About Me

I am a proud wife and mother, and a born again Christian. I work from home as a writer while taking care of Miss N, our six-year-old, Miss M, our four-year-old and Miss C, our newest bundle of joy. Life is crazy but so much fun!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Moments I Want to Treasure

I will never have a thousand followers on this blog. I will probably never monetize it. I will also likely never make much of a difference with it. However, there is something I want to do with it, and that is remember moments like this:

Natalie (while driving in the car completely out of the blue): "Mommy, I love God!"
Mommy: "That's wonderful Natalie, why do you love God?"
Natalie: "Because he died to save us from our sins."
Mommy: "That is true. I love God because he gave us this beautiful world to live in."
Natalie: "I love God because he loves me too!"
Mommy: "Yes, he sure does."
Natalie: "I love God and he loves me. God loves us Megan!"

Yes, those are moments I never wish to forget. All through our walk in the mall my child was singing "I love mommy and God, I love mommy and God." I love it!

Monday, December 28, 2009

It's Sticking!


Natalie this morning was playing with a new horse and cart Little People toy she got for Christmas. She was packing the cart full of other Little People animals, and then she was encouraging the horse to try hard. Here is what she said,

"Come on horse, you can do it. I know it is a big load, but you can do it. Trust in God to help you. Praise to God to help you and give you strengf. You can do it horse! Keep going!"

So adorable! I guess all of the hours of listening to Patch the Pirate and reading Bible story books are starting to stick!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

To Do Santa, or Not to Do Santa?

When I was three years old (or so), I went to bed one Christmas Eve overly excited about the upcoming holiday. My excitement made it hard to sleep (Santa was coming!) and when I woke to see lights on and hear my parents’ voices, I knew it was time. I scampered out in the living room to see what the big red guy had brought, only to find my dad in the throws of putting together my dollhouse. The dollhouse that was from “Santa.” It was then and there that I discovered the truth.

Perhaps because I learned the truth so early, the decision about whether or not we would “do” Santa was never really that important. Honestly, I thought I could ignore "Santa" for many years and it would just blow over. Not so much with my literal, observant child. Also, when we joined a playgroup with other moms, the idea that we didn’t “do Santa” was surprising. It caused me to think about it and evaluate whether or not we would use this tradition in our home (Natalie, unitl this year, was young enough that we could start Santa if we wanted).

We don’t do Santa, and we have several reasons for it. However, I don’t have a problem with the jolly old elf. In fact, we watch Rudolph and other Santa-centric movies, if Natalie ever wanted to sit on his lap, I probably would let her, and she even talks about Santa. We’ve talked about the real St. Nicholas too. But here is why we don’t “Do Santa.”

Truth – I have a hard time lying to my kids on purpose. I am sure I have without thinking “lied,” like when I kiss their owies to make them better, and there are times I have not told the whole truth because she is not ready for it, but to make a big effort to pretend something is true that I know is not would be hard. When we are pretending, we both know it is pretending. This would be even harder because Natalie is so literal. If she directly asked me “Is Santa real?” She would not accept any answer other than “yes” or “no,” and “if you believe he is” or “Santa is the Christmas Spirit” would not suffice.

Gratitude - I want the person who gives her her favorite present, whether it is me or a grandparent, to get the gratitude, not some mythical creature. Maybe that is selfish, but I think learning to be greatful for what we receive is important.

The Real Reason – The real reason for the season is Christ. I see the emphasis being on Santa way too much in society as a whole. In some places it’s almost like worship – “be good because Santa is watching,” “Look at this picture of Santa,” “Sing songs to Santa” "Ask Santa for the things you want/need." There is enough already with the lights, trees, and gifts to take the light away from the Savior this time of year, and I would not want to add another.

That being said, do I think it is wrong for a Christian to pretend about Santa in their holiday traditions? No. Do I think your child will assume that baby Jesus is a lie when you tell them Santa is not true? No. If you live your life like Jesus is a part of it every single day, your child will see that and notice and will understand the difference.

Convenience – Some will say this is selfish, but “doing Santa” would be so hard for our family! We travel almost every Christmas, and I am not sure how Santa’s present would get there. What happens when there is a year that we cannot afford many presents. Does Santa just forget the child that year?

Confusion – How do you explain to your child why their rich friend got a Wii from Santa when she got a doll? Santa gives the best gifts to the rich kids? That hardly seems fair. Or do you perpetuate the myth to the point of buying something you cannot really afford, or buying just one gift in order to get the “Santa” gift, while ignoring other gifts the child may actually benefit from or really enjoy.

Necessity
– Some have accused me of ruining the “magic” of Christmas. Not any of my friends, but acquaintances. Really, Christmas is magical for my child. Of course, last year she was too sick to care, but she was so thrilled opening her presents today. She was eager with the anticipation of Christmas. As a three year old, learning the “truth” didn’t faze me. I still loved Christmas. The only Christmas that wasn’t magical was the year that I sneaked and peaked at my presents, so none of them were surprises.

We apply these same ideas to the other mythical creatures. We will have Natalie put her teeth under her pillow, but just to see what happens, not because of a tooth fairy. We do an Easter Egg hunt, but we do not pretend that a giant bunny lays eggs (What a silly tradition anyways!)

Rest assured if your kids are friends of my kids, I have carefully explained to Natalie about how other families pretend about Santa, and I have instructed her that saying “Santa is pretend” is something for mommies and daddies, not her. She will not spill the beans before you are ready.

So that is my reasoning if you wondered. What will your family do with Santa?

Friday, December 18, 2009

Tantrums

The other day (was it yesterday?) my eldest had a knock-down-drag-out fit complete with screaming, kicking the wall, and throwing things. It was over something really little, but she was quite upset. It has got me to thinking about tantrums.

Tantrums show the sin nature at its worst. The child is having a fit because he or she wants something he or she cannot have. The child is expressing displeasure because she did not get her way. The child is not submitting to authority. Yet, at the same time, the child is still only a child. Self control certainly has not been mastered, and some of these things will come with time.

I have been reading Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp for Bible study at church. While I realize that this is not scripture, a lot of people that I respect really like his advice. He speaks against "isolation" (ie sending a child to their room) as a disciplinary tactic.

However, in the midst of a fit, this is the only thing that works! I send her to her room, let her have her issue, then deal with it when she is calmer.

However, I have not yet figured out what to doabout the tantrum. Do I ignore it (popular psychology's take), discipline her (Tripp's take) or just talk to her (what I usually do)? Yesterday after she was in her room for a while she was repentent and appologetic. Isn't that the goal of discipline - to bring the child back into a proper relationship with the authority (parents/God)? So if she says she is sorry and asks forgiveness, is it done? Or does she still need discipline?

These are questions that are hard to answer. While the Bible is clear on many things about discipline, it does not openly say how to deal with a fit. I opted to talk about the behavior and accept her oppology this time. But I am second guessing myself. Any motherly wisdom out there?

Friday, December 11, 2009

Giveaway

I rarely do these things but i am gonna try this one. MckMama is giving away a computer! Find out more about how to enter here. Good Luck!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Out of the Mouth of Babes


Tonight we were driving and Natalie was in a talking-a-mile-a-minute mode. She asked me, "Are we Christians?" I usually answer, "Mommy and Daddy are Christians because we asked Jesus to forgive our sins and be our saviour." Tonight I answered differently. I said, "Have you asked Jesus to forgive your sins and come into your heart?"

