Here at Little & Mighty, we believe that all kids are mighty. We have had the opportunity to meet so many awesome people via Little & Mighty. It's one of the best perks of the job! We love hearing the stories from these awesome parents. These kids are oh so mighty! It's so inspiring!
We want to take some time each month to shine the spotlight on a Mighty Kid. This month we chose one who has a mighty strong will and loves things with buttons!
Let me introduce to you Sarah Ruppert and her Mighty Kid, Aubrie.
TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR FAMILY:
Shawn and I met in high school and have been married for 9 years and have two beautiful girls: Madelynn who is 6 ½ and Aubrie who is 2 ½ ! We love doing things as a family – going to the park, exploring, building forts, playing dress-up, and just being together! Shawn and I both work full-time so we try to soak up every moment we spend with Madelynn and Aubrie. Aubrie has severe allergies, including foods and medicines and became very ill in March 2015 with fevers over 105 and had stopped eating/drinking and became lethargic. This was the start of her unexplained febrile illness in which she would spike a very high fever for a few days every 4-6 weeks and lots of lab work/scans. Over a year later, we are still trying to get to the bottom of what causes these episodes but Aubrie is fierce – despite the illness, allergies, and limitations she faces on a daily basis, she continues to smile and flash those dimples, sometimes even going as far as to say “thank you” through tears to the people taking her blood.
WHAT HAS SURPRISED YOU MOST ABOUT BECOMING A PARENT?
What has surprised me the most about becoming a parent is how many emotions you can experience in a single moment with your children – you can feel fearful about a new experience, yet so proud of them. I have never been a big crier but I find myself moved to tears on a daily basis over something my kids did. They can disappoint me and then apologize or give hugs in their unique way and it melts all other feelings away.
WHAT IS THE BEST AND WORST PARENTING ADVICE YOU'VE EVER GOTTEN?
The best parenting advice I got was to not sweat the small stuff and to enjoy every moment. It’s very easy to get caught up in the small things that are stressful or maybe don’t go as planned, but at the end of the day, it’s not worth it. No bad advice yet!
WHAT IS YOUR BEST ADVICE FOR A BRAND NEW PARENT?
My advice for a brand new parent is to put away technology, hardships from the day, etc. and concentrate on the little ones because they quickly become big ones and we can never get those moments back. Our kids so badly want to interact with us and make us proud and they can feel ignored when we, as adults, are always on our phones or tablets.
WHEN DID YOU FIRST REALIZE HOW MIGHTY YOUR KID WAS?
Aubrie showed her mightiness soon after being born with her strong will and “can’t-get-me-down” spirit and has continued to show it on a daily basis. A few moments stick out in my mind; Aubrie had very little hearing at 15 months but she has made leaps and bounds and is quite the mighty chatterbox now. Through her febrile illness, she’ll often have 104-105 degree fevers but still plays at times or says please or thank you when most of us could hardly think of doing those things. Because of Aubrie’s allergies and for other medical reasons, Aubrie doesn’t get to enjoy every experience that other kids do but she puts one foot in front of the other on a daily basis, cares so deeply for people, and laughs and smiles like there is nothing wrong. William Shakespeare said it best: “though she be but little, she is fierce.”
DESCRIBE YOUR MIGHTY KID'S TYPICAL DAY.
Aubrie’s day typically starts around 6:30am, sometimes 7-7:30am if we are lucky! Most of the time, we wake up to a sweet voice talking with her stuffed animals but sometimes, it’s the screaming “get me out of here” wake-up. Usually she’ll come watch a show in the morning while her big Sissy is still sleeping and then she always wants food immediately. Because Shawn and I both work full-time, she is in daycare Monday-Friday so usually she heads to daycare but on the weekends, the kids lounge in their pajamas for a while, play dress-up, play with dolls or babies, make forts, etc. If the weather cooperates, we’ll do a family walk and then it’s lunch time. Lunch time is hit or miss – sometimes she prefers to snack over time but usually after lunch, there is a little more playing before going down for a nap around 12:30-1:00pm. Aubrie is a great napper when she is at home and will usually nap for 1 ½ to 2 hours. After nap, it’s snack and running errands, sometimes a movie depending on how she is feeling after her nap. We have a lot of play time and then it’s dinner time around 5:30-6:00pm. Dinner is followed by bath time –Aubrie loves playing in the bath so she’ll pretend she is a mermaid, splash, blow bubbles, etc. After bath, we usually read books or watch one show and then it’s wind down time. Bed time is brushing teeth, saying “night night” to everyone, and then she prefers Daddy to sing to her and then put her down. We say good night around 7:30-8:00pm.
Aubs, Aubrito, Aubsters
Aubrie is 2 ½ and will be 3 on December 12th!
Aubrie loves babies, dinosaurs, playing outside, anything with a button. She loves to eat with her favorite foods being popsicles, chicken tacos, spaghetti, oranges, cheese, and yogurt. She loves books – wants us to read them to her and then she reads them to us. Music and dancing – she loves to sing! She loves the “Lorax” movie and apple slices from McDonalds but most of all, she loves her Big Sister Madelynn!
Aubrie doesn’t like things that have loud noises – vacuums, loud toys, lawnmowers, etc.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR MIGHTY KID'S MOST RECENT ADVENTURE.
Aubrie’s most recent adventure was to a local botanical garden. This garden has something for everyone – she loves nature so hearing the birds chirping and seeing butterflies was mesmerizing for her. They have a children’s garden with houses that the children can play in so she played in the houses for a long time, sweeping the floors, jumping off the stumps, and having a blast. We climbed the ramp to a treehouse that overlooks a lake – she liked looking at the water and so we ventured down to the water, where she saw a turtle. She said “hi” to the turtle for about 10 minutes and told everyone around that it was her turtle.
WHAT IS YOUR KID'S MIGHTIEST QUALITY CURRENTLY (MIGHTY NAPPER, MIGHTY FUNNY, MIGHTY TANTRUMS, ETC.)?
Aubrie has three qualities that are her mightiest currently: her mighty toughness, her mighty strong- willed nature, and her mighty tantrums. Aubrie’s mighty tough – she falls down and bounces back up, she has a 104 fever and she is socializing. She is mighty strong-willed – it’s her way or the high way and she lets you know it. That is also why she has mighty tantrums – the tantrums are so mighty that we make sure she is safe but then have to walk away and let her recover on her own. But after the mighty tantrums, she sure is mighty sweet!
WHAT DOES LITTLE & MIGHTY MEAN TO YOU?
Little & mighty means being brave and showing strength despite obstacles or one’s size. It amazes me on a daily basis to see Aubrie and other kids show more bravery than some adults! Kids are so innocent and carefree and you can almost see the strength in kids’ eyes when they take a risk or attempt something and they are so determined to do be successful – then they do succeed and they are so proud of themselves.
All photos courtesy of Sarah Ruppert.
DO YOU HAVE A MIGHTY KID WHO LOVES NATURE AND SPAGHETTI?
P.S. If you enjoyed this, then you may enjoy Mighty Kids: Emma
If you are interested in contributing to this series or know someone you would like to see featured, contact us and let us know.