It’s been a hard week. Long days have led to tantrums and meltdowns. Emotions are high and tears have been shed by both of us. Growing up is hard for Mommy too. Giving you the freedom to be who you want to be and make your own choices is tough. Knowing when to step in and offer my help is even harder. I’m learning to let you make mistakes–how else can you learn? But at the heart of it all, I love you.
You are a strong girl and I am so proud of you. You stand up for what is right and you spread kindness like an infectious disease. Your laugh is contagious. Your heart is huge. And there’s never been a challenge too big that you didn’t at least try to take on.
I needed to confess to you today that I don’t always get it right. Some days I wrestle with wanting to hold on too tight, and other days I let go too soon. I’m learning just like you are. Being your Mommy has been my most important job and I try very hard to do it right. Once I start to get comfortable and get the hang of it, you’re off to something new. Every day is a chance for both of us to learn.
You are my princess. I love you.
The Ameri Brit Mom
I remember the tears and wailing of last winter. Upward basketball season had begun, but my daughter was a few months too young to participate. We took her to several games to watch her four year old cousin compete. It was torture to a toddler who had been dribbling since she could stand. For an entire year she has looked forward to playing in the Upward league and this past weekend ended her wait.
To fully understand the sanctity of my daughter’s basketball experiences you should know that my husband is a professional basketball trickster. In 2015 I wrote a post entitled My Husband, the TV Star in which I explained a little bit about what he does. Check this out if you don’t know him or haven’t heard of the Sizzla.
Before her first birthday my daughter joined my husband on the stage of an Upward Ceremony show. He spun the basketball on his finger and passed it to her small, delicate one (with my assistance of course). She giggled and the crowd let out an “Awwww” in unison.
By the age of two she was dribbling one ball fairly consistently.
By three she was making shots on lowered rims.
And now, at four years of age she is able to dribble two basketballs at the same time, make a shot on a 9 foot rim, and execute a talented spin move.
My husband has been awaiting her opportunity to compete longer than she has. Five years ago (this weekend) we found out that we were expecting. Amidst the shock and nerves I can clearly remember the spark in my husband’s eye as he dreamed of teaching our future child the fundamentals of basketball.
All of those moments made her first Upward basketball practice that much more special. My husband enjoyed coaching her and radiated his pride in her abilities as they began the drills of the sport. I’m so excited to watch her play this season and in the many more seasons that I’m sure are to follow.
The Ameri Brit Mom
Our family tradition is to deck the halls on Black Friday.
We spend the weekend following Thanksgiving putting up the tree and setting out our annual decor. Each year we like to buy one or two new pieces to add to our collection and we also enjoy decorating our front door.
This year we decided to take on a painting project. My daughter is pretty artistic and loves any excuse to use paint, and my husband is fairly crafty as well. We went to the nearest craft shop and purchased everything we would need to make giant ornaments to be hung on the front door. Each of us completed our own giant bulb which we made from Wilton cake boards. We went with a simple color scheme of red, green, and blue and each of us chose a different inspiration for our creation.
Once dry, we fastened the bulbs to the door using 3m hooks and red ribbon. We wanted them to all dangle at different heights so we varied the length of the ribbon to give it that look.
I really love my front door. It may not be a page out of the Pottery Barn catalog, but we took the time to put each of our personalities into the finished product. I love my unique front door this holiday season.
The Ameri Brit Mom
The Pumpkin Show is an annual festival held in my hometown of Circleville, Ohio. This is the greatest FREE show on Earth and one of the largest local festivals in the country. Each year, the schools shut down, the roads are closed, and people travel from near and far to enjoy some days indulging in Pumpkin-everything and watching parades. Tuesday night was Local’s Night which means that stalls were opened and people crowded the streets prior to the official opening. The weather was beautiful and the festival was packed. Our church group which normally meets on Tuesdays decided to meet this week at the Pumpkin Show. We spent our Tuesday night with great friends and the locals of Circleville.
