My 3 Favorite Ways to Play with my Toddler

As a twenty-eight year old, first time mama, I’m learning a lot about the special relationship between mother and child and one of the most important life lessons I’m currently learning is how to play.

There’s something so beautiful and exciting when you see your child grasp new forms of play. Some of my forever memories will include watching Uriah motion to his favorite song or roar at me when I sneak up close.

Play is not only good for our little’s development but it makes for a happier life. Playing with your babies turns the tired, long, hard days of motherhood into days of joy, laughter, and memories.

Here are 3 of my favorite ways I play with my toddler!

Songs with hand motions

We LOVE singing songs — every morning, I start the day by turning on the bedroom light and singing our favorite morning song. The days are full of music and Uriah sings too! (Which is quite a joy and accomplishment considering most children with trachs cannot make sound). 

Some of our favorite hand motioned songs include Itsy, Bitsy Spider, Head And Shoulders, Wheels on the Bus, and Patticake.

Hide and Seek

Even though Uriah isn’t yet walking we have a fabulous time playing hide and seek! I hop down on all fours and crawl around, hiding behind furniture and around corners. Uriah loves looking for mama and the victory of finding me!

Playing Pretend

Ah, this is the best! We’re starting to enter the more advanced stages of play which include pretending. I love watching Uriah drive his cars or walk his little toy animals across the floor. It really is the best!

A friend recently gave me more ideas for pretend play and they included:

Playing with your toddler really is limitless and you don’t have to have expensive toys to make it successful! All of the ideas above basically involve time, effort, and you smiling.

(And to the special parents out there with children who may have medical issues and developmental delays — you can play too! I know it’s hard (and you have a million things to do) but your little one needs you to be their playmate as well as their caretaker, advocate, and appointment maker. They need your smiles and laughter!)

So here’s to all of my fellow mamas who choose to take the time to play. And here’s to motherhood — the snot, chores, hugs, late nights, tickles, and life lessons all rolled into a sweet and precious relationship between mother and child. Enjoy!

Frannie

What are some of your favorite play activities you do with your baby/toddler? What’s your favorite hand motion song? Leave me a comment below! I’d love to hear your thoughts!

When Your Child Looks Different

In 2016 my water unexpectedly broke at 24 weeks landing us in our local hospital. I spent the next 63 days hoping and praying that I could stay pregnant for as long as possible. Those were long, hard weeks.

When you experience PPROM (preterm premature rupture of the membrains) you never really know how much time you’ll get with your baby. There are a million fears that plague you as you rest in bed and experience a high-risk pregnancy.

Add to the fact that we had been told our son had possible facial anomalies and the fear factor rose a million degrees. I worried — what if my baby has a misshapen nose or only one eye? (These were real issues we dealt with as the ultrasound was unreliable and the diagnosis we received can cause such anomalies). What if my baby is rejected by this world? What if he will be bullied? What if … 

That was when God sent this book to my room and began teaching me.


Pumpkin Patch Blessings is written by Kim Washburn and illustrated by Jacqueline East. I love this book because each page has a corresponding Bible verse, gorgeous illustration, and precious fall-themed rhyme.

I cherish this book because it taught me that no matter our physical appearance, disability, or challenge we are just right.

The first time I read Pumpkin Patch Blessings I cried. My worried, weary-worn mama’s heart cried as I read the truest of words:

Some pumpkins are bumpy.

Some are bumpy, bruised, small, or tilted. And some babies are born differently-abled. Diagnosis’ abound, medical complexities exist, and anomalies are something many face.

But that doesn’t mean they’re not right. Every child, every person, is formed in the image of God. That includes your baby, dear mama, who may have a physical impairment. Your baby with Downs Syndrome or severe eczema or Hydrocephalus. That precious soul hasn’t been forgotten or made by mistake.

They were hand-crafted by a God Who cares beyond what we can even imagine.

He didn’t make a mistake … He just chose to make someone extra unique for His glory. Your baby isn’t forgotten — he’s just right. 

I know it’s silly that a child’s book could give me so much hope but it did. It was in that moment that I embraced my child for whoever they would be and however they would be born. So what if my child was born bumpy? We would deal with it. We would love, cherish, and support that little one as they dive into life and find their purpose.

Are you a mama of a kiddo with medical complexities? How have you dealt with the differences you notice? I love hearing from mama’s walking through the same journey! 🙂 I’d love to hear your thoughts! 

Love, blessings, and lots of coffee! 

Frannie

Inspiring my Motherhood

There are some days when my spirit, my energy, and my inspiration feel as uninspired as that lonely left sock without a mate who perpetually ends up in the bottom of the laundry bin. You know what I’m talking about, right? That’s motherhood for you — laundry unites us all. 😉

But I’m tired of feeling tired and lackluster about motherhood. The constant nag for freedom, less responsibility, or a little less whine is a drain on the soul — my lack of contentment and gratitude is killing my motherhood. 

Don’t misunderstand me … I’m all about mamas’ getting the rest (both physically and emotionally) they need. I’m not ditching the intentional rest I need in order to be a better wife, mother, and friend. 

But I am ditching the unthankfulness I’ve allowed to seep into my heart; goodbye discontentment and sour attitudes. I promise, I won’t miss you. 

Instead, I’m saying hello to being a more present woman.  Hello to inspiring the best mother, wife, and friend within me is my goal and choosing that route is inspiring itself!

Tell me about you — how do you inspire the best woman, wife, mother, and friend within you? What ways do you pursue being intentional in your life? Leave me a comment below or on my Instagram. I’d love to hear from you! 

Love, blessings, and coffee, 

Frannie

Simple, Easy Ideas for Valentine’s Day for the Whole Family

“You mean more to me than anyone else in the whole wide world.”

– Peter Pan

This Valentine’s Day will be Uriah’s first at home! His first Valentines took place in the NICU — so thankful we are home and able to celebrate the holidays together (even though we do miss our nurses!).

My mom couldn’t be beat when it came to celebrating the holidays and Valentine’s Day was always made special for us children. Gift baskets would be filled with red and pink treats … little things like body soap, candies, candles, or notepads. She really has a gift for making holidays special! <3

This year, we’ll be celebrating Valentine’s Day together and I want to make it a special one for both Uriah and Dalton, my true Valentine!

Since there’s no danger of either reading this post I’ll let you in on the plan! (Real life readers … please keep my secret!) 😉

For Dalton, I will make a little gift basket with 5 coupons for a 1 hour massage by yours truly! (True love since I really stink at giving massages!). I’ll also tuck a pint of his favorite Halo Icecream, a kombucha drink, and a bar of Aldi dark chocolate. His favorites!

For Uriah, I’ll keep it simple with a little bag filled with a new teether, lavender baby lotion (since we’re out 😉 ), and a balloon tied to the side.

Simple yet meaningful gifts that won’t break the budget and will make the holiday special. What do you do for Valentine’s Day? Do you reserve gift giving for only your significant other or do you spread the love to the whole family?

Love, blessings, and a happy Valentine’s Day to you!

Frannie

Lovely Motherhood Quote

Motherhood really is a privilege. Enjoy this wise, in-depth quote from one of my favorite authors, Elizabeth Prentiss, and her book Stepping Heavenward. (I feel a special kinship, kindred spirit with the key character Katy).

And enjoy this free 8.5 x 11 inch printable at this Dropbox link. 

Love, blessings, and coffee,

Frannie