Saturday, July 19, 2014

Good Stuff Saturday 7-19

Look at this:
Zebras, Horse Mommies, Venice Reflections, Amazing Climbing, Autumn, Sunbird, Cloudy Bridge

Read this:
This nearly made me cry. Having a daughter is so much more than I thought it would be.

This made me want to jump around and say Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

This one made me stop and think about stuff in my life.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Reflection on a Decade

As of Thursday July 3rd, my husband and I have been married for 10 years. I can't believe it has been 10 years. It simultaneously seems too long and too short. As I look back to our first year or so together. I can't believe we were so young and stupid. I can believe we made it. There were a couple bad fights, but we came away from those thinking how stupid we were and communicating better.

I suppose I should have some wise advice and caring words. But I really don't know what to say. I love him more now than before because it is more real than it was 10 years ago. I love myself better because of the love he has given me. And there is no one else with whom I would rather spend this time.

So I will give you guys a few photos.

Monday, July 14, 2014

One Word Update: Rest

My 2014 word of the year: Rest

In an effort to rest more, I find myself doing less and spending more time with family. I am finding ways to worry less like using Wunderlist for my to do list. It has been rather freeing. I find that I am more confident in myself. I am happier with the things I accomplish. I feel more confident in what am I doing. I accomplish quite a bit in one day because I am doing lots of little things around the house. So maybe that doesn't seem like a
lot of rest, but rest on some areas had given me the ability to do more in other areas.

However as I reach the halfway point, my heart isn't at rest. It is torn into several pieces by what people are suffering. There had been so much heartache around me. A murdered teacher, a missing teen, a family from Canada that is missing, the family that lost their toddler because he went to play in the car, and more. Admittedly many of those things are in the background and don't weigh on me at all times, but Maggie, the teacher, and Megan, the teen, are with me constantly.

But if I wasn't at a place of rest physically and even spiritually, I wouldn't be able to handle these things. I wouldn't feel that my prayers are enough. I wouldn't know that even through the pain God is in control and has a plan to use these things for good. Don't get misunderstand me. My heart is broken, but my hope is not lost.

My time of rest has restored my faith in God's timing and my ability to serve my family. My time of rest has restored my faith in God's supremacy even in the bad times.
Rest has been healing and freeing. I am ready for rest of this year.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Doubts About Motherhood: Meltdowns

Crying is okay here. from Flickr via Wylio
© 2006 A National Acrobat, Flickr | CC-BY  | via Wylio

Ben had a dentist appointment today. Confession: We are awful teeth parents. So this appointment was not a regular check up. It was for two fillings after having a tooth extraction last month. He did awesome at the extraction, but I think this time he knew what was coming and therefore was afraid. Or Mommy was with him and he really wanted Daddy. Or maybe some of both. He basically screamed the whole time and only one filling got done. The dentist was getting frustrated and I was worrying about Ben and the dentist and the other kids in the office and Ben.

Kids have meltdowns sometimes. They worry about stuff and have bad days because they are sick or tired. I doubt that there is a mother alive who had not experienced a meltdown. Some days those meltdowns happen at home, but more often than not they happen in public. Then what do you do?

Personally, I am always torn. Ben needs to know how to behave in public even on bad days. However he also needs to know how to work out stressful stuff. So I can't simply tell him to hush or else. I don't want to tell him that either. That isn't a healthy response to stress. He can't just bury it and go on about life. So he needs some comforting and some talking. After that he might need to be told to hush and not wallow in it. I have to make sure my response to his meltdown is about him and not me. I can't respond out of embarrassment.

I don't call these times tantrums because these are responses to stress, sickness or fear. Tantrums are responses to not getting my way. Ben has those too and he gets disciplined for those. Tantrums and meltdowns are not the same. Every mother knows the difference between her child's tantrum and her child's meltdown. It does not make you a bad parent that your child has a meltdown. It does not mean there is something terribly wrong with your child. It just means your child is having a bad day. It happens to all of us, but children don't know how to deal with it. So as a parent, I need to help him deal with those. I am comfortable with this. What am I not comfortable with is what everyone else is thinking while I'm trying to help Ben through it. I don't worry about it to the point of abandoning one of my most cherished parenting beliefs. It is just a worry that bounces around my head. I doubt that other people really understand what I'm doing or appreciate that I am parenting good in that moment.

So if you see one of my children crying or maybe even acting out and I'm not disciplining them, now you know why.
Previous posts in this series:
Pain Medicine
Too Much

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Ben View

Last week I talked about Lily. So it only seems fair to talk about Ben this week.

Photo: Loving church fellowship.