A few minutes later she said, "Mom, I want to pray to God." I said, "You can pray to God any time you want." Here is what she prayed,

"Dear Jesus, thank you so much for our doggies, and families, and the snow, and mommies, and daddies, and sisters. I love you so much Jesus. Forgive me of my sins. Thank you for the good day. Amen."

Of course, we were smiling ear to ear, but we try not to get too excited outwardly because we do not want her praying for show. We want her praying because her heart wants to. A few minutes later she said, "Mommy, I think I want to pray again. I have so much to say thank you for!" Her prayer was basically the same, without the "Forgive me of my sins." Then she asked, "mommy, are patch the pirate songs praise to God?" I answered that they were, and she said, "It's important to sing praise to God, but mom, how is God God and Jesus is God?"

I do not believe my daughter is at the point of understanding sin and God's redemptive work, but I do believe the seeds are being sown. Lord, give me wisdom! Regardless, this was the sweetest thing I have heard in a long, long time. I love this child so much!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Another Natalie Funny

Today we were driving home from running erands. Natalie was listening to her Patch the Pirate CD, and the song that was on was "My God Is a Rock." She pipes up, "But mom, God can't be a rock. He's a people!" I guess we have a little more theological training to do ;)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Natalie Funnies

Once again, it is time for some Natalie Funnies.

The other night we were reading a book that was talking about heaven. The artist's rendering of Heaven was of a golden city in the clouds. Natalie asks, "Mommy, why is heaven squishy?"

Natalie is obsessed with her sister's dirty diapers. She loves to sneak into Megan's room when I am changing her and peek at the diaper. If she doesn't see it, she will ask to and then say, "Yep, that's stinky all right."

We are getting ready to participate in our church's reinactment of the Christmas story, called Journey to Bethlehem. I have been explaining it to Natalie so she will understand. When I told her about it, she asked, "Who will pretend to be baby Jesus?" I told her since the stable portion was outside, and it's cold, Baby Jesus would be a baby doll. She instantly started digging through her baby doll box. I didn't make the connection and asked what she was doing. "I need to get a baby to take to church Mommy." She wanted to take a baby doll to the church to be Baby Jesus.

Today Natalie told me, "Mommy, Megan ate a crayon at school. Will her poop be orange?"

She has also said some very sweet things. Today I had to discpline her for something fairly minor. Honestly, I wasn't angry but she chose to disobey. Anyway, she was so sorry and said, "Mommy, could you ever forgive me." It tugged at my heart.

In passing I mentioned that our dog Bailey is getting old. She said, "I'm so sorry Bailey is getting old." and spent several minutes hugging the dog afterward.

Her imagination is starting to grow. The other day we spent probably 45 minutes telling stories with her toys, and she was quite imaginative. I love it!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

A Change in Focus


In reading a friend's blog post the other day, I was challenged to change the way I think about my children. I believe all children have perceived weaknesses or character traits that tend to annoy their parents. For me, it is easy to dwell on these. I find myself doing so on a regular basis. I was challenged to think of them not as weaknesses or problems, but rather as something that God gave to each girl that He wants to use for His glory. So, here is my attempt at categorizing that for my girls and changing my focus.

I have one child who is fearful and sensitive. The slightest thing can set her into tears, often to my surprise because I do not think it is a big deal. Sometimes deciphering whether she is having a fit or simply truly saddened by what has happened is difficult, particularly when tears are involved. I tend to think she is having a fit, but I am learning that she is just a sensitive soul.

While the sudden outbursts of tears are not convenient and can be frustrating, I have been thinking about how wonderful a sensitive spirit is in the Christian life. When we are sensitive to God's still, small voice, saddened quickly by our sin, we are much more usable for Him. In addition, fear, while it can be a negative trait if we cannot trust our Savior to care for us, can turn into a carefulness that can keep one from sin. This can also translate into a healthy fear of the God of the Universe. These two traits have wonderful potential.

I have one child who goes full force at everything she does. Sometimes this is to her detriment, as she has sustained several injuries as a result. Her endless energy are exhausting to her parents, and there are times i wish I could just sit her down for 15 minutes and have her stay in one place. Yet, when that energy is harnessed and used to spread the Gospel or serve God in some other way, imagine how much she could do! When her enthusiasm for life and excitement about new experiences turns into enthusiasm for the Cause of Christ and excitement about new discoveries in Scripture, she will be doing well.

I do not spend hours reading blogs as some I know, but I have found a few that have challenged me in my thinking about biblical parenting and wifehood. I have linked to them on the left hand side of my blog. I would challenge you to visit them and have your thinking challenged and blessed as well! Here is the original post that sponsored my thoughts.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Look What She Did!

When I picked Natalie up from "school" (translation: Mom's Day Out at an area church) yesterday, I had a big surprise. Can you tell what it is?

That's right, she wrote her name. All by herself! We haven't even been working on little letter! She picks up on things so quickly. I couldn't be more proud!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

What No One Told You About a Big Baby


Megan is a big baby. At 15 months she weighs 30 pounds, just four pounds less than her sister. She has never been on the charts since birth, always registering in the +97 percentile. She is on track growth wise and following her own growth curve, so no one is worried. I have found, however, that there are some unique challenges to caring for a big baby. I thought I would write them down before she turns into a preschooler and I forget.

1. Big babies outgrow everything before they should - the infant carrier, exersaucer, infant backpacks/slings, booster seat/high chair, etc. Before she was big enough to sit in the cart at the store, she had outgrown her infant carrier/carseat thingy.

2. Big babies cannot wear baby clothes - they have to wear toddler clothes even before they are 1. Good luck finding a "baby's first Christmas" onsie in size 24 months or 2t.

3. Big babies have a death wish - Megan can pull over things on herself that a normal sized toddler would not have the strength to do. For example, when she was cruising she would regularly pull up on a dining room chair and pull it over on herself. Same thing with the piano bench.

4. Big babies can reach the kitchen counter, and therefore the knives, hot pans, and other dangers you think you have safely stored away.

5. Big babies can reach door handles.

6. Big babies think they can sit on the dog, only the dog is not so happy about that and snips at them. Let me just say that dog better never make a move to bite or she is out of here, big baby sitting on her or not.

7. Big babies may outgrow diapers (then what???) We are about to move into size six, the biggest size they make. I'm guessing we will potty train closer to two than three.

8. Finding baby shoes for big babies is impossible. They only had one cruising shoe in her size at the most expensive shoe store. All other shoes would cut into her feet because they still had the baby chub, even though she was in size five and a half.

9. Big babies are hungry. All. of. the. time. Hopefully she outgrows that before she's a teenager!

10. Big babies may not sleep well because they are hungry all of the time!

Of course, there are the positives too.

1, I worry less about her getting hurt.

2. She barely feels her shots because of her chubby thighs.

3. She has a better immune system than her sister did at her age.

4. Big babies will give you incredibly strong arms (not to mention large biceps)

5. Best of all - Big babies give BIG baby cuddles!

Having a big baby has been interesting. There have been unexpected challenges, like the fact that she is going to outgrow her sister in shoe sizes soon and already can wear her sister's shirts. If she remains on the big side through her growth I will be dealing with the insecurity of being the tallest person in her junior high class, something I dealt with and didn't want for my kids, but regardless, I love this big baby and wouldn't trade her for all of the lightweights in the world. Now someone tell that to my sore biceps!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tacos A'la Natalie

Last night we had tacos for dinner. This is not Natalie's favorite meal. She has it in her head that she does not like tortillas. Well, last night I had corn tortillas instead of flour. She saw me giving Megan some tortilla and wanted to know what it was. When I told her it had the same ingredients as a corn chip, she wanted to try it. Apparently, she liked it. The next thing we knew she was making her own corn taco. Here are the ingredients:


One scoop of refried beans
One scoop of meat
One sprinkle of cheese
One green bean (yes, we serve her tacos with green beans since she won't eat lettuce or tomatoes, but we never intended them to go ON the taco).



