Thursday, February 28, 2008

Secret Service

Glenn Packiam just started a new blog, which promises to be a great read. His second post is about the value of serving in secret, and I can't think of a more encouraging thing for stay-at-home moms to read.

I find it odd that when we encourage high school and college kids to find their purpose in life, that nothing is ever said about raising Godly families. What if we are called first not to the jungles of Africa, or the worship service stage, but to perform thousands of tiny unseen things that will help the next generation ultimately make decisions for Christ - creating an environment in our home that will facilitate our children knowing and loving God? THEN we can also go accomplish the other things our heart is drawn toward, either after our children are grown or while maintaining that environment at home.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Dentist

I have a fear of dentists. I was going to say an irrational fear, but really, it's perfectly rational.

When I was about 12, I was chewing on a Now and Later taffy thing, and broke one of my molars. My mom took me to this nice, pediatric dentist to have it fixed. What I wish he would have said was, "This is beyond my ability. Let me send you to another dentist, so this is a good experience." What he did, was drill...for three hours.

This guy didn't use one of those mouth guard things. I can still taste and feel the drilled tooth in my mouth. I can smell the smoke from the drill. Then, toward the end of my horrible experience, the novocaine started to wear off. He would hit certain places that would practically send me through the roof in pain. I remember him having me hold an accupressure point on my earlobe to lessen the pain some.

That guy is since out of business under somewhat shady circumstances.

In addition to that experience, I have a really weird reaction to fluoride - it makes the muscles in the front of my neck get sore because I clinch my teeth really hard in my sleep. Try telling a dentist that you want as little fluoride as possible when you have bad teeth. They more often than not try to get me to do a rinse with the toxic stuff at home.

Fast-forward to today. I have a dentist appointment. I now see what I think is the best dentist in the city, who is a friend of the family and goes to church with us. Dentists are still not my favorite.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Monday Highlights

Whew, what a whirlwind week that was! Now it's time for a little peace and quiet this week.

1. The recording was incredible. Listening to men I highly respect talk about how they processed the events, and then sing their great songs... We sang for 4 hours, stood for 3 and it was FREEZING cold on the risers. I loved every minute of it. And the girls had fun too. Hannah keeps begging me to go back to church. :) I'm anticipating great things from that recording. God did something there, and I'm always amazed how the Holy Spirit gets on recordings.

2. Nick and I got some great time together this weekend. We went to see Dr P on Saturday, ate lunch and shopped a little. The girls slept in the stroller and we enjoyed the "alone" time. Then yesterday after church we went to lunch with my family like we always do, and then drove around and talked while the girls napped in the car. They got good naps, we got good time together, a great time was had by all. :)

3. I have to go to the dentist this week. Unfortunately, I inherited my dad's teeth. This is a bad, bad thing. I'm praying that I don't have 8 cavities this time.

4. Yesterday I got in line at the health food store behind Lisa Bevere, one of my heros. She actually recognized me from when we met probably 6 years ago working with a program at church (that kind of memory is so impressive to me - how do people do that?), and after a little chit-chat, she started telling me about her new book. Her passion for her subject and her conviction inspired me more than I can explain. The checker at the register was all wide-eyed, and after Lisa left, I said to her, "That's one of the most amazing women I know of." "It sounds like it!" she answered. Then she asked me to write down Lisa's name so she could go find her books. I seriously doubt that girl is a Christian, but Lisa's books contain strong salvation messages at the beginning of each one. That all felt like a divine appointment to me. Definitely a highlight.

5. The sermon we had yesterday morning was incredible. I won't post the link here, but if you want it, let me know and I'll email it. It was a guest speaker, and his topic was grace, from Romans 5. If you've ever felt like you couldn't be good enough, couldn't do enough right things, that you were somehow a failure to God, this message is life-changing. I literally think it may change the culture of our home.

