"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.