Museum of Life and Science

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Della and I decided we needed to get out the house, after a long week, so what better place to go, on a dreary day, than the museum.  I have not been to the Museum of Life and Science since I was is in grade school and that’s been a long darn time.  It was exciting to share this experience with her and discover new things together.

The Museum of Life and Science is in Durham, NC.  Looking from the outside, you would never expect the amazing adventures that lie ahead.  We started the day with some music in the musical instrument section outside. Della loved the drums and I must say, my baby got rhythm. We then moved over to the farmyard, to look at the baby animals, before heading off to the train.

The train makes two circles around the park. While riding you can spot dinosaurs in between the trees, animals statues, a giant tree house, and wonderful artwork.  Right before pulling into the the train station, the train enters a tunnel and every one is encouraged to scream as loud as they can. Della and I definitely got our scream on.

The Magical Wings Butterfly House was amazing.  Who knew so many types of butterflies existed.  The museum has a butterfly conservatory that feels like a tropical paradise. All I needed was a beach and I would have been in heaven.

Inside the museum, there is an art gallery and a place for kids to create their own art pieces.  Della’s favorite part was definitely the weather center.  She got to see how clouds and tornadoes form and how changes in the atmosphere affect our weather.

There’s so much to do in at the Museum of Life and Science but we couldn’t fit it all in one day.  After a good three hours, we  were exhausted.  I see us spending many days here this summer.  Since we love going to different museums and science centers, I signed up for a membership.  The membership has great benefits, such as – free entry into the center, early entry for special exhibits, discounts at the center store and cafe’, and discounts or free entry into affiliated science centers around the world.

So, if you’re bored and looking for something fun and educational, check out your local museum or science center. It’s a great way to play and learn at the same time.

 

How We Make Co-Parenting Work

I get so many questions about how I get along with Della’s father or how do we make co-parenting work.  There’s the “Does he have a say in what you do for her” or ” How do can you stand to talk to him” or the “Don’t you hate him now that you are not together”?  People are often surprised by my response.

Yes, he does have a say in her life.  I don’t concern him with the routine day-to-day stuff but for important things, like her health or daycare, I do consult him.  Now, if he has her and has a question, he calls me and asks for advice.  I think  it has more to do with her being a girl and he only raised boys.  No, we don’t hate each other.  We are actually really good friends and we talk all the time and it really helped that we were friends before we had a child together.  We have no intentions of ever getting back together.  He has moved on with his life and is in a relationship with a wonder person and I have moved on with my life.  I actually talk to both him and his wife and there is open communication between all of us.

The most important thing, to him and me, is our daughter knows she is love and wanted.  We make sure she is able to talk to either of us whenever she wants.  She can call her dad, stepmom, or brothers, at anytime, and they will talk to her or video chat with her.  She spends weekends or weekdays, when he’s not working, with her family.

I grew up in a home with both my parents.  They were married for almost 40 years, until my dad passed.  Even though my dad was in the home, my mom was a single parent in raising us. Now, my dad worked everyday and provided a home for us (my mom also worked just as many or more hours), but he wasn’t there for my sister and me, as a dad.  He didn’t show us the love, little kids needed, growing up.  We rarely got hugs or conversations, he didn’t ask us about school, boys, the sports we played, and he never came to one game or awards ceremony. So, as you can image, I went looking for that love in the wrong way and caused myself a lot of pain and heartache.

I never want Della to feel the loneliness and hurt I felt growing up.  I never want her to wish her dad would hold her, play with her, or say something nice to her.  I never want her to feel like she doesn’t matter.  He dad shows her all the things, and more, I wished my dad would have shown me.  Even her brothers are protective of her and they are much older than her.  And yes, she has them wrapped around her finger, and I love it.  Our whole family loves it.  We don’t want her to feel she needs to look to a boy or man, outside her family, to get the love she is missing from her dad.

So, how do we make co-parenting work- we put our daughter’s needs and wants first.  No matter how we feel about each other or if we have disagreements, we always make sure we put her first.

 

Pictures in the Park

It’s been crazy hot, in NC, and Della and I have not spent as much time in the park as usual.  Last Sunday, my little superhero decided she wanted to take pics in the park.  So, she got dressed and to the park we went.  No, it wasn’t raining, but she loves her rain boots and she thought, just maybe, she would find some muddy puddles to jump in…lol  Yes, it was still hot as heck, but anything to see a smile on her little face.

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From One Sleepy Parent to Another – PLEASE HELP!