6. I've been going through Dave Ramsey's recommended reading list, getting the books from Paperbackswap.com. The latest one is QBQ. This is opening my eyes to what causes some of my stress and frustration. Expect another post about this soon. :)

Off to go do a couple of organizing projects. Hope you have a great week!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

3 year old science experiments

Hannah did this all by herself:

video

Soul Food

I realized a while back that I had a strange habit:

I would seek God for a little while, and after a while get to a "saturation point." He would start to fill my heart and mind with so many good things that I would get just a little overwhelmed. I wouldn't want to miss anything He had for me, so I would make a strange choice: to stop seeking Him. It was only temporary, and no one but me and God would even notice the difference. I had good intentions with this - I was doing it so that everything could soak in. The problem was, that as soon as I stopped seeking, the "food" stopped. Within a few days I would be so burnt out it was ridiculous. Then I would begin the cycle again, seeking God for refreshment. Sounds fun...be fulfilled, go a few days, and then CRASH...big time. I have done this much of my adult life.

The past few days have been rich with food for my soul. I feel satisfied to the point of being a little overwhelmed. I want more! My thirst for God is not quenched! By the grace of God, I will remember the things I need to remember, and have more to give.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Lincoln and Leadership

Long-time friend Sara wrote a great post about a lecture she went to last night on Lincoln and leadership. Sounds like it was a great lecture. I love this kind of thing.

From the comment I left: Nick and I were talking the other day about how there's a shortage of people in the world who really think about important things, and how we want to be people like that and find people like that.

I've heard it said that small minds discuss people, average minds discuss events, and great minds discuss ideas.

By the way, to read Sara's post you have to sign up for a Xanga account and sign in. It's free and takes 2 minutes and it's well worth it. :)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

God is cool

My friend Thea has such a cool story to tell that I asked her if I could share it. For the past several months, she's been dealing with a posterior placenta previa in her second pregnancy. If you don't understand previa, here's a place to read about it. She was scheduled for her second c-section next week. (And if you know anything about c-sections, each one you have makes it less and less likely that you will ever safely have a regular birth. The scar tissue can also cause miscarriages and all kind of stuff. There are people who have regular births after two, but it's not common and considered rather dangerous.) But, God worked a miracle here. This is her story:


"They agreed to do the final ultrasound today to see where things were in relation to the previa since I had been so adamant about checking at the last minute. Everyone was pretty certain nothing would have changed because it is nearly impossible for the posterior part of a uterus to grow enough in 2 weeks to give us the clearance we needed. Still, the doctor was kind and allowed the final ultrasound for my peace of mind.

The sonographer said the baby's head was too low for her to see the placenta and she kept saying "where is it?" "I don't see anything" so she finally got measurements and had to manually push the baby's head up and the placenta hadn't moved the 2.1 centimeters I had been praying for but the measurements show closer to 2.5-3 centimeters of movement which is beyond possible considering the max growth generally allows for a movement of .3cm per week. She kept measuring and measuring and brought the dr in and he didn't believe her, saying "What? That's impossible for it to move that much in 2 weeks..." and lo and behold...he saw the measurements for himself and cancelled the surgery. I told them it must be prayer since there's no other explanation - they went back and checked the older ultrasounds and sure enough it had moved - every medical study I can find and that I am aware of shows that at this point and later in pregnancy a posterior previa (what I have had) does not move...I cannot tell you how excited and relieved I was to leave scheduling an appointment for next week but cancelling a surgery. :) We have gone from a life-threatening situation worrying about hemmorhage every day and the concerns of a baby that may need time in the NICU to a healthy pregnancy with everything looking perfect...what an awesome God we serve :)

I am elated and now...praying for a safe and timely delivery of our little girl :)"

Cranky

We're having a rough few days around here. Not sure quite what the problem is.

Yesterday, most of the day was spent following the girls from one thing they're not supposed to do, to the next thing they're not supposed to do, trying to keep them alive. When they are caught in the act, both have taken to screaming, arching backs, and generally throwing fits. I'm tired.

Audrey has been following me around the house whining, and Hannah has to be reminded every time she talks to use a nice voice rather than yelling at me or whining at me, neither of which are acceptable and she knows it.

You know that mode kids get into when it just doesn't matter what is available to them, they'll find the one thing they're not supposed to do? Kinda reminds me of the Garden of Eden (eat from any tree but this one...) But, I digress.

What works to get your kids out of that mode? I'm at a loss.

