Dearest child, 3/1995 This letter is written so that you may know that I love you. Feel the warmth of my love as you read my words. Know that there is a God! He made you and me and He loves us dearly. God is. He is in, about, around, beside and inside. All of nature, the vastness, the depth, the beauty and wonder are His creations. Seek the path through the wood, watch the sunlight on the water, see the flick of bright wing, hear the call of an owl and thank Him with all your heart. When you are hurt, confused, leave the trappings of man and seek a quiet spot to sit and share with Him. He’ll be waiting for you. Remember not to lose yourself in things. Share what you have been given. If you put God first in your life, then, I truly believe you will be blessed. Do the best you can. Hurt no animal or beast if you can help it. The only thing we own, truly is what we share: our- selves, our love of God, man and nature.
Mother, oh Mother, come shake out your cloth, Empty the dustpan, poison the moth, Hang out the washing and butter the bread. Sew on a button and make up a bed. Where is the mother whose house is so shocking? She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.
Oh, I’ve grown shiftless as Little Boy Blue (Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo). Dishes are waiting and bills are past due (Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo). The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew And out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo But I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo. Look! Aren’t her eyes the most wonderful hue? (Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).
The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow For children grow up, as I’ve learned to my sorrow. So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep. I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.
From helpless newborn to active toddler takes only twelve short months. It is important to remember that each baby in an individual and their progress in reaching milestones of development is unique to the individual child.
Tummy Time – When baby is alert and ready for play introduce this activity. It can be done on the floor with baby on his tummy. If baby does not enjoy this activity you can try placing him on your chest. A few minutes at a time doing this activity with you will help build baby’s neck muscles.
By 3 ½ months: Baby will turn his head to locate a sound. He will respond when he hears his name. You’re getting a little closer to a solid sleep routine. Rest when baby does and know that waking several times at night to feed is completely normal. After four months of age babies will likely sleep 12 to 15 hours a day including naps.
Baby development four to 51/2 months: Baby is learning to reach out and manipulate. They are discovering their hands and their voice. Baby will reach out to grasp, swat and manipulate objects. They will babble and laugh. The game of “Peek-A-Boo” is a great way to help baby learn that things exist even when we don’t see them. Baby is also learning to sit up.
Safety: Baby is learning to roll over. Have a play mat on the floor or place baby where he will be safe if he rolls over. Baby is using his hands and mouth to explore things. It is vitally important to keep small items that might be a choking hazard away from baby. If an item fits through the cardboard toilet paper tube it is too small for baby to play with.
Ear infections: www.nidcd.nihgiv/health/ear-infections-children National Institute on Deafness and Communicative Disorders If you suspect your child may have an ear infection, please contact your medical provider immediately. The peak time for ear infections is 6 to 18 months. An ear infection is an inflammation of the middle ear, usually caused by bacteria, that occurs when fluid builds up behind the eardrum. Children are more likely than adults to get ear infections. The eustachian tubes are smaller and more level in children than adults. This makes it more difficult for fluid to drain out of the ear, even under normal conditions. Also, a child’s immune system isn’t as effective as an adult’s because it is still developing. Currently the best way to prevent ear infections is to reduce the risk factors associated with them. Follow your medical provider schedule for immunizations. Studies have shown that vaccinated children get far fewer ear infections. Avoid exposing your baby to cigarette smoke. Babies who are around smokers have more ear infections. Do not let your baby drink from a bottle while lying down as this may allow small amounts of formula to enter the eustachian tube and cause blockage. www.webmd.com
Mom – Yes that is you. Please remember that you are experiencing physical and emotional changes. You are now a 24/7 caregiver. It will take time for your hormone levels to return to normal. You might feel blue. It is vitally important to you and your baby’s wellbeing to be aware of how you are feeling and talk to your medical provider about postpardum depresson.
You and your newborn will be on a six week learning curve. A newborn’s tummy is really small so baby will need feeding frequently and you will be exhausted from lack of sleep.
Crying – Birth to 3 months Crying is baby’s way to communicate hunger, discomfort, distress or a need for your attention. Babies under 6 months cannot be spoiled. They do not understand that you are another person. Responding to baby’s cries reasurres baby his needs will be met. Soon you will be able to read your baby’s cries and cues. Newborn’s reach a crying peak at about 6 weeks and then their crying starts to decrease. By 3 months babies typically cry for about 1 hour a day. Colic – Colic is defined as crying that begins and ends for no reason lasting at least 3 hours a day, happens at least 3 days a week and continues for 3 weeks to 3 months. Please discuss crying with your medical provider if you suppect colic.
