Holding my baby girl

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Her Journey Starts Now...

Well… it’s here. The night before my baby girl starts kindergarten. I honestly thought this would be hard… but it’s actually so much harder than I even imagined it would be.

Some people without kids may never understand why I have such a hard time with the fact that she is starting school…. And that’s ok. To those people, I will say “Just wait ‘til you have kids of your own”.

Some people WITH kids may never understand why I have such a hard time with the fact that she is starting school…. And that’s ok, too. To those people, I will say “I don’t understand why you DON’T have a hard time like me.” Every parent has different feelings and emotions when this day comes. There is no right or wrong way to feel about it. And that is OK.

Listen… my girl is prepared. She is strong, confident, a leader, and quite honestly (although I may be biased) a genius. She can write both her first and last name, say and identify her ABC’s, 123’s, and knows right from left. She hits every qualification for starting Kindergarten.

But am I prepared to let her go? Not. Even. Close.

I believe my biggest fear with Kyli starting school is that I have no way to protect her when I’m not with her. I have to simply put my faith and trust in the teachers, principals, school administrators, etc. I know that their utmost concern is the safety and protection of the precious children that walk through their classroom doors. I know they go through numerous hours of training to prepare for unforeseen circumstances that should come their way. I know the good teachers love and protect our children as if they were their own.

But no one can protect her like I can.

I’m totally prepared to deal with the physical pain that she experiences in life. I’ve got it down to a T. I know when she’s really hurt, when she’s seeking a little attention, and when she is faking. I’ve heard all her different cries, brushed away countless tears, and bandaged many a boo-boo.

But there is a different type of pain coming that I am not prepared for at all. Emotional boo-boo’s. 

My Kyli has the biggest heart of anyone I’ve ever seen. She wants everyone to feel like they have a friend. She doesn’t know a stranger when it comes to kids, and she thinks everyone wants to play with her just as much as she wants to play with them. And so far, she’s been right.

Kyli is the little girl that will greet the new kid without even being told to do so. She walks up and says “Hi, I’m Kyli Brooke. Do you want to play with me?”

Kyli never makes fun of or picks on someone else for being “different” than her.

Kyli will befriend the shyest kid in class so that they don’t feel alone.

Kyli is the girl that will tell another kid that it’s ok to feel sad, and then give them a hug.

Kyli is the girl that will share her most favorite toy with you if it means it will make you feel better.

I’m not just rattling off a bragging list here… I’ve witnessed her do all of these things.

Kyli is my hero. We need more Kyli’s in this world.

I could take credit and say that I did all of that. But I didn’t. Sure, I teach her compassion and respect and altruism. I insist on a “please” and expect a “thank you” from her. I don’t let brattyness slide in my house, and I won’t be talked back to. But the heart she has is all her. I am so blessed with that big heart of hers.

But now that she is starting school, I know the day is coming where someone isn’t going to want to play with her. Someone isn’t going to be nice to her, even though she is nice to them. And I know one day she will get her heart broken. She hasn’t felt this type of pain yet, and I’m simply not ready for her to feel it either.

I want to shield her heart with reckless abandon. I want to feel the pain of rejection 1,000x’s over before she ever has to feel it. And I want to hold her hand and tell her everything will be alright 24 hours of the day.

But I know that isn’t possible. I know I have to let her grow and begin her own journey. So far, she’s only been on a journey that I’ve prepared for her. But now, she has to begin to build her own. That is tough for me… real tough. But it has to happen.

I can’t shelter her forever. God knows I wish I could.

So tomorrow, as I watch her walk into her classroom, I will smile big smiles and wave big waves goodbye. I will tell her good luck and let her know how proud I am of her for the umpteenth time.

She will never know that I’m sad or scared or nervous. I’ve been very careful to shield these emotions from her, because we are one. Kyli and I have a bond that is so unique and so tight. We feel the same things. We laugh at the same jokes. She can read my mind, and I can read hers. We are one in the same. I don’t want her to take on any of the emotions that I am feeling. I want her to continue to feel confident, strong, brave, and ready.

But then after I drop her off, I’ll turn around and let the emotions happen. I’ve cried so much in the past few weeks, I don’t know that I have tears left to cry. Maybe I’ll have a God-given sense of peace rush over me. I don’t know. Maybe I won’t feel a thing. And that’s ok…

Or maybe I’ll fall apart into a puddle of salty mush as soon as I walk out those doors. And that’s ok, too.

Either way, I can’t wait to pick up my girl and hear all about her day. I can’t wait to hear about the new friends she made, the new knowledge she gained, and how much faster she can run in her new shoes she just got. And then tomorrow night, I will tuck her in bed, we will say our prayers, and start it all over again the next day.