On Wednesday, we rode rides, overate, and went through the parade on a float. Every year I pine for a box of bourbon chicken, one of the most popular non-pumpkin items. I also have to get a slice of pumpkin pie, a pumpkin burger, and fried Swiss cheese on a stick. We got a snapshot with the traditional pumpkin pyramid and the locally famous Pumpkin Man. For the first time ever, my daughter was in a parade riding on a float representing her pre-school. It was a late parade and she was almost asleep by the end of the route, but she enjoyed riding through the parade with her teacher and classmate. It was a great opening to another Pumpkin Show!
This week the topic for the Five Minute Friday link-up post is Mail. What is a link-up? Essentially a link-up is when you join other bloggers and write on a similar topic. You share your blog posts with one another and begin conversations via a host site. You can head over to Kate Motaung’s page to check out other entries from inspired bloggers. Here’s my five minutes of uninterrupted, unedited writing on this week’s topic:
We pull into the garage after a long day apart and my daughter perks up and starts to chant, “Mail. Mail. Mail…” from her car seat in the back of the car.
Checking the mail together as soon as we get home is one of our new routines because my daughter has started writing and receiving mail. For weeks she would throw tantrums every time I checked the mail because “only Mommy and Daddy get letters.” It was a hassle to cross the wide road to the mailbox each day and I oftentimes dreaded the fits that would come with that task. There were days where I gave in and days I conveniently forgot to check the mailbox.
One day after school my daughter and I were crossing the street hand-in-hand when she stopped just short of the mailbox with one of her most mature ideas thus far in life. She turned and looked at me and with the most serious and sincere expression she said, “Mommy, I think I want to ask my grandparents in England to be my pen pals and then I will get letters like you and Daddy.”
We got to work right away crafting letters for her beloved grandparents. Since they live separately we wrote two different letters and sent two different pictures. And before long we began to receive letters in return. It’s been so fascinating to teach my four year-old about the way mail works. She asks how it gets to England and we have even tracked letters before to trace the journey they make.
Who knew mail could be so much fun?
Over night the weather went from sunny summertime to cool autumn. Every part of me was itching to get outdoors from the moment the rays of sun poked through the curtains. I poured myself a hot cup of coffee and browsed through events going on in Columbus. After a few minutes of deliberation we decided on a family stroll through German Village, our favorite corner of the Columbus area.
Brick sidewalks, Schiller Park, The Brown Bag deli, and Pistacia Vera all made their way onto our itinerary for the day. This was one of our first long walk outings where we decided not to bring a stroller. It’s been four years, but we may finally have a big girl! I was so proud of my daughter who trekked over 10,000 steps without one complaint (although we did have to stop and add to her ‘acorn collection’ every time we passed one on the brick sidewalks.)
We picnicked in a shady corner of the park as we ate our sandwiches from the Brown Bag. The park was bustling with families, runners, and dogs. From there, we walked several blocks to Pistacia Vera, a french cafe, where we sampled macaroons. They are so delicious and I highly recommend the Mocha Hazelnut flavor. After a little snack we walked back to Schiller Park and of course we couldn’t leave without a few minutes on the playground. It was a perfect day with perfect weather.
Here’s a glimpse at our family adventures through the streets of German Village.
The Ameri Brit Mom
After a fun-filled weekend of celebrating Arianna’s birthday we are finally able to say that she is four! Over the weekend we hosted our first ever birthday party for Arianna at a local church. Inside of the commons of the church is a play place with a connecting party room. We rented the room, decked it out in Finding Dory decorations, and invited all of Arianna’s friends and family to join us. I was so blessed to see that nearly everyone we invited made a point to stop by the party. Arianna left her party on Saturday feeling loved and cherished by the people in her life.
Here’s a look at the festivities this weekend.
I’m so proud of the happy and kind little girl that Arianna is becoming. She made an effort to thank each person who came to the party and even gave out some hugs while opening gifts. She is my ray of sunshine. Even the hardest of days are made more bearable with her in them. Being her mother is one of the greatest joys in this life.
The Ameri Brit Mom
This week the topic for the Five Minute Friday link-up post is Path. What is a link-up? Essentially a link-up is when you join other bloggers and write on a similar topic. You share your blog posts with one another and begin conversations via a host site. You can head over to Kate Motaung’s page to check out other entries from inspired bloggers. Here’s my five minutes of uninterrupted, unedited writing on this week’s topic:
The path that lies before me is uncharted territory. In nine days I will be the mother of a four year-old girl. Never in my wildest dreams could I have fathomed how quickly this day would come. The moments between her miraculous birth to this celebrated milestone seem to have gone so quickly. It wasn’t long after her arrival on Earth that she began to assert her independence. Almost immediately she worked to hold her little head up on her own. From that point forward my daughter has made constant goals for own development and chased them down feverishly.