Her verdict:


"Mmmm, tasty Mommy, very tasty. It's scrum-diddle-y-umptious"

Monday, November 9, 2009

The World Creeps In

A couple of days ago Natalie was cutting pictures from a magazine and gluing them (a favorite activity). She found some princess pictures, and on the back was a Hannah Montana doll. Hannah Montana is definitely not a roll model I want for my daughter. I didn't say anything since she has no idea who Hannah Montana is. She said, "I don't like those girls, mommy, I like the princesses." I replied, "That's good, Natalie. Mommy doesn't really like those girls either."

She, of course, asked why.

Hmmmm. How do you explain this to a three year old?

I responded, "Well, mommy doesn't like the way they dress. They need to cover up more of their bodies." I didn't think going into the whole I don't approve of pop music's culture, not to mention the whole let's turn Miley Cirus into the next Brittany Spears agenda that I see happening as she gets older, really was needed. She has no clue who Hannah Montana is at her young age. One thing I have realized, though, is protecting her from the world isn't going to be as easy as it was when she was 2.

A few minutes later Natalie says, "I don't like those girls because they don't dress like we do."

Uh oh, I don't think the right message was received from the lesson. I don't want her to think we don't like people who dress differently than us. I do, however, want her to value modesty in her own dress. I'm thinking it might be time for some discussions on modesty. How to bring this to a three year old's level? Hmmm.

Friday, November 6, 2009

The "C" Word


A little girl in Rockford is dying today from a brain tumor. I do not know her or her family, but I know several friends of the family. Hearts are heavy today. Praise the Lord she knows Christ as her Savior and so do her parents, so they will see her again.

I stated in last night's post that I often have to stop myself from reading about sick kids. Cancer scares me. It scares me because it sneaks up on you. It's not like you can say, "Well, so and so had the flu and played with her last week, so that's why she's sick." It scares me because kids get it. It scares me because we don't eat organic and in the back of my head I have questions that will probably never be answered. It scares me because my kids do eat some processed foods, some canned foods, and all of the rest that "causes cancer." It scares me because I am overweight which is a risk factor for all sorts of adult cancers.

Today I have been battling that fear. It has no rationale. It is not logical - my kids and myself are happy, healthy, and fine.

In my thinking/worrying/praying today I was reminded that God knows what He is doing. If His plan is for the "c" word to affect my immediate family (already has in my grandparents), then He has a reason for it. A friend recently reminded me that God gives us grace in His time to deal with what He sends our way. If the "c" word is in our future, no amount of worrying will stop it, nor will any amount of organic food, etc. I was also reminded that God loaned me my children. They are His, not mine. He can do with them as He chooses. I need to release my hold on them and let Him have His way in their lives. I need to remember that they are a blessing to me today, and enjoy them today, because tomorrow I do not know what will occur.

I am thankful that I know the end of the story. I know that God is in control. I know that He has a plan. In that I can rest and enjoy the precious gifts He has given me.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

I Won Something!

Thanks to my wonderful friend Janna over at The Adventure of Motherhood (If you haven't read her blog you really should, you can really tell she loves the mommy life!) I have been awarded a blog award. Thanks Janna! My first one. So here it is:

In order to get my prize, I must follow the rules, which are:


1. Must thank the person who gave you the award and list their blog and link it.
2. Share "10 Honest things" about yourself.
3. Present this award to 7 others whose blogs you find brilliant in content and/or design, or those who have encouraged you.
4. Tell those 7 people they've been awarded HONEST SCRAP and inform them of these guidelines in receiving the award.

Ten honest things about myself in no particular order.


1. I'm not a very good stay-at-home mom. Oh, I love being home with my kids, but we don't stay home. We go places. We hit the library for story time, the park for burning energy, the children's museum for education and entertainment. etc. The first thing Natalie asks me most mornings is "Where are we going today." I need to work on staying home more, I think.


2. I break parenting "rules" sometimes. I have used the TV as a babysitter. I have used "time out" instead of the rod. I have yelled at my child.


3. I love amusement parks, but my husband doesn't, so getting to ride a roller coaster is a huge big thing for me. I even volunteered to take the youth in our old church to Great America just so I could go, and I coerced my brother to visit so he could accompany us.


4. I love, love, love fall. I love everything about it. The smell, the temperature, the colors, the food. Fall is quite possibly the best season on earth. My friend Janna lives on Guam and I do not envy her, because she has no fall (Sorry Janna!) I would really miss it. I am glad for the glories of God's creation we see in the fall.


5. With the exception of my stint in the MBBC library, every job I have ever had I literally walked into. My photo lab job I got when applying at another store who didn't need me but knew someone who did. My daycare jobs I got offered practically without applying. My teaching job I was basically begged to take by the principal, and my writing career I fell into by mistake.


6. Homeschooling terrifies me, yet in a way so does sending my precious girls to a stranger to learn. Well, now, that presents a problem, doesn't it?


7. I am slightly addicted to the internet. Since my job is online, it comes with the territory. I'm glad the new computer is a laptop, because I can put it away (physically) when I am having time with my kids.


8. Sometimes I have to force myself not to follow stories of sick kids that I find online. It's not that I don't pray for these families, because I do, but I find myself obsessing over them. I actually will spend more time following stories than taking care of my own healthy kids. Then I start obsessing about my own kids and worrying that xyz will happen to them.


9. I obsess about my children's hair. I had hair issues as a tween and teen because of my curls (which I love now but didn't then). I want my children's hair to look perfect. Natalie's is pretty easy but Megan's always throws me - it's thick but brittle and way to long for a one-year-old so there are always strands breaking away from her pig tails. Plus, she screams the entire time I try to fix her hair, so I rarely re-fix it even though it's driving me nuts.


10. I have been challenged lately to make my relationship with the Lord more real so it will be apparent to my daughters, particularly Natalie. I want God to be real to her and in order for that to happen He has to be real to me first!


Now I will award the blog. Here are my winners in no particular order.


1. Sarah: Sarah and I worked together in college and have recently reconnected online. I love to read her blog Laugavitz Family because I can tell she really loves her little girl.


2. Sara: This Sara and I also both worked together in college (same place). She is expecting her first baby and I am so happy for her and can't wait to see if she has a boy or girl.


3. Sarah: Ok, do you notice a theme here? Anyways, Sarah and I went to high school together and she is an amazing mother and photographer of five beautiful children. I envy her camera but can't get enough of looking at her beautiful pictures of her gorgeous kids and reading about how much she enjoys her busy life.


4. Heather: Finally, not a Sarah! Heather and I used to go to church together here. She has become a good friend over the years supporting me in prayer through a particularly difficult time. Her two kids are so cute and growing up way too fast!


5. Julie: Julie blogs at A Joyful Nuiscence and her and I met through Heather. I think her blog is funny and I have enjoyed getting to know her from time to time. She has an amazingly positive attitude when things are rough.


6. Anne-Marie: Anne-Marie at The Left Handed Rabbit and I are online friends who actually live in the same town. She went to kindergarten with my husband and we met randomly at a MaryKay party years ago. Now we chat often online. After struggling with infertility for many years, she recently had her miracle baby Sam. He's a cutie and quite loved by his mom and dad.


