This past weekend, my husband, 11-year-old son, 12-month-old daughter and I had the opportunity of spending two fabulous days enjoying the Holiday attractions and festivities at Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure in Anaheim, California. I knew we were going to have a great time, Disneyland is one of my favorite places on earth. But, I also knew that taking a 1-year-old to Disneyland changes things up a bit—and by “changes things up a bit” I mean I can’t ride Space Mountain seven times in a row. Not only do you have to work around naptimes and feedings, but your attractions-agenda is dictated, in large part, by a 1-year-old’s attention span, stamina and certain rides’ height requirement. I have to admit that Stella was apprehensive, if not fearful, when we took her to Disneyland four months ago. We didn’t quite know what to expect of this trip, but being eager to see the new holiday attractions, I was prepared to enjoy myself, nonetheless. And because come on, it’s Disneyland!
Andrea Wada Davies
Andrea Wada Davies is a writer, actor, and comedian who grew up on a potato farm in Idaho where she and her Japanese-American family ate either potatoes or rice every day. She blogs for BabyZone, Mom.me, and her own blog, The Evolution of Annie. Andrea spent six years dating in L.A as a single mom to her son. Once she decided to settle down and get serious, she met her husband while playing beer pong in Vegas. They were married (not by Elvis), had a baby, and now all four of them reside in Los Angeles together. She can currently be seen on NickMom pulling hidden-camera pranks on Parental Discretion with Stefanie Wilder-Taylor.
The past 12 months with my baby daughter have been a whirlwind of special moments, major milestones and precious bonding. It has also been a time of parenting mishaps, from mild flubs to epic fails. Yes, just as this year has brought many “OOOoohhs” and “AAaaahhhs,” it was sadly filled with “Oh Crap!” moments as well. Here are just 7 ways I’ve managed to screw up in my baby’s first year—though there are no doubt more ways than these, and more ways than I’d like to admit.
An Australian woman is coming under heavy criticism for following an atypical, mostly raw, plant-based diet consisting in large part of bananas. Yup, this 25-year-old blogger, Loni Jane Anthony, eats up to 20 bananas a day—sometimes 10 for breakfast and the rest, raw and in smoothies throughout the day. This potassium-preferring woman made headlines after giving an interview to News.com.au about her fruit-based meal plan. Why is her way of life attracting so much attention from others? Why is it causing such a stir? Perhaps it is because Loni is six months pregnant, and many think that sticking to this “extreme” meal plan when she has a bun in the oven is, well, bananas.
In what seems like a blink of an eye, my baby girl, Stella, has turned 1. It’s hard to believe that it has been 12 months since I held that little bright-eyed bundle in my arms and stared at her in awe for the first time. It’s also crazy to see how, in only one year, she has become a little person, with a personality all her own. She’s walking, trying to mutter words and already getting into everything. And she LOOOOVVES Beyoncé. As silly as it sounds, she’s already a fan of Queen Bey. And by fan, I mean, she goes into a dancing frenzy whenever she hears one of the familiar Beyoncé songs, and nothing distracts her from crying or being fussy like watching the Single Ladies video. Just the mention of the name Beyoncé, and Stella waves her arm in the air and says, “oh! oh! OH!” So of course, we had to have a birthday party with just a little bit of a shout out to Beyoncé. It was a small gathering for brunch with family and close friends, and food—some of it pretty and some of it not so pretty—made with love.
The time has come for me to give up breastfeeding. Breastfeeding didn’t start out being easy for me, and I wasn’t sure if I could or even wanted to stick with it. My milk didn’t come in for several weeks, and I constantly battled mastitis. Interestingly enough, it wasn’t until I started weaning six months into it and dropped down to only two feedings a day that I actually felt like I had a handle on it all. And then I grew to like it, so much that I’ve surprised myself by making it to the one year mark. But now, this breastfeeding journey must come to an end. And I’m actually going to miss it.
It’s 3:45 am. I’m sitting on the floor, back up against the bed eating a fun pack of Skittles. Why do they call this a fun pack when it’s really just a tease? It doesn’t matter. It’s gross that I’m eating candy in the middle of the night. It’s also gross that my leg hair, which I just caught a glimpse of, is long enough to lie down, maybe even comb. Yup, there are a lot of things happening in this moment that are the opposite of attractive, things that would probably gross the common person out, things, let’s just say, that would never support me in getting a rose from the The Bachelor. But that’s not what I’m going for. Attractive, that is. No, I’m going for something more basic, something called survival.
As busy parents, it is important for us to be thankful, for our children, for the precious opportunity to raise them, and sometimes just for the energy to get through the day. When we are grateful, we bring to us more things for which to be grateful. Here are 21 quotes by influential people to inspire and remind us to be grateful in our lives.
Last Saturday, I got a phone call from a girlfriend about a girls’ night out. The call came in the middle of me cleaning smashed pear off both my legs and the legs of the high chair while my 11-month-old daughter teetered around eating sweet potato puffs behind me. My group of girlfriends had decided we were due for a get together, and they were all in. It would be a night, they had decided, of drinks and dining at one of our favorite spots, followed by more drinks at another favorite spot, followed by possible late night booty shaking and anything else that would entail quality, female bonding. My ears had been perked up like a Great Dane the entire time she was talking. I started to feel manic at the prospect. She didn’t need to say more. She had me at GIRLS NIGHT OUT.
My baby has recently started walking. It all happened so quickly, it seems. I thought she’d be content to keep cruising clockwise and then counterclockwise, holding onto the ottoman for months to come. But one day she just went for it and took her first steps toward me. Being giddy with excitement at seeing her at the cusp of the milestone of all milestones, I continued to encourage her to walk over the next several days. But, ultimately, it was her desire to get around by foot that turned her few steps into many. And before we knew it, that little mama was walking.
Sure, seeing a baby toddle around all wobbly is cute. My husband, son and I would be thoroughly entertained just watching baby girl flaunt her new skill. But I was reminded quickly that having a new walker meant having a whole new world of things to consider.
Halloween is a time for parents with babies to capitalize on cute. Some parents will dress their sweet babies in traditional Halloween costumes, such as Baby Dracula, Baby Frankenstein, or a Baby Witch. Some will dress their little ones as cute, little baby animals because we know there are very few things in this world as toe-curling cute as a baby dressed as a panda or a lamb. But some will skip the predictable and go right to the baby taco costume. And somehow it’s still really cute, even if it’s ridiculous. Here are 10 ridiculous costumes for baby.
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