And, the fact is, getting in the car and just running errands might even help, but I'm so wiped out that the 30 minute process of actually getting everybody in the car keeps me from even attempting it. I never knew I could possibly become a homebody... I hardly go anywhere during the day anymore.

I'm cranky and kinda depressed.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

And

The video post from a couple days ago is working. Go watch my cute kids. ;)

For any fellow project runway fans...


Heehee.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Monday Highlights

1. Worship recording Friday night at church. We're planning to be in the choir. These are so much fun, and such an incredible thing to be a part of. The songs we will record have been written out of the events of the past year and a half, and are a commentary on God's faithfulness. For some incredible reason, God uses the music from our church in churches all over the the world. I am so excited and humbled to be able to be a part of the process. I REALLY want to give you the password to go listen to the songs streaming on the website, but shall restrain myself.

2. On the health front, we start a yeast cleanse with the girls this week. These are not very much fun, because you usually feel terrible while you do it. Afterward though, they shouldn't get sick nearly as much, and Audrey will hopefully start gaining weight again. I'm so glad to have a Dr. to oversee this process. Read more about candida here. (Except that you have to understand that no one has ever paid for scientific studies about this stuff, because there is no money in using herbs for health, as opposed to the millions that drugs make for drug companies. Since there are no studies, conventional medicine doesn't believe this stuff. Let me tell ya, it's real.)

3. Maeve Bridal site is up and running. I know the site is not that attractive right now. We're starting this business with no debt. That means godaddy's $5/month website with $10 domain registration deal is a good one. We will have more gowns up soon. Someday we'll have a beautiful, professional website. :)

4. We waaaay over committed ourselves the last couple of weeks. By Saturday, I was fried. No more, I tell you! If you ask me about getting together and I tell you my next available date is 3 weeks from yesterday, please understand that I am not putting you off, I am simply keeping my sanity. Ha!

5. I am currently eating Terra Spiced Sweet Potato Chips. Oh, my goodness. I could eat the whole bag. Have you tried these things?

6. I got my hair cut on Saturday. I'll have to try to get a picture of it later. It's blonde, and kind of an inverted bob - a little longer in front. Pretty fun...

7. Our heater quit working Saturday night. It also snowed Saturday night. I am thankful for space heaters. I am also thankful for a concientous landlord who paid to fix it on a Sunday. It was 8 degrees overnight last night. We were warm.

I better quit giving you highlights and go put my kids down for naps. What were your highlights?

Friday, February 15, 2008

Fun New Videos

The girls are so cute. I can't help it. They are! :)

video

Valentine's Day

So, Valentine's was fun around here. Nick and I are having our date tonight, so it's not over yet! :)

Wednesday night I had a meeting with my reunion planning committee, and when I got home, Nick had roses for me and the girls, the whole house picked up, the kitchen floor swept, the dishes done, and candles lit. That was SO nice. Yesterday the girls and I went to my parents' house for a tea party with my mom and sisters. We took the girls out to dinner with us last night. Tonight is dinner out and we're not sure what else. I hate rushing through dinner to get to a movie, so maybe we'll just go sit at Starbucks like adults (rather than chasing kids :) or maybe we'll come up with something else. It will be nice to be together, and alone!

We tend to stretch out celebrations like this - not even necessarily on purpose. I just don't think we have enough time and/or energy to do all the celebrating we want to in just one day. :)

What did you do?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

How profoundly sad

I will never see this kind of thing the same way ever again...

2 Chron 7:14:

if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray
and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from
heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

It's time to humble ourselves, pray, seek the face of God and turn from wickedness! I don't think there's any doubt that our land needs healing. It's often pointed out that this verse is directed at God's people, not at the world. He will heal the land because of His people. We cannot blame the wickedness around us, the worldliness around us. It's up to believers to be the people God called us to be.

The Dr. Phil Test

Stole this from Joanna. :)

Below is Dr Phil's test. (Dr. Phil scored 55; he did this test on Oprah - she got a 38.) Some folks pay a lot of money to find this stuff out!

Read on, this is very interesting! Do not be overly sensitive! The following is pretty accurate and it only takes 2 minutes. Don't peek, but begin the test as you scroll down and answer.

