I recently had the privilege of spending quality time with three amazing people.  These 7 days were some of the most blissful and exhausting days in recent years.  Some things that I realized over these 7 days when it comes to motherhood led me to believe that even though I love the smell, touch and sound of a wee little one, as I am rounding the corner to 40, caring for a newborn is a lot harder than I recall.

There are a number of things that are now a part of raising a baby that were not a part of raising my daughter (who is now 18 and graduating high school) back in 1998.

Let me start with bottle warmers.  We didn’t have these fancy contraptions.  Your baby cried and cried until you could get the water in the sink warm enough to soak the bottle in a cup to warm the milk.  Now, in 3.5 minutes you can have a bottle ready to go.  I find this a wonderful contraption, yet I think every parent should experience the baby wailing at the top of their lungs who wants nothing more than to be fed.

Next up, Diaper Genies.  A convenient way to dispose of stinky diapers.  Now, I think this is genius.  We had a garbage can, but it sure didn’t contain the smell the same way the Diaper Genie does.  I absolutely love this contraption.

Baby bathtubs may have existed when my daughter was younger, but I sure didn’t have one.  Instead we used the kitchen sink.

4Moms Baby Swing is something that I sure as heck didn’t have.  It is a pretty neat contraption, but I am not 100% sure that it is something that my daughter would have ever used.  I am lucky she used a bouncer seat and the one we had sure as heck didn’t have a battery operated contraption attached to it.

I forgot what cat naps were and I forgot what trying to decipher a cry was like.

I was reminded what it was like to pack up a baby, put them in the car and go to the grocery store.  It is a challenge to grocery shop when you have a baby in a car seat and can only fit so many groceries around a car seat without feeling like you are smooshing the baby and ruining whatever food you are getting.

I was pleasantly surprised that a Boba Wrap wasn’t as confusing as I thought it was and allowed me to be hands-free to work a little while he was sleeping.

At the end of the day, taking care of a baby, cooking, cleaning and working is exhausting. It isn’t for the faint of heart, however it causes your heart to swell with love and joy every time you look into the sweet eyes and catch a coy smile along the way.

As I move further away from my 20’s and closer to my 40’s I am reminded I make a good aunt to little boys and girls.  My little bit of time that I spent with a sweet 2 month old took me back to the times when things were simpler in the technology arena, but everyone still gave you advice and their two cents worth.  It is still the same though, nobody knows your baby better than you do and you can take it all with a grain of salt.

All the amazing people in my life that are moms and dads have one thing in common – their unconditional love for their children.  You can see it in their eyes and hear it in their voice, along with sheer exhaustion, there is a love, only a parent can explain.

I will always be grateful for being a parent.  Always.

Little Buckeye Children’s Museum Review

Being an aunt to a three-year old I am always looking for places to go and things to do.  I searched for something between Streetsboro and Columbus so he could get a break while we were driving back to his mommy & daddy’s this past weekend.

It was a new adventure in Mansfield, Ohio visiting Little Buckeye Children’s Museum.

From the outside I wasn’t expecting much, but as we approached the door I was pleasantly surprised day the colors and whimsical look as we entered.

It was a Sunday, they were open noon – 5 pm and we got there right about noon.  The price for both of us was $16 and we could play all day.  We hung up our coats and dove right in.

On the first floor there were Lego tables, a pretend bank, musical instruments, construction site, beauty shop, grocery store, dinosaur dig and a theatre.  The first floor also had a cool interactive water display.  My nephew was in love.  He spent 90 minutes running between displays and interacting with other kids – I just sat there and watched.

My little guy was 100% entertained and it took everything I had to get him to go upstairs to look around.  The second floor had even more rooms and activities.

I was a little disappointed I didn’t see an elevator or handicap access to go upstairs and once up there I was not able to locate a restroom.

The second floor has a cute area to host a party, dentist office, train and automobile room and much more. It was very spacious and much less noisy than downstairs.

My little one loved the trains and was happy to spend another hour up on the second floor.

There was the option to purchase limited snacks and drinks if you needed and if you wanted you could get a stamp and come back. Since it was Sunday there wasn’t a lot open so we stuck inside the museum.

Overall we spent about 3 hours at Little Buckeye Children’s Museum and had a great time.  I am sure we will go back and visit – maybe even take mom and dad with us.

If you need a halfway place off I-71 in Ohio stop off at exit 169 and visit the Little Buckeye Children’s Museum.