Archive | November, 2013

Baby “Say” My Name….Please

30 Nov

Quinn Victoria FranklinWatching my baby reach her milestones is thrilling, especially the imminent  uttering of her first words. To prep Quinn for this moment to say “my name” first, I’ve been speaking in third person, pointing in the mirror or at pictures letting her know I am Mama. When I use the American Sign Language sign for mother and say “mama,” she often smiles as though she knows what I am saying.  So when she started babbling, I just knew Quinn was going to be an anomaly and in her high pitch voice bellow out that sweet sound I’ve been longing to hear, “Mama.”

Sadly, all of my hard work hasn’t paid off yet, and Quinn has decided to follow the masses of babies who follow tradition driving mommies around the world nuts  with the easier phonetic sound “da da da da da da.” Every day all day it’s “da da da da da da da da.” I grimace trying to put on a real smile and encourage her since I know  at this stage it is indiscriminate, and she is just trying out sounds. Of course, I am grateful that Quinn has such a wonderful, loving and present father who is her sole caretaker when I teach on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but it’s hard sometimes to not cajole her into saying “ma ma ma ma ma ma” instead of “da da da da da da.”

Yesterday, she started saying “na na na na na,” which her Nana will be proud to hear, so “mama” should be on the way soon.  As much as I want her to say my name, I have a feeling that there may come a time when I may be driven nuts because Quinn won’t stop saying, “mama, mama, mama.” Regardless, I can’t wait!

All the best,

Tanya

Life: What My Baby Senses…

23 Nov

Tanya Franklin & Baby QuinnMy baby girl gazes at me, touches my face, strokes my hair or grabs anything else within reach.  She savors her sweet potatoes, apples or bananas grasping the spoon to get more. Listening intently, she responds to her name and other stimuli. The smell of her poopy diapers and gas (which can smell like a grown man) does not faze her at all. Though I’m in awe at how quickly she’s growing in her first half year, I’m amazed at how she is able to operate at a level where she can take everything in slowly and become immersed in what she is doing. Observing Quinn makes me wonder why do so many adults fly through life without sensing it?

Sight: We’ve been here for a couple of decades or longer but struggle to gaze into the eyes of the person or people we claim to love with the same warmth a baby who has only been here for a few months can offer.

Touch: I love that my baby is so fascinated with my face and wants to explore it with those drooly little fingers.  For some people, it has been years since they have experienced subtle touches  that convey affection (minus the drool of course).

Taste: We are in a rush eating our meals on the run, wolfing down our food without really tasting and enjoying it like a baby might (minus the messiness of course).  When I feed Quinn, I make sure she has swallowed her food before I give her another spoonful, but on occasion I’m guilty of not completely chewing and swallowing my food before putting another piece in my mouth. I find that I have more enjoyment in eating when I take my time.

Hear: Sometimes there is an overwhelming amount of mind chatter or distractions around us, and we’re unable to listen to our inner voices.  Most babies, especially mine, has no problem listening to her inner voice that says, “I’m happy,” I’m hungry,” “I’m sleepy,” or “I’m just in need of some attention.” Nevertheless, there are times when I don’t listen to that voice telling me,”You’re taking on too much,” “You’re hungry” or “You need some ‘me’ time.”

Smell: Though there are benefits to smelling, I wish I was able to not get caught up in the “smell” as Quinn is capable of doing. It’s difficult to resist the aroma of certain unhealthy foods luring me, and some odors have been pungent enough to stop me in my tracks, distracting and preventing me from doing the task at hand.

Quinn has taught me  several lessons I plan on applying to my life, and I sense that there are many more learning opportunities to come courtesy of my baby girl!

All the best,

Tanya

Case #1: Judge versus the Jury

16 Nov

judge-orders-“Only God can judge me! People are always hating! No one asked for your opinion! It’s my life!” are phrases most people have uttered or at least heard uttered at some point in their lives. Lately, I’ve been scrutinizing my own actions and think a trial is in order.

Though I try my best to be positive, supportive and motivational, there have been times when I’ve been accused of judging and wonder if those accusations were valid and if I should be concerned with being perceived as a judge. Needless to say, I am apprehensive about being a judge, but how can I live life without judging? Just about everything involves it; from grading papers to taking time to evaluate my own actions, I cannot escape it.  Judging is one of the ways that we are able to improve ourselves and quality of life and to make sure we are on the right track.