Answers are for who you are now... not who you were in the past. Have pen or pencil and paper ready. This is a real test given by the Human Relations Dept. at many of the major corporations today. It helps them get better insight concerning their employees and prospective employees.

It's only 10 Simple questions, so... grab a pencil and paper, keeping track of your letter answers to each question.Ready??Begin...

1. When do you feel your best?
a) in the morning
b) during the afternoon &and early evening
c) late at night

2. You usually walk...
a) fairly fast, with long steps
b) fairly fast, with little steps
c) less fast head up, looking the world in the face
d) less fast, head down
e) very slowly

3. When talking to people you...
a) stand with your arms folded
b) have your hands clasped
c) have one or both your hands on your hips
d) touch or push the person to whom you are talking
e) play with your ear, touch your chin, or smooth your hair

4. When relaxing, you sit with...
a) your knees bent with your legs neatly side by side
b) your legs crossed
c) your legs stretched out or straight
d) one leg curled under you

5. When something really amuses you, you react with...
a) big appreciated laugh
b) a laugh, but not a loud onec) a quiet chuckle
d) a sheepish smile

6. When you go to a party or social gathering you...
a) make a loud entrance so everyone notices you
b) make a quiet entrance, looking around for someone you know
c) make the quietest entrance, trying to stay unnoticed

7. You're working very hard, concentrating hard, and you're interrupted...
a) welcome the break
b) feel extremely irritated
c) vary between these two extremes

8. Which of the following colors do you like most?
a) Red or orange
b) black
c) yellow or light blue
d) green
e) dark blue or purple
f) white
g) brown or gray

9. When you are in bed at night, in those last few moments before going to sleep you are...
a) stretched out on your back
b) stretched out face down on your stomach
c) on your side, slightly curled
d) with your head on one arm
e) with your head under the covers

10. You often dream that you are...
a) falling
b) fighting or struggling
c) searching for something or somebody
d) flying or floating
e) you usually have dreamless sleep
f) your dreams are always pleasant

POINTS:
1. (a) 2 (b) 4 (c) 6
2. (a) 6 (b) 4 (c) 7 (d) 2 (e) 1
3. (a) 4 (b) 2 (c) 5 (d) 7 (e) 6
4. (a) 4 (b) 6 (c) 2 (d) 1
5. (a) 6 (b) 4 (c) 3 (d) 5 (e) 2
6. (a) 6 (b) 4 (c) 2
7. (a) 6 (b) 2 (c) 4
8. (a) 6 (b) 7 (c) 5 (d) 4 (e) 3 (f) 2 (g) 1
9. (a) 7 (b) 6 (c) 4 (d) 2 (e) 1
10. (a) 4 (b) 2 (c) 3 (d) 5 (e) 6 (f) 1

Now add up the total number of points.

OVER 60 POINTS : Others see you as someone they should "handle with care." You're seen as vain, self-centered, and who is extremely dominant.. Others may admire you, wishing they could be more like you, but don't always trust you, hesitating to become too deeply involved with you

51 TO 60 POINTS: Others see you as an exciting, highly volatile, rather impulsive personality; a natural leader, who's quick to make decisions, though not always the right ones. They see you as bold and adventuresome, someone who will try anything once; someone who takes chances and enjoys an adventure. They enjoy being in your company because of the excitement you radiate.

41 TO 50 POINTS: Others see you as fresh, lively, charming, amusing, practical, and always interesting; someone who's constantly in the center of attention, but sufficiently well-balanced not to let it go to their head. They also see you as kind, considerate, and understanding; someone who'll always cheer them up and help them out.

31 TO 40 POINTS: Others see you as sensible, cautious, careful & practical. They see you as clever, gifted, or talented, but modest. Not a person who makes friends too quickly or easily, but someone who's extremely loyal to friends you do make and who expect the same loyalty in return. Those who really get to know you realize it takes a lot to shake your trust in your friends, but equally that it takes you a long time to get over if that trust is ever broken.