My little angel has decided she doesn’t need to sleep through the night anymore.  WTH!  Ummm this was not part of the deal!  How can she just rewrite our contract like this?  Why didn’t I have a say?

For the past month Della has been waking up, multiple times, throughout the night, and that means I am up most of the night.  After about 30 minutes to a couple of hours she will fall soundly back to sleep.  Not me, nope not gonna happen.  I am that person, once awake,  will stay awake.  No matter how hard I try to go back to sleep, it just doesn’t happen.  But once the sleep gods do have mercy on me and I fall into a peaceful slumber – yep you guessed it- she’s right back up.

I know I am not the only parent who’s experienced this. Any ideas on how to get her to sleep through the night again?  From one sleepy parent to another, PLEASE HELP!

Just Keep Swimming

Della is back in swim class and I must say, she is doing great for not being in the pool the whole winter and spring.  Since it’s almost 100 degrees, in NC right now, it felt really good to spend some time in the water.  The local pool is closed, so unless we go to the beach, we won’t get in any swimming other than classes.

She’s grown so much between her last year swim pics (the last 3) and this year.

Each Step is Worth Celebrating

Sometimes, we need to look at life through the eyes of the caterpillar and not the butterfly.

It’s the end of the school year and kids are graduating and moving on to bigger and sometimes scarier things.  This could be transitioning from kindergarten, middle school, or high school.  Or, it could be our littlest ones leaving daycare to join the world of the big kids.

I was talking with the VP, of my department, yesterday, and he was telling me that his daughter is graduating from preschool on Friday.  I asked was he going and he said no because he was busy and her mom would be there.  Now, we talk often about our kids and their accomplishments, so I know how close he is to his daughter.  I told him he should make time to go (preschool is only 15 minutes away).  He said it was only preschool graduation and it didn’t really matter.  I told him, to him it’s only preschool and not a big deal, but to her, it’s a major step into life.  She’s no longer a baby, toddler or preschooler.  Now, she’s a big girl going into new uncharted territory. She’s no longer a caterpillar.

As adults, sometimes, we forget how important these milestones are to kids.  We forget how excited we were to finally go to school, with the big kids, or move on into adulthood. We don’t remember the excitement we felt, seeing our parents and other family cheering us on, at Awards Day or graduation. We have forgotten how proud we were to have those steps acknowledged.

Look at it this way, in your adult life or career, you want your hard work and accomplishments to be acknowledged.  You want to be rewarded for all the dedication and effort you put into a job, project, or advanced degree.  You want others to share those moments with you, because, to you, they are important.  For our kids, it’s the same thing.  They may not be getting paid, but they are getting a promotion and recognition for their hard work and dedication.  Shouldn’t we be there to cheer them on, and hopefully, with a loving and supportive environment, they will become butterflies!

Heart to Heart with my Mom (MiMi)

Della and I are so blessed to  live in the same house with my mom.  It is a big help, to have her here, just to talk or when I need a break.  Sometimes, I think her and Della are more like two old women, who fuss all day, than grandmother and granddaughter (smile).

Now, my mom works full time and plans to retire in a couple of years.  May dad passed, a couple of years ago, so it’s just us girls (me, Della, mom, my sister and her daughter).

Saturday, I was talking to mom about her plans to buy a house, and I was telling her, I don’t think it’s the best idea for our family.  Now, I know, to some, buying a house is the ultimate goal for their family, but I don’t want my mom to spend her retirement years paying for a house, when she could be spending that money on the things she loves.

When we were growing up, my parents had a home and did everything they could to provide for us.  They worked long hours and sacrificed to make sure my sister and I had a good childhood.  I will forever be grateful to them.  They showed us how to achieve our dreams, through hard work and determination.  My sister and I have degrees, make a good living, and are able to provide for our kids.  Now, it is time for her to live her dreams.

It’s not like in my grandparents or great-grandparents’ days, when they barely had anything, worked endless days to provide a home for their kids, and the only thing they had to leave them were a family house and land.  For a black family, growing up in the south, times were hard then.

Times have changed and we have the opportunity to experience more in life.  My mom loves to travel, spend time with her friends, shop and spoil her grand kids. After all the things she has sacrificed, it’s time for her to enjoy life and enjoy her money.  She should not have to think about a mortgage after retirement.

To me, home is with family.  I would rather have the memories of my mom and daughter playing together, planting flowers, or shopping for a new dress.   I would rather have the pictures of us on vacation, at family cookouts, or spending days outside in the yard.   For me, those memories are more valuable than her leaving us a house.