"I am always doing what I cannot do yet in order to learn how to do it." Vincent
Van Gogh

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Running Late

I have a bad habit of running late to most things. I am almost always late for church, a doctor's appointment, you name it. I think my problem is I don't understand how fast time actually goes.

I wake up on Sunday mornings around 7 a.m. and still find myself struggling to get out the door at 10:30 (church starts at 10:30). It always feels like I have plenty of time, but for some reason I don't. It could be my routine.

I wake up at 7 a.m. with my two-year-old daughter. We have breakfast and then I take a shower. I do my hair and makeup while my little girl plays around me and has me put a little blush on her face too. At a little after nine, I'm ready and my little girl has her outfit laid out for her to put on right before we leave, otherwise, it wouldn't last the hour.

Now, the next few steps is where I go wrong; the first being the biggest.

At 9:30 I get my soon-t0-be five-year-old son up. I spend the next hour running back and forth between my son and getting everything put together, the diaper bag, snacks, etch. Mostly, I spend the time with my son.

"Time to get up honey." Walking by his room.

"Get up honey." Walking by his room again.

"Get up NOW SON." Standing in his doorway.

"I am up mom." Still under the covers

"No you're not, you are still in bed." Hand on hip.

"But I'm awake mom." Muffled cause his face is still under covers.

"Your clothes are on your bed. Get dressed please."

"I need your help mom, I don't know how to put my clothes on."

"Yes you do, I'm trying to get your sister dressed, put your clothes on now."

Running into my room to show me...
"Are my pants on right mom?" "Yes."
Running back into his room.

Running into my room to show me...
"Is my shirt on right mom?" "Yes."
Running back into his room.

Running into my room to show me...
"Is my sock on right mom?" "Yes."
Running back into his room.

Running into my room to show me...
"Is my other sock on right mom?" "Yes."
Running back into his room.

"I wanna wear my Spiderman shoes mom." "They don't match your outfit, put those on."

"I wanna wear my Spiderman shoes." "No honey, you're wearing those."

"I wanna wear my Spiderman shoes." "Wear those or go barefoot, your choice."

"I want my Star Wars jacket." "Your Star Wars Jacket is dirty, you have to wear this jacket."

"I want my Star Wars jacket." "Your Star Wars jacket is dirty, you have to wear this jacket."

"I want my Star Wars jacket." "Your Star Wars jacket is dirty, you have to wear this jacket."
By this time he's standing at the top of the stairs crying as if his jacket was a living thing that had just met an untimely death.

"I want my Star Wars jacket."

And we walk out the door with a two-year old looking all pretty, a mom with bloodshot eyes, a dad who is most likely sleepwalking, and a soon-to-be five-year-old with a nice church outfit, Spiderman shoes, and a dirty Star Wars jacket. Wonder why I'm always late?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Weaning Story

I breastfed my son until he was 15 months old. Weaning him was easy as pie and he didn't care at all when there was no more boob. My daughter, on the hand, was not so easy to wean.

I read as many blogs, doctor websites, forums, etch, as I could to try to figure out how to wean my stubborn little girl. She was going on eighteen months old, and I had barely scratched the surface. I tried everything I read from going cold-turkey, to slowly taking away, to letting her figure out when she wanted to stop. None of the methods worked, and I gave them all an honest shot. Finally, when I really, really, really wanted my breasts back and couldn't take it anymore (mostly because she hurt me a lot) I discovered a rare gem.

I had been trying to tell her my boobs were owie, and thought perhaps then she'd leave them alone (to no avail of course), when I discovered a comment by a lady who had put band-aids on her breasts and that made her toddler not nurse. I was willing to try anything at this point, and had even considered putting something nasty tasting on my boobs to get her to wean, but band-aids wouldn't make me smell bad, so, why not?

It worked instantly! Although there were times she would see the band-aids and cry; she never tried to nurse while they were on. I would take them off to let her nurse a little to avoid engorgement, but eventually wore them all the time. It took about a month of wearing them on and off and then a week of wearing them all the time to completely wean her, but it was way easy and so worth it.

When she doesn't feel good the band-aids go on still because she'll want the comfort of the breast, but I've been getting better at comforting her with a hug and a Barney doll. :)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

As a 100%, sold out for God, Christian, one would think I take the whole notion of people saying "Happy Holidays" over "Merry Christmas" very seriously. In all honesty I don't. Allow me to explain.

