Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Phrases I find more exasperating than helpful ...

Warning: I'm venting. :)

Phrases that I hear all the time …  but aren't actually that helpful

I've been toying with this blog idea for a while, for various reasons. Primarily because I didn't want to say something in the moment that I regretted later, and  secondarily because I wanted to be careful how I worded it... because  I LOVE my children and I KNOW that right now, being a stay-at-home mom raising them is where I'm supposed to be. That being said, here goes:

Being a motber of little ones (Princess, who's 5, Buddy, who's 4, Chickadee, who's 1 ½, and Little Man, who's 3 months old), I often hear these little phrases when I'm out and about with my little family:
1. “Wow, do you have your hands full!”  and 2. “You're going to miss this”  and 3. “Time goes so fast.”

I'm guilty of saying them, too … but the more I hear them, the more I'm trying to eliminate them from my set of standard responses to other mothers … and here's why.

These phrases aren't helpful or encouraging, even though they are meant to be.

1. “Wow, do you have your hands full!”
I'm never sure how to take this. If you mean that “your hands are full, let me get the door for you/reach that for you since you're holding the baby” … then yes, I will accept your assessment of the situation. However, if you mean that, as a parent, I have my hands full, my hands have been “full” since the day Princess was born. EVERY parent, no matter how many children they have has their “hands full.” There's a family at our church who has 13 children … if my hands are “full” … what does that make hers????

Alternative suggestions: “Your kids are cute/adorable/precious … “  “You are blessed!”

2. “You're going to miss this.”
Really? You're sure about that? Now, I KNOW in my head, that people who say this are referring to the “fun,” “sweet” and “special” everyday moments … Little Man smiles, Princess brings me a bouquet of dandelions, Buddy gives me a hug and says “love you, mommy,” and Chickadee makes a gooey mess enjoying her first S'more... HOWEVER … what you don't know is that 3 out of 4 of my babies have been very spitty, and I'm usually covered in/cleaning up baby spit-up; I'm in the middle of potty training Chickadee … and despite an emphatic “NO!” to attempting to use the toilet, less than 10 minutes later, she's climbed on top of the dining room table and had an accident … Little Man got up at 1:15 last night (after I didn't get to bed until 12:30), took over an hour to eat and settle back down and then got up at 6:30... Buddy spilled his milk all over my freshly mopped kitchen floor yesterday  and Princess had a meltdown last night because she wasn't allowed to go with daddy on his errand... Just, STOP. I'm TIRED... tired of the spit-up, tired of the potty accidents, tired of the spilled milk, tired of waking up multiple times a night, I'm just TIRED ... and while I am SURE that there are moments I WILL miss … your declaration that “You're going to miss this.” is more frustrating than encouraging.

Alternative suggestion: “I'm sure that there are sweet moments to this stage of life.”

(and yes, that all happened in the past 24 hours!)

3. “Time goes so fast.”
Yes, it does … but right now, the moments sometimes CRAWL by … like when my-arm-is-falling-asleep-from-holding-the-sleeping-baby-but-I-can't-put-him-down-because-he'll-wake-up-and-I-can't-handle-the-screaming; like the feeling of futility of actually putting the vacuum away (I've contemplated leaving it plugged in, actually), when Little Man finally sleeps through the night, but Chickadee wakes up screaming in the middle of the night., when I feel guilty for losing my patience AGAIN... Yes,sometimes, it DOES seem like little ones grow too quickly … but there are times, in certain areas I'd appreciate them growing a little faster! :)

Alternative Suggestion: “Hang in there, momma!”    “It's tough now, but it will get easier.” “Treasure the little moments”  “You're doing a good job!”

I LOVE my children; most days I LOVE being a stay-at-home mom … I wouldn't trade this job for ANYTHING this world could offer me. My sweetheart and my children are a joy and delight to me, and I LOVE caring for them. My calling as a stay-at-home wife and mother one I value and treasure because I KNOW that the time I have with my children is brief and fleeting.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Teaching Princess and Little Buddy "Right" and "Left"

I realized yesterday that Princess is now 5 years old and Little Buddy is now 4 ... and I don't think either one of them knows their "right hand" and "left hand."

So, I grabbed one of my ever-at-the-ready Sharpie markers and wrote an "R" on their right hands and the top of their right foot and an "L" on their left hands and feet. I placed them in front of me, facing the same direction, so that the letter is correct from their viewpoint.

Throughout the day, I asked them which was their "right hand," "left foot," etc. I'm hopeful that a few days of this will teach them which is which!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Cleaning the bathtub ...

... is not always a fun job, but here's a small little trick I just discovered:

I ran the water until it was as hot as I could get it, then dumped a small amount of Lysol (or whichever anti-bacterial cleaner you prefer) into the hot water. I dunked the rag into the hot water, scrubbed the tub until it was clean, then opened the drain and rinsed the tub out well ... no messing with a bucket, no messing with containing a spray bottle inside the tub, ... and I have a clean tub!

