Friday, August 30, 2013

In Sweet Pea's Shoes (or booties?)

I was sitting (finally) and nursing Sweet Pea, when I got to thinking about parenting and taking care of itty, bitty babies.  I realized that there's no rocket science about it.  I put myself in Sweet Pea's Shoes. 

If I were a baby, I'd want to be bathed frequently because I feel foul when I'm scuzzy.
If I were a baby, I'd want my diaper changed at once, since having a sore hiney is like Chinese torture.
If I were a baby, I'd want to be carried around and talked to about how to make spaghetti sauce and when Daddy will be home and my silly sisters' antics, because I understand more than you think.
If I were a baby, I'd want to sleep snuggled up on Mommy, since cribs are hard, cold and uncomfortable and make me feel lost and alone.
If I were a baby, I'd like to stretch my legs every now and then on my playmat, because getting my blood pumping makes me a nicer person too.
If I were a baby, I wouldn't want to be handed off and around to strangers, since they are not warm and cozy like Mommy and they look funny and germy. 
If I were a baby, I'd stuff Mommy's necklace in my mouth, because diamonds (not rattles and link-a-doos) are a girl's best friend.
If I were a baby, I'd only want to dress up every now and then, because clean, comfy, everyday clothes make me relax and focus on the important things - getting milkie and sleeping.
If I were a baby, I'd like to be read to, just like everyone else around here.

If I were a baby... you fill in the blank.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

On provoking

I've thought a lot about the concept of pleasing or provoking your husband.  Because there is such a provoking that can take place in a marriage, I could push my beloved man into sin!  Gah!  And, what is ultra-sobering is the thought that God will hold me responsible for my part in that.  (It's like putting a stumbling block in his path.)  I realize that my husband still has his free will and I still have mine, but now that we two have become one, my actions have a constant and direct effect on him (and vice versa, of course).  If I regularly provoke him with my choices, I think God will hold me responsible for constantly provoking him to sin.  It's one way we wives can be like a drippy, leaky faucet - choosing what does not please him and him having to fight all the harder to live a holy lifestyle.  Isn't there enough sin and worldliness for our husbands to fight against in this life, without having to battle the provocations of his own wife as well?

Monday, August 26, 2013

Where are the bake sales?

I survived Walmart today only to meet with some nice little boys at the exit with buckets for me to throw money in... for youth football.  Gag.  Amidst corralling 2 walking girlies, pushing 1 full cart with 1 girlie in it and me wearing 1 girlie, I thought, "Is this what our society is coming to?"  Kids are now taught to beg for money for their programs.  So many times I've thought of speaking with the chaperoning adult to let them know I would've happily bought a brownie or two... okay four, so there'd be enough for Mommy AND the Blossoms.  The only buckets I put money in are the offering baskets at church and the bell-ringing ones at Christmastime, which are totally different concepts - giving God the best and giving to the needy.  Football, cheerleading and such are not needy.  There are a few car washes left out there, but where are those irresistible bake sales?  Growing up, I got sun-burned washing cars for my gymnastics team.  I baked LATE into the night (okay morning) hours for youth group bake sales.  And, I learned that you work hard and long and that's how the funds grow.  Nowadays it's oftentimes just kids with buckets.  The blaring message is, "If you or your program needs something, just stand there and beg."  Was there work involved?  Nope.  Was their sacrifice?  Nope.  Was there a lesson learned?  Nope.  Just more entitlement mentality being fostered in our youth.  Would somebody PLEASE bake some brownies and I'll happily plunk down my quarters?!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

To Please or to Provoke

My rugged, mountain man husband and I are celebrating our 11th anniversary today.  We are very blessed to be happily married.  As I was reflecting on these blessed and beautiful years, my thoughts turned to share-able wisdom.  This is how I summed it up.  Lots of women will submit to their husband, as long as he flat-out puts his foot down about something.  It's the other little things that getcha though, I'm convinced of it.  I've always loved the verse that talks about how the married woman is concerned about pleasing her husband.  There's the key right there - PLEASING your husband.  I've discovered that I have the power to please him or provoke him in many, little everyday  things.  After 11 years, I know his preferences well and I am concerned with how I can please him.  It makes me sad when I hear women say that their husband doesn't like to have a lot of people over, but they do it anyway.  Their husband doesn't want them to go somewhere, but they do it anyway.  Their husband doesn't want them to spend the money, but they do it anyway.  Well, hurray for you - you didn't flat out disobey your husband.  (big time sarcasm) 

But you sure didn't please him. 