When I was a younger Christian I got right on the back of the "Merry Christmas" movement. When a store wanted their employees to say Happy Holidays instead, I was right with every other church member going "Boo-Hoo," but thankfully, God began showing me that it is not anyone else's job to be telling me "Merry Christmas," but that it was actually my job.

I made a conscience decision to proclaim Christ when I became a Christian, but the world has no such notion of that. I find it rather foolish to expect those who don't proclaim Christ to proclaim Christmas as a season of Christ.

Also, I find no offense in someone saying "Happy Holidays" to me either. Hanukkah has been around long before Christmas, and Jesus Himself even celebrated that holiday. Kwanzaa, although having rocky beginnings, is a celebration of African heritage that many Christian African Americans celebrate alongside Christmas. Even after these more prominent Holidays, there are other celebrations that take place during the December month. When someone says "Happy Holidays" they're not saying, "I don't believe in Christmas," (though some may hold this view) I take it as, "Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, etch."

If someone came up to me and said, "Happy Holidays," I'd simply say "Merry Christmas" back and would not be offended in any way with their "Happy Holidays." Why? Because it's my job to tell them about Christ, not the other way around.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Is Santa the Reason for the Season?

At this point in the year there will be blog after blog after whatever that talks about the reason for the season, Jesus. In a way, the articles all reflect a similarity that is echoed every year. This year, I will try to do something like that.

No, not really.

Most people, at least those in an industrialized nation, know that Jesus is the Reason for the Season, even if they don't believe it. It's echoed all through the month over and over again, but how many people actually celebrate Christmas as if Jesus was the reason for the season?

In all honesty, the Winter Solstice was around before the birth of Jesus and was celebrated by Pagan cultures long before that glorious day, but the birth of Jesus gave a new reason for all to celebrate at this time. All Christians mention the name of Jesus during this time, go to the church Christmas play, and perhaps even own a nativity; but how many Christians actually Proclaim the name of Jesus during this time? Perhaps they just don't know how?

What I've started to do with my children and will continue to do is make Jesus everything. When I set up the Nativity I tell my son (who is soon to be 5) all about baby Jesus and that night. Everything from the decorating of the tree to the presents we buy, all have to do with the gift God gave us in His son Jesus.

When it comes to Santa, we tell my son and daughter (even though she doesn't yet understand) that he was a good man who loved Jesus and gave gifts to children in honor of the gift of Jesus. The real Santa can be found in Saints as far back as the 4th Century, and the folklore of other cultures. His true origin is merely speculation, but there have been Saints of old who are believed to be the Christian origin for the Santa figure.

Today, some people see Santa as a symbol of commercialism, while others see him as a fun figure for children to believe in. In truth, Santa is a lie. You may think that to be harsh, but it really is true. When you tell someone something that you know to not be true, than you are in fact, lying. There really is no way around that one. It is one thing for the world to perpetuate the lie of Santa because you can explain to them about the dishonesty that is found in the world and how we are not Of the world, just In the world, but when those that a child loves and trusts the most are the ones telling them the lie, than the consequences can be much harsher.

I know of one person, personally, who was very disillusioned when she learned there was no Santa and that her parents had been lying to her all that time. She suffered for it greatly in her life until she gave herself over to God, because she spent a good portion of time rejecting anything she could not touch, feel, or was more confirmed in fact and history. It is a sad thing when someone lives a life where they cannot believe in anything because of a past hurt.

Santa is everywhere and he is a fun character. I don't mind Santa, but he sits on the shelf in our house with the Snowman and Reindeer. He is fictional, just like they are. So, during this time, remember what the real reason is for the season. Winter may come no matter what is celebrated, but the trees are decorated and carols sung for one reason and one reason only. In our home, that reason is Jesus.

