Michigan Women

107

 

It is bitter weather today. Walking outside reminds me instantly that winter life in Michigan is not for the weak. There is a woman who lives across the road from us, who, each day starts her snow blower and clears her driveway. Her daughter stands on the porch, a pair of eyes peaking from her neck warmer and hat, watching her mother, amazed. I look at the two of them and think, women in the Midwest are pretty amazing. We possess a strength that is inherited from watching the women before us survive. We learn to take care of ourselves and our families without complaining. We survive together with knit mittens and knee high boots.   We are a community that will not give up. We are strong. And when I think of Michigan in this way, my story becomes more than bitter weather and snow blower fumes.  My story comes alive; and I am no longer tired. I am ready.

Happy Mama’s Day 2013

It’s a day for our Mamas. And aren’t I lucky to have been planted here on earth as MY mama’s baby? The older I get, the more I find an appreciation for this day. As I reflect on my life and on myself, I can’t help but recognize how much of that has been formed by the powerful influence of my mama.

Naturally, I have a lot of traits traced directly back to my mom. There are times when I do or say something and then step back, thinking, “wow, that was just like my mom.” And I don’t mean that in a negative sense, either. My mom has taught me how to nurture and love uncondictionally. I am firmly aware that my ability to be a nanny is staked in the example she provided throughout my life. My mom is truly a baby and mama GENIUS. Everyone that knows her is drawn to seek her opinion and advice about all things baby and mama related. Her knowledge on women and their bodies, as well as babies and their needs, is a deep well we all draw from. I believe that we all have a passion and talent that makes us unique from the rest, and I believe her maternal knowledge and love is her calling. She has a wealth of passion that few will ever mirror. Her selflessness inspires me every single day to look outside of my own life and self and pass my love on and on and on, like she does. Most importantly, my mom has taught me that when we begin to live with other people in mind, we begin to discover who we actually are as individuals. I hope everyday that she understands what an important pillar of knowledge she is for the rest of us.Mom holding Gunner Edited
This year has been powerful for our family in that we have been able to watch my sisters become mamas as well. As I talk to them on the phone and hear how much their babies have captured their hearts, I recognize how like my mom we all are. Without my mom’s example, we might still know how to love, but we wouldn’t be aware of how deep our love can go. Because we have been shown endless love, we are now able to pass that on to our own children (well eventually I will… not now…). Having a mom like ours has instilled a consciousness in us to give little ones the love they deserve, which is the all of the love that we possibly have. Just as my mom gave us love that still goes on and on and on, we are now able to give that love on and on and on…me brit sarah pregnant
Thank you Mom, for everything you are. mom brit and d
I love you on and on and on….

 

Just Another Manic Monday…

….But I’m so glad it’s NOT Sunday! Unlike most of working America, I. Love. Mondays.

I love coming in and getting smothered with hugs because I’ve been missed.

I love two little pig tails and a super hero cape.

I love the pile of laundry that gets higher and higher because I don’t want to clean today, I want to play today.

I love looking out the window and hearing, “Da sun is out today!”

I love running up the steps at the playground and back down again before the little ones reach the bottom of the slide.

I love walking by the stream and listening to the flowing of the water and the chirping of birds.

I love throwing sticks into the water during a good game of “Pooh Sticks”.

I love sitting under a tree on our picnic blanket.

I love looking up at squirrels as we talk about what they could be thinking.

I love peaceful naps that follow a busy morning.

I love getting excited about their waking up to do our special Earth Day project!

I love all my days here, not just Mondays.

How is your Monday, friends?

 

 

 

Welcome to the World Baby Gunner Scott

Welcome to the family Gunner Scott. Oh yes, and welcome to the world, too. We are all so happy you are here. And you are healthy. And you are sweet. And you are YOU! And that is the best part of it all. Sweet Little Gunner FaceI promise to teach you all the things you don’t understand. And I promise to laugh (a lot). I promise to tie a towel around your back as a cape and run through Nani and Poppy’s backyard with you. I promise to keep being a good friend to your Mama. I promise to be sounding board when you are a teenager. I promise to let you spend the night & stay up late eating popcorn. I promise to be a fun auntie & a genuine example of unconditional love. I promise to help fill your childhood with abounding memories. I promise to be there.

Gunner in Gma's ArmsGunner's ToesSean and Danielle holding GunnerGunner with his MamaWe are going to have a blast! I’m so glad you’re here.

Nanny Dilemma: Caring for Sick Kids

One of the hardest things to do as a nanny is care for sick kids. And, even harder than that is caring for sick kids when their parents are out of town. Having dealt with this before, and currently going through this now, I thought I would offer up some tips!

#1: Change your expectations for the day.

It’s important to remember that when a child is sick any routine or expectations MUST go out the window.  No matter what you had to do or wanted to do, your first priority MUST be tending to the sick child.  (As a rule of thumb in most cases, I always fill immediate needs first, and then focus on the secondary things– this is totally applies to caring for sick children, too.) And so, when a child is sick, my immediate need is comforting and caring for them, and everything else becomes secondary. Forget about normal sleep times, eating times, etc. Give the child what they need at the time they need it, rather than sticking to a strict schedule. At the end of the day, all their parents really care about is how the child is feeling rather than if you stayed on schedule.

Real life example.  Today, the little one I watch had a fever. She was too sick to play, too sick to eat and even toO sick to (gasp) take her nap.  My first reaction was to go along with normal nap time rules. But after some time listening to her whimper and then scream in her crib, I realized that nap time no longer mattered like it normally would.  What I needed to do was take my mind out of the normal routine and focus on fixing the immediate need: which was to simply comfort and love on her.

#2: Care for the child as their parent would.

The easiest way to help a child in pain is to put them in their comfort zone.  Once they feel comfortable, then the physical pain they’re experiencing will lesson to a certain degree. This being said, you need to know what the child’s comfort zone is.  Here are some simple ways to determine this:

*figure out HOW their parent’s care for them. Do they give them medicine? Do they have home remedies? Do they use ice packs or heating pads? Do they feed them certain teas or foods?

*figure out WHAT their parent’s DO for them. Do they rock them? Do they give them a quiet environment? Do they let them stay in their PJ’s? Do they let them lay on the couch and watch a movie?

*figure out what the parent wants you to do at that time. Especially when a parent is traveling, the first thing you should do is let them know about their child’s illness and then specifically ask them “what do you want me to do?” More often than not, parents will give you suggestions and tell you what works best. The key here is communication.

#3: Remind yourself that you are the nanny, not their parent

As in any situation, when you work as nanny it is important remind ourselves that while we love the little chicks we watch with all our  beings, they are not ours. They belong to their parents. Our job is simply to care for them while their parents cannot.  We are trusted to tend the roost during the day.  That is why it is so important that we respect the our boundaries and care for sick children as their parents want; because at the end of the day, we go to our own coops and they stay in theirs. Love them as much as you can, while you can, and fill them up with happiness: that is what we are there for.

Final Tidbits.

Even when I am stressed from the crying and helplessness of caring for a sick child, when I want to scream and cry myself, I take a minute to look at the child and simultaneously intake one giant deep breath. Without a doubt, it is in that breath & those few moments of inner silence when I am simply looking and not hearing, or worrying or panicking that I always find the best method of caring for a sick child.

We are, after all, raising a generation who will someday take care of us. And so, more than anything else, when I look into the eyes of the little ones I watch, I first and foremost ask myself, how would I want someone to treat me? And I always, always, trust my gut from there.