Friday, July 24, 2009

A Rowdy Day for Sydney-Pooh

Sydney hardly ever causes a ruckus. Generally, she is agreeable and just spends her day following me around the house or playing quietly in Colton's room. Every so often she will scream when some injustice has happened to her...she has figured out that the squeaky wheel gets the oil.

But today my little angel has been quite rowdy! This morning Sydney and I were the only ones home for a few hours and I took the opportunity to give her a quiet, non-splashing, non- assaulting bath. She and Colton usually take a bath together and because of that her experience with bath time has been negatively altered. Anyone who has given Colton a bath knows what I'm talking about. I would compare Colton's bath time to standing in the "splashing zone" at a water park...no one walks away dry and every inch of the bathroom is dripping. Anyway, I thought I would give Sydney a nice peaceful bath, then some one-on-one cuddle time and down for a nap.

A few hours later Jeff showed up with ice cream sandwiches for the kids. Sydney went into her high chair, made a gigantic mess of the ice cream sandwich, and soon thereafter went BACK into the bathtub. I was actually more upset about the adorable little dress she had on being potentially ruined. Thank goodness for Spray 'N Wash! After bath #2 was finished she and Colton were playing in his room with our new puppy. Jeff was right outside the bedroom and noticed Sydney with *something* on her hands and in her mouth. The puppy had taken a 'poo' in Colton's room and Sydney was playing in it and, of all things, put it in her mouth!!! So she received a quick but thorough bird bath, a tooth-brushing, and some juice to 'wash it down'. UUgggghhhh! It makes me want to puke, and I am totally expecting her to get worms or something!

Dinner time was approaching and as I surveyed my cabinets, all I could muster up the energy to fix was spaghetti. I should have spent the few extra minutes fixing something less messy because guess who got YET ANOTHER bath after dinner...Sydney-Pooh! While she was in the bathtub for the fourth time today, I was sitting on the floor gazing at the hideous wallpaper that I had hoped would be replaced by now (hint, hint...Jeff), I looked over and Sydney had a bar of soap in her mouth...goin' to town on it!

So in one 12 hour period Sydney has played in and chomped on puppy poo, sucked on a bar of soap, and had 4 baths. I am exhausted!

To beat it all, Jeff keeps giving me *that look*... and I just keep ignoring him. It ain't gonna happen tonight sweetheart!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Well, Shut My Mouth!

Transparency stinks!

However, I know as christians we are called to be transparent with our lives and most important, our short-comings so that we do not block others from seeing Christ. Non-believers and even some believers will take the transparency of christians and make judgements. They will say things like, " If that's what a christian is then I don't want to be one," or " I have seen how that person acts and they have the nerve to call themselves a christian!"

Well, let me share with you some of the milder ugliness that I have displayed...and yes, I am a christian woman.

*I threw a complete hissy-fit at one of JD's baseball games, in front of everyone! I growled at the umpire like a lion, and then after the game tried to justify my actions because it was a bad call. Complete Ugliness!

*I lost my temper on the phone to someone who so desperately needs to see Jesus in me instead of this-> "@#^$(*&#%(@#&$(*&%!!!!!!" Complete Ugliness!

*I often will hear the kids mouth-off from the back seat of the van to another vehicle. I always try to correct it but I also KNOW that they are only mimicking my actions and words from an earlier moment of frustration. Complete Ugliness!

*I have found myself listening and participating with a group of people who are "sharing information" about another person. I have justified this by saying something flipped like, " Well, we need to really pray for that family." Gossip! Complete Ugliness!

I'm tellin' ya, I am in a constant struggle with my mouth. James 1: 26 says, "If a person considers himself a christian but does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless." WORTHLESS! As I read James chapter 3, I feel like God is just spanking my backside! "The tongue is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire,..." Sometimes I think God should give me laryngitis. Or how about this, I think God should send me into a coughing fit every time I get mouthy...just to shut me up. As much as a pray for the right words to say and for wisdom to control my mouth, it still seems to run-a-muck despite my best intentions.

