Musings of an everyday woman . . .

Reflections on living and loving life . . .

“You can’t spoil a newborn . . . “ April 11, 2010

Filed under: Baby!,Family,Reflections — everydaywomanusa @ 9:13 am
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. . . so the adage goes. . . and I believe it!  (And it’s not for lack of trying, that’s for sure!)

When this beautiful bundle we call Joshua is sleeping, I find I just can’t put him down.  He’s a cuddler. . . he nestles right into your body, the crook of your arm, the nape of your neck, and then he relaxes against your beating heart.  Abbie and Ed’s little one (notice I’m giving them the credit!) is my pride and joy and is a joyful reminder of our own babies at this age.  I revel in the softness, sweetness, baby scent that is his alone and when I hold him, the rest of the world just stops.

Joshua’s four weeks old already, but is still in that very precious infant stage, when everything revolves around his immediate and basic needs.  I’m so happy to be able to share in this magical time.

I’m also just so incredibly proud of how parenthood has totally enraptured his parents.  Abbie and Ed~ ~you are the most incredible, natural, knowing parents who seem to be taking all of this newness in stride.  Thank you for sharing Joshua with us and for not worrying about us all “spoiling” him, because “it’s not possible to spoil a newborn” according to the experts, no matter how we will try!

The incredibly wonderful new Mom


The equally wonderful new Dad

Proud Uncle Nate

The miracle named Joshua!

This little baby has brought so much joy into our family. . .thank you for letting me ramble on about it.

Have you had a new baby join your family (recently or long ago) who has forever helped you readjust your life priorities?  Please share . . .


I love . . . February 14, 2010

Filed under: Family,Reflections — everydaywomanusa @ 12:49 pm
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Happy Valentines Day

In honor of Valentines Day and The Pioneer Woman, I’m posting a few of the things I love today.


  • . . . my husband of 32 years.
  • . . . the fact that I’m going to be a grandmother very soon!
  • . . . that our children are all nearby and that we are SO proud of ALL of them!  (more later on each. . .)
  • . . . teaching elementary school children.
  • . . . summer vacation (do those two go hand-in-hand?)
  • . . . that we live on a farm (although, sometimes I think I might hate that, too!)
  • . . . that I grew up on a farm.
  • . . . my mother, who’s in her late 80’s, but acts like, perhaps, 50!
  • . . . chocolate-covered macadmia nuts (oh, honestly, chocolate-covered anything!)
  • . . . Dunkin’ Donuts (the coffee part—and that they know my order when I drive up at 5 am!)
  • . . . late nights.
  • . . . early mornings.
  • . . . our backyard in the summer.
  • . . . snow in winter!
  • . . . first daffodils of spring.
  • . . . that I can drive a tractor, a quad, or a convertible!
  • . . . February vacation!
  • . . . rollerblading with my daughter and friends.
  • . . . walking on the beach.
  • . . . movies that are good enough to make me cry.
  • . . . my favorite children’s book, “Charlotte’s Web.”
  • . . . our family’s classics: “Princess Bride,” “Christmas Vacation,” “Great Outdoors.”
  • . . . Bob Marley’s music.
  • . . . just about ALL country music.
  • . . . blogging, and Facebook, and IM-ing, and anything that keeps me in touch with my kids and other interesting people!
  • . . . the Pioneer Woman.
  • . . . Crunchy Chicken (a green, bloggy friend).
  • . . . the Farmer’s Daughter (not necessarily in THAT order!)
  • . . . the accessibility of the Internet in general.
  • . . . Christmas!
  • . . . Friday nights!
  • . . . that our youngest son is independent, hardworking, and excited that he just  bought his THIRD truck!
  • . . . that our daughter is happily married; happily employed at something she loves (teaching); is more domestic than I am; and did I say–pregnant?
  • . . . that our oldest son just moved into his very first home; is quite capable on his own; is appreciative; and has a wonderful dry sense of humor!
  • . . . that we have a very close family on both sides.
  • . . . that I had a chance to go to college as an adult.
  • . . . that my DH is supporting my outlandish wish to earn my Doctorate.
  • . . . our Golden Retriever, Duke, even though he knows how to open the outside door in the dead of winter, but doesn’t know how to shut it (thanks, Jonathan!)
  • . . . our spunky foal, Isabelle, and her mother, Annabelle.
  • . . . our old Percheron Workhorse, Vinny, who we now appreciate for his docileness.
  • . . . thoughtful people.
  • . . . kind people.
  • . . . other people’s birthdays!
  • . . . cheese (especially very sharp, “smelly” cheeses!)
  • . . . that at barely 5 ft., I can have a monster of a son who stands 6’5″ tall!”
  • . . . my sister and brothers and the memories we share.
  • . . . pumpkins in fall and hayrides on the farm.
  • . . . the first day of school  after a long summer.
  • . . . the last day of school after a quick school year.
  • . . . SNOW DAYS, when you’re homebound for the whole day!
  • . . . chicken soup cooking on the stove.
  • . . . chocolate chip cookies in the oven.
  • . . . wood in the furnace.
  • . . . cool dips in the pool in the summer.
  • . . . heck, pretty much, LIVING in your bathingsuit in the summer.
  • . . . paddling my boat around the pond.
  • . . . cruisin’ topless . . .
  • . . . friends who can read your mind, even when you don’t want them to!
  • . . . kids who reach out to you at just the right time.
  • . . . in-laws and out-laws.
  • . . . coffee and chocolate (I think I already covered that!)
  • . . . my true love to spend this Valentines Day with!