One of the things that I love most about Ben is his acting ability. He watches his favorite shows or movies, at the moment Lilo and Stitch, Jessie, and Lake County Captains Mascot, Skipper and Skippy, videos, in order to memorize scenes. He then uses his stuffed animals, which he calls puppets, to act out that scene. This past week was VBS, so his puppets were singing the VBS songs. When we go in car anywhere, he starts quoting one of the above shows. Sometimes that can be a problem because I think he is talking to me about something. I'll turn down the radio and ask him to speak up over the road noise. Then he tells me that he was talking to Lilo and Stitch or to Bertram or to Skipper.

Sometimes he needs participation in these scenes. So Drew or I have to play along with him. When we do this, we have to get the lines right for the scene AND we have to enunciate everything right. So if it is Lilo and Stitch, then we have to make sure we have a slight Hawaiian accent when we are speaking. The enunciation includes his version of the words. So when he hears Evan Too Debashedy, it is the correct version. It certainly could not be EvanTube HD.

Another couple things about Ben's view on the world:

There are rules and everyone should follow them. So he reminds us of the rules or his classmates. He tries to be nice about it most of the time.

Recently he has become much more vocal about what he is learning at church and his prayer requests. Some very sweet ones. For instance, "my sister who fell out of her stroller" or Nana or another family member. Some funny ones. For instance, his stuffed animals, Rocky and Alicia, the sock monkeys, or a character on TV, Cena and Rollins who won the championship and Money in the Bank.

And one final thought about Ben. At PawPaw's house, he has a little pool. He 'dives' off of the stone bench next to it. He has taken to naming all of his dives. I think there is a 'hug dive', a 'Superman dive', a 'witch dive', and many more.

He is a remarkable little boy. We are very blessed to have been given the opportunity to raise him. God is so very good to us.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Good Stuff Saturday 6-28


Cogsworth is just lovely. And so are dolphins and elephants and lighthouses.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.


This idea is genius. We have do to do this at our house.
Sometimes we make rash decisions in the name of faith. But maybe caution would be better.
There is hope for us to make a difference for those in poverty. We must keep trying.
It is good to know that teacher theories are correct.
Lebron's legacy- It isn't what you think.

And finally, Michelle was wonderful this week.

Time is tricky thing. There is simultaneously too much and not enough.
Being weird is a bad thing, but we all are, so maybe it isn't so bad.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Doubts about Motherhood: Too much

Mourning mother from Flickr via Wylio
© 2011 jinterwas, Flickr | CC-BY  | via Wylio
As a mother you hear some odd things. One of the oddest things I have heard or maybe it is something I tell myself. I can't really place where these ideas have come from.

It is the idea of too much. If you hold a baby too much, you will spoil her. If you play with a child too much, he won't learn to play on their own.

But not all too much things are bad. If you give him too much sugar, it will rot his teeth. If you react to every tiny incident, she won't mature.

We need to be disciplined about some things, but other things require us to loosen up a bit and maybe even go so far as to have fun with them. How do we know when is the time to be disciplined or if it is time to loosen up?

I wish I knew!!

Ben has had some major tooth issues recently. I know part of it is our fault because there are times, maybe even lots of times, that we forget to have him brush his teeth. I know we don't say no often enough to sugar. So I have tried to be more disciplined about his teeth, but should I say no to all sugar? We had extra eggs and I made cookies. It is VBS week and of course there is candy involved. How much of that is okay and how much is a problem?

Lily is pretty great about going to bed at night. We can put her down and she'll just drift off to sleep. However, naps are a different story. Sometimes we walk with her to get her to sleep. A part of me wonders if we are doing the right thing. We did that with Ben and he isn't very good about going to sleep. Are we holding her too much or giving in to her by walking with her?

Ben does a pretty great job of playing by himself. He also does a pretty great job of playing with other kids. We are super blessed that he is so creative and so great socially. But some days he wants to play with mommy or daddy all time. He seems attached to our hips on those days. Those days I wonder how much playing with him is okay? How much indulging in his attachment is healthy?

Lily is a girl, obviously. That comes with a whole host of supposed traits and a lot of very real baggage. I'm already starting to wonder about just when this drama queen act is supposed to start. Is there something I"m doing wrong now? Like when I think it is cute that she wrinkles her nose and whines when she is bored or wants to be picked up, is that a problem? Is that somehow unknowingly creating a drama queen? Or maybe am I right that if I don't give in to drama that she will see that from me and avoid it herself?

How much is too much? How much is not enough?

And probably the most important question: How much am I over-thinking this whole thing?

Previous posts in the series:

Pain Medicine