Her journey starts now. She is ready. I am not. And that’s ok…

Monday, December 8, 2014


So along this journey of mommyhood, I've decided to make life a little harder for me and go to school fulltime. Oh, and my school is about 3 1/2 hours away. The good news is that I only have one more year of my undergraduate left. The bad news is that I still have one more year left until I graduate.

I am going to school to be a Child Life Specialist, and my dream is to work at Cook Children's Hospital in downtown Fort Worth. My little sister used to have to go there for treatment when she was really young, and I would often attend those sessions with her and my mom. I would walk in and think, "wow, this is the coolest place ever!" I knew I wanted to work there someday.

My Creative Arts & Literature professor created a neat project for us to do for the end of the semester. We are to create a list of 10 books, 5 songs, and 5 rhymes that we can potentially share with children we will be working with in the future. I know that this will be very beneficial for my career as a CLS. I decided to base most of my books on the theme of hospitals and doctors since most of the children I will be helping will be in that setting.

Below are my selections for my books, rhymes, and songs:


Title: Going to the Hospital (Usborne’s First Experience)

Author: Anna Civardi
Illustrator: Stephen Cartwright
Plot Summary: This story is about a boy named Ben who has to have tubes put in his ears because he has lots of ear aches. It documents his arrival at the hospital, the nurses and doctor’s talking to him, and how he recovers after the surgery.
Connections: Hospitals, surgery, nurses and doctors
Tech Info: Paperback

Title: The Pigeon Needs a Bath
Author: Mo Willems
Illustrator: Mo Willems
Plot Summary: The pigeon is dirty and needs a bath, but he’s not so sure about getting one.
Connections: bath time
                 Tech Info: Hardcover and paperback 

Title: I'm Worried (Your Feelings)
Author: Brian Moses
Illustrator: Mike Gordon
Plot: A little girl describes how she feels about certain situations, and how adults can tell her how to feel. She then reminds adults that they get worried too.
Connection: You can use this book to talk to kids in the hospital about being scared or worried when they are there.
Tech info: Hardback and paperback

Title: Franklin Goes to the Hospital
Author: Paulette Bourgeois
Illustrator: Brenda Clark
Plot: Franklin is playing with a friend, and breaks his shell. He has to go to the hospital to have surgery. He acts brave, but he is really scared to have surgery.
Connection: Surgery, brave, it’s ok to be scared.
Tech Info: Harback, paperback, ebook, audio cassette

Title: Doctor Maisy
Author/Illustrator: Lucy Cousins
Plot: Maisy plays doctor with Panda and Tallulah
Connection: Playing doctor, imagination, pretend
Tech Info: paperback

Title: Bear Feels Sick

Author: Karma Wilson, Illustrated by: Jane Chapman

Plot: Fall begins, and bear comes down with a cold. All of his friends try to make him feel better with tea and lullabies, and he eventually gets well.

Connection: Sick, friends helping, weather changing

Tech Info: hardcover, paperback, audiobook, audio cd

Title: Giraffes Can't Dance

Author: Giles Andreae, Illustrated by: Guy Parker-Rees

Plot: Gerald the Giraffe just wants to dance, but his tall thin legs make it hard for him to do so. He eventually begins to dance, but just in his own way.

Connection: Self-esteem, encouragement, you can do anything you put your mind to.

Tech Info: hardcover, paperback, audiobook, audio cd, board book

Title: The Hiccupotamus

Author: Aaron Zenz (also illustrator)

Plot: A hippopotamus has a bad case of the hiccups, and all of his friends try to help him get rid of them.

Connection: a story that children will think is funny

Tech Info: ebook, hardcover, paperback, audio cd, board book
Title: The Way I Feel

Author: Janan Cain (also illustrator)

Plot: The book uses pictures and words to help the children describe their emotions and how they are feeling

Connection: This book may better help a child express their emotions

Tech info: hardcover, paperback, board book
Title: A Perfectly Messed-Up Story

Author: Patrick McDonnell (also illustrated)

Plot: Louie is trying to tell his story, but it keeps getting all messed up by the illustrations on the page. He is not happy about this, but then soon realizes that his story is actually perfect just the way it is.

Connection: Life can get messy, but there’s nothing we can do about it but see that it is just the way it is.

