Monday, January 31, 2011

Unlocking our sons life journey


Last night before the cream sodas and the movie my son took his first steps onto a new path.

No not my 4 month old, he's still laying on the floor grabbing his toes and trying to figure out how he can put them in his mouth.

My Nine year old; handsome, freckle faced, dreamy eyed son.

My husband and I have been together for 7 years now and married for almost 6. He met my daughter when she was four, and my son when he was a month shy of two and then we married a year later.

We've always been really open about things with our kids, on how our family came about, my daughter has asked a lot of questions about her early beginnings and my son asked too but in the last few years the asking has stopped and life has just settled into us being us.

Last night my daughter started talking about how her and her brother were half brothers (if you're confused read about me. ) And my son looked really confused. "I don't get it?" he said.

"Well, you know you were adopted by dad right? We've talked about that before." we said.

"Yes, I know. You and dad had me and then got married two years later and then adopted me"

The room went silent, my heart sank, my husbands eyes lowered and we realised that he had forgotten "the story". So as my heart raced and sunk and raced and sunk and my stomach turned, I took my son in private and sat him down. Here is your journey son.

I had to explain in the best way I could "the story"

He was crushed. One foot on the path.

I explained how his biological dad left me and even when my son was really sick and almost died his biological Dad didn't come.

Next foot on the path.

My son...he says to me "so your baby, me,  was really sick and he never came to support you and so you knew he wouldn't be a good dad for me so God gave me a better Dad?"

I couldn't believe that he was empathising with me in the situation and not his own abandonment, that's my son, that's my God protecting his mind.

He cried and cried and we talked for a while, and then I called my husband to come in and he reassured him how much he loved him. We talked about how even Jesus had a step dad in Joseph and God knew Kevin would be his dad from before he was even born.

We cannot hide our kids from their journey we can only show them the right paths.

"You will show me the way of  life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever." Psalm16:11.

It is so painful to watch our kids go through pain, rejection, fear, sickness and make mistakes. Some things we can prevent, somethings we can heal with a hug and a band aid. But there are some we cannot even touch, like a serious illness, or a deep shadow of abandonment.

I tell my kids I'm hear to talk to you about anything, I'm hear to offer my love and advice, but some of those things you have unanswered in your heart will be there for God to heal and touch.

I know one thing for sure; your child will walk through trials in his or her life. To try with all your might to prevent this or hide these trials from them, you are only disabling them to walk their journey strong. Let go of their hand and walk beside them guiding them, teaching them, comforting them, encouraging them.

I always joke with first time parents, if you see your child trying to walk on their own,(walking babies are trouble!) Push them over and say "NO! Bad Baby!"
Okay I'm totally joking.

Teaching our kids that in life we all walk on a broken path, there is not one path a person takes that isn't full of pot holes, sticks, stones and our neighbors dog poo. BUT when we walk with God we know our destination, we know what our journey is. WHOLENESS.

"...and in Him you have been made complete." Colossians 2:10

Enjoy Life this is not a dress rehearsal



Weekends to me are  key to a good week ahead. As long as I get a lot of rest in; a lot of family and friends in and this and that I'm good to go!


This weekend was complete with


 My camera being hijacked by my four year old. I only discovered this a few moments ago when I began to upload a lot of pictures off my i phone camera. Like this one...









And this


And these


And about 25 more of these.



...........................................................................................


I've had a baby marathon almost every night this week, I've turned into a human soother. So I played hooky from church and slept. But who can be mad at a sleep monster when they are as cute as this. 



And this


And this!



.....................................................................................................................................


Grandma took the two wee ones for a sleepover so my hubby and the two older kids, and baby,  had cream soda floats and watched Despicable Me.

Who can stick to a diet when God gives you ingenious treats like this?

and this?!


 And these?!



.....................................................................................................................................


Went to a local musicians CD release concert with my friend and left All the kids with our great husbands who are awesome dads! We came back to a mean game of Partini. There was a lot of this


And This


and a bit of this



with a side of this





..................................................................................................


And with all these joys I know that whatever comes my way whether, testing, trials or triumphs; I will know that just around the corner is another joy waiting to be discovered. Perhaps another ah hah moment of "who
ever thought to put ice cream with pink soda???????"