Some of my biggest regrets are things that I have said, things that I cannot take back. Times when I embarrassed people around me because I didn't have enough discernment to just shut-up. Times when I didn't have enough self-control to not participate in a conversation...times when I should have just walked away. As God continues to mold me into the woman he wants me to be, I know that he will work intensely on this short-coming. I also know that as I improve, as I gain wisdom, discernment, and self-control, it is not me...but God who should receive the praise.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Random Thoughts...

First, I personally do not care for Michael Jackson. I think he's weird and most likely has done inappropriate things to children, including his own. Like some of his music, mostly the old stuff. He's dead, let's move on.

It was not meant for me to have a garden this year. It flooded and my garden was destroyed. I shall overcome...I am currently raising a basil plant, in my home. It's not dead (yet), let's move on.

I think it is WONDERFUL that Kate Gossling spanks her children. I think more parents should do it. It is a biblical discipline technique that (when done correctly) reaps wonderful benefits for parents and children, and it is perfectly legal to spank in this country. All you nay sayers, get over it! Moving on...

I am beyond exstatic about seeing Summer and JD tomorrow! Summer has been gone for over 2 wks and JD has been gone for 8 days, they have been visiting their dad in Tennessee and have had a wonderful time. I have missed them terribly and cannot wait to smother them with kisses and hugs. I only hope I don't squeeze them to death. See you tomorrow Sum-Sum and J-Man!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

I dreamed of squash and I got squashed dreams

Spring is my 2nd favorite season, next in line to autumn. I get all excited every year about growing something, and yet every year my hopes of getting my hands dirty are squashed by the one person I love the most in the entire world...my husband!

Two years ago, I bought the most beautiful lilies...they are my favorite flower! I planted them along our sidewalk in the back yard. For the past two years I have reminded Jeff NOT to mow down my lilies and for the past two years he has forgotten! I have enjoyed coming home to the first mowing of the year and a freshly manicured yard only to see that the new Lily sprouts had been whacked down...mutilated...abliterated...murdered!

Also for about 3 years now, I have begged for him to till up an area for a vegetable garden...I wanted a big vegetable garden! So the first year we planted a few tomato plants and they really struggled to grow, that's when we realized we had clay dirt which makes growing anything pretty difficult (however, I have learned thru my persistent research that clay dirt is FIXABLE! Hint, hint) Also, Jeff tells me that we have a very rocky yard...according to him we must have iceberg sized boulders less than an inch from the top of the soil and that is yet another reason why we cannot have a garden. I think he tells me these things to shut me up, and in the past I have cecum to defeat, but this year I was determined and overly excited because....I had a plan!

In March I asked my sister,Dede, if she had an area at her house that her husband could till up and I could plant my garden, I was going to do all of this behind Jeff's back so I didn't have to hear any of his reasonable/unreasonable objections. She agreed and soon there after, I started growing tomato and pepper seeds indoors...except for one really beautiful day that I put them out on the porch to get some fresh air and sunshine. Well, to make a long story short, it frosted that night and killed my entire crop of tomatoes and peppers. But I WAS NOT going to let that hinder me! I continued my plotting and scheming, as warmer days approached I noticed that others were tilling up their garden plots and I needed to follow suit. I reminded Dede that I would need her husband to do the tilling for me, but as the days went by I thought that was pretty selfish of me to expect him to do the hard work...plus he works like a dog 50 and 60 hours a week and the more I thought about it the more guilt I felt.

Then I saw this add in the newspaper. This guy would come till up a garden spot...ready to plant, 20x40 plot, for $50. That's what I would do! I would pay this gentleman to do the tilling at my sister's house. That way I could get it done quicker, and could relieve my brother-in-law of that job, and still could do all of this without involving Jeff. Yippee!