7. Rebekah: Another friend from college, Rebekah just started a blog posting her recipe and cooking ideas. She has three kids under the age of three, a part time job, a home based business, and a husband in the ministry, so she's a busy gal, but her family doesn't have to live on frozen pizza and take-out! Check out Menu Ideas for Busy Moms.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Oh the Fighting

Growing up my brother and I fought. A lot. We fought all the time for parent's attention and because he was just plain annoying. I, of course, was perfect (just kidding!) Oh and then there was the he-is-better-than-me-at-everything jealousy issue.
Joey and I are over five years apart in age. I kind of thought that was part of the reason we fought. When I was in High School, he was in elementary. When I was in elementary, he was a baby. We had little in common.

That's why I wanted my children to be relatively close in age. I thought that 28 months apart was a good spread.

These two little girls, my little angels.

They fight. A lot. All. of. the.time.

Here is what a typical afternoon is like in my home:

I get out the toy or activity of the day and settle them in to play. Natalie sees what Megan has and the conversation goes like this:

N: I wish I hand _____ like Megan (approaches Megan to grab said item)

M: SCREAMMMMMMM

N: Megan, stop that!

M: (snatches back toy)

N: MEGAN! Don't DO THAT! NO MEGAN! MOMMMMMYYYYYYY!

M: SCREAMMMMMMM

N: MEGAN! I HAD THAT FIRST!

M: SCREAMMMMM grab toy and run

Often Megan instigates the fight by getting in Natalie's business. She will push down the tower Natalie is bulding or destroy the circle of animals that my slightly OCD preschooler is so carefully construction. She will grab the coloring page and have it ripped to pieces before Mommy can interviene.

I have taught Natalie to share with her sister. She really does try. Let's say she has her ponies out. She will pick two and give them to Megan. Megan wants the ones that are in Natalie's hand, and she will grab them.
Grabbing a toy someone is playing with is not appropriate behavior, so I take the toy back, give it to Natalie, and tell Megan "You may not grab what sister is playing with. Here is another pony." This prompts Megan to scream a blood-curling scream in my ear (this is not crying, it's screaming and it hurts my eardrum (literally). She gets put in her crib for screaming. She cries for a long time while Natalie rolls on the floor in agony holding her ears and yelling at me to make Megan stop screaming.

Finally Megan stops screaming and I get her out, calmly telling her that she may not scream. Then, the cycle starts again. Although sometimes Natalie starts it by taking what Megan has.

Seriously, how do you teach a 15 month old to share? Am I asking too much of her for her age? It's not right for her to take whatever Natalie is playing with, and I don't think Natalie should be forced to play by herself in her room just because her sister is the same size as her but too young to understand sharing.

These posts have helped me but I am still working on implementing ideas into our home.



I pray that my girls will grow up having a good relationship. I need wisdom in this one.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Things I Learned on Vacation Part II

We just returned from a trip to see my grandparents and parents in Missouri. Here are the things I learned. Part 1 was written in August.

1. It will take the entire nine hours of the trip to watch one two-hour movie. (for mommy)

2. My tummy looks old (so says Natalie)

3. Grandma and Grandpa live in a really big house (so says Natalie)

4. A makeover at the mall takes a lot longer than 15 to 20 minutes.

5. Murphy's Law dictates that the time when a relative is offering to buy my girls Gymboree clothing, that makeover at the mall will make it impossible to come to fruition because we will run out of time.

6. Megan knows how to go down the stairs fairly safely, but mommy still gets nervous.

7. Wasp stings hurt a lot and create large welts. They hurt enough for a grown man to throw off his shirt in mixed company. Just ask Tim.

8. The chance to see my children with my grandparents is priceless.


9. Working while on vacation stinks but is a huge blessing - few people have jobs they can do wherever they are!

10. Outdoor family pictures with a real photographer who just may have been my Spanish teacher at one time are well worth the price. Especially when you do enough families that you can split the cost :). (Pictures coming soon or you can see them here)

11. Getting a three year old and one year old who have colds and didn't nap to cooperate with said picture session will be more difficult than you think.

12. Allowing children to take ratty teddy bears to portrait sessions could be a mistake lending itself to many photographs with said lovey in them and a few photographs with tears.

13. Pumpkins are only made for patting and sitting on. They do not taste good. Especially little green ones that look a lot like apples. Just ask Megan - they are not apples. She would not advise taking a small bite out of it.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Getting to Know Megan

My friend Janna put these items on her blog about her one-year-old, so I decided to copy her idea. Sometimes I think my blog revolves around my more vocal child, so here is a chance to get to know Miss Megan a little better!

Dancing Style: I love to get jiggy, and I can bounce with the best of them. I think I am getting some good jumps in, but mommy says my feet are still firmly planted on the floor. Sometimes I get some arm motion any. "The wipers on the bus go swish swish swish!"



Eating with a Spoon: I must have a spoon or fork when I am eating. Mommy doesn't give me many liquidy foods since I refuse to wear a bib, but I've got the fork thing down pat!

Philosophy of Shoes: I love shoes. Sometimes I walk around the house with a doll's shoe on my toes. If I cannot get the shoe on myself, I will throw it at mommy and stick my foot in her face until she does it for me.

Daily Mission: the day starts with finding the doggies and feeding them my cheerios. Once mommy puts a stop to that, I spend the rest of the day climbing anything and everything. Did you know the other day I was standing in my mommy's bay window! Nothing stops me, but sometimes I can't figure out how to get down.


Bath time Objective: Avoid getting my hair washed at all costs. Bath is great, until mommy starts dumping water on my head. Seriously, mom, boogers in the pigtails aren't that big of a deal, are they?

Beverages: I'm not giving up on mommy's milk too easily. Otherwise, I'm a water girl. Sometimes mommy puts a little juice in my cup and I really love that!

Phones: You can't fool me with fake phones. I've gotta have the real thing. I'm glad mommy got a Magic Jack so I can play with that phone when she unplugs it.

Playing Mommy: Put baby in the stroller, put a blanket (or pair of pants, or sister's panties, or socks, or whatever cloth item I can find) around the baby, pat her on the head, and get moving!

Church Nursery: I like to make mommy feel bad by screaming loud enough for the entire church to hear. As soon as she's out of sight, I get right to playing with my new best buddy Reagan. She pulls my pigtails, though, which I'm not thrilled about. We're still working on our pecking order I think.

Food: I love it. You don't get to 30 pounds before you are 18 months if you don't! My favorite foods are grapes, cheese, and apples. Cheerios and Goldfish are great for snacks. If I don't have my eggs in the morning, I am not a happy camper. When I'm hungry, I either follow mommy around like a little puppy dog or climb up in my booster seat and wait for her to get the picture.

Animals: I love animals. Sometimes mommy takes me to the petting zoo and I just squeal in delight. I really love it when the goats lick my fingers, which makes mommy cringe.


Talking: I am never quiet. Quiet is boring. I'm still working on my words. Mommy and Dadda I have down pat, although Mommy is the preferred word most days. I have figured out if I say "mo" (more) people give me food. Yumm, food. I love doggies and they are "grrrrs" to me.


Reading Books: Mommy and Daddy read to me at bedtime. At nap time I half listen to sister's story while exploring her very exciting room. Sometimes I get bit by the bookworm and find whatever book is available and throw it at mommy with all my might. I'm always anxious to know what happens, though, and often skip ahead to get on with the story. Books about animals are my favorite. I like to growl at them.