I do miss the mark sometimes, but I'm looking forward to many more years of being able to please my husband, even in the little thing.

Friday, August 23, 2013

A New Favorite Part of Our Day


I recently read an article suggesting teatime as a fantastic idea for connecting with your children on a daily basis.  It fit perfectly into our routine.  My husband even agreed.  "If you don't have the time, MAKE the time," he said, as I expressed my interest in this new tradition.

It's official.  The Blossoms LOVE it.  I love it!  Every day at 2:30, we sip and chat.

Neither the food, nor the beverages are the point.  The looking into their eyes and listening is the real point of it all... subtly hidden behind raised pinky fingers and sweet girlish giggles.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A New Happy Noise

Our house is real... lived in... alive... vibrant... pulsating with activity.  There are always signs of this life everywhere, things like open books scattered here and there or flip flops at every doorway.  I've got a new favorite though. It's the piano!!  We're only 3 weeks into Skeeter's piano lessons, but interest from all Blossoms has only grown. The piano is always open now.  I hear little melodies from waltzing fingers here and there and it makes me smile.  Yes, they are happy noises from a happy home.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Just one more thing about Baby-Wearing

Some people are anti-baby-wearing.  I almost can't fathom it.  Really?  You'd actually argue the idea of a baby being close to its mother for longer periods of time?  (Horror of horrors, the child might actually become ATTACHED TO ME!!!!!!!!!!!)  Sarcasm...  Sorry.  Onward... I've got loads of reasons why baby-wearing ROCKS, but here's one of my most favorite reasons for wearing babies. 

They just sync better.  They sync quicker.  They fall in line with our home routine more quickly.  And, it helps them stay in that routine.  I once heard the argument that worn babies don't sleep at night.  I turned it over in my head and thought it through, eventually realizing that it usually comes from the working mother camp.  It helped me to be more understanding when I realized that yes, someone might experience that phenomenon if they were only wearing their baby from 6pm-9pm at night with a baby that lived daytime hours in a helter-skelter daycare.  That is NOT what I'm talking about.  What I am referring to is baby-wearing regularly during the day.  At home.  During normal daytime life.  I find the precious bundles to be happier, more content and more in the rhythm of our Beautiful Bountiful Blossom existence.  It's one of my favorite ways to promote more WITH.  And, you know how I feel about that.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Lastly... on Baby-Wearing

And another thing about baby-wearing:

#5 - You may find that less baby-wearing = more missing of baby.

Mommy likes the closeness.  Mommy likes that we're on the same wavelength.  And, when Mommy got busy recently and moved away from wearing Sweet Pea that day, Mommy missed her.  Yep, she was still nearby.  But, it wasn't the same.  There wasn't as much cuddling.  There wasn't as much Mommy/Sweet Pea conversation (I utter nonsensical words, she coos in reponse.  It's quite simple really.)  I realize it's immeasurable and it might even sound ridiculous to you.  But, it was a big deal to me. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Installment #4 of Baby-Wearing

One thing they neglected to mention about baby-wearing:

#4 - You will do strange things while wearing your baby.

Things like mindlessly swaying and bouncing.  Things like moving more rhythmatically and gracefully that you thought possible, just to soothe a fussy little one to sleep.  Additionally, you may develop the habit of talking about meaningless things toward your chest... all because an angelic face is beaming up at you, hanging on your every word. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Installment #3 of Baby-Wearing

What they neglected to mention about baby-wearing:

#3 - Sometimes you don't feel like wearing your baby. 

Just bein' real here.  A lot of times I start out the day tired.  And to add more weight on my shoulders?... sigh.  I strap Sweet Pea on and in a few minutes, I feel pregnant again.  I bump into things.  I have limited agility.  BUT, long ago, the concept that I don't live by my feelings was drilled into me.  I consider it one of the most valuable lessons of my upbringing.  I may not feel like doing it, but I do it.  Because it's right.  Because it's good.  Because it's worthwhile.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Installment #2 of Baby-Wearing

What they didn't tell you about baby-wearing:

#2 - You cannot do everything while wearing your baby. 