Relationships – So much is changing and it is important to find time for being with your hubby. This is a big change for him too. Encourage him to get to know baby. Baby knows the sound of his voice and he will soon recognize his scent too. Try to carve out time to be together.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMTION: Baby’s need you to support their neck. It is also important to place the baby on his back to sleep. Never shake baby.
Breastfeeding – This is your decision. Please talk to a lactation specialist and your medical provider. If you can give your baby the colostrum that comes before the milk that would be a special gift for the both of you.
2 months – Read baby’s cues. Moving head toward breast or bottle – I’m hungry. Eyes bright, awake and alert – Time for play. If baby turns his head away, cries, or arches his back – I’ve had enough. Baby recognizes faces, voices and smells.
3 months – Baby is learning to trust. He relies on you for comfort. This helps baby learn to comfort himself. Baby babbles and opens his hands.
I was blessed to carry and give birth to a son. That is the wonderful news. When placed in my arms I kissed Patrick hello and I kissed him again to say goodbye. No there was nothing wrong, truly! The second kiss was to remind myself that he was only on loan to me. It was so important to me to give our son “roots” and ” wings”. Mr. Pat and I would both give our son the roots of love, values, and a nurturing foundation. We also wanted to give him the freedom and opportunity to discover, to learn and to grow reaching for his own dreams.
Well we had our plan but I knew nothing about infant care. Well, I did know what end needed diapering and Patrick and I had a great time figuring out how he would be fed. I will never forget the beauty, joy and delight when I pressed and milk streamed into his mouth. The doctor came in as we were figuring this out and smiled at us.
Mr. Pat worked two jobs the first fifteen years of our marriage. My college years were 15 years in future. There was no internet to ask questions. There were many things I did not know. I did know I was a “MOM” and babies don’t come with instructions so I better get busy.
During the coming week I will share with you some of the knowledge I acquired as a mom, a student of early childhood education and my employment working with parents and babies, prenatal to five years of age. Joy!
It is always a bit sad when it is time to tuck away Christmas. This year was not nearly as sad because I planned ahead for the changes I wanted to make. I took pictures of some of the things I have done and will share them with you. It is very important to me that you understand that this was done without my leaving home and using things I had.
First this fall I made new living room curtains from sheets. I had some blue gingham and made tie-backs.
I had a finished a snowman quilt and hung it from the shelf Patrick made.
My wedgewood dishes are blue and white. Patrick worked cleaning out an old house and he choose these dishes for me as payment. Joy! I put light blue candles in my grandmom’s wooden candle holders. I placed my pieced tree and a hand carved bird in front of my tree.
I placed a quilt that has lots of blue in it on the back of the sofa. The cover on the sofa is a painter’s drop cloth.
Drop cloths come in three sizes, and each time they are washed they get softer. My coffee table and the quilt ladder were made locally and very affordable.
To finish I did a walk through to be sure there was no clutter. In the kitchen I left my shelf with my snowman up and put a blue and white tablecloth and blue gingham valences in the kitchen. The cloth and valences are home stitched. I sew neat old white buttons on the valence hems.
The little pair of gloves hanging from the snow shelf were Patrick’s when he was little. My mom got them for him. Can you find little Patrick on the shelf?
See if you can use what you have and make small changes that make you smile. I made the casing for my snowman hanging and hung it on the front door to say welcome.
I hope this gives you some ideas. Have fun!
With very best wishes for blessings in the new year, Trudy
The year of 2018 will end tonight and a bright new year awaits us. We all wonder what this year will bring. No one except the Good Lord knows. He has the plans in His Hands. The Bible reassures us the He will be with us. “Have not I commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed for the Lord your God is with you where ever you go” Joshua 1:9 If I were planning a meal, I would begin by listing the ingredients needed. As we visit today we are sharing ideas to help us plan for the year ahead. God has required us to include strength and a full heart of courage. We are not to add worry, because He wants us to use the leavening of faith. I have little physical strength, I am a LOL (little old lady), but I do have faith and I will include lots of prayer. Life goes best when we add lots of prayer. Mother Teresa explains “God speaks in the silence of the heart, listening is the beginning of prayer.” A lot of time when we are preparing something, we forget to add an ingredient or even burn our efforts. Life is like this too. “God answers all prayers but sometime His answer is “no” (Dan Brown). His answer will always be love. The wonderful thing about 2019 will be that we do not journey into the unknown alone. We will journey forward together in faith, God will be with us. Give yourself to Him and He will fill us up so we can feed those lost and hungry. What a wonderful adventure life is. Joy! Trudy
Today I am on a journey of discovery. Gracious, my curiosity has given me a lot to think about. I wanted to share with you my experiences with personal writing. After our son was born I began writing to him. Sometimes in the form of a letter telling him where we were living and how he has brought us joy. Other times my observations would lead me to attempt to capture an emotion or a memory. These found expression in a poem. (Please be lenient English Majors) Then I was encouraged by the book “Simple Abundance” by Sarah Ban Breathnach to write down each day three things I was grateful for. This has blossomed and blessed me, truly. I found that “slanting lines and curving marks can stitch together mind and heart” (Trudy Groff Costello). I began to create a book of traditions to share with others. In these books I used the months and the seasons of the year to share my thoughts, family traditions, prayers, poems and beautiful quotations. For a new bride I could post the note from a Southern grand-mom to her granddaughter on how to do the laundry. https.//www.snopes.com/grandmas-wash-day This was special to me because both my grand-mom’s took in laundry. This loving note clearly explains exactly what effort this required. I began to write this “Book of Traditions” on my computer and save it so I could print out copies. I made the copies special by saving clips from old cards, stickers, old stamps and printing out clip art to paste in the book.