What do YOU love?


I taught my kids NOT to write on their hands . . . February 9, 2010

Filed under: Humor,Reflections — everydaywomanusa @ 8:13 pm
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I always taught my own kids—and later, my students—NOT to write on their hands, that’s why I didn’t believe this at first . . .

I thought, it must be a hoax, but then . . .

Kids . . . please DON”T take a lesson from Ms. Palin, here!

Check out the Washington Post story at:

What’s your take on this elementary behavior?


Sunday Stroll: Down Memory Lane January 17, 2010

Filed under: Baby!,Family,Reflections,Sunday Stroll,Uncategorized — everydaywomanusa @ 11:14 am
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This is a different kind of  “Sunday Stroll” today, because, as many of you know, we’re eagerly awaiting and preparing for the arrival of our daughter’s first baby, due in March.   With the preparations for the baby shower for Abbie last weekend, I found myself  becoming even more reflective of our daughter’s own birth, one very special March day almost 29 years ago.

I wanted to share some of those memories with Abbie, as she becomes a mother herself.  It’s been somewhat of a tradition in our family, on each child’s birthday, to haul out his/her babybook and to relive the story of  the birth and early years for that individual child.  Actually on the morning of the shower (as I was finished cooking and wrapping presents), I found myself looking through Abbie’s babybook once again.  I knew I had to give it to her, along with a new, blank babybook I had purchased for her own new baby.

I wanted to help Abbie preserve those same kind of memories for her own child.

Through watery eyes, I remembered the tiny anklet Abbie wore in the hospital, and I remembered how I studied every feature on her, making sure they were forever inscribed in my memory.  As a nervous, new Mom, I wanted to be sure I knew her every detail and I kept her with me in the hospital room all the time, so that I could nurse her on demand.  Upon the rare occasion that the nurses took her to weigh her, or whatever, I again checked every detail, including this tiny anklet, to be sure my own precious child was returned to me. (Probably, already a little neurotic, huh?)

I thumbed through pages of memories of birthday parties, which always followed a theme showing Abbie’s love at the moment . . . and the cake reflected the same . . . “Miss Piggy” of Sesame Street for her second birthday, a “Barbie” doll cake for her third birthday.  (Actually, I can remember making THREE Barbie doll cakes that year: one for the family party, one for her playgroup, and I’m not quite sure what the last one was for!)

Writing has always been very important to me and I’m sure I spent hours, recording every detail.  In her babybook, I included the usual: clippings from the first hair cut and an ultrasound picture, as well as notes from the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus.

As guests at the shower passed Abbie’s babybook around to share in these memories, several remarked about the detail, saying they couldn’t believe how much I had written. I must admit that our third child’s babybook may lack some of the intense written detail (sorry, Nathaniel!), but the dear memories remain.

