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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My twins were born nine weeks early and suffered a great deal of health issues early on and until they were about two and a half. Due to their prematurity, they have major delays including gross motor, fine motor and severe sensory sensitivity. Both kids just learned to sit at almost 12 months, did not walk until well after 15 months and could not walk on grass, sand, swing or be held walking down stairs without holding their breath or crying and shaking.
Much like everything in life, most negative reactions, feelings and thoughts are taught. As a mother of a four, four and two year old, I have been awaiting the time that the kids would say naughty words, treat people without respect and act improperly after watching someone else do the same thing. One of my main fears was when the kids would learn about weapons and guns. My husband and I are very careful of what the kids watch on television and allow programming that is extremely elementary and happy in the subject matter. Think Sesame Street, Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood and Caillou.
My son is the one who runs away from me in a parking lot. The type of kid who, at 4 1/2, still jumps on the furniture, climbs on the dining room table and jumps on his bed. The kid who will just start yelling for no reason or running around the house when I'm talking to him just because he can. He's my greatest source of stress as a parent, and yet, he showed me something incredibly sweet recently.
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.