One night we were sitting at the table eating dinner and someone slipped up...it may have been me, I don't remember...and mentioned the garden at Dede's house. Jeff questioned me on what I was up to and I told him what the plans were, at that point I had already spoken with the gentleman about doing the tilling and was on his waiting list for later that week. My mild-mannered husband said to me in a not so mild-mannered tone, " YOU CANNOT GO TILL UP SOMEBODY ELSE'S YARD...THAT"S RUDE!" As I sat there listening to his lecture, I realized that once again...I was not going to be able to have a garden this year. He was right, it was rude of me to consider tilling up my sister's yard.

But all I want is a vegetable garden, honestly...it's what I've always wanted! Even when I lived in Nashville I planted tomato and pepper plants in our yard along with an apple tree, and that took up most of the yard, but I didn't mind because I wanted a garden so badly. As corny as this sounds, I have a list that I carry with me, and have for years that is titled, "My Future Garden". It has every vegetable and fruit that I want to grow listed on that paper. I have had it for probably 10 years!

So Honey, I am sorry for planning a garden behind your back, but I desperately wanted one. I've never had a real, plentiful garden and had no intention of depending on you to take on any of the responsibility, I know you have enough to do. I thought it would be fun for the kids, it would give us something to do this summer... and I wanted a garden because that is a dream that I have had for a long time.

And one last thing...I have always tried to get excited about whatever activities you were involved in. When hunting season rolls around I listen to your bloody stories, let you hang deer heads on the walls of our home, spend weekends away from you as you spend time doing target practice, drooling over guns at the local gun store, I get up early with you and pack your breakfast and lunch for your day-long hunting trips, and among other things I obey your request not to wash your hunting clothes...even though they stink!! I do not complain (much) about all of the guns, ammunition, and other hunting "stuff" that is piled up in my bedroom closet.

During racing season, I listen to all your car stories and your dreamy-eyed goals of your future racing vehicle. I quietly organize the magazine rack that is over-flowing with car part catalogues, I drag my children with diaper bags in tow to the race track to watch you and your friends race down the quarter mile at speeds that make me sick at my stomach knowing that if you wrecked you would be a bloody skid mark on the track and I would be left to raise 4 children on my own!

AND ALL I WANT IS A STUPID VEGETABLE GARDEN!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

My Advise to New Moms

As I have friends who are now expecting I find myself sometimes giving unwanted advise. But here is some advise that I hope any new parent would appreciate receiving. I should be the poster child for "Learning the Hard Way", that said, most of this advise comes from my personal regrets. So without further ado...

10 Things New Parents Should NOT Cheap Out On...

1. Buy a good car seat! Do not accept a used or cheap car seat. It doesn't have to be the prettiest or the fanciest...just limit your high expectations to safety. As you are shopping constantly ask yourself, "Is this the safest seat I can buy?"

2. Invest in a great stroller! You will be using a stroller for at least 3-4 yrs per child, so spend the money and buy a stroller that has all the bells and whistles. You will want good storage space, easy to adjust seat belts, cup holders, even a tray for the little one, a canopy and seats that lay ALL the way back for nap time. Also, make sure it folds up easily and maneuvers easily...nothing worse than a stroller that is difficult to steer.

3. Get your kiddo good shoes. Their little feet are growing and forming and they are learning to control their awkward feet and legs, so buy comfy, light-weight shoes.

4. Buy the expensive camera. Not everyone has the money to have professional pictures made every 3 months, so invest in a great camera (and learn how to use it-take a class if you need to, somebody is always doing free photography classes!). Carry it with you everywhere! Buy the extended warranty because it will most likely take a beating if you are using it as often as you should, and get your camera serviced buy a professional if it breaks. I promise, you will value the uncensored snapshots far more than the professional pictures.

5. Buy books and lots of them! My mom still has books that my sisters and I read when we were little. Rather than buy a bunch of expensive toys, just go cheap on toys and buy the great books...they are so worth it! And on that note...