To a few of my friends and family members who are all on different paths walking through the valley right now. I pray God will show you the faith in the fire, the laughter in the tears, the peace in the fear, and the joy in the sorrow.

You know who you are...xoxoxo

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Poop.



POTTY TRAINING pssfffffff!!

What a  topic? Right? I don't know of any mother or father who have gloated gloriously at their first attempt being a success story and I don't want to either.

You'd think I'd be a pro by now, but I've gotten lazy.

It hit me that my 2 year old little snuggle bug will be turning three in a few months and he's still hiding in corners of the room to fill his pull up.

I hide in corners of the room to eat chocolate, both sinful.

I can't even potty train our dumb dog, who recently ran down stairs jumped on the four year old's bed and peed on her pillow. argggggg

I couldn't even get my toddler to pee on the potty, not once. We tried stickers, candy, potty songs, potty books, demonstrations, cheerio shooting competitions, and every other imaginable tactic. Not one drop.

Finally my mother said, "you just need to do what the Africans do and let him run around naked and put a potty in the kitchen"

So for 12 hours one day we had nakedness all over the place, bums on chairs, bums on floors, bums on pillows, bums on stairs, bums on my lap, until finally....He peed on the bar stool and on the floor.

"I did it Mom! See I peed. Yeah!"

"Yes, yes you did!"

Eventually I did catch him midstream and he peed in his little potty. Then a light went on inside and for the next three days, the 2 year old peed, the four year old emptied the potty (at her request!)

"Careful,, whoa!...don't spill!...careful!"

and I praised and clapped and danced.

Then we went on a road trip for Christmas and lost our momentum.

Now for the harder task of #2!

This phrase, which would bring joy and pride to most parents, brings fear and loathing to my spirit.

"IT'S OKAY MOM! I CLEANED IT MYSELF!"

This phrase is heard around 2pm every other day, usually around nap time, when he's tucked in soundly and quiet. (he hasn't actually napped in three weeks, but I'm hopeful)

Anyway, this phrase means. I pooped my pull up, took it off, grabbed the box of wipes, sat on the carpet, wiped, wiped, wiped, with every single wipe in the container and stuffed them back in one by one.

I get the heads up, run the tub, grab the carpet cleaner and away we go. This is as far as we've gotten in training.

So, today I had coffee, with my dear African friend and she tells me that in Africa it is very rare for a child to NOT be potty trained by age 1. You heard me ONE.

If the child is older than ONE, the parent gets the tsssk tssssk from the other moms.

So tsssk tsssk on me I guess.

I asked her what the secret is. "Let them run around naked"

So here's to a weekend full of one little white naked butt running around, cheering "I did it!" every time he pees on the sofa!



Have a great weekend!

Friday, January 28, 2011

IT'S A MEGABYTE LIFE: electronics, computers and kids

IT'S A MEGABYTE LIFE

So today, after school, I'm driving the pre-teen to let her buy an ipod-touch. She's been begging and saving for one and now she's met her quota for saving and begging.

I'm a little dismayed because I had just given her my basic ipod as a gift when I upgraded my phone to an iphone. But, if she's paying for it herself, I guess it's okay. Or is it? Pre-teen manual please!

We've been pretty behind on the electronic wagon, compared to a lot of families out there. Our family computer is a hand-me-down and so child locked, even Pee Wee Herman is blocked, (as he should be).

Two years ago we got our first family gaming device, the wii. About 5-6 years behind...everyone.
My kids friends get a few new games every other week. Our kids get a new game every birthday and Christmas.

When every kid on the block were playing with D.S's we bought our kids second-hand Game Boys from 1998.

Last year, they finally got their D.S's, just when all their friends were getting into the latest craze. We can't keep up nor do we intend too.

Almost 80% of all my daughter's friends now have cell-phones. Texting like crazy; photo options, music, games...ect. the best of the best.

My daughter has been BEGGING for a phone for 2 years now. My stance has been, no way! "Your best friends live next door or a few houses away, here are two tin cans and a ball of string, knock yourself out!"