As I researched the topic of writing, and journaling I was delighted but a a bit overwhelmed with what the internet had to offer. WOW! Please, take a quick look for yourself. I did find one sight www.desiringGod.org. that at least expressed what I had in mind to share with you. “Journaling is a pathway for joy and a powerful tool in the hands of love” (David Mathis). I also got some helpful suggestions. I like the idea of using a small note book. I had not thought of keeping my writing book with me. Once you have a small notebook and a pen, please date each entry. Now, the next part is totally up to you. Do you want to start by making a list of blessings? Is there someone on your mind you need to talk to? I wrote a letter to my mom years after her death and it blessed my heart. Is your writing a tool for studying scripture? Maybe you would like to begin by writing out a favorite verse and then sharing what this verse means to you. Write what your dreams are. Write you favorite memory. God already knows, but He will use this time with you if He is welcomed as you pen your hearts sounds across the page.
Lastly, I encourage you to save your beautiful old calendars. I made pictures books for children, book covers for old books and beautiful envelopes and wrapping paper. If there are small pictures on the back of the calendar put them in your box of clippings. They can be used for collage or to decorate your journal. God Bless, Trudy
This is the perfect time for reflection, prayer and release. Reflect on all that the year closing has brought forth. Give it all away! Give God thanks for all the blessings of ordinary days. Give Him any regrets, sorrows and pain. You see, Jesus was human and He experienced all. He saw human suffering, experienced pain, was betrayed, and publicly humulated. Now ask, ask for a stronger faith for the days ahead. Talk to Him. Ask Him what work He has for you to do. Listen with an open mind. Ask for His guidance. Ask to be a instrument of His grace. Now make a plan. Have a goal to reach and write it out. I hope to touch hearts with faith and love. I want to use my experience and knowledge to give an understanding of early childhood development. Know we are never alone. Know we are loved.
Mr. Pat has been to the store and we will be having pork, potatoes, apples and sauerkraut cooked in the crock pot tomorrow. He washed the floors for me and the house is ready. I took a picture of the items I am working on. I am currently quilting the little welcome sign. Patrick’s snowman just needs a casing stitched onto the back, so I can hang it up. I think I will be able to finish the welcome sign and the pieced heart tonight. The red work hanging will wait till after Christmas. It is mine and there is no hurry. I will begin to quilt the top that the church members signed then also. I will take pictures of my progress.
This will be my last post until after Christmas. We will attend Christmas Eve services, and come home to soup and fruitcake. This has been the first Christmas that I have not been employed for many years and I have truly enjoyed the extra time. So far, I have given seven loaves of homemade bread, and cookies have been sent and given away. The delight of the oil man was so special. I tucked crochet snowflakes and red paper birds into the Christmas cards I made. Our little tree is alight and decked out in red and white treasures. The front porch makes me smile and I think it looks welcoming. I think our home and our hearts are ready. I am totally pleased with our quiet, homemade, simple Christmas. I have only been to three stores and one store I did not buy anything. Hobby Lobby supplied my red and white string, some needles and some fabric. I did buy a little snow bird on sale. He will brighten the living room after Christmas. Our main expenses were in flour, sugar, butter and eggs. Any leftover eggs Pappy turns into eggs and pan-fried potatoes supper.
Mr. Pat and I cherish our time together. Not many folks get 50 years to love each other. Before I accepted his courtship, I told the Lord I would love him, and I truly have loved and been loved in return. I have been truly blessed to have an honorable husband and to fulfill my dream of making a warm home and nurturing children.
May your Christmas be filled with blessings and time to love and be loved