Cue now my emotional birthday posts. With the beginning of her celebrations happening this weekend you can expect to hear more about my daughter in the days to come.
This path of parenthood is fun and rewarding, but also full of so many decisions and responsibilities. I count myself blessed to have the privilege to raise such a happy, beautiful, and kind little girl. I’m constantly praying that she never loses her amazing qualities and that she shines no matter what paths she finds herself wandering.
The Ameri Brit Mom
As I enter into my final week of summer vacation I find myself changing many of my plans. I had planned to take my daughter swimming everyday and to many parks in the evenings. I wanted to give her daily opportunities to soak up the sunshine while we still had a chance to do so together.
However, on Saturday morning I was on my way to a writing review session with my sister when my husband sent me a message: My daughter was swimming and popped her elbow out of socket and he was headed to the Emergency Room. (Not the message any parent likes to hear.) I contemplated turning back and canceling my meeting, but within a few minutes my husband assured me that the doctor had popped it back in to place and all was well.
She was tough and barely shed a tear through the process.
Later that night we got an invite to a pool party the next day. The voice in my head told me not to take my daughter because of the events of that day, but knowing that it may be one of her last opportunities to go to a pool party this summer I let her make that decision. Of course, she said her arm was fine. (After it was reset by the doctor she really didn’t complain about it.) I thought it was just some freak accident and we were out of the woods.
I think you all know where this story is going, right!?!
We get to the pool party and my daughter is off like nothing can hold her back. She’s swimming with cousins and having a blast when all of a sudden….yep, you guessed it–her elbow popped out of socket. She whined a bit, but didn’t cry. After a few minutes of dangling her arm and trying to pop it back into place ourselves we decided she needed to be seen by the doctor again.
We got her out of her purple Sofia swimsuit and headed toward the Emergency Room. Right as we checked in the doctor from the previous day came out and helped our daughter get her elbow back in place. This time, he wanted her to keep it wrapped for seven days and restricted her swimming and park play during that time as well. Seven days puts us right at the start of the school year so that means I will have to change my plans a bit to accommodate for her injury.
Before we were discharged from the hospital the doctor talked to us about Nursemaid’s Elbow. Now that her elbow has dislodged a couple of times it is more likely to happen again. That socket is weak and needs time to get stronger. It doesn’t take much for it to dislocate (a little hyper extension or a hit in the right place.) It’s a common childhood condition, but I had never heard of it before this weekend. If any of you have experienced this with your child I’d love some advice. We have learned how to reset it at home so hopefully we won’t have to head back to the Emergency Room with this issue again.
As my daughter rests, I’m working on new plans for this last week at home that will be safe for her little injury.
The Ameri Brit Mom
Not many three year olds can say that they’ve enjoyed seeing the world the way that you have. From a young age you’ve been a traveler. Along with Mommy and Daddy you take in the sights and enjoy the scenery with a big, beautiful smile. You understand several cultures, and get that just because people look and act differently to you that they are still people and should be treated as such. Instead of a cold shoulder you give the world your smile. Never ever forget the power of your smile.
Your smile makes the world happier, clearer, and calmer. In the face of adversity your smile makes things light. The cackle of your laughter fills the room with sunshine.
In a world captivated by fear you remind me everyday of the beauty in being brave. When we visited Paulton’s Park and you saw a roller coaster blazing away on the tracks instead of cowering in fear you grabbed my hand and said, “When can I ride that?” A few minutes later you were hanging onto my arm assuring me that you weren’t afraid as we descended the first hill. I aspire to have that kind of bravery. To see the mountains in front of me and cling onto God without fear.
Everyday you make me a better mother because you are a wonderful daughter. Each day I learn something new as I attempt to see the world through your eyes. Because in your eyes everything is beautiful, new, and exciting.
The Ameri Brit Mom