Saturday, December 28, 2013


I hope you're all enjoying the holidays. 

Things are very different with my husband home. Rafael is so excited to play and spend time with his father, and he usually pushes me away when I want to join saying, "No Mama, not you. Go away." I don't take it personal, or at least I try not to. I know he is making up for all the many many days his father was away or distracted this past year. Those two have a lot of catching up and bonding to do. 

This was the first Christmas where Rafael was aware of what was going on, so it was a lot of fun to get into all the magic making. Putting out cookies and a letter for Santa, wondering with Raffi what he would get, then clapping and saying 'Hurrah!' when there were gifts under the tree Christmas morning. Santa brought Raffi a big wooden Noah's Ark, and he has been playing with it for hours every day since, putting the animals in and out, and looking for the Mamas of the baby animals, reuniting them. "Where are you Mama Sheep? There is your Mama, little baby sheep. Now you can go in the boat with her."

I do sense that Rafael is going through a difficult period. He is very whiny and resistant to almost everything. He hates going on morning walks, which means that every day begins with a struggle. We try to mix things up, bring toys and tools along, go on new paths, pack a picnic. But he's not having it. He gets specific ideas in his head and when they don't happen he has major melt downs. We are doing that balancing act of trying to avoid freak-outs, but also trying to avoid raising a tyrant. It's tough. 

Still, at the end of the day, with our feet up on the coffe table and our nerves slowly easing, we look at each other and say, "Now that he's sleeping, I miss him." "He's so incredibly cute." "Remember when he said this and and did that?" 

Thanks for all of your input regarding my inner dialogue about parenting and the future. I really appreciate it.



  1. I love the wooden Noah's ark! What a wonderful gift!

    It sounds as though Raffi is in that stage known as the "terrible twos!" This, too, shall pass.:-) It is surely taxing on our patience as parents, though.


  2. Hi Dawn merry Christmas for you and your family . i love how you open up about how if life now being a parent. i have a 7month old baby and i have follow your blog for a long time.

    love reading your blog
    Mary Chicago il

  3. i bet it sure feels good to share the attention and activities now that your partner is home too :)

    its nice to know i'm not the only one who misses their little one when they - eventually, mercifully - do go to sleep. crazy. love :)

  4. A wonderful Noah's ark. Ahh, the terrible two's. I remember it. I would give my son 2 choices, (do you want to go for a walk or color?) that way he did get to make a choice and not feel like being told what to do. It will be difficult for about a year but does get easier. If you ever want to read a good book on child rearing, Dr. T. Berry Brazelton has written wonderful books.

    1. I like the idea of giving him options to choose from. But walking the dogs every morning is something that has to be done, no two ways about it. I'm hoping his attitude will change once spring comes.

    2. Maybe you could let him choose the route?

  5. I love your honesty....we have all tasted the sweet and 'sour' of raising children.....just remember that sweet and sour together makes delicious! You're doing the best!!!! Love it all..... xo Joann

  6. Lovely Christmas pictures dear friend. I'm glad that R had time to spend with his Papa :)
    As for the "terrible twos" .... don't I know about it! Katia has been my most challenging one (of the two of them).... melt downs all the time.
    After a lot of learning, I have learned what works and what doesn't work with her. I have read quite a bit of Dr.Sears. He has a website (tons of books with his wife) and they practice gentle/attachment parenting...but do explain that discipline is a good thing. With Katia I find that she needs me to help her through her tantrums by giving her limits. I think it's all about finding what works for you and your child, so that you can nurture your relationship.
    Hang in there friend. xox

  7. Tell Raffi that if you don't walk the dogs every morning they will poop in his room! LOL:)

    He's just getting to the age where he can state his opinions and complain. If he was going to daycare in the mornings, I'm sure he would complain too. Try not to feel bad. Maybe you can add treats to the trip, like stopping for hot cocoa or a treat from a bakery once in awhile.

    Love the ark, absolutely adorable!


  8. Love the photo with the christmas tree in town! I just printed this article the other day and it's really helped my husband and I with our strong willed little guy! We say the same thing, we miss him when he sleeps even after the melt downs!

  9. Merry Christmas and happy New Year to you and your family. I see that day by day you appreciate the big tsk to be a mum and a wife. Sometimes it is so difficult that you say:"OH my,what have I done",but it gets better and more interesting! At the end when your children will be grown up and even go away to live their life,You will look at them and be proud of yourself!
    mamma carla

  10. Just wanted to say, "Hi!" I hope you and your sweet family are having a good strt to the new year.


  11. Hello Dawn,

    I have been following your blog for about 2 years now, and I noticed that the middle of the winter season seems to be a difficult time for you. Perhaps I'm wrong. But I did want to write and send my well wishes to you either way. I hope that you are bundled up, baking, painting, and enjoying the beautiful things that you do love about winter.

    With warm regards,

  12. Haven't heard from you in over a month. Hope all is well?

  13. Hi Dawn, was just wondering if all was well in your corner of the world, or if my feedly feed had somehow failed to show me you had a new post up. I'm not the only one missing you. Bless you and your family. Hope to hear from you soon.

    hugs, Susan in Zurich

  14. Wishing you and your family all the best. I have enjoyed following your blog, and oh how I miss you. Hope all is well !!!!

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