Turn Around

Turn Around   by Harry Belafonte, Malvina Reynolds and Alan Greene

Where are you going, my little one, little one,
Where are you going, my baby, my own?
Turn around and you’re two,
Turn around and you’re four,
Turn around and you’re a young girl going out of my door.
Turn around, turn around,
Turn around and you’re a young girl going out of my door.

Where are you going, my little one, little one,
Little dirndls and petticoats, where have you gone?2
Turn around and you’re tiny,
Turn around and you’re grown,
Turn around and you’re a young mother with babes of your own.
Turn around, turn around,
Turn around and you’re a young mother with babes of your own.

I remember having this song bring tears to my eyes when my daughter was little.   Everything happened so fast the first time.  I am glad to have a second time as a Mema to watch my little girl grow up, but I was reminded today that Baby will grow up just as quickly as her mother did.  Now that the weather is nice, we frequent playgrounds and parks once again. Last fall, when we made the rounds, Baby was still quite dependent on me and as she puts it, “a little bit shy.”  Today, I watched a confident 2 1/2 year old introduce herself to other kids and ask them to play.  I watched her share and take turns, then end the playtime with hugs.  It was darling to watch, but this song popped in my mind as soon as her eyes shut for her nap.  It will happen just as fast this time as it did with my daughter, and I need to be reminded to not miss any of it.

I also want to surround Baby with as many positive role models as I can find, which makes me think of Kid President.  His “Be Awesome” campaign brings a smile to many and spreads happiness.  I would like to see Baby’s childhood legacy be a similar one of making people smile.

I know as a two year old, she makes people smile every time she jumps in a puddle, rolls down a grassy hill, or smells dandelions.  I have seen people’s faces light up as they watch her.  I cherish each moment in my heart and know each day is a new adventure.


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Harry Belafonte

Kid President


Dr. Seuss Day



There is much to say and much that was said

About a fish that is blue, and one that is red

Dr. Seuss touched the minds of many a reader

And even wrote books for some that are leaders

He spent his life helping the children read

Making up words that the rhyming would need

His quotes are fantastical and worthy to repeat

His characters memorable and great fun to meet

I’ll end this tribute as Dr. Seuss would

Saying, “These things are fun, and fun is good.”







Baby turns Two!


It is hard to believe that it has been two years since our bundle of joy came to rule our universe.  What a special time of getting to know this little person and guess at some of the things she has in store for us.

These are some of the things I have learned about Baby:

Baby is very self-determined; she has been that way since the day she was born. Regardless of the doctors and nurses saying that she needed to sleep on her back, she slept on her stomach- no cradle board for this one!  Now that her toddler-ness has set in, she definitely knows her mind and is happy to let you know as well.

Baby loves to explore, but has a cautious side.  She will lay back and scope out the whole situation before deciding if she wants to join in.  Some people would say she is shy, but I see her as careful.  Once she has decided she wants to join in, she is all-in for crazy fun.

Baby remembers everything.  You can distract a baby and think the baby will forget what happened a few minutes before- not with our Baby! You may THINK she has forgotten, but a few hours (or a few days) later, she will let you know in no uncertain terms that she remembers everything.

Baby is a techie.  Much to Mema’s surprise, Baby can use an I-phone, play Dvds, and takes her own selfies.  Enter the new STEM world, Baby.  Fortunately, Baby still loves real in-your-hand books as well.

Baby is crazy smart.  I am sure every grandma out there thinks their grandbaby is the best and the brightest—–but mine actually is. 🙂  She can count to 12 (and actually count things), knows all her colors and shapes, know opposites, and can read sight words.  I love to watch her think something through- it is a grand process.  (She does have her pronouns mixed up thinking her name is “you”, as in “do you want a cookie?” and that her mom’s name is “me”, as in “do you want me to get you a cookie?”)

Baby is the boss, but remembers to say please.  Baby will say please, as in “move please,” but expects then for her request to be granted.  She has no fear about ruling the world; she is a baby with a plan!

Baby has compassion.  She has learned to feel sad when she sees someone cry, and often will cry with them.  (She can also do the dramatic Disney princess cry with her head encircled by her arms face-down on a table- see Belle or Cinderella). When she sees another child needing help, she does her best to help them.  She will even help Simba get away from the hyenas by jumping a lot and saying, “Baby help.” (Mema and Baby do like their Disney).  I love this special kind-hearted little girl and look forward to watching what the next year will bring.