6. Rather than junk up your house with rooms full of toys...buy lots of art and craft supplies. I am not anti-toy, but from personal experience, my children...even my two year old...would rather open our craft cabinet and create something than to sit and play with a toy. Create a craft cabinet and fill it up...crafts are fairly inexpensive so you can buy one expensive toy or a cart full of craft supplies. We have a cabinet with 3 shelves, the first shelf is for anyone, anytime, and free to use without permission. On that shelf are crayons, coloring books, construction paper, and stickers. The only rules I have are all crafts have to stay at the table, clean up your mess when you're done, and only write on paper (that is mainly for Colton who would prefer to write on furniture or walls). The second shelf has glue, paint, glitter, markers, and scissors so they have to ask permission and use newspaper (and often an old t-shirt) when they use something on the second shelf...newspaper and old t-shirts are something to stock your cabinet with, by the way. On the third shelf is sewing needles, the hot-glue gun, super glue...things they have to use with my help. So at your kid's next birthday, ask guests to bring art supplies instead of toys for gifts.

7. Safety mechanisms...buy them all and buy the best. Latch everything-gates, doors, cabinets, drawers and anything else you can think of. Buy a monitor with multiple speakers...you will need it for years! If you, like me, have a child who gets up and wonders at night, you will use that monitor for several years. Put up gates, put extra locks on doors...take locks off of toddlers' bedroom doors (learned that the hard way!). Rather than buy outlet covers, just change the outlets to the new safety outlets. When your little infant starts crawling...that outlet cover will be the first thing they practice their new found "pincher grasp" on. Smoke detectors, carbon monoxide monitors, window locks, safety latch on your oven door...I could go on all day!

8. Outside activities and board games...I am a huge fan of things to do outside! Buy a swing set, basketball goal, soccer goal, baseball equipment, boxing gloves, hula-hoops, jacks, sidewalk chalk, bicycles, scooters, skateboards, and anything else that will get them outdoors! Wal-Mart has this great pre-packaged set of outdoor games that we keep in our vehicle. When Summer has soccer practice or JD is at baseball practice, we just pull out this handy little bag and find something to play...it's in the sporting goods section and every family should have one. Oh, and buy lots of board games. They most always involve another person, and it's a great way to teach siblings to play together and play fairly. And sometimes the entire family can play a board game together. I have to say the old games are my favorite..Checkers, Battleship, Candyland...they're classics and never go out of style. With great books, board games, outdoor activities, and crafts - who needs to junk up their house with a bunch of toys!

9. Diapers and wipes---this topic seems to throw new mommies for a loop, so here's the breakdown.

Huggies: great all-around diaper, the most expensive, also the most
absorbant, Huggies Supremes are the best.
Luvs: good diaper, the least expensive "name-brand" diaper, fairly
absorbant.
Pampers: Swaddlers are the best diapers for infants, I
highly recommend them! They are wonderfully soft, almost like
cloth. However, Swaddlers only go up to size 3, after that you have to
switch over to regular Pampers, and they really aren't any better than
Luvs.

Soooooo, use Swaddlers for as long as you can, then switch over to Luvs. But, (just so you know) I never liked the off-brands, they all seemed stiff and uncomfortable, they fall apart easily, and caused diaper rash on all of my children. Also, Pampers Sensitive Wipes are the best! The only comparison is Parent's Choice (Wal-Mart brand) Sensitive Wipes, but they don't package them in bulk. As much as you have to clean their little bottoms - use the good wipes and don't buy off-brand diapers!

10. Lastly, never-ever cheat yourself or your child out of time together. It is priceless yet it doesn't cost a dime! Conversation with your little ones, time spent laughing, cuddling, playing, and reading. Time spent praying and going to church together, even time spent in correcting and disciplining is well invested.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

10 Things...

10 things I never, in a million years, thought motherhood would make me do...

