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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Who helps who?

This post might be very controversial in certain circles. But some of these thoughts have been swirling around in my head for quite awhile and changing my life, parenting and marriage for that same while...

Last weekend I attended a woman's conference and one speaker was talking about how to organize and maintain a home. Good topic. Hard practicals. But what struck me most was one question during the "Q&A time." The woman asked (after dialogue about assigning chores to the kids), " Does your husband have any chores?" Simple question. Loaded with meaning. What she means is: "why do we have to do all the work?" "what chores can I tell my man to do?" "This doesn't seem fair!"

As a young mom, especially after my first was born, I slipped into this pattern of expecting my husband to come home from work and jump immediately into helping me around the house. Cleaning, cooking dinner (after all I was nursing the baby), giving Bells a bath, letting me take a shower, etc.

I've seen other mom's struggle with this but in a different context. One mom asked this question: "How am I supposed to teach our kids to clean up their stuff, when my husband leaves his stuff lying around the house all the time?"

Here is the answer to all these questions: "But for Adam no suitable helper was found...Then the Lord made a woman." Genesis 2:20,22

We are supposed to be the helper. Now, yes, our husbands can and should help us in many ways. And I very often have to ask for help...respectfully. I am not going into that here. I am addressing OUR attitude. We are to help our husbands in whatever way God and they would have. As Moms we are to train our kids to pick up after themselves. As wives we pick up after our husbands out of love. All to easily we feel justified in nagging and demanding from our husbands. Our tired bodies and flaring hormones become an excuse to be lazy. And an excuse to live daily with an entitled attitude.

I need to remind myself to put others first. Daily this means serving my husband is more of a priority than my own ease or comfort. I am not good at this. I don't claim perfection. But I do need to quell any thought that originates from, "he needs to do more for me."

Monday, March 21, 2011

Tips for weening a one year old

I am writing this blog because when I went searching for one out of desperate need for info, I could not find one! There were thousands of blogs on weening a 4-6 WEEK baby, and many more urging me to continue nursing until she is three YEARS old (just not my style), but none giving me tips on how to ween my one year old daughter who is fighting me tooth and nail over it.
My first child swapped effortlessly between breast and bottle, my second skipped the bottle stage and at 11 months decided he was ready for a sippy cup. Esme... well the 1st day went well. The bottle was new and exciting (she'd had a bottle before, but only when a babysitter came). But days 2-10 included refusing to eat, crying, stiff arming me, throwing the bottle back at me, screaming, and the ever so entertaining...spit the milk back at me.
Here is what helped me:

1. I put my game face on. I was going to win. But I knew it would take time.

2. Baby steps, dropping one feeding at a time, both for my body to adjust slowly and Ezzie to make the change gradually. I tried the quick method, hoping for her thirst to win out and it just made me too uncomfortable. She went 20-ish hours with a dry diaper from refusing to eat and I decided that approach wasn't going to work for me...

3. I offered her the bottle at least one feeding a day, often waiting for when my husband was home so he could try too. This worked better as she was less inclined to take it from me.

4. I always gave the bottle to her BEFORE solid food.

5. In the end- I went for the distracting method: I held her facing out (so she could watch my other two kids) and asked them to play in front of me so she'd be distracted. Then I pinned her arms down so she could not grab the bottle and throw it. And while she was distracted by the siblings, I would put the bottle in her mouth. And she just suck it down. 3 days of this and she yielded to the bottle and 3 weeks later? I am free from nursing (though a little sad too) and she LOVES her bottle.

The biggest thing I realized? Taking a bottle, for her was a little like trying a new food. You know how they say you might have to offer a new food 7 times before they like it? I think it was sort of like that...

Friday, March 18, 2011

How do we get it all done?!?

A hot topic amongst many Moms is how to balance the business of our lives. While I often feel like I "get nothing done" most days. I am also busy and moving most of my day. I struggle to keep up with cleaning in any form. I do not claim to know any secrets so I figured I would put the word out there and see if any one had fun tidbits or secrets to share on how to stay on top of it all! From cleaning to meals to staying fit. Anything goes.

So here are a few of mine:

1. I clean the shower while I take a shower. I stick a sponge and the cleaner on the side of the tub and while I condition my hair, I wipe down the tub and walls. Saves so much time and mess!

2. Lysol wipes. Period. They make a disinfecting wipe down of any surface quick and spotless. They even leave the faucets shiny and spot free.

3. I put my kids to work. Someone recently made this comment to Anibel: "Wow, so you are 4? Your last year before Mommy makes you do chores..." Anibel looked at me confused. The only one in the family who doesn't do chores is Ezzie (just turned 1 yr.) and now that we have front loading washers and driers the kids basically do their own laundry.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Scene of the week - Ezzie turns 1

Planes and the like...

We went to the Hill Aerospace Museum a week ago and it far exceeded our expectations. As usual my husband cracked me up. On the way home he pulled out two mini planes he had purchased for the kids.

"Here Abs, I got the SR-71 for you because it is the fastest plane in the sky and no one can catch it. Sort of like you." He turns to Bells, " I got you the F-22, the feistiest plane in the sky. It has spunk and never looses a fight."

Ah, my husband cracks me up...
Like the other night at church. We were called back to the kids classrooms because Abs was having a hard time. Chris asked him what was wrong and Abs sputters something out about hearing the choo choo and it scaring him. In an effort to calm him this is what he says, " Abs look down. Are you standing on train tracks?" Abs shakes his head. " Everytime you are scared cause you hear a choo choo, look down. And if you aren't on the tracks you have no reason to be scared. If you are on the tracks, run screaming."