Wanna play? I'm ready and waiting! All 30 pounds of me,but don't try to take my toy or I will scream at you!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Watch us grow!

Every year I get the girls' pictures taken at the pumpkin patch. Enjoy a little trip down memory lane!

Natalie's first Pumpkin Patch trip - One year old
Two Years Old
Three Years Old

Megan, three months old
Megan, one year old

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Daddy's Birthday


My wonderful husband and our adorable girls.

Yesterday was Tim's birthday. He spent the day working and helping me clean the house. I have such a good man. I am so thankful for the godly helpmate God blessed me with. We have been through a few things recently as a family that have allowed me to see his character a little better, and I am blessed. I love you babe!

Being Daddy's birthday and Natalie being older now, I decided to see if she had any ideas about his present. I asked her what she wanted to get daddy for his birthday.

"Candy."

"That's a good idea, Natalie. Do you think we should get him anything else"

N: "Candy, and a shirt."

Me: "What kind of shirt?"

N: "A t-shirt."

Me: "What color?"

N: "Gray. That's what Daddy likes is Gray."

So that was it. She never let go of the idea either. Candy and a shirt. Then a few days later we were driving and out of the blue she said, "MandMandMandMs. That's hard to say, Mommy. MandMandMandM's - how do you say it?"

Me: "Do you mean M & M's?"

N: "Yes, M & M's. The crunchy kind with the peanuts. That what Dad likes. That what we should get."

I took her shopping with me and was fortunate enough to find a gray t-shirt even though it's October. We bought it. I also let her pick out Daddy's card. Here is what she picked:
No, she did not want the one with the cute puppy on it that was "to Daddy from his little girl." She wanted this:

When he opened it, she told him "It has Super Guys on it Daddy!"

I think Tim had a fun birthday.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Poop Patrol

With Natalie's recent tummy issues, I am in the process of collecting some stool samples. The doctor (and I) do not think that it is an infection, but we must rule out the possibility. This has led to an interesting conversation in the bathroom.

I told Natalie to tell me when she needs to do the deed because I have to catch it, but I failed to tell her how I was going to catch it. I was doing the dishes in the kitchen when I hear "Oh no, mommy, you forgot to catch my poop!"

I run in there to find a couple of little poos in the potty. "Do you have more poop?" I ask.

My bare-bottomed babe doesn't answer. Instead, she points to the potty and says, "Scoop it up mommy!"

Trying to keep a straight face, I show her the "hat" and explain that the poop cannot touch the pee so she has to poop into the special potty seat.

I then ask again if she has more poop, to which she replies proudly, Yes!

we equip the potty with the seat, and she does the deed. It makes a satisfying "plunk" sound as it hits the plastic. "It said plop!" says my sweet child.

Then, she decides she wants to watch me put the present in the vial. Lots of questions. She wants to help. I calmly explain she cannot help because the liquid in the vial is poison. Then, sadly, since we did not get the first round of poo, I have to inform her that there is not enough poo in the vial. "Do you have any more?" I ask. "Yes!" she replies and promptly sits back on the potty.

I am cleaning up the area (thoroughly, don't worry!) when I look over. My little darling is sitting on the potty turning beet red trying to push out another present for her mommy. I reassure her we can wait until tomorrow, so I guess my job on poop detail is not yet over.

Although I must say, I would rather collect poop this way than scrape it out of a diaper using a plastic spoon, as I have had to do so many times in the past. Yeah for potty trained kids!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Out of the Mouth of Babes

Natalie has had a lot of questions about church lately. On this Sunday, the pastor mentioned that next week would be the last week of a Sunday school contest before we "close it down." Natalie piped up (quite loudly) "They're closing down the church? Why mommy?"

The same Sunday there was a baptism at church. Natalie is just now at the age where she is in the service for part of the service time instead of in the nursery, so she has never seen a baptism. She asked "Why did he dip that boy in the water?" I told her I would explain after church, but she wouldn't let it go. I had to leave the service to explain it to her because she really wanted to know. Maybe that's not the best parenting method, but next time I will be sure to explain anything "different" before we get to church! She's so inquisitive.

I have a concern though. Christmas is coming. We don't "do" Santa. It's just not part of our Christmas. She gets presents from mommy, daddy, grandparents, etc., not Santa. I thought I could just ignore Santa but she's too literal for that and sees him everywhere at Christmas and had questions, so last year I explained that he was a real man who lived a long time ago and gave gifts to children, and now people like to pretend that he is bringing them gifts. She is fine with that and understands that Christmas is all about Jesus (although the other day she asked, "If Santa isn't real and Christmas is Jesus' birthday, how will we get presents? How will mommies and daddies go to Heaven to get the presents?")

Anyways, I am worried that she is going to pipe up to one of her friends in playgroup or at school and tell them Santa isn't real. I certainly do not want her to break anyone's heart. I mentioned it today to the teacher and she didn't see concerned (she's very experienced so hopefully she's right.) Oh well, time will tell I guess.

Oh and on the Tummy issue, I have decided to start them on a probiotic and also talk to the doctor and see what he says.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Being a Mommy Is Hard

Being a mommy is hard because you need to know what is best yet don't always know.

Natalie struggles with tummy issues, and they are really painful for her at times. I want to fix it, but I don't want her on a bunch of drugs or to put her through a bunch of testing for them to slap a label on it and not give me an answer.

The chiropractic adjustment helps, but never solves, so I have decided something further needs to be done.

Some have suggested probiotics, and I am going to put both girls on them. Natalie for her tummy issues and Megan for her multiple times on antibiotics. But the "best" ones are expensive and you wonder if the cheaper ones work.

I would love to take her to a holistic doctor, but am not opposed to taking her to her regular doctor. I just don't want to traumatize her with testing and specialists if it's something like a need for probiotics or a simple dietary adjustment.

The chiropractor suggested making her diet more "natural" so we have upped the fruits, veggies, and whole grains, eliminated most processed foods, and it helped for a while, but she's sick again.

Some have suggested dairy, others have suggested gluten. To be honest I don't want to start removing things from her diet just "to see" without professional advice. She's picky enough as it is, I would fear she wasn't getting enough calcium or other nutrients. It's time for a professional assessment, but who to go to? These questions are hard to answer. Being a mommy is hard sometimes.

Friday, September 18, 2009

:)

Last night I had a pampered chef party. I didn't know what to do with the girls so I sort of played it by ear. They did great - played with daddy some of the time and hung out with the ladies some of the time. Everyone was saying how good they were, and when I was tucking Natalie in I was trying to compliment her on her excellent behavior. I said, "Natalie, Mommy's friends told me you were such a good girl. It makes Mommy happy when people see you being good. Did you have fun at Mommy's party?"

Natalie's response: "But Mommy, they said I was sooooooo pretty!"

I guess even at three we have the need to look good as ladies ;)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Toddlers and Preschoolers Praying

Before I go into my post let me give an update on the "why" question - Natalie and I talked and I explained that I get frustrated when she asks "why" and I don't know the answer, so we decided to work together to think of different questions she can ask. The last two days have been so much better, with her asking plenty of questions, but ones I could answer. We are both much more content, but I have seen it helping her because she is actually getting answers to the questions on her mind, which are very real and important to her.

Natalie has suddenly shown an interest in praying. We are letting her, but it raises questions in my mind. We have never required her to pray, or even required her to do any "motion" while we are praying. We simply require her to be quiet while we pray out of respect, but I feel that making her fold hands or bown her head could be making a little Pharasee out of her.