21 TO 30 POINTS: Your friends see you as painstaking and fussy They see you as very cautious, extremely careful, a slow and steady plodder. It would! really surprise them if you ever did something impulsively or on the spur of the moment, expecting you to examine everything carefully from every angle and then, usually decide against it. They think this reaction is caused partly by your careful nature.

UNDER 21 POINTS: People think you are shy, nervous, and indecisive, someone who needs looking after, who always wants someone else to make the decisions & who doesn't want to get involved with anyone or anything! They see you as a worrier who always sees problems that don't exist. So me people think you're boring. Only those who know you well know that you aren't.

What did you get?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Jared Anderson

Go listen to Jared's new song. It's called Glorified.
And while you're at it, go listen to his coffeeshop music too.
Love it.

My Challenge Part 2

I was laying awake last night (after Audrey woke up and cried so pitifully that I went and rocked her in the rocking chair for a little while. I needed to hold her as badly as she needed to be held. I hope I don't regret that tonight.), thinking that I didn't really finish my thought yesterday. I could probably be a decent writer if I wasn't so antsy to publish my thoughts!

Anyway, it is incredibly easy to begin focusing on challenges. However, when you focus on a problem, it gets bigger and bigger and bigger... Sometimes I suddenly realize that I have thought and worried about things related to my health or the health of one of the kids for the better part of the day. That can't be...healthy. :) I suppose it's natural for me to spend a lot of my mental energy trying to find answers. But, let me tell you what happens when I do that: 1, I wipe myself out completely and 2, I still don't find any answers.

For me, answers to my problems come most easily when I am reading or have read my Bible recently, after a restful sleep, or while I'm talking to a trusted friend. Worry never brings solutions. There are occasions when my own will is what needs to be conquered (Example: last night. I was fretting over feeding Hannah because we had stuff to do, and I forced myself to put together a dinner for her to eat while we were out so she didn't have to eat restaurant food and be sick. It worked great, she loved it, and she's not sick today. But it required discipline on my part.) Most of the time though, what I need to do most is focus my attention on God rather than on the problem.

If I'm feeding myself truth on a daily basis, I'm much less likely to get cranky, moody, lonely, anxious, or anything else that makes my challenges in life seem impossible. God never gives us more than we can handle with His help, but in my opinion, He gives us things we can't handle without Him all the time.

An understanding of grace also fits in here somewhere. I am relentless, ruthless with myself by nature. I never realized I was a perfectionist until I couldn't make things perfect anymore...kids will do that to ya. But there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8). Our pastor has been speaking on grace the past few weeks. If I, if we, could really grasp that our condemnation is gone because of Jesus' sacrifice, we wouldn't be judgemental anymore. We wouldn't beat ourselves up if we don't perform to our standards. We would pick ourselves up and give it our all, over and over. There is no such thing as defeat. Again, I haven't yet processed this enough to write it very well. Maybe you'll get it anyway.

Our challenges develop Godly growth in our lives. Have you ever met someone for whom life has been easy? They have never had the discipline in their lives to grow their character. I am grateful for the things in my life that have been hard. I would also never want to do them over again! :) But, the depth, the passion, the reliance on God, and the perseverance they have developed in my soul are priceless to me.

This way of thinking is somewhat new to me. I am developing new habits of thought. I always enjoy hearing your thoughts!

A good Valentine's post

Jana has some really great thoughts for us wives/girlfriends. Actually, guys should probably read it too - they would gain great understanding of the female mind. If that's possible. :)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Homemade Fragrances

I am so going to do this. If you saw me coming out of a store with a large bottle of vodka and I told you it was for making perfume, would you believe me?

Michael Jackson

When I was a kid growing up in Southern California, we went to Disneyland a lot. One year we actually had annual passes and usually went once a week. One of my favorite memories is of the Michael Jackson 3D movie they played for like 7 years. I think it was called Captain EO? Did anybody else see this? I remember watching that thing and getting chills. It was the first time I realized how powerful music was in affecting your emotions. I couldn't have explained it to you at the time, but that's the truth.