1. Use a public restroom with the door wide open because I can't fit the stroller in the stall with me.

2. Use an infant diaper as a "sanitary napkin" because I was out and about and didn't have anything else.

3. Tell my son that if he blows really hard then the hot dog will come out of his nose.

4. Tell my other son that he may NOT have an apple because he already wasted his oreos.

5. Consider a PB&J sandwich a balanced meal.

6. Know the entire song of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Blue's Clues.

7. Get cursed out at Wal-Mart for having a crying baby. My response, "Lady, you should spend a day at my house!"

8. Seriously consider homeschooling.

9. Buy my kids boxing gloves so they can just go out in the yard and fight it out.

10.Sit on my back porch with a glass of sweet tea and watch them fight it out.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Last 1st

Today is my baby's first birthday. She is my last child so this day is very bitter-sweet for me, as will her second and third and forth birthdays be as well, I'm sure...you get the picture.

This post is for Sydney. If others choose to read it I hope they enjoy it, but today I write to you, Pooh Bear.

Sydney,
I'm sure it is of no coincidence that you were born on St. Patrick's Day. Your heritage is partly Irish. I suppose that since God decided not to give me red-headed children...which I SOOO wanted, he thought he would at least give me a leprechaun.

I have to admit that finding out I was pregnant with you was a surprise, but I tried to enjoy every moment of it knowing you would be my last. This year I have been so thankful to be home with you and Colton. Being able to see all of your milestones, not missing even one, has been the most precious gift that your Daddy could have ever given to me. Thank you Jeff for letting me stay home with our children, I am so thankful!
Syd, if I could switch places with anyone in the world, it would be you. You are hands down the most loved little girl I have ever met. Some people search the world over trying to find love, but you came into this world already owning more love than most people receive their entire lives. And that's just one of the perks that goes along with being the baby!

You have a big sister who dotes on you and carries you around like you belong to her alone. Her words toward you are so gentle and affectionate. And, oh Sydney, JD is so protective of you! He watches over you like a bear to a cub. Even I have received a mean look and a harsh word from him if he didn't think your needs were being met quickly enough. For a lifetime, I know you have a big brother who will sacrifice his wants and needs to care for you. And although Colton is still learning how to be gentle with you, you are his best friend and favorite playmate. The two of you will learn so much together and from each other. I imagine in the future the pair of you will be as thick as thieves.

Pooh, your Daddy is crazy about you. I love to watch the two of you together. He is simply mesmerized by those beautiful blue eyes. But don't think I don't know what you're doing when you drop that head of yours and heavily bat those eyes! I have a Daddy too, I know how it works! You've learned how to capture his heart, haven't you...but don't worry, we'll keep that secret just between us girls (hee,hee).

You have completed this family, you have made us whole. But don't think that your role in the family is just to receive love. We are more than just individuals living under the same roof, we are a team. When you are the member of a team your job, your goal, should be the betterment of the whole unit. You have a responsibility to love and support your parents and siblings as much as we will do the same for you. Do not go through life being a taker...so much has already been given to you. Be a giver...give to others the love, encouragement, kindness, and gentleness that has been given to you. Be a giver of forgiveness, be a giver of help to those who need it, be a giver of wisdom when you have it to offer. Do not take for granted the position...the blessing...that God has placed you in.

See sweetie, being the youngest...the baby...is a great place to land in a family. It is an easy place to grow up, often with less responsibility than other positions. Be thankful to God for such an easy entrance into this world, and show him that you appreciate his blessing on you by offering your life as a living sacrifice to him.

Dear God,

Build high your hedge of protection around Sydney. Guard her little eyes, ears, mind, and heart from the ugly things of this world, help us to keep her innocent and naive as long as possible. Pour out your blessing on her life, that she may always know joy, contentment, love, and most importantly that she may always stay near to you. Help us to raise her in a way that she will grow into a beautiful woman of God. She is already so beautiful on the outside, but make her beautiful on the inside as well! And Lord, at the end of her life, may she return to you as pure and innocent a woman as you first gave her to me as a child.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Just breathe through it

I can handle being broke, I can handle being short a vehicle, I can handle being so busy that my head spins, but I can hardly stand for one of my children to be sick! And 2009, thus far, has not been a "healthy" year for the Taylor-DeBruler gang.