The question I have in my mind is this: Is it bad to let her pray when she is not yet born again? Am I teaching her to "go through the motions" before there is a genuine heart change?

She has asked a lot of questions about the gospel lately, and when we talk about it it is clear to me that she is not yet aware of her own sin or the magnitude of it, which I feel is fairly normal for a three year old. So in other words, she is not yet ready to "call upon the name of the Lord and be saved." Although she is learning. The other day I raised my voice at her out of anger and I later appologized and pointed out that what mommy had done was a sin, and that everyone sins and that is why Jesus had to die on the cross. Today I was in the basement and she was upstairs calling me. I could not stop what I was doing so I yelled that I would be there in a minute. She told me later "Mommy, you should not have yelled, that is a sin." So, I had to explain that yelling in anger is a sin, but sometimes you have to raise your voice so someone will be able to hear you.

So, is it wrong to let a child pray? I have decided it is not. If her heart wants to pray and thank the Lord for something, then I should let her. Jesus told us to come to Him with the faith of a child, and this is the beginnings of that faith. I do think this is a complicated theological question that I really do not know the answers to, but in my gut I feel like saying "no you can't pray" is wrong. I don't have a biblical reason for it, but it just feels wrong.

I love this child. I love watching her awareness of the gospel open up the older she gets. It sends me to my knees on a daily basis begging God for wisdom. While sunday school and children's clubs are important, I am realizing more and more that the majority of her Bible instruction will come from me, her mother. It is so humbling to realize that. Now I must sign off. My prayer closet is calling.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Why Why Why????

Sometimes I feel I get frustrated too easily. This was the conversation we had after we saw a big gorilla balloon decorating a neighborhood (it was part of the Parade of Homes is the only thing I could figure out)

Natalie: Look Mom, a big giant monkey!

Mom: Yes, that's pretty neat.

Natalie: Why is it there?

Mom: I don't know.

Natalie: But why did they put it there?

Mom: Natalie, Mommy knows nothing about the gorilla. All I know is that it is there and it is a balloon. I do not know why it is there.

Then we talked about how fun it would be to have a giant gorilla in our yard.

On the way home we passed it again.

Natalie: Why is there a gorilla there?

SERIOUSLY? Does she think I suddenly, magically learned the reason?

Mom: Natalie, let me explain this to you. I do not know anything about the gorilla other than where it is and what it is. I do not know why it is there.

Natalie: But mommy, why is it there?

Mom: I don't know

Natalie: Why don't you know?

that is how my typical day goes. I am expected to know everything about everything and "I don't know," which I only say when I really don't know, is not an acceptable answer.

Here's another example:

Mommy: Oh man, I almost forgot to stop and get the payroll.

Natalie: Why?

Mommy: I just did.

Natalie: But why did you forget?

Mommy: I didn't actually forget, I just almost forgot.

Natalie: But why?

Seriously? There isn't a reason to forget something. It just happens. I have told her SO MANY TIMES "People just forget/make mistakes sometimes"

I love that my child is interested in the world, but I have got to find another question she can ask before Tim and I both go CRAZY!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Megan Turns One (A Little Late on the Posting)

Newborn (yes she was BIG!)
I realized I have not posted much about my Megan in a while. She turned 1 on July 31 and started walking about two weeks after that. My 10 pound 4 ounce baby has not slowed down in growth at all! At her last appointment she was over 27 pounds and measured 31 inches, I think (sadly, I forgot the actual measurements) She enjoyed her first birthday party and actually seemed to understand about the presents. Now, she is walking and almost running everywhere! Unless she is tired, hungry, or sick she is a fairly happy baby. She's not talking much yet, but she definitely says Momma, and grrr (which refers usually to the dog but sometimes other animals). She can say Dadda but doesn't do it consistently. She's also trying really hard to learn to use a fork. That will be a blessing when she figures it out because I think she will be much less messy at meal time!
One Week Old

Megan tries to do EVERYTHING her big sister does. Today I was finishing up a blog post for a client and I looked over and saw her climbing on the CPU of the computer my dad built for Natalie. She is such a little monkey. Loves to climb on everything she can!

One Year Old


I really love having her mobile. I am one of these moms who loves every new accomplishment, doesn't morn the passage of time. I love seeing them learn new things so much! Perhaps when I know I am watching my last baby I will be more nostalgic, but for now, I am just enjoying them so much!
Happy Birthday Sweet Girl!

Watching Megan mimic her family is so fun. The other day I was wiping her nose (she has a cold) and she was blowing raspberries. She was totally trying to "blow" her nose making the same sound as her daddy does! She's so sweet.

Friday, September 11, 2009

You Never Know . . .


What will come out of this child's mouth!

Especially when she is in the bathroom.

Today, for instance. She walked into the bathroom, then hollered out: "Mommy, when I have a baby will I have it in the same hospital where you had Megan a long, long time ago?"

Mommy: "Well, if you live here in this town you might, but I don't know where you will live. That is up to God and your husband."

N: "Oh. When I grow up, I am going to go to the church and dance, dance, dance, right mommy?"

Mommy: "You mean get married?"
N: "Yes! And we will dance!"

Mommy: "Well, you don't really dance at the church for your wedding. You stand there in a beautiful gown and get married. Your husband will wear a suit."

N: "But mommy, suits aren't for getting married. They're for swimming!"

Mommy: "Well, a swimming suit is one kind of suit. Go look at mommy and daddy's wedding picture and you will see the other kind of suit. It's called a tuxedo."

(Looks at the wedding picture in the living room - trip to potty is done now)

N: "Oh, I see. You put that over your swimming suit."

N: (Still looking at the picture): Mommy, you're carrying flowers. I hope someday someone will give me beautiful flowers like that!"

N: "When I grow up, I am going to have 25 babies. And I will kiss them, and feed them milk from my tummy, and hug them, and put them night night, and take care of them and love them!"

Hope you enjoyed the story!



Wednesday, September 9, 2009

On a Lighter Note. . .

So my last post was a little melancholy, so today I have a question. What would YOU do with a raccoon?

According to Natalie: "Take care of it. I would love it and hug it and pet it!"

This is the pet she wants. "I really wish I had a raccoon Mommy"

And tonight, Natalie tells Tim, "Daddy, you are incredible!" I think so too baby girl! He is amazing!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Things Aren't Always as They Seem

Ok, I admit it. I am one to take things too personally. I am constantly fearful of what others think of me. I think it stems from the damage that occured to my psyche as nineth grader when I saw a note indicating that I was "the nerdiest" in the class (you know, those lists of "most popular, most likely to be married first, etc.? I was "most nerdy" according to someone whose name I have long since forgotten) Yes, that had a lasting impact on me, and I tend to read way too much into things. I am not proud of this and it is a sin that I fight regularly, but it is who I am and why I am writing this post.

I have been thinking lately about some stuff. I am realizing as I mature (I'm not 30 yet, so I still have a ways to go in the maturity department, right?) that things are not always as they seem. That person who brushed you off may be distracted because a family member they love is gravely ill, which has nothing to do with you. The friend you envy because of her supposedly perfect life may be hiding a secret that is more painful than you could possibly imagine, keeping up a good front on the outside, but inwardly hurting and crying out for help. The person who has stopped coming to church may be struggling with a physical condition you have no idea about, because they are too caring to complain about their pain.