I often wonder why it is acceptable and even welcomed when people are judged in a positive way such as a compliment about an outfit, hair, performance at work, parenting skills, etc..  Who ever stops people and questions why they are judging them when it is something positive? Of course,  when people point out any flaws or shortcomings, most would dismiss them as unwelcome judgments and suggest that these people mind their own business.

When it comes to the justification of judging, I think it is always important to consider the intention of the person who is playing the role of the judge and the significance this person has on your life.  Is the person trying to lift you up or tear you apart? Regardless if the judgment is negative or positive, is it being presented in a kind and caring way or cruel and insensitive?

It is important to consider if you are deflecting the real issue by focusing on this “so-called judge.” Why is it that whenever we are called out on something negative or counterproductive, like being procrastinators, habitually late or even harshly judging others with hurtful intentions, we are upset when somebody has the audacity to judge us? Why can’t it be that they love us and hold us accountable for our actions or to a higher standard than we may hold ourselves?  If everyone only provided positive judgments, would simply relying on how we judge ourselves be adequate? Sometimes, how we judge ourselves and see ourselves is way off base, and we need those “judges,” who God may place in our lives, to hold up those mirrors and reflect back what we refuse to see is really there.

As I take some time to deliberate further, please feel free to share your views on this touchy topic.

All the best,

Tanya

Divided by the Mathematics

9 Nov

math_20funRecently, I was playing an arithmetic game on the Lumosity web site (which I highly recommend to anyone looking to exercise his or her brain).  As the rain drop equations began to fall, forcing me to answer as quickly as possible before they hit the ground, I experienced an “aha moment.”  Though I’ve always been good at math, even placing in calculus when I started college, it takes me a bit longer to process subtracting and dividing than it does adding and multiplying. I tried to recall what I learned how to do first: was it addition or subtraction? Regardless, I am an adult now, and those skills have been ingrained in me, even without a calculator for basic math, yet this small thought-provoking moment caused me to evaluate many aspects of my life.

Many of us have no problem shopping for new clothes, shoes or whatever it is we may want, but when it comes time to get rid of some items already in the closet, it can be difficult and require quite a bit of deliberating on whether or not something should be given away or thrown away because we still might wear that shirt we purchased five years ago that still has the price tag on it.  Then when we have no choice but to pare down our wardrobe we wind up mistakenly getting rid of that one outfit we loved so much because it got lost in the pile.

For those people on social media sites, we all have those friends who might have just been added after an encounter at an event, may just be a friend of a friend, or friend of a family member who we may never see in person again. Interestingly, we may not have a problem adding more of these types of friends to the list.  However, we may struggle to purge those “real life” friends who may be toxic and not have our best interests at heart. Then the new year comes, and we decide it is time to get rid of the remainder of  those “so-called” friends who add nothing to our lives. With haste, we regretfully cut ties with someone whose friendship meant so much to us and cannot get back what was swiftly taken away.

It would be so much more simple if we could all just take pleasure in adding something meaningful to the lives of others. Are some of us often divided because we’re always concerned with adding more than I take away. Am I the only one who is doing this kind of math?

All the best,

Tanya

It’s Hard Out Here for a Mom!

2 Nov

2013-10-26 09.24.14I cannot believe my baby girl will be six months tomorrow.  This past half year has been full of excitement, and I am truly embracing motherhood.  Prior to even becoming pregnant, some people would say with sarcastic tones in their voices , “Wait until you become a mother!” or ask, “Are you sure you want to be a mother?”  Though I thrive on being positive and have never questioned whether or not I made the right decision becoming a mother, there is no denying that it can be hard out here for a mom!  I think about how blessed I am to have a flexible teaching schedule  that allows me to spend most of the week with my daughter.  It saddens me to know that many mothers do not have that luxury.  In order to provide for their children, some mothers must work from very early in the morning until late in the evening only seeing their children for dinner, bath and bedtime, sometimes not even for those daily routines.

Having the support of my husband and extended family makes me have an even greater admiration for mothers who are raising their children alone and doing everything in their power to make it work.  Something that always amazes me is how some single mothers make raising children look so easy and almost effortless.  Kudos to you all, and keep putting in that hard work!  I am sure you will reap what you sow within your children 😉

All the best,

Tanya