I found these great real size cutouts of phones in a flyer. I pasted them onto cardboard, and said here you go kids. She started "pretend" texting like a mad teen. I eventually had to tell her to quit "fake" texting her "fake"  friends and do your chores.
 
  


Now that she is going into junior high, besides contemplating asking the dentist to give her bucked teeth, I've been thinking about a phone. THINKING ABOUT IT.

Her school would be half way across the city and they are free to leave campus during lunch and breaks. I told her that IF we did, we'd get her one of those kid phones that have four big green buttons. One calls the police, one for Mom, one for Dad and one for Grandma.

Yeah, she'd rather have a cardboard phone.


MY STANCE ON ELECTRONICS AND COMPUTERS:
  • Kids have to be good on a computer, it's their future schooling and jobs. They need to be able to get around one, and that takes exposure and practice. So banning it 100% is a disservice, (my opinion).
  • Whether or not they paid for it them self, it's a privilege that can be taken away.
  • We have all access to their accounts, passwords..etc.
  • Computer is in the family room, open for all to see.
  • No more than 1/2hr-1hr a day at home. Weekends, whatever keeps them quiet so Mom can sleep.
  • No electronics at dinner or family time, This goes for the hubby too!
We may be a bit too diligent sometimes. I'm sure my daughters friends think we're lame. And I know when our kids visit them they get free reign. But the Internet is a dangerous place. Having unsupervised Internet access is like dropping your kids into a shark tank. Even so called "safe"sights. Like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, can suck your kids into porn, violence and scary images in an instant. So give your kids a life jacket, an iron cage, and a shark expert and then throw them in!



I'D LOVE TO HEAR YOUR TAKE ON ELECTRONICS/COMPUTERS WITH KIDS!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Fishing Fun


In an attempt to get my i phone back from the little kids who only think fun comes from a screen, I decided to take them fishing!



This is all you need.
construction paper
tape
string
chopsticks
magnets
paper clips
scissors



Cut out fishes, throw in some angry sharks too. (life lesson)
 Place a paper clip on each one


My little artist drawing all the faces on the fish.


"Fishes look like this, Mom!"


"Sharks look like this"



Tape the string magnets and chopstick together


Throw your kids in a laundry basket on a blue sheet and scatter fish. Now quick! Go get a drink of coffee before they notice you're gone!


My little guy fished his heart out.



Like a little warrior he eventually just grabbed the fish out of the shark infested sheet with his bare hands.


"I got it, Mom! I did it!"





Good times!

Now I have to go brush the two year old's teeth, because his breath smells like coffee and my mug is empty. go figure.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Then and Now: How raising babies has changed for me


It's been twelve years since I held my first newborn in my arms. What an adventure that was; what a HUGE learning curve. What a completely overwhelming experience; what a time I would never give back, what a treasure.

I try not to sound like I know everything. I don't want to be "one of those advice givers." but I do have some credibility and so far I haven't had any children forgotten, lost or sold. That in itself is credible!

How mothering has changed for me...


Newborn Babies

Then
- Gave birth and begged to hold my baby. I followed nurses orders and woke the baby up every 2- 3 hrs to nurse, recorded every bowel movement and diaper change, stared at the baby while he slept, checked on every noise, had a nurse check up on me every hour, buzzed the nurse for a question every other hour. Tried to coax the home visit nurse to move in. LOVED on my new baby

Now
- Gave birth begged for a glass of wine and a burger stat! Slept, let the baby sleep as long as it wanted to, recorded every episode of modern family and Oprah while I was in the hospital,  the nurses only checked on me the first hour after and then at discharge, "I'll check my own pad thanks and let ya know k?" Only my older kids would buzz the nurse. Told the home visit nurse not to bother coming I'd rather sleep.  LOVED on my new baby

My Free advice: Skin to skin is best for you and baby bonding.


BATHING

Then
Bathed the baby every day, 1/2 routine of baby massage, lotions, powders and potions

Now
When I notice finger and toe jam, baby gets a bath, sometimes with the other kids, as long as the water isn't too yellow.

My free advice: Never leave the baby alone in the tub & mommy baby baths are the best bonding times ever!


DIAPERS

Then
Changed baby every 1-2 hours, whether they needed it or not. Baby wipes always nearby, 10 minute routine of bum cream tickles and powders.