Everyone has struggles. Everyone has needs, often ones that they cannot or will not verbalize. Can I encourage you, dear blog readers (all 5 of you) to pray for those around you who seem distracted? Maybe they are hurting. Maybe they need someone to come alongside and put an arm around them and ask what's up. Maybe they are mad at you, and you may never know, but I am learning to not look so deeply at the outward. Things are not always as they seem.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Keeping Lines of Communication Open


My friend Janna is doing a blog series about Shepherding a Child's Heart. I am broke and do not have the book, but I will try to jump in when I can get it. Regardless, one phrase she quoted got me thinking. It was about how most children have emotionally left home by the age of 12.

I had a wonderful home. I always knew my parents were there for me and I could talk to them about anything. Literally. I want that for my kids.

I asked my mom one time why me and Joey have such a good relationship with them, and why she thinks we always felt we could talk to them. She answered that she always listened, even when we were two and made no sense.

So, in light of what i have read from Janna's blog and what I have been meditating on, I have decided to have more open communication with my daughter, and to do so purposefully. Today, Natalie had a rough day. For some reason she was really tired, and she was struggling to be kind and loving with me and her sister. I pulled her aside, and instead of chastising her for her behavior, I hugged her and asked if something was bothering her. She wasn't able to verbalize what was wrong, if anything, but I wanted to show her she could talk to me. Then, taking a cue from my friend Michelle's blog, I helped her to think of things she could be thankful for. She said, "I'm thankful for you, Megan, and the whole wide world."

It stopped the griping for a while.

A walk to the park (fresh air and exercise) did the trick for a while after that.

I really do love my child, and sometimes I think in the process of being a mom and a writer, I let the annoyances overrun the love. In a way, I am behaving like her, dwelling on the negative instead of focusing on what I can be thankful for. I am going to work on this in the coming weeks - communication and focusing on the positive.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

When Real Life Happens


As my children grow, it becomes harder and harder to shelter them from real life. Last week we were driving home from the park, and an abortion protesting group was demonstrating near an intersection where we were stopped for a light. While I completely approve of their cause and support it, this particular group had highly graphic images of broken baby bodies, and Natalie was captivated by them. So far, she hasn't asked any questions, but I was heartbroken, because those are pictures I would have much rather not have her see. Those are questions I am not ready to answer.

Earlier this week we went to the park with some friends, and Natalie really enjoys these two swings at this particular park. I talked to her before we got there, because I knew I would not be able to keep Megan occupied near the swings for long. I told Natalie we would do the swings last, and that we would let Megan play on the baby things for a while first. I gave her my word. She did not whine or complain about having to wait, and finally it was time to head to the swings.

Someone was using the swings when we went over there, so we waited. Natalie decided she wanted to use the red one. Our friend we were there with wanted to use the blue one. We waited. And waited. My friend made a few comments about how nicely the girls were waiting, hoping the other moms would get the point. They didn't.



After we had waited 15 minutes or so, my friend finally asked the other moms if our girls could have a turn. The mom with the girl on the blue swing happily took her child elsewhere (the cell phone in her ear was probably the reason she didn't notice us waiting). The other mom attempted to remove her daughter (perhaps granddaughter), who whimpered some and complained about not being done. So the mom was like "She doesn't want to share" and just kept swinging. Natalie was standing there like, "what's up?" I told her she could use the blue one, and she very clearly said, "Mommy, I would like to wait for the red one." No way that mom didn't hear her. Now, I need to add that this child had been using the swing for a VERY LONG time. Not just the 15+ minutes we were waiting.
The look on Natalie's face here says it all.

Natalie eventually used the blue swing after our friend's turn was over. She was very disappointed, however, and left crying sad tears (not fit tears) because she had her heart set on the red swing. I was angry. She had waited so patiently, not crying or whining, but patiently waiting her turn, but because of someone else's selfishness and lack of training her child to obey, Natalie never got to have what she was waiting so nicely for.

I realize this is real life, and we have gotten over it, although Natalie still asks about the "mean girl" who "didn't share." I praised her for waiting so nicely, and we did something else as a nice treat together. However, these two events made me think about how hard it is to protect your children. It's a sad reality. I wish I could keep her safe and away from the sin of this world forever.
I don't really know the purpose of this post. I guess I'm just realizing that the sweet innocence I love in my babies is something they will someday lose. These two incidents were mild, of course, compared to what other children must experience, but it still made me sad. We work hard to create a supportive, loving environment for our children, but the real world is out there, constantly waiting to creap in and impact them forever.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

She Did It!

Megan took five steps all on her own tonight! I'm so proud of my baby girl! I'll do a post about her birthday and party when I get time but I didn't want to overlook that milestone!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Things I Learned on Vacation



We just got back from a quick trip to KC. Here is what I learned:

1. Aiden is a good name (so says Natalie upon meeting a baby with the same name as her playgroup friend).

2. When you give a three-year-old privacy in the bathroom, proceed with caution if she is in there for too long.



Yep, she pulled down my mom's wall paper. Sigh. I asked her "What did you do in Grandma's bathroom to the seashells on the wall" and she said "I broked them." Three days later. Yep, she totally knew what she did!

3. I have the world's greatest husband! He let me go all by myself to scrapbook with my mom and her friends for a whole day. This was AFTER taking bedtime duty so I could go to the movies and AFTER taking bedtime duty the night before so I could hang out with my friend Janna.

4. There are some people in the world who you will always feel close to even if they live 5,000 miles away.




5. Megan is much more flexible on her sleep schedule than Natalie.

6. Keeping your kids up until 11:30 ensures you will get to sleep until at least 7:30 the next day. Nap time the following day, however, will not be a pleasant experience.

7. Weaning Megan is not going to be that easy.

8. 3D movies are very, very cool, especially when on IMAX screens

9. Kansas City will always feel like home in a way.

10. A giant punching balloon that costs $1 will provide hours upon hours of entertainment.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Mommies - Hug Your Kids

I have an addiction, and probably not a healthy one. I seem to be drawn to blog stories about sick kids and babies. Recently I have found the story of Baby Stellan. It makes me so sad to see the struggles these mommies go through.

Over the weekend I was so frustrated with Megan because she just didn't sleep well during the afternoon nap time. I have a decent amount of work to finish before we leave for KC on Wednesday. I got a little frustrated with Megan one time when she woke up and responded in a less than loving way (Think hollering at the baby for waking up - yeah, not proud of that one).

Anyways, these blogs have reminded me that life is but a vapor, even for children. I am going to work harder at enjoying my kids and showing them that I love them each and every day, no matter how crazy they make me!




If you are a mommy, hug your kiddos extra tight today!




Thursday, July 23, 2009

Mommy Guilt

Ever experienced it? Today I am. Natalie was coloring on her chalkboard in her room and Megan came crawling in saying "mamamamama" (the only thing she says these days). Natalie said, "I'm not momma, meggie (her nickname for her sister) Mommies don't color, they work."

Hmmm, I most certainly can color? I admit, work has been busy the last few days as I am earning the money for our next KC trip, but does my child really think all I do is work? Finding the right balance is so hard! Ahhhhhhhhgh! the Mommy Guilt!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A Friend Worth Keeping

Have you ever made an unexpected friend? I have. You can meet her at her blog.

My earliest memory of this gal is from junior high or early high school. She had a perm. I had short, unruly curly hair. We were returning from an infamous "bus trip," either with the youth group or the high school, I cannot remember. I was anxious to get off the bus, but I was near the back. I was trying to push my way to the front of the bus, and this gal had her legs across the aisle. She would not move. I was so very annoyed. I don't remember much of the conversation, but I remember being so very annoyed.