Tech Info: ebook, hardcover


Five toes (this little piggy)

“This little piggy went to market, (wiggle big toe)

This little pig stayed home, (wiggle 2nd toe)

This little piggy had roast beef, (wiggle 3rd toe)

This little piggy had none,  (wiggle 4th toe)

This little piggy went “weeeeeee” all the way home (wiggle pinky toe and tickle foot)

Cited in
Five Toes
In 1728, the rhyme appeared in a song called “The Nurse’s Song”
First full version was recorded in 1760, in The Famous Tommy Thumb’s Little Story-Book.
Fine motor skills, one-to-one correspondence

Round and Round the garden

Round and round the garden, (circle the palm)

Goes the teddy bear, (circle the palm)

One step, two step, (use two fingers to walk up the arm)

Tickle you under there! (tickle under the ear)

Cited in
Round and Round the Garden
Collected in the late 1940’s by Iona and Peter Opie
Collected in the late 1940’s by Iona and Peter Opie
Infant/toddler tickle game

Where is thumbkin?

Where is thumbkin, (bend thumb on one hand over and over)

Where is thumbkin, (bend thumb on other hand over and over)

Here I am, here I am, (wiggle thumb on one hand, and then wiggle thumb on the other hand)

How are you today sir, (wiggle thumb at the other one)

Very well I thank you, (answer back with the opposite thumb)

Run away, run away. (Each thumb goes hiding behind the back)

(Continue with where is pointer, tall man, ring man, pinkie)
Cited in
Where is Thumbkin?
Versions of the song date back to the 1700’s.
Finger play, one-to-one correspondence, child learning what each finger is called

Soft Kitty, Warm Kitty

Soft kitty, warm kitty, (pet the little child’s hand)

Little ball of fur, (pet the little child’s hand)

Happy kitty, Sleepy kitty, (pet the little child’s hand)

Pur, pur, pur (tickle the side of their cheek)

Cited in
Soft Kitty, Warm Kitty
Oskar Kolberg
Oskar Kolberg wrote this lullaby in the late nineteen hundreds in Poland
Finger play, tickle, kittens

Two Little Blackbirds
Two little blackbirds sitting on a hill, (use thumbs to fly like little birds)
One named Jack, (wiggle one thumb)
One named Jill, (wiggle the other thumb)
Fly away Jack, fly away Jill, (wiggle thumb as if flying behind the back, then do the same with the other thumb)
Come back Jack, Come back Jill. (wiggle thumb and fly back to the front, repeat with other thumb)
. (make thumbs kiss and make a kissing sound)
Cited in
Two Little Blackbirds
Nursery rhyme from England
Mother Goose Melody, 1765
Finger play, tickle, kittens
The Itsy Bitsy Spider
The itsy bitsy spider, (use thumbs and pointer fingers to "crawl" up the water spout)
went up the water spout
Down came the rain and, (bring both hands down from the top)
Washed the spider out, (throw hands to the sides)
Out came the sun and, (with both hands, act as if drawing the sun to come up)
Dried up all the rain,
And the itsy bitsy spider, (use thumbs and fingers to "crawl" up the water spout again)
Went up the spout again.
Cited in / Recorded by
The Itsy Bitsy Spider
Western Folklore
California Folklore Society in 1948
Fine motor skills, weather, insects.

Pat-a-Cake, Pat-a-Cake
Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake,
Baker’s man. (clapping hands together)
Bake me a cake
As fast as you can. (clapping hands together)
Roll it, and pat it, (roll hands, and pat hands)
And mark it with a “B” (trace “b” or any other letter in the air)
Put it in the oven
For baby and me. (touch baby’s tummy)
Cited in / Recorded by
Pat-a-Cake, Pat-a-Cake
The earliest recording is in the play The Campaigners from 1698 by Thomas D’Urfey
Clapping hands together, baking, letters, interacting.
The Teapot Song
I'm a little teapot,
Short and stout,
Here is my handle, (place hand on hip)

Here is my spout, (place other hand pointing out like a teapot spout)
When I get all steamed up,
Hear me shout,
Tip me over and pour me out! (tip over with arm that looks like a spout)
Cited in / Recorded by
The Teapot Song
George Harry Sanders and Clarence Kelley in 1939
 George Harry Sanders and Clarence Kelley in 1939
Gross motor skills, instructions,

If You’re happy and you know it
If you’re happy and you know it,
Clap your hands.
If you’re happy and you know it,
Clap your hands.
If you’re happy and you know it
And you really want to show it,
If you’re happy and you know it,
Clap your hands.
(continue with “stomp your feet”, “shout hooray”, etc)



Cited in / Recorded by


If You’re Happy and You Know It



First featured in 1938 Soviet film, “Volga-Volga”.

Feelings, positivity, following instructions, motor skills
Head and Shoulders Knees and Toes
Head, shoulders, knees and toes,
Knees and toes.
Head, shoulders, knees and toes,
Knees and toes.
Eyes and ears and mouth and nose.
Head, shoulders, knees and toes,
Knees and toes.”
Cited in / Recorded by
Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes
Gross motor skills, learning about body parts, following instructions