After four Blossoms, I've mastered nursing while wearing baby.  I use the bathroom while wearing baby.  I eat while wearing baby.  I've given another Blossom a necessary piggy back ride while wearing baby.  I've climbed ladders while wearing baby.  (I don't recommend it, but we managed to escape unharmed.)  There ARE some things you can't do - things like weeding the garden, looking in the far recesses of a lower back corner cupboard, deep-frying food etc.  Realize your limitations and find some other work to do. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Five Things They Don't Tell You About Baby-Wearing - Installment #1

I LOVE wearing Sweet Pea, and I loved wearing all my other Blossoms.  Now that we're on Blossom #4, I've collected some insight I'd like to share with you, some things no one told me about baby-wearing. 

#1 - Babies are heavy. 
You don't think that when they are ten pounds of lovable babyness, but even after three hours or so, you start to think otherwise.  Your shoulders will get tired.  Your back will get tired.  They don't tell you this.  Just because it doesn't require hands to hold them, doesn't mean you're not carrying the load.  You.will.get.tired.  But, your baby is near and jivin' with you, so it's worth it.  Really.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Friday Fun

I'm picky about what movies I watch.  Really picky.  As in, I don't want anything worse than PG.  Maybe that torques you.  I'm not pushing it on anyone.  I've finally learned that you can have your standards and I can have mine.  I'm only responsible for mine, not yours.  They're between me and God.  So, a family movie night is a tough thing because good movies are hard to come by.  I delved back into my childhood recently for The Happiest Millionaire, with Fred MacMurray.  I grew up quoting the maid, "Me new broom!" in a delightful Irish brogue and singing, "Fortuousity, that's me byword."  I'm sure that makes no sense to you.  This movie was every bit as good as I remembered.  AND, Daddy and I both thought it was so light-hearted and clean, that the Blossoms would enjoy it.  So, now they're quoting the maid and giggling at runaway alligator scenes.  I guess there are a few good family movies left out there.  Rent it here!  I must say I liked that the father-daughter relationship was portrayed in a sweet and positive way.  And, the good clean humor over an eccentric and passionate millionaire's life made for a fun evening with a happy ending to boot. 

PS - Happy Birthday today to our oldest Blossom, Skeeter!!!!  :)  She is such a blessing to us!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Six Days, not Five Days

American mentalities creep in to Christian families.  Some are good.  You know, the independent-I-can-work-hard-and-make-something-out-of-nothing mentality.  Not all of them leave the warm fuzzies on my shoulder though.  I noticed one that reared its ugly head in our Beautiful Bountiful Blossom Bunch recently.  It was the... <drum roll please> live-for-the-weekend mentality.  Oh no.  So not happening here.  We were doing the index card chore list that has become a staple in work ethic training here.  And somebody (who shall remain nameless) was having an attitude attack regarding the rather innocent looking list.  You know the line, "Why do I have to work?  I want to play.  It's SATURDAY. <insert whiny voice here>"  Yep, Daddy was on that in a heartbeat. 

"Six days thou shalt work.  SIX DAYS.  Not five. 
SUNDAY is rest day, not Saturday!" 

(Yes, he DID King James her.  Trust me, the situation was dire.  Some good medieval language was quite appropriate.)  Attitude adjusted.  Work ethic training resumed.  Mission Accomplished Daddy.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Keep Trying

The Wife-Mother stage can be exhausting.  It can break you.  For real.  But, that's what happens when we journey on and swim upstream in our own strength.  A simple word has been coming to me in those times that I feel discouraged.  "Keep trying."  I won't give up on devotions with my children, just because I don't remember every day.  I won't give up on Scripture memory, just because I was too tired for "one more thing" at lunch before I herd us all back for naps.  I won't give up on personal devotion time for our children, just because I didn't remember to remind one of the Blossoms to read and write down a thought or two in her notebook.  Some people give up.  "It isn't worth it.  I keep forgetting.  I'm just not that disciplined, etc."  They let that be their reason for giving up on something good, often something very right and worthwhile in the long run.  And that's where the word comes in.  "Keep trying."  I think back to my own upbringing.  What do I remember?  My Mom sharing a word fresh from her time in the Word.  I remember those family prayer times.  I remember times of spontaneous worship and singing in the car.  I remember my Dad helping us learn to read the Bible through in a year.  Did it happen every night or morning, every day of my life?  Nope.  But they kept trying.  And it stuck with me.  So, I'm gonna keep trying.  I'm gonna keep persevering in the worthwhile things.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Every Now & Then

I wonder if this
is a Blossom household
or a Sprout household?