Sounds like the great basis for a friendship, doesn't it? But God has a great sense of humor.

As we moved upwards in the high school, high school girl pettiness stepped in. I had a good friend, and this gal was her best friend. That meant that she was better than me in the High School hierarchy that we all know is so pointless. I disliked her, but only because she held the coveted best friend spot. I spent many days thinking on how I wished I could be her. She was pretty, she was K.P.'s best friend, and the boys liked her. I wanted to be her, but I didn't like her.

God has a sense of humor.

Fast forward to my senior year of high school and the dreaded "where to go to college" decision. I prayed, worried, and planned. I wanted to go where K.P. went, and hopefully take that best friend spot. Yet, God had other plans.

I visited Maranatha Baptist Bible College my senior year. At the time, it was the only college in "our circles" that was accredited. I was going to pursue a teaching degree, and felt an accredited degree was important.

The only catch, this gal was the only one from my church and high school who attended that college, and it was 9 hours away.

I wanted to go elsewhere, but I landed a scholarship that had to be used at an accredited institution. God knew I needed to go to Maranatha. He knew that a beautiful friendship was about to develop.

My freshman year, this gal, Janna, became a friend rather than an enemy. I doubt that we were that close at that time, but really, there were times I had no one else to talk to. We started attending the same church, because I didn't know where else to go and really didn't want to "ride the bus" to the church in town. I loved that church, and through it got to see my friend's heart for the ministry.

As my freshman year progressed into my sophomore year, I started to appreciate my friend for who she was inside. Instead of seeing her as a rival in some way, I started to appreciate her as a sister in Christ. As I learned more about her life, the struggle she went through when her dad went to heaven when she was a young girl, and the fact that she dealt with her own insecurities, as we all do, I grew to love her. I started to understand her more.

We spent many 9 hour drives back and forth to school with just each other for company. Sometimes we traveled together and left a car up north, and sometimes we communicated via walkie-talkie. Oh, occasionally we took someone else, but usually it was just us. We were even asked to lunch by a semi truck driver. Sometimes we drove the 45 minutes to church together without others in the car. Usually when that happened, we would spend a long portion of the time praying together.

My sophomore year and her junior year I had really an interesting room situation, and she was facing a busy senior year coming up. She came to me at the end of that year and asked if we could request to room together. I was nervous. After all, when you live with someone, they see you for who you really are, but I agreed.

My junior year, her senior year, we roomed together with Melody, another person I hold as a dear friend. Janna got to see some of my worst qualities as my roommate, but she still loved me. We enjoyed some great memories, such as the night the "trumpets" sounded and the night me and Mel kicked her out in so she wouldn't catch our cold right before her voice recital. We also celebrated birthdays all around the same time, so of course a room birthday party was in order.


What made my friendship with Janna so special? I think it was several things. First, we had a spiritual connection that I share with few people. Second, she was willing to tell me when I was doing something stupid (and still is). that takes guts, but that is the kind of friend worth keeping. Finally, since we grew up in the same church/school and went to the same college, we have similar histories.

Janna made a huge decision when she graduated. She decided to move to the remote Island of Siapan to teach. This decision was very hard for me, because I was sure we would no longer be friends, at least not on the same level as we were. I figured she would start a new life and forget all about little me.

But I knew Janna was a friend worth keeping, and we kept up with each other through the next few years. Eventually she moved to Guam, yet we still stayed in touch.

When Tim and I got engaged, she was the first person we called (hey, it was the middle of the night in the US). She made the trek across the globe for my wedding. She was my maid of honor.

A few years later, we traversed the globe to stand up with her in her wedding.
(I don't have a digital picture of the two of us, but I really was there)


She was one of the only non-family people I called when I was in the hospital having Natalie through emergency induction at 34 weeks, and prayed with us that our little girl would come home, even though she was still grieving the loss of her baby.


In a week and a half, I will make the trek with my family back to KC. Not to see my parents,(although we will be seeing them too) but to see Janna and her precious daughter. Here we are last Christmas all together at my parent's house. I cannot believe my good fortune that I will get to see her twice in the same year!

Janna is one of the only friends I have who I feel really knows me. She knows me intimately, and loves me as a sister in Christ. We have prayed together, wept together through losses, talked about how silly boys are, dealt with broken hearts, rejoiced with each other as we found "Mr. Right," and been there to encourage each other when Mr. Right turned out to be human, even though we are 5,000 miles apart. I cried for her when she told me she lost her first baby, who would have been born not long after Natalie. She grieved with me when I lost the pregnancy right before Megan, a baby that would have been born not long after Briella.

When we have the rare chance to see one another or the slightly less rare phone call, it is so easy to pick up where we left off. We have similar goals and desires for ourselves as Christian wives and our children, so it is easy to talk. I thank God regularly for giving me such a godly and loving friend, and I pray that we will remain friends for many years to come.

I can't wait to see you again girl! Hope you enjoyed this little trip down memory lane!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Joy

My children bring me so much joy, and these pictures show that they can experience joy too. We enjoyed a wonderful vacation with my family, and I did take work off for the most part and was able to relax along with them. No sick kids this time either.




Neither girl was impressed with fireworks. Natalie Loved the poppers, which is what the picture is from, but beyond that she was not impressed. She was even scared of smoke bombs.

I was a very fearful child. I remember forcing my parents to leave a Wild West show at some amusement park because there were guns and I was scared. I wonder what the best way to parent my fearful child is? I do not want to force her to do things she is afraid of, but I don't want her to spend her life riddled with fear. God has not given us the spirit of fear, yet she does not yet know God, so is this promise something to teach her? This is something to pray over, I believe.

Natalie's imagination is blossoming. It is so much fun. I love seeing her pretend with her toys. I love watching her grow up. I pray I can direct her carefully. Today I played the role of the "nice big bad wolf" to her "little pig."

A few tidbits of "Natalie funnies" from our trip:

At one meal stop, I went to take Natalie to the restroom. Without going into many details, the lady's restroom in the Taco Bell was not usable. I sent her with Tim to the bathroom, and apparently a man was using the urinal. She came out and Tim went back in. She came up to me and said, "Mommy, do boys squirt their pee-pees out like this?" and gave a perfect demonstration of how a man "goes." I died laughing (on the inside at least). Too funny.

She has greatly expanded her vocabulary. She was looking for me upstairs at my parents house. She said, "Mommy, mommy, are you up there? Are you up there? Apparently not." Ok, that might not sound funny, but coming out of her little body in her little voice, the word "apparently" is really, really cute.

not to leave Megan out, she accomplished two things this week. She started walking while holding hands, and she stood by herself for a few seconds. I am hoping walking is coming soon! I am so tired of carrying her! I love her dearly, but she is HEAVY!

I am contemplating how to help a three-year-old deal with disappointment. Whenever something does not go as Natalie was expecting, she gets so upset and sad. I do not want her to never feel sadness, but I am praying about how to teach her to deal with life's inevitable disappointments in an appropriate manner. For instance, today she really wanted to talk to our neighbor and watched out the window for quite a while for her to come home. We did not catch the neighbor, and when she realized the neighbor had come home, she almost threw a fit because she didn't get to talk to her. How can I teach her to deal with this frustration and disappointment appropriately? Is there a spiritual lesson here for her to learn? This is a subject of prayer for me!

Finally, check out my dear friend Janna's blog. I am greatly enjoying watching it unfold, and she is a very thoughtful mom who has a great perspective on Christian mothering. Her daughter is beautiful and I will get to see them in just a few weeks! Love you girl!