Now
If there's a leak or a smell I change the diaper within a 30 minute window. Baby wipes are never around a random sock will do the trick if desperate, 30 second super changer,with tickles!

My Free Advice : If the diaper gets heavy enough it will fall off on it's own. You've eliminated a step!


SLEEPING
Then
On their back, set to a schedule, checked on every 20 minutes in the day, swaddled, sang to, nursed, baby monitor.

Now
Back, tummy, side, upside down however they like it. Set the timer for every hour to remind myself I have a baby sleeping,  spread eagle arms above head, put in bouncy chair rocked with my foot while I check my facebook, internal baby monitor set to "I cry when I wake up."

My Free Advice: Sleep is precious, treasure EVERY moment! Don't let a new baby "cry it out". Meet their needs before they need it. You'll have a happy baby.


HEALTH CARE

Then
Immunizations up to date; recorded, booked 3 months in advance. At the doctors every 2 months for check ups and every other week for every sniffle, puke and ailment. 

Now
The health nurse will eventually call to make an appointment when they are 6 months over due for immunizations.Google every ailment, "could be a cold could be  leukemia."

My Free Advice: make sure your doctor has great nurses so they can hold your baby while you get a pap test.


FEEDING

Then
Breast feeding shouldn't hurt I'm doing something wrong, my baby's starving, supplement. Experts advice on when to start solids and which foods first. Sterilize everything, including the sofa!

Now
Breastfeeding hurts, sucked it up, nursed nursed nursed through starvation and growth spurts. Hudderite advice on feeding babies, whatever you can mush up onto spoon go for it!  If the dog hasn't gotten it consider it sterile.

My Free Advice: Breastfeeding is best for baby and mom hang in there, don't give up!



A FEW MORE THINGS....

Snuggling playing kissing talking loving your baby makes them smart and strong.

Mothers instinct is the strongest gage of what's right and wrong for YOUR baby.

Safety first always err on the side of caution but don't be a spaz about it or you'll have a spaz for a kid.

RELAX - If a baby isn't messy, loud, demanding and unpredictable there's something wrong!

Know your limits, put baby in the crib, go to your room, lock the door scream in your pillow cry, jump up and down, recompose and go snuggle your baby. (every mother reaches her limit you're not crazy)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Crafty Tuesday: Monsters!

Googly Monsters



We had a blast putting together these little monsters.
 A great craft for little kids

I have a craft drawer with all the basics for crafting with kids.
Here is a sample list of what makes a great basic craft kit for kids.

white glue
stick glue
tape
construction paper
scissors
googly eyes
pipe cleaners
puff balls
stickers
string
popsicle sticks
tissue paper
paint, markers and or crayons

You can make a million crafts with these few items.

Happy Crafting!




Monday, January 24, 2011

The Best Years of Your Life!

These are the best years of your life. 

I was at the optometrist’s appointment one day with 4 out of five of my children surrounded by hundreds of breakable spectacles. I was trying to maintain composure without creating a sceptical when a little old lady came up to me and said. “These are the best years of your life. These are the best years.”  My first thought was, “She had kids like 3000 years ago, how could she possibly remember?”  As the day progressed, full of tantrums; food spills, loading and unloading, crying, pooping, and Braxton hicks from baby #5 I thought of what she said and I felt depressed. “These are the best years...really?" I had always thought that when my kids were grown and I sent them postcards from a cruise ship in the Bahama's were going to be the best years. A few months later; with baby #5 now finally out of my body and in my arms,  I bumped into another golden oldie in the hardware store who was gooing over the baby.  He started telling me about his kids and grandkids and GREAT grandkids (yeah he was up there) and then he said something that struck me. With a tear in his eye he confessed "You never stop worrying about your kids.”  Goodbye cruise ship buffet hello reality. Are these really the best years? I toiled with this over and over in my heart, as I watched my future career as John Travolta’s co pilot /actress fade; my desire to taste every expensive wine ever made vanish, my stressed out mole hair grow, and my futuristic mega hot body moult.

Then Acceptance came...........

If this is it, then these are going to be the best  years of my life!

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