If you have any other great traditions that you do for Christmas to celebrate Jesus' birth than comment and let me know! I'm always looking for a great idea!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Cherish the Days

My little girl will be turning two on Thursday. She is the second child with my husband, Shawn, the first being Arlen. It is amazing how time flies. I can remember everyone telling me to cherish the moments of them being small as if I wouldn't. In a way, it is rather silly to remind a new parent to cherish those moments, but on the other side, perhaps there are parents out there who need that reminder. It was only yesterday that I attended a class (or lesson) at my church on abuse and recognizing the signs of it. Being involved with the younger children it was a requirement and one that should be required. I find it amazing (not in the good way) and staggering when I hear about the amount of children abused each year, not just by strangers but also by people that are suppose to love and protect them, such as parents. The Child Help website states that "68% [of child abuse victims] are abused by family members" (http://www.childhelp.org/resources/learning-center/statistics). It goes on and on with more statistics including the percentage of abused children that later abuse their own children.
I cannot imagine a world where any children are hurt in such a way and yet that is what we face. I stopped watching a lot of news because I got tired of hearing over and over again about a new missing child and then later the body being found. This has nothing to do with not being concerned about the issue, but rather crying over it all the time does nothing to change the matter. All people need to be proactive in stopping any and all forms of child abuse and beyond. This starts with protecting the children and then helping those who have been abused so that they too will not abuse.
The battle is on the inside and in the mind for these children and adults. They were neglected and felt unloved by whatever was done to them and they pass it on as they grow.
As I look at my darling little hurricane that runs through the house and destroys everything in her path, I know that I would give everything I am to protect her and fulfill her needs. If she is hungry; I feed her, if she needs to be held; I hold her, I love her. I keep her from falling and I protect her from harm (including the cavities that can sprout from her taking the candy canes off the tree and eating them when my back is turned). I pray for her and speak blessings over her (my son is included in all this as well) and I will make sure as she grows that she knows the love of her family and her Father in Heaven. I cherish every day with my babies, and no one needs to remind me to do that. It is sad to think there are people out there who need that reminder.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Black Friday Madness

Many people can claim they have experienced the madness of the Black Friday sales promotions and the onslaught of consumers rushing like a tidal wave to get whatever deal happens to be offered. The electronics departments are always victims of the mad rush as well as those highly sought after toys that the kiddies just couldn't live without.

This Friday I decided to become a part of the Black Friday madness to see if I could cash in on those great after Thanksgiving deals. Mostly I wanted the $3 pajamas on sale at Wal-mart and the $5 DVD's. I arrived at Wal-Mart with my friend a little over 3 am. She went to get in line to get a TV (she got one) and I stood near the DVD's in the produce department (I was unaware DVD's were considered produce). Anywho, I stood in between two of the DVD cardboard stands, right next to the ones I really wanted and just chatted with the others around me. We talked about how hectic it can get once 5 am got around, one lady was complaining that the DVD stands were covered with plastic wrap (so no one would take them before 5), I reminded her that years prior we were standing outside, not inside; she stopped complaining.

Now, we all know the mad rush that happens once the doors open or the clock strikes that magic number, but this was just too funny and ridiculous at the same time. There were only about ten other people standing around me at 5 am and there were more than ten of each DVD movie available. At 5 am, I began grabbing the movies I wanted and experienced people sticking their arms all around me to grab the movies. I kept looking around and saw how frantic some people looked as if by the time there arm (which is five inches from the movie) got to the movie (which had like 30 copies) they'd all be gone. I had no worries other than claustrophobia. I quickly got out of the movie section (produce) and headed down to the toddler clothes for the jammies. Of course, they happened to have all of the electronics stuffed in the same area so it was packed, or it could just have been the jammies. There were woman all over the $3 pajamas. I had to make my way in as gently as possible to get the pajamas and it took time to find all the right sizes. In the end, I discovered I had bought two of almost every size and design (it was so crowded I couldn't tell what I had already grabbed). No worries though, my kids need jammies. I worked my way out of the pajamas and I learned the best way to get around on a Black Friday is to not go in the lanes, but where all the products are like the clothing dept, etc. This turned out to be a good idea because they had the toys everywhere, not just where toys are, and lots of great deals on clothes, etc.