Today I opened up our Napster account. By the way, if you like music (and if you don't happen to own an ipod, which might make it rather pointless since they don't work together) you should have a Napster account. $15 a month gives you access to pretty much anything that comes out, as long as you keep paying $15 a month. You can fill an MP3 player and still only pay $15 a month. This comes in very handy when piano students come asking me to teach them some random song I've never heard before. Napster also lists the new releases. Today they had Michael Jackson's new greatest hits-type release there, so I listened to it.

I know the guy is a weirdo. I know he's probably a pedophile. I know these things. However, when I listen to the man's music, I am instantly transported back to Disneyland, watching Captain EO, or to my childhood living room, watching my mom dance to the record player. I predict the guy will be successful for the rest of his life, simply because of the way his music makes people feel.

My Challenge

The longer I have children, the less judgemental I become. I think as I have more children I will become even less judgemental than I am now. No two kids are alike, it really is true. When I set out to have a family, I had all these ideals, all these plans for my family. We would eat right and be healthy. I would discipline them so they would mind. I would never put my kids before my marriage. My kids would love each other and be kind to each other. I still believe those things, but they don't necessarily happen the way I thought. They require daily thought, daily work. They do not happen on their own, in spite of how deeply I believe in them.

In addition, I have found that life wasn't what I thought it would be. There is no formula for a carefree life. You can do everything right and still have problems. I believe that many of the health issues that Hannah has are a result of the trauma that surrounded her birth. Her tiny body was subjected to intense stress in the 2 weeks before and 5 weeks after her birth. I did everything right during that pregnancy - everything I had control over. But I couldn't control all of it, and none of us can.

I have a feeling that most mothers will be confronted with at least one big challenge while raising their children - at least one thing that will require everything they have (and really, much more than they have.) The one I currently have is Hannah's health. Just the gluten issue alone is a challenge. I head up a support forum for gluten intolerance, and often people will join it and write panicked, breathless posts about how they cannot see any way they will feed their children like this for the rest of their lives. I remember having that feeling as I researched gluten, and slowly realized what it meant. However, my daughter - who could very easily have been diagnosed with some terrible syndrome otherwise - is NORMAL, happy, smart and very very sweet. Gluten is like being on drugs for her though. She would have been a totally different human being apart from a gluten free diet. To me, this is reason to celebrate. We know how to be well!

My brother watches Montel so he can laugh at it, and he had this guest on who had a child labeled as handicapped. They put the child on a gluten free diet, and there was 100% improvement. I am forever grateful that we caught this early with Hannah, that she is able to develop normally, and not suffer needlessly.

Even more is asked of me though, because Hannah's stomach is continuing to have problems, even with no gluten, yeast, dairy, egg, soy, or sugar. Here's where the judgementalism comes in. I remember seeing mothers, back before I had kids, who would not allow their children to eat ANYTHING. I remember thinking they were nuts. That they were going way overboard. Life has a way of bringing those kinds of thoughts full-circle. I have had to become that mother, by no choice of my own. I have been entrusted with this child who desperately needs my protection, my guidance, so that she can live a full life in health rather than in sickness.

During this time in her life, that requires that I be very protective of what Hannah eats. This is HARD - even for me! I fed Hannah absolutely nothing that could possibly hurt her stomach yesterday. I know she's a little bothered by beans, tomatoes, and any large amounts of carbs, in addition to the things Dr P found. She may need to eat only turkey deli meat (all natural, of course), brown rice crackers, herbal tea, avocado, blueberries, oranges and natural all-beef hot dogs, for a while. Hopefully we can add in more things once we figure out what in the world is bothering her so much. She tells me several times a day, every day, that her stomach hurts "real bad." She's never been...ahem...regular...in her life. I cannot expect her to potty-train easily if she's hurting that much.

I got very discouraged about all of this just yesterday. And yet I feel honored to be trusted with it. "To whom much is given, much is required."

What do you guys think? Do you have similar challenges?

Uh...Tuesday...Highlights

1. Hannah threw up several times Sunday night. Something is still bothering her system and I cannot figure out what it is. We ate out a lot over the weekend, so it could have been anything. She sure was sick though. I sure hate throw up.

2. As a result, yesterday was a day to be survived. I woke up this morning thinking, "didn't I just do this?" Thankfully today is much better so far, with the exception of the standard post-sickness temper tantrums. Do your kids do those? It's like they get used to being waiting on hand and foot, and get awfully frustrated when the preferential treatment ends. No, you cannot watch Calliou 500 million times today!