First, Colton shoved foam so far up his nose that it had to be "surgically" removed (he has since put a cheerio and a french fry up his nose as well). Then he got an infection from the foam, which shot his temperature up so high we had to rush him to the ER.

Summer got such a bad case of the strep virus that it caused painful stomach cramps so awful that we were sure it must be appendicitis. She also was taken to the ER twice in the same week - the second time she was so terribly dehydrated from not eating or drinking that she had to receive fluids.

Right after she got better, little JD got strep. Within a few days Colton had to be treated for it as well! Then on Monday of this week, Summer wakes to tell me that she, again, does not feel well...so off to the doctor we go because I was sure she had strep again! Thankfully she did not, but was treated for a very yucky sinus infection.

As I sat quietly on my couch last night after everyone had gone to bed I heard the"chorus of coughs" echo through my home. First JD, then Colton, Summer chimed in with a lovely hacking sound, even little Sydney...who was diagnosed with pneumonia yesterday at the hospital...was participating in the chorus. I think Jeff even threw in a few coughs of his own. And I have to say...I am drained! Not only does it take a toll on a child when he or she is sick, but mommies just can't sleep if they have a sick little one! It just upsets my entire day. And I think about Colton and Sydney especially. They are too little to tell me how they really feel...Does something hurt?..Do they have a headache?..Can they breathe through their little nose?..Does it hurt to swallow? I mean how horrible to be so little and so sick and not be able to explain it.

Dear God,
I beg you, please make my children well. We are all so tired and worn out from the constant illness. It has drained my family physically, emotionally, and even financially. I am so thankful for all your many blessings in my life, and I am also very thankful that my children are only battling small illnesses. I lift up those parents and little ones who have greater battles before them...illnesses a lot worse than just strep throat. But please do keep a watchful eye on Pooh Bear. Heal her from the pneumonia and give us all the health and energy we need to enjoy your abundant blessings, as spring is right around the corner and I want to enjoy every minute and give you all the praise. In your son's name I ask these things, Amen.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Bugs and snails and puppydog tails...

Today I taught Children's Church and I had a classroom full of boys...not a girl in sight! Eight little boys varies ages, ranging from 5 to 9ish and I have to say...we had great time! If you attend LWC and had a son in Children's Church today, you should be proud! Your sons were a joy!

We talked about the prophet Elisha and the 5 miracles that he performed in II Kings 4 and 5. They were intensly interested, and after the lesson we talked about things that had happened in their lives that they KNEW were miracles. I got to listen to their stories about family members being made well, missing pets returning home, and all kinds of cool "farm" stories. We talked about sports in relation to giving credit to a team member who scored points or who played a great game. In the same way, we need to give credit to God when he performs a miracle in our life. Don't just discount it as luck or chance, and most importantly, don't keep it to yourself.

Thank you LWC parents for raising such awesome boys! You should know that they love you and they recognize the things that you are doing for them. They will grow to be amazing men someday, and will bless and honor their parents, church, and their God!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

In the trenches

I am so hopeful that my lapses in blogging are over! I have missed the outlet. I've looked to temporarily replaces it over the last few months with quick fixes, but I'll tell ya...nothing soothes me like blogging.

"Where have I been," you may ask?

I could give you a run down, but basically...life happened and it just about mowed me over! Seriously, if it hasn't been one thing, it's been another and I've been in the trenches! The old saying, "When it rains, it pours," that's been the last 2 months for me.

Let me say...nothing tragic has happened, just LIFE! Busy, chaotic, not in my datebook, LIFE! For instance, (and mind you, this is just the most recent yucky happening) last week Summer was terribly sick. Terrible, terrible. Like two trips to the ER...sick. This week JD is sick with similar symptoms, and just last night baby Colton started with the same issues!

Can I get a breather here!!!

Poor Colton wants to desperately to go "ou-side" and of course, the one awesome day would be the day that he is dreadfully ill. I can't stand for my kids to be sick, I just feel so awful for them!

But I am hopeful for spring and that this winter yuckiness will soon be gone.

