Your Name: Elizabeth Braatz
Children: 4-year-old twins and a 1-year-old
Work: Owner/operator of Red Mango Frozen Yogurt & Smoothies; group exercise instructor at the YMCA and domestic dictator of my household.
Favorite part of being a mom: Little voices saying "I love you momma!"
Least favorite part of being a mom: POTTY TRAINING
Famous for: Being a vegetarian who can make a killer tenderloin.
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Every time my children or I have a birthday, I always reflect on the year that has come and gone. My sweet, little nugget of a daughter is turning two tomorrow. I cannot believe that she is now actually this old, though she acts like she's about 15. Before my older children turned one, an artist friend of mine created journals for them to write in so that I could write a message on their birthday and then they could have them all together, versus trying to save cards from years past. The journal gives me the time to recall the year's events and how much they've grown and changed.
Even though people warn you about parenting, even before you've given birth, the reality of parenting can only be experienced by the parent his/herself.
I've endured physical pain and emotional pain in my life at the ripe old age of 33. When I was 20, my dad was a motorcycle accident and was severly injured. He was in a coma for almost two weeks before he passed away. Watching him lie there unresponsive made me feel so helpless, and the emotional pain from his death (and the way in which he died) tested strength that I didn't know that I had. Many years later, at the age of 28, I went into labor and gave birth to twins nine weeks early. Both children were unresponsive when they were born, and needed to be intubated to breathe. Fortunately, after six weeks in the NICU and almost two years of physical, occupational and speech therapy, the kids are now very active four-year-olds. And yet, the first year, specifically the first few months, was immensely emotionally hard. Maybe harder than losing my dad because these were my children, and again, I was helpless in making them better.
I had a taste of freedom yesterday when my twins (4 1/2 years old) stayed until 1:15pm at preschool and then a friend picked them up with her son and took them home for a playdate until 3:30pm. The house was so quiet. I could run an errand with just one child, go to the library and then have a nice lunch with just my little girl. We played, laughed and then I put her down for a nap without a peep coming from other parts of the house. I could take a shower without interruption, gosh, it was just a marvel of a day!
My husband and I took the kids to the Milwaukee Public Museum (MPM) over the weekend to see the exhibit, "The Scoop on Poop" and explore the various other aspects that MPM has to offer. We've been there with the kids once before and it's always so interesting to see their reactions to things. We started with the special exhibit about something near and dear to my heart as potty training is never-ending...the exhibit on poop.