3. Nick is helping a friend move tonight. This is one of those things I must fight the temptation to be cranky about. I want him to help friends move - I really do. It's just that it is a huge sacrifice for him to be gone all night. I know, I'm a wimp. There are so many of you whose husbands travel and stuff. I guess we don't have much practice. I'm thinking about taking the girls to the mall or something tonight. At least we can go play rather than sitting in the house all day?

4. My mom is having a Valentine's Day tea for my sisters and my kids and I. Hannah has been talking about having "a pink party with hearts," so I guess this will fit the bill. I have no idea where she learned about that. Advertising is amazing. So is a 2 1/2 year old's ability to understand it.

5. I have the biggest mess of a house today. I did nothing but keep everybody alive and fed yesterday, so the dishes, the toys, the vaccuuming, you-name-it, it was left undone. I will either try the Flylady 15 minute rule, or just turn on music and work till I drop. It all depends on the level of motivation I can work up.

6. In spite of my griping today, we actually slept last night! Audrey has slept through the night every night for two weeks, but Hannah has been waking up every night. Last night we all slept from 10pm to 8am. Yay!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Back...with thoughts

I took a break from media in general last week. I quit reading all but my closest friends' and most favorite blogs. I didn't watch tv (except for Nick and I watched American Idol together one night:). I only listened to worship music. I needed to quiet the voices that were calling for my attention, you know? I'm not sure I'm done.

It's so easy to get information now. It almost becomes god-like. Have a question about anything - from parenting to finances to cooking? You can find a blog about it. Or a website to answer all of your questions. The problem is, much of the information is contradictory. There are so many different opinions out there. So how do you decide who has the right to recommend changes and new thoughts?

Personally, I had to shut it down this week. The thoughts in my head can get almost frenzied if I'm not careful.

I've been emailing back and forth with a new friend this week. Jana has been encouraging me to put all of my focus on God. Like everyone, I have things about my personality I don't like. If I focus on those things, they get bigger and bigger until I feel like a complete failure. That's not helpful. If I focus on God, His immense ability to change me by His Holy Spirit, from the inside out, makes anything possible. The more time I spend with God, the more I start to think the way He thinks and feel the way He feels about things. It's far too easy to feel a need, and go to a person, a website, a tv show, a book, or even to myself to meet that need. Much of this stuff is good, and we should be talking to trusted people, reading, and understanding the times in which we live. But, all of these things will disappoint. God will not. He may not answer in the way we think He should, but that's the beauty of this. Our ability to find answers that work is so limited - His is unlimited. He often does things in ways we would never think of.

Anyway, I'm beginning to ramble. I think you get the point. Gotta go take care of kiddos.

Friday, February 8, 2008

I miss you all!

I'm doing lots of journaling, reading, and working on business and reunion stuff this week. Stay tuned. :)

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Taking a break

Just wanted to let you all know that I'm going to fall off the face of the blogosphere for a while. I'll be checking email and my Facebook, because I'm in the middle of high school reunion planning, but other than that I'll be offline. See you all in a while!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Enzyme for Gluten?

Thought those of you in the GF world might find this interesting. What do you think, will it work, or will it just be another drug that causes different issues?

Monday Highlights

1. Listening to David Crowder Band today, as loudly as I can get away with without upsetting the girls. It reminds me of old times, not to mention being soul-soothing. I need some soul-soothing today.

2. Christina and Cole are coming to visit on Wednesday! Looking forward to seeing them. :) I think it's been 6 or 7 years since I've seen Christina!?!

3. Nick is going to our local caucus to vote on Tuesday night. He's very interested in the whole political process. We're leaning toward Romney around here.

4. Nick's giving me a night out this week, if not tonight. We're due for 4-6 inches of snow up here tonight, so we'll see. But, I get to go out and do whatever I want, whenever it does happen. I need this!

5. My house is a disaster. Does anyone else end up with a disaster after the weekend? Why does this happen? I teach piano on Mondays, so it gives me so much pressure to get it all cleaned up...

