing defensive basketball slides, she’s just naturally athletic. I can’t wait to make memories and watch her make them on her trampoline. This is only the beginning.
I hope all of you can find many moments you were grateful for this week. Just a reminder that we’re all doing our best.