Someone to Say “Bless You”

I am deeply thankful for our little girls. They are so hilarious, even when Sweetness has peed through her 5th pair of panties in a day.

They are both talkers too. Light knows how to make her desires for her ball or a balloon VERY well known. And Sweetness tells me all about her encounters with an ant or playing with her cars.

As we live together in this home of ours, they are learning from me what to do, what to say, how to act. And do I remember this–this cloud of two witnesses–that surround me? Usually I’m so caught up in daily life that I forget that they are watching me.

Today though, I sneezed and found out a simple truth. Usually I sneeze and then say “Bless you”. When anyone else sneezes, I always say “Bless you”. It goes back to my high school days, when I was not popular. When those in the in crowd sneezed, everyone said, “Bless you!” When I sneezed, well, no one did. And it rather hurt.

But today, when I sneezed, two little voices spoke up. One said, “Bless you Mommy!” The other sad, “Bea u”. And I have to admit, I got a little tear in my eye when I realized that my girls have picked up what I do and what I say when someone sneezes.

It’s nice to know that I’ll always hear “Bless you” as long as they are around. But what is even more important is knowing that my little cloud of witnesses are learning how to show sympathy for something as small as a sneeze.

May those around them always know the feeling of having someone say, “Bless you”.

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Huggles and Snugs

Have you seen this video?

If you don’t have access to it, let me give you a quick description. Baby kitty is having bad dream, while sleeping close to mommy. Mommy gives it a big hug, put her paws and head on the kitten, and kitten goes back to sleep.

When I first saw this today, I was struck by how much the baby relaxed when the mommy pulled it very close. It had been all tense, bu then just lost all of the stress when its mommy held it.

I have to admit, that’s one of the advantages of co-sleeping. When Sweetness had a bad dream, I just pulled her very, very close and if necessary, latched her on. All the tenseness left her body and she just relaxed back into sleep.

Kinda reminds me of what God wants to do with me. Have me snuggle into Him, relax in His tight embrace. I wish I was more like my girls and could do that whenever He draws me close.

Breaking Away from the Shoulds

It’s 11:35 on a Sunday morning, and Light just nursed down for her nap. I was rather shocked, as usually she’s been going to sleep between 1 and 2 p.m. for her long nap. But no, she crawled and walked her way over to me a little bit ago. I put her on the bed as I was dressing and she was starting making her mi-mi (nursing) needs known. So I put her on my lap and latched her on. In a few minutes, she was OUT.

It just really struck me how different I am with Light than I was with Sweetness. With her, the whole first year of her life was spent in the Land of Should. She should be sleeping now. She should be gaining X amount of weight. She should know better than to try to skip her nap. She should sleep with the lights off, curtains drawn and fan on. She Should…Well, you get the picture.

As Sweetness kept on proving to me over and over that she was aware her body’s need, and as she showed me the ways I could help her, I slowly started withdrawing my citizenship from the Land of Should. It’s been rather freeing, actually.

I don’t have to worry about “creating a bad habit” when Light nurses to sleep, because I think she Should be able to self-soothe. Instead, I just enjoy the time and appreciate having a fast-working sleep tool.

I don’t worry about how much sleep she Should be getting. Instead, I realize that as long as I keep an eye on her, she’ll let me know when she’s tired and wants to sleep. She’s very good at that! Brilliant, you might even say. 🙂

Sweetness Should be fully potty-trained by now, I’ve been told by other citizens in the Land of Should. But she’s not. And she’ll let me know when it clicks.

I get caught up in the Land of Should when I let expectations outweigh realities. It’s really quite a frustrating place to live though.

Reality is proving a much nicer place to live in, every day that passes.

Special K Cottage Cheese Loaf

One of my great victories as an SDA SAHM is mastering the cottage cheese loaf, aka Special K loaf. It was also what we had for lunch yesterday.

I found the recipe here, originally. I’ve made some adjustments and it is, if I do say so myself, pretty good!