6. The girls slept pretty well last night, and so did I. We went to bed very late because we were over at my parents' watching the game, but we all slept late. It was nice.

7. I've been a little discouraged about our food situation the past few days. Anybody want to tell me what to make for dinner? We can't have gluten, soy, egg, corn, dairy, sugar/honey/maple syrup or yeast, between the 4 of us. In theory this will get better as we quit eating the things that bother us for a while, but it sure is overwhelming at the moment. The rash Audrey has had on her arms and legs for pretty much her whole life is finally gone...this is making a difference, it just comes at a price!

8. Does anybody know how to keep cats out of potted plant dirt? Arg!

9. Hannah has been pulling off her diaper any time she's wet this morning. She can put a pull-up on by herself, and she's changing herself regularly. Potty training? Maybe she's finally ready!

Alrighty. Better go work on the mess...

Friday, February 1, 2008

I love this. We moms have to do this kind of thing, otherwise we end up feeling like a household appliance. There's the dishwasher, the washing machine, the mom...

Babywise vs. Attachment Parenting

So, my post about Audrey's sleeping habits brought up an interesting debate, one that has been hotly contested for years.

Babywise, as I understand it, contains these points:

-Strict scheduling that should not be "cheated" on - babies must be allowed to cry if it's time to sleep and they don't want to, they only eat at certain times, etc.
-Babies sleep all through the night very early
-Some of you can probably add other points

Attachment parenting, as I understand it:

-Focus is on developing a deep connection with the child, almost meeting their needs before they have them to gain their trust
-Many people have "family beds" where their children sleep with them until they are at least 2
-Focus is on breastfeeding whenever the child is hungry

These two ideas are drastically different. As a side note, the longer I have kids, the more I realize that there are SO many different ways to parent children. And here's the shocker: most kids turn out okay! We can fret and worry about the ways we choose to raise them, but when it comes down to it, if kids recieve love, attention, and Godly wisdom they will probably be fine, however you choose to do it! That's so freeing to me...

With that said, I think both of these parenting styles have merits. I tend to respond to the attachment parenting ideals because that's more the way I was raised and I think my mom and dad did a great job. However, we don't do well with our kids in bed with us.

Obviously this week, I learned that Babywise has some major pluses: sleep, for example. Ha! (My kids slept all night in their own room last night, by the way. I can hardly believe it!) However, I have objected to Babywise very strongly because I know SO many people who attempted to breastfeed on that plan, and either didn't have enough milk or their babies didn't gain weight. That is a major issue, because for me there was no other way - I was going to breastfeed. I didn't see formula as an alternative.

If you've never read about the benefits of breastfeeding for babies, here's a link. And here are some benefits for the mother. I know of so many children who have reoccuring ear infections on formula. That signals an allergy - either to the dairy or soy protein in their formula.

I know lots of women try to breastfeed and are heart-broken when it doesn't work. This is SO sad to me. You must have the right kind of support if you are struggling. When I was in the hospital with Hannah, she really struggled to "get it." The hospital lactation consultant hovered around saying things like, "if she doesn't get it, we can always give her a bottle with some formula." I finally said to her, "this is the way we're doing it." She said, "good for you!" and then left me alone. :) That kind of "breastfeeding support" has been what I have seen from hospital lactation consultants in other people's experience as well, at least around here. If you struggle, here's some ideas - kellymom.com is a fantastic resource, and La Leche League provides fantastic support either in their support groups or by calling a leader. When Hannah struggled with nursing after being sick with RSV, I called a LLL leader and she walked me through exercises for Hannah's tongue that fixed the problem. It was pretty amazing, really. Find somebody who can help you do it - it can be done. I have the benefit of being from an extended family who nursed all their children, so I had the emotional support as well as many many women with experience to help support me. But even if you don't, you can still do it.

Sorry. Little soapbox there. Returning to the point. I guess the point is, find what works. This is my opinion - what works for me with my particular children. The one thing I do try to avoid is being selfish with my decisions - doing something because it's just easier for me, with no regard for what's best. However, that must also be balanced with what I can withstand! :) And so is the balancing act that is motherhood.

What has worked for you?