I personally didn't notice any stealing from carts mean pushing, etch. I do however remember people telling me how people get so hectic they ramm into people and push people with their carts. I have something to say about this, I rammed into a lot of people and it had nothing to do with me being hectic or in a hurry. I don't know how many times I found people standing in the middle of the walkways just chatting it up or looking lost. At least three times I bumped into people who were walking right in front of my cart and then they just stopped, no warning, no slowing down to look at something interesting; no, they just stopped and then when I ran into them (because there is a line of people behind me too and I wasn't expecting a person right in front of me who is walking 100 miles an hour to just stop) they look back at me like I'm one of those crazy Black Friday fanatics. Ugh, NO! Then, I had this woman with a huge behind (and though I am not one to talk negatively about people in general there is no denying a very huge behind) who was in the clothing area, stoop down to look at something, but in the process of doing that she just happened to stick that huge behind in the MIDDLE of all the traffic, and so, I ran into her, and again I get that crazy Black Friday shopper look. I, of course, apologize profusely while at the same time thinking that it didn't matter if it was Black Friday, if she would have done that on any day it would have been hit, I mean, how can you miss it. J

Overall, I would say it was a fun and exhausting day. I got some great deals and learned to stay away from Kohl's on a Black Friday unless I want to wait in line for an hour, that even if you are not a crazy Black Friday shopper people will still think you are because they ARE (not the brightest) Black Friday shoppers, and that all the numerous complaints I hear about the various companies and their methods, etch, are just silly. These stores don't have to offer these discounts and if you go in there to have fun (and be nice) then it generally is fun and people are generally nice.

But that is just my two cents!

Monday, November 23, 2009

White Chocolate Mocha

This recipe rivals that of Starbucks and costs less than a $1.00 a cup. I am a huge White Chocolate Mocha fan so discovering this lovely recipe just made my day, my week, my year, and my life :). Enjoy.

Ingredients for 1 large serving or two small servings (double for 2 large servings or 3 small servings).

2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup white chocolate chip morsels (the better quality, the better flavor)
Strong coffee or espresso.

In a small sauce pan add the milk and turn the stove top to high. Stir constantly (constantly along the bottom as well to prevent the milk from burning). Wait until the milk starts steaming and add the white chocolate chip morsels. Lower the heat to medium. Stir the white chocolate chips in until they are completely melted in the milk. Turn stove off.

In large coffee mug or to-go cup add half of the milk/chocolate mixture. Fill the cup with coffee just a little or add your espresso shots. Add the rest of the milk and then add more coffee to taste. I strongly suggest when you make this for the first time that you taste the coffee/milk mixture until you get the desired flavor, after the first time you will have a better idea if you like more milk or less milk, etc. Top with whip cream and enjoy!!! My hubby likes to add a shot of caramel (like the caramel ice cream toppings you get at the store). Yummy!!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sleeping Baby

Ever have one of those days where you wish your baby would just go to sleep but they never do, and then one day they sleep all day and you have nothing to do. That seems to be a trend around here. Whenever I'm busy my baby girl always wants on my lap, in my face, on my shoulders, poops 10 times, plays with it like play-dough, etch, but whenever I have nothing to do she falls fast asleep and stays there so sweet and delicate like until I have to get up and do something. Perhaps it is a sixth sense that all babies have, a "Mommy Alarm" if you will that tells them when mom is doing something important. "If mom is busy, then I must be busy putting everything including my little bum in her face," says the baby with the soft yet determined eyes. For those who don't have babies, perhaps this is hard to understand, but I think it's the irony of life that keeps the phone ringing when you are trying hard to think, or the neighbor who brings that chocolate cake over when you are have determined that very day to watch what you eat (eh em!!), whatever it may be, my baby girl was sleeping on the couch while I was playing on Facebook, but just got up when I started typing this. Go figure!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

My First Blog

Welcome to all my friends who are joining me in my first blog. This is an exciting adventure for me that I believe will be exciting to everyone who joins me on the journey. This blog will not just be about me but about everything funny that goes on around me. I am looking forward to writing about the wonderful items that other people make, the new bruises my kids acquire, and the wonderful journey that God has my family and I on. Please do me the honor of joining me on this journey. I will try to have something new and fun everyday, and perhaps we'll all have some good laughs along the way. For now, I would love if everyone could please visit my new etsy shop by clicking on the shopping link at the top of www.annaboydcreations.com and let me know what you think about the shop. I am very interested in how I can improve upon the shop. I have many ideas that I am waiting patiently to implement (such as during nap time for a loud two year old). All feedback is greatly appreciated.
God Bless