Here’s what you need:

2-4 eggs

Large carton of cottage cheese

1 stick or so of butter (about 1/2 cup)

1 package of onion soup mix

OR

1/2 onion, finely sliced and 2 Tablespoons of broth (like George Washington broth)

Corn Flakes or Special K or Rice Krispies. Pretty much any crunchy flakes cereal that’s not sweet about 6 cups

Melt butter and put into mixer. Add in everything else. Mix together until it looks like a mush. Having a little help you is optional. 😉

Then add in some more cornflakes and mush them in by hand.

Unless you don’t like it extra crispy. In that case, just disregard adding extra cornflakes at all.

Now for the secret to my success. I don’t use a casserole dish. instead, I use that brown silicone pan and make loaf bites.

Almost everyone likes the crunchy part of the casserole, I figured, so might as well give them what they want so they’ll eat it up! I’ve also used muffin pans and they are good too.

So put your mush in the proper spots, put the oven on 350, stick it all in and let it cook for 20 or so minutes, until they’re super-crispy golden brown.

Healthy? Not so much.

Super-easy to make and eat? Yes! Even the 1-year-old loves them!

Parenting By The Spirit~A Review~Chapter One, Part One

As I read it, I decided to go through a chapter a week and really, really study through it, to see where in Scripture she drew her ideas from.

In Chapter One, she shares her story of how she came to talk with God about parenting and what her ideal of parenting is. However, I did not see a whole lot of Scriptural support for her ideals.

Hohnberger laid obedience of a child as the foundational principle for parenting. To say I was shocked is to put it mildly. After all, in my New King James version of the Bible, I had just read that Love was the foundation of God’s character. In Mark 12: 28-34, scribe asks Jesus what the first, or foremost, commandment is. He responds by quoting the Old Testament (Deut 6:4,5 and Lev 19:18) that the greatest commandment is to love God with all you have and to love your neighbor as much as you do yourself.

Ellen White tells us the same thing in The Mount of Blessing, pages 116-117. “With untold love our God has loved us, and our love awakens toward Him as we comprehend something of the length and breadth and depth and height of this love that passeth knowledge. By the revelation of the attractive loveliness of Christ, by the knowledge of His love expressed to us while we were yet sinners, the stubborn heart is melted and subdued, and the sinner is transformed and becomes a child of heaven. God does not employ compulsory measures; love is the agent which He uses to expel sin from the heart. By it He changes pride into humility, and enmity and unbelief into love and faith.”

Nothing in there about obedience being the key principle of life. As we read through the Bible, we discover that out of love, there comes obedience to God’s commandments, but even then, He helps us become like Him, not compels us to become like Him. This is a premise that I will explore later, in another post.

Back to the book.

I will go through this chapter and share my observations on it.

At the beginning, Hohnberger shares a story about her two-year-old son not obeying when she told him to pick up the spilled dog food, even after she spanked him five times. She gets upset as she tries to make him obey, she relates on page 12. I was taken aback by this, as I imagined the scenario taking place in our home. Well, actually, it is a scene that has taken place at our house–not the spanking, but the spilled dog food. 😉 That’s why one of our standing rules is, “If you spill it, clean it up.”

When Sweetness was that age, she spilled the dog food. I went over to her and said, “Okay, let’s pick it up” and picked up a handful and tossed it back into the bowl.

When she didn’t want to do pick some up, I took her hand, made it pick up some food and toss it into the bowl. I then said, “If we spill it, we clean it up. Do you need Mommy to help you more?” For the average two-year-old, having help is a horrid, horrid thing, so she continued to pick up by herself. I picked up the outliers and in a minute or two, all the food was back in bowl. No yelling, no punishment, no repeating myself. Just coming alongside her, at her level, and showing her what I meant. Now, since she is a toddler, I have to repeat and repeat and repeat the lesson when she spills something, but I have to say that nowadays, if she spills something, 8 times out of 10 she picks it up or grabs a towel so that she can clean it up. The other 2 times, I remind her and help her. It’s a principle I learned from here (just as a side note, for babies/early toddlers, skip from step one to step four and add in step two and three as you note your child is developing).

After all, God gave us the 10 Commandments and comes alongside us to help us keep them. Why wouldn’t I help my child obey me?