Thank you, God, for beautiful days like this one to remind us to have hope, better days are just around the corner. You knew just what I needed today!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Learning about boys and learning about herself

Boy, this is going to be a lengthy post...

There is this little boy who has been calling Summer.

He (we'll just call him "D") is very polite to me on the phone, and I closely monitor the phone call and the amount of time they talk...OK, actually, I set the timer on the microwave for 5 minutes. When it goes off JD comes bellowing into the room yelling, "IT'S TIME TO GET OFF THE PHONE...GET OFF THE PHONE RIGHT NOW!! TIME IS UP, HANG UP RIGHT THIS MINUTE!!!" I understand the intensity of JD's voice because I want Summer to be in the same room with me when she is talking to "D", so I get to experience JD's drama first hand.


Now, some may read the above paragraph and think that it's a little over the top to make my daughter be in the same room with me while she talks to a boy, and to set a time limit...well, it's not over the top, it's called "parenting". I know you are very interested in my reasons, so here goes...


First let me say, Summer is not allowed to have a boyfriend at this point in her life, and "D" is not her boyfriend. I encourage my children to build great friendships with their peers, both boys and girls. It is much easier to be yourself with a friend than a boyfriend...especially in the 4th grade! When "D" started calling, I sat down and talked to Summer about some boundaries in conversation and a time limit. We agreed 5 minutes was plenty to talk to him because he was quiet anyways and she was doing most of the talking...sounds a lot like my relationship with my husband!


We decided on the things that were OK for them to talk about (homework, teachers, lunchroom, sports, siblings, snow days, television shows and movies, etc.), and she and I also laid out the boundaries regarding things that were NOT appropriate to talk about including gossiping and badmouthing other classmates, along with the obvious R rated conversations. We decided that if "D" ever had a girlfriend, then it would not be OK for them to continue talking because the girlfriend would not appreciate that. And lastly, I asked her if it would be OK, at first anyways, for Mommy to be in the same room while she was talking, she agreed. The next time he called I was in the kitchen cooking and she came right in there and sat at the bar while they talked. I continued fixing dinner and never interrupted, but at one point as they were talking she said, "Mom, what happened that time...." It made me realize that she felt very comfortable talking to him with me around, it maybe even eased things for her to know that I was there.


If we don't socialize our children in a way that is in alignment with our values and beliefs, then the world will socialize them. The world would tell my daughter that it is OK to have a boyfriend at 9 yrs old, it is OK to go behind close doors and talk to him, and it is OK to talk about inappropriate subjects...it is a slippery slope, and not a direction that I can let my little girl travel down. By setting up boundaries, I have actually empowered her to converse about topics that she is interested in, topics that she is comfortable sharing her thoughts and feelings, and even giving them things to laugh about. They are both able to be themselves and be comfortable talking to each other. And I know that "D" is realizing what a cool person Summer is because she has taken the initiative to nurture this friendship in the right way.


Yesterday, word got out at recess that they had been talking on the phone to each other in the evenings. Some of the girls started saying, "You like him, he likes you, you two are going together." I was so proud when they both told their peers that they were just friends, and when he called last night they even laughed about it. They agreed that some of their classmates were trying to start trouble, and no matter what anyone said they liked being friends and talking on the phone. I was so proud of them! I was proud of Summer for understanding the importance of building friendships. It is becoming less awkward for her to strike up a conversation with him, and more and more I hear them laughing and cutting up about silly things.

I never understood why it was that parents feel like we have a right to be involved in every aspect of our children's lives (we help them choose what they wear, we remind them to take a bath and brush their teeth, we help them pick their activities and educational choices), but when it comes to relationships, we throw them to the wolves. How are our daughters suppose to learn to interact with boys if we don't guide them? How are our sons suppose to learn how to treat girls if we don't teach them?