A birthday party with singing, dancing, family, friends, and cake is in the works- celebrating love and life and of course, the joy that is Baby!

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Teaching Baby to love Art



Baby loves to paint and glue and draw her hand print.  She loves to walk through museums and look at the exhibits (she definitely has her preferences).  Some of it comes naturally as her mom is a Museum Educator, and she has been hobnobbing with artists since she was in-utero.  The love of art is something that can be cultivated, and two artist friends shared ideas we are trying with Baby and wanted to pass on.

Idea #1: Hang it Baby height.  Lynette Pohlman, University Museums Director at ISU, suggested hanging great works of art (Baby’s and posters of other famous artists) at Baby level so that she can walk up to the art and really see what she is looking it.  As she walks down the hall, Baby pats Mona Lisa on the head (or tries to brush her teeth) and compares her hands to those in Michelangelo’s Creation.  Baby says splash while looking at The Great Wave off Kanagawa and waves at the girls in the Poppy Field in Argenteuil.  Amongst the famous pieces, she can touch and revisit paintings and art work she has created on her own.  The idea has been a great success.  Lynette said that as Baby grows, the artwork should also make its way up the wall, until it rests at the height adults view works of art.   I am hoping for a slow progression up the wall; Baby is already growing up too fast.

Idea #2: Make an art notebook.  Artist Joe Muench had a great suggestion that he did with his daughter.  When Baby makes art, even through elementary school, her mother or I need to write down her description of the art in her own words.  Then we would keep these special works in a binder, along with her description of the piece.  When she is older, it will be fun to look back at this book and see what her artistic mind was creating at a young age.

It is never too early (or too late) to have a passion for the arts!

“This world is but a canvas to our imagination.” – Henry David Thoreau

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MLK Day- National Day of Service with Baby

Baby is almost 16 months old, and we were trying to find ways she can start to participate in the National Day of Service for Martin Luther King Jr Day.  I started by looking at her interests and things she does well:

1. She loves to feed the dog and fish!  So, we could buy a bag of dog food (in a size she could carry) and have her carry it in to an animal shelter to donate.

2. She makes people smile when she waves and says, “Hi.”  We could get some cut flowers and have her hand them out and say, “Hi”, at a nursing home- or even at our usual lunch spot to make someone’s day.

3. She likes to put things away (and take them out again).  We could have her put food in a bag to give to the food bank.

It is never too early (or too late) to learn to help others and that we all need to contribute to our world to make it a better place.

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?”

-Martin Luther King, Jr.



Baby’s Second Christmas

photo 3Baby’s second Christmas is filled with Santa and snowmen, hand-print trees and chocolate milk (and maybe a taste of Christmas goodies).  She can sign Christmas tree and says “Ho Ho Ho” when she sees Santa- just not while on his lap!  She is a little confused on snowmen as she thinks they “Moo.”  (I think this comes from her Aunt Brenda’s farm that actually had snow and cows!)  A must add from the store was a dog barking “Jingle Bells” (a holiday classic).

Jesus’ first “Christmas” was full of angels and shepherds, but he was probably a lot more fun on his second Christmas.  I wonder if the wise men tried to hold him on their lap, and if he cried “Mama”- that would be an interesting Renaissance painting!  Did he try to eat the frankincense?  (My Baby would definitely try it!)  Was he running around a-mile-a-minute and imitating animal sounds?  Were the three wise men “baby people” or did they just wonder what they doing there?

Christmas is about a baby and so much more fun with a baby!  Hope you all have a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!  If you don’t have a baby, rent one!  Help a busy mom for a few minutes.  It will make you smile!


Baby’s Halloween Adventure

This wasn’t Baby’s first Halloween, but last year she was more an Anne Geddes model than a participant.  It was great fun this year with her love of pumpkins and wanting to touch glittery butterfly wings.  There were a lot of fun costume events throughout the month that made October a happy place.

A fun knock-off of Where’s Spot? was the soon-to-be Halloween Baby classic, Where is Baby’s Pumpkin?  In a few years, we can add watching “Hocus Pocus” to our October fun.

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