Monday, February 3, 2014

"Twister" variation for little ones

So many things I want to blog about and have pictures for ... but time has gotten away from me!

However, here's a variation on "Twister" that little ones (who don't know "right" and "left" yet) can play!

Rather than calling out "right foot," "left foot," "right hand," and "left hand," call out OTHER body parts "hands on yellow," "feet on green," "nose on red," "elbow on blue," etc...

My sister in law did this with my Princess and Little Buddy yesterday so they could burn off some energy ... and they LOVED it!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

"Magic" Rice Krispies

Yesterday, my darling little boy was up  before his big sister, and when I say "earlier" I mean at approximately 6:45. Remembering that my darling little princess usually sleeps until 8:00-8:30, this meant that little buddy was going to need a "snack" before breakfast.

Little Buddy likes Rice Krispies, so I poured him a small bowl, added a bit of sugar (because without a bit of sugar, Rice Krispies are a bit bland - ok, a LOT bland), and topped it off with a bit of milk. A few minutes later, he had abandoned the half-eaten bowl to push a barstool over to the cabinet where I keep my baking supplies (not quite sure what the fascination is that my children have with this cabinet) and he brought me the red sugar sprinkles that we top cookies with. I thought about it for a second, and said, "Ok, sure, why not?" and I sprinkled a few sugar crystals into his rice krispies...  he was fascinated by the red sugar crystals and went back to eating his now-red/pink rice krispies.

I wonder what he would do if his Rice Krispies were blue? or green? hmmm ....

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Laundry Confessions ...

It's been a LONG time since I've blogged,  and while I've got several topics I want to do (and pics to go with them, even!) extra time has not been plentiful lately...

Time for me to be really honest ... I struggle with folding laundry and getting it put away. (Might have something to do with adding 3 children to the family, then again, who knows why)

My previous method to make sure that the laundry got folded and put away was to dump it on my bed as it came out of the dryer. That way, I had to fold and put away the laundry before I went to bed! While this works great in theory, the problem is that, often, there was still laundry piled on the bed until after sweetheart got home from work. While this doesn't bother him, it drove me crazy because I was trying to accomplish all my housework/laundry before he arrives home from work so that our evenings can be "family time," not "chores time."

My latest solution that I'm trying and is working so far ... no more laundry on my bed ... instead, I fold it in the kitchen and sort it on the kitchen table... since I'm in the kitchen a lot more throughout the day, it drives me crazy to see laundry stacked in my kitchen, so I put it away! And, since it's on the kitchen table, I have to put it away before we can eat dinner ...

I guess I'm tricking myself into getting it finished earlier, but, hey! You can't argue with what's working!

How do YOU get this accomplished?

Monday, April 15, 2013

God's Amazing World

Here's an aspect of some (though not all) pregnancies that few people want to talk about: hemorrhoids. I've experienced them with (severely) with my last two pregnancies, and I can tell you from personal experience: IT'S NOT FUN! They burn, itch like crazy, and generally make life miserable... walking, sitting, LIFE is uncomfortable.

However, it's not a topic of conversation that I ever remember having with my doctor until AFTER the hemorrhoids were a problem ... and boy, were they EVER!!! My daughter couldn't understand why mommy was having such a difficult time holding her, but the extra weight of her sitting on my lap was unbearable... and the specialist my doctor referred me to said that they were afraid to send me into early labor if they treated the hemorrhoids... what's a girl to do?!?!?!?! Just "tough it out" for the next few months?!?!?!!?! Not cool!

Here's what I did: I called my grandma. Grandma was about 90 years old when I called her. She was raised Amish, and she has a good sense of when things can be treated "naturally" and when it's time for medical intervention. So, I trusted that, if there was something I could do, my grandma would know.

Would you believe that MOLASSES is a natural help for hemorrhoids?!?!?!?! Grandma said to take 1 tablespoon of "Blackstrap Molasses" either "straight" or dissolve it into 1 cup of near-boiling hot water and drink it ... My first reaction was: since molasses won't hurt the baby (pregnant at the time means baby's health is TOP PRIORITY), I'll try it. The first 2-3 days, I made 2-3 cups of "molasses tea" a day (morning, lunch, night) ... relief was AMAZING! After just a few days, the hemorrhoids weren't as uncomfortable and life was bearable again. After that point, I simply made 1 cup a day to keep them at bay.

When hemorrhoids hit again with baby #3, I tried it again, and SUCCESS!!! Same results.

While I certainly am not against medical intervention (had epidurals with all 3 deliveries), I am more than willing to try natural remedies whenever possible.

While some people might not want to talk about it, as hemorrhoids are embarrassing to discuss, they CAN be a reality during pregnancy and life ... if you're one of the "lucky ones" to experience hemorrhoids, I hope this little bit of info helps!