I can remember the hours I spent, just holding each baby in the early weeks and months after birth, marveling at every, perfect little detail:  the tiny fingers and toes, the wispy hair, the delicate rolls near the wrists, and the perfect, new baby scent!  I took the time to just breathe in all of this newness, having no idea of how our lives would be irrevocably and wonderfully changed!  I wish the same for our dear daughter, Abbie, as she begins the wonderful journey of motherhood—the gift of time with your new baby.

I hope that she finds her new baby book a helpful and wonderful way to record these precious memories.  If you know her, you know that she loves to write as well, as is evident in both of her blogs, Farmer’s Daughter and Our Country Baby.  She is a quite talented writer and I learn something new from her every day.

This morning, I started recording in my own new babybook, called “Grandmother and Me.”  I hope to start making new memories with our new grandson soon and I look forward to recording some of these in this special book, which is one that grandmothers and grandchildren can write together!

Thanks for stopping by today.  If you have any advice you’d like to offer an aspiring “grandmother-to-be,” I’m all ears!

And, if you’d like to continue strolling on this Sunday, please click on over to the Quiet Country House.


Wonderful Tradition! January 10, 2010

Filed under: Baby!,Friends,Reflections — everydaywomanusa @ 12:55 pm
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What do you call a tradition that brings together a group of close friends and family members to lovingly support a new mother-to-be?

A baby shower, of course!  And what a wonderful tradition it is!

Our baby shower yesterday for my daughter, Abbie, also involved a  lot of noise (60 or so women talking simultaneously, re-living memories of their own children/childbirth and offering advice); scrumptious food that only women would enjoy (broccoli/slivered almond quiche, pink lemonade punch, tiny sandwiches); and narrowly escaping cars getting stuck in the snow nor any broken hips from icy, steep driveways.

All in all, it was wonderful.  And it was exactly what showers traditionally bring: wonderful comraderie among friends and family; incredible support for the mom-to-be; a chance to tell stories of days past; and mountains of gifts!

“Chick” food . . .

Abbie sharing a laugh with an aunt. . .

A diaper cake ?!?!

Abbie with high school friends, both now married, and one  a new mother . . .

Mom-to-be with grandmas-to-be . . .

This new baby is incredibly fortunate to be welcomed by THREE great-grandmas, shown here in their fashionable “great-grandma” tiaras!

Party favors . . .

. . . including Sweet Pea seeds that can be planted around the time of the baby’s arrival in March . . .

The incredibly delicious (chocolate!) blue duck cake, complete with bubbles(!), that Abbie’s mother-in-law and sister-in-law created . . .

Abbie trying on a baby-size “moo-cow” outfit . . .

My daughter and me . . .

We can’t wait to welcome this baby into the world!

Have you participated in this social convention, too, known as a Baby Shower?


HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! December 31, 2009

Filed under: New Year,Reflections — everydaywomanusa @ 11:25 am
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Let me be one of the first to wish you a very Happy New Year!!!

How are you celebrating?

Do you make/believe in New Year’s Resolutions?

Leave your thoughts in a comment and I’ll be back as soon as I have a minute to post my own!


Giving Thanks . . . November 26, 2009

Filed under: Family,Farm,Holidays,Reflections — everydaywomanusa @ 7:37 am
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As this new day dawns—Thanksgiving Day— I think it’s appropriate that I take just a few minutes before the busy hustle/bustle of this holiday weekend takes over to give thanks.

In short, I’m thankful for:

  • Four generations of family members to celebrate the holidays with
  • An 87-year-old mother who inspires me on a daily basis
  • A grandbaby on the way (OK, you’ve heard this before!)
  • My wonderful husband who supports me even when he thinks I’m crazy (as in currently pursuing my Doctorate)
  • Three grown kids who make me intensely proud!
  • A career (working with kids and adults) that I love
  • Purposeful work at school and home
  • Our family farm full of animals and adventures
  • Friends who “hold me up” and occasionally, let me “hold them up”
  • A positive attitude despite everything around us in the news–and world–that could make us pessimistic
  • “Enough” of all of the above!