My son most always will hold the door for a female. Jeff and I started telling JD along time ago, "Girls first, boys next." That may sound old fashion to some, but I want JD to be a hero in the eyes of his future wife. I want him to handle her gently and speak to her kindly, and that all starts by teaching him the most basic of manners. We talked the other night at the dinner table about saying unkind things to girls. Summer is currently dealing with a very disrespectful little boy at school and he has said some very mean things to her. I was able to include JD in that conversation by asking him if he thought it was OK to say those kind of things to a girl. It was an opportunity for us to, again, teach JD how we expect him to behave toward the opposite sex, and an opportunity to help Summer think of ways to handle disrespectful boys. We want our kids, all four of them, to know that they have self-worth and that self-worth shines thru in the way that you treat others and the way that you allow others to treat you.

When Summer came home and told me what this little punk had said to her, my first reaction was to tell her to hit him in the mouth! Actually, I did tell her to do that! But after talking to a good friend of mine and asking for some suggestions that would be more non-violent, I changed my tune and ask Summer to try another route first. Her and I went into the bathroom and shut the door. I made her look in the mirror with a serious face and pretend that "punk-boy" had just said something hurtful to her. I wanted her to use her mean voice, even be loud if she wanted to, and practice saying things that would affirm her self-worth, and hopefully, teach this little brat that whatever he is learning at home from his parents is not acceptable in the really world.

I made her point her finger and say things like, " Don't talk to me that way!" "You are not to say things like that to me!" "It's not right to say that and you know it!" "You don't have any friends because of the way that you treat people!" I told her that the louder she got, the more negative attention HE would get and finally he would shut-up!

...but, if he keeps this crap up, she has my permission to hit him square in the mouth...and we practiced that too!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Defeated

Ther are some things I simply cannot keep under control...

LAUNDRY>>>Not only do I consantly have an enormous amount of laundry to wash and put away (and really the part I hate the most is the putting way part), but one of my children is a chronic bed wetter. So on top of a mountain of clothes, I also have 20 thousand sheets and blankets in my utility room to be washed. Twenty thousand is probably a bit of an exageration, but that's how it feels!

I give up, I'm just gonna take it all to the laundry mat.

Dishes>>>Another one of my most detestable chores is dishes. Someday I plan on doing my part to help the environment, but for the moment Mother Nature is just going to have to get over the fact that we go thru a ridiculous amount of paper and plastic products because I hate doing dishes...AND YET...even with my chronic abuse of the environment I still have a mountain of dishes that I am going to have to hand wash because I already know they aren't ALL going to fit in my dishwasher. Tragic.

Lack of sleep>>>I am freakin' exhausted! Why, WHY I ask, won't my children sleep?!?! One wakes me because he tee teed in the bed, one wants to do her homework and paint her nails well after her bedtime, one is teething and wants to nurse AND use me as a chew toy ALL NIGHT LONG, and one is just plain stubborn and is determined to wander the house until midnight, then gets back up at 5:30 am, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed! What is wrong with you little turkeys!

Sleep is wonderful...it is not your enemy. It is a glorious thing to be rejuevinated, refreshed, revitalized. Do you not see the bags under your mother's eyes, do you not notice me being forced to partake of enormous amounts of caffeine in order to function, form sensible thoughts, and speak understandable sentences! Sleep, I command you...SLEEP!

TRASH>>> My husband says that we are the trashiest people he has ever known. We create more trash than I can keep up with. I don't know where it all comes from, sometimes I just stand in front of my trash can in awe of the overflow. Then when we sack it and take it outside, the pack of stray dogs that wanders our street...that I have asked the pound numerous times to come and get, but they don't...tears into our trash and scatters it all over the front and back yard. SOOOO then I get to spend my morning picking up nasty trash that has been in a dog's mouth!

In my dreams, I am on a beach...a private beach.. at night laying on the sand. There is a warm breeze blowing and I hear dolphins playing in the background. I feel the water rush onto shore and barely tickle my toes, there is no laundry, there are no dirty dishes, and no trash. There are no annoying dogs, my children are sleeping peacefully...somewhere else, because I did not bring them with me, and I am well rested.

I am also tan and skinny.