Parenting By the Spirit Overview

One of the things I love to do is read. And I particularly am interested in parenting books at the moment, for some odd reason. 😉

A book that I’ve heard about time and again in Adventist circles is Parenting by the Spirit, by Sally Hohnberger. I poked around on their website quite a lot, thumbed through one of her books at the ABC and finally, a friend sent me her copy.

So far, I’ve been rather appalled at what I’ve found. A lot of fear, a lot of works-based/behaviorism things, a lot of misunderstanding of basic child development and the God-given design for breastfeeding. Very few verses given, most not cited in context..

Yes, a lot of red flags for me. Not a whole lot of Ellen White stuff either.

I was really taken aback about the insistence of teaching obedience as one of the main calls of parenting. All under the guise of reaching the heart of a child so that they will follow God. Oddly enough, I don’t see that in my version of the Bible (New King James Version, if you’re interested). Rather, I’ve been reading about a God who seeks to draw me into relationship. A God who says, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” Nothing in there about, “If you keep My commandments, I will love you.”

So I’m going to be going through the book in detail, to outline some of my thoughts and the research (Biblical, EGW and scientific) behind the reasoning.

I’m trying to figure out the best style to do this, so please bear with me.

May 5, 2011

Not too bad outside, but windy chilly.

Why is it that just when I get the laundry finished and put away, there’s more laundry for me to do?

Trigger words

There are certain words that we hear a lot that can trigger strong emotions on our parenting journey. I know I have several that make me cringe; do you have any?

Some of these are:

Defiant

Sinful nature of independence

Self-willed

Rebellion

Disobedience

Tantrum

Why do these words trigger such strong emotion? I think part of it is because in Christian culture, there is a lot of baggage and self-image involved. We want to look like a good Christian family. And of course a “good” Christian family has children who do NOTHING like the above, especially in public.

At least, before we become parents, that is our intention. My children with NEVER act like that, we think smugly to ourselves.

And then one day it happens. We’re at the grocery store, close to naptime and the meltdown occurs.

Or, as happened to me at one MOPS meeting. Sweetness was not willing to go into the MOPPETS section that day. I have a policy of not forcing children to stay in a place at church where they are unhappy, so I brought her into the main group with me. She sat with me for a bit and ate and drank some.

Then she and her sister started playing. It’s a fairly big room, with the tables set up front and big windows overlooking a field in the back. They were crawling all over, looking outside, playing with things and just having fun. Then they got into the area where all the sound/video equipment was. I don’t remember all the particulars, but Sweetness started touching different knobs and switches while Light was crying because she’d just hit her head. I was telling Sweetness stop and she just would. not. stop. touching things.

In the process of jerking Sweetness’ hands away, I knocked over the VCR. Light started crying harder. I stage whispered extremely angrily to Sweetness. “See what you made Mommy do? Are you happy now? You should be so ashamed of yourself for not listening to me.” Sweetness started melting down too.

Naturally, that’s when I heard someone behind me asking, “Do you need some help?” I was about ready to crawl into a hole, ashamed that she’d heard me say that to my own daughter. I shook my head and told her that we were going to go out to the hall and talk.

And as I did, I realized how much in the wrong I was. Here I was, an adult!, shaming my 2-year-old child for being curious. And curiousity is a God-given trait that just needs to be managed. Fortunately, my friend either didn’t hear me or chose to ignore my words to my child.

But you know what the worst thing was? I wasn’t upset that Sweetness had gotten into something she shouldn’t have. I was upset because I looked like a bad mom to these other women. I had a child who was–wait for it–defiant, self-willed, rebellious, sinfully independent and having a tantrum. Could I look anymore like a bad Christian with the resultant bad Christian child?

But that wasn’t the truth. That is what it may have looked like to some of the women, but it wasn’t the truth.

As I discovered that afternoon, Sweetness was getting sick (had a temp of 103 that night). She didn’t want to play with MOPPETs because she was feeling sick. She wasn’t being defiant and not listening and tantruming because of her sinful nature of independence was being crossed. She was getting sick.

People who feel bad, act bad.

That’s as true for a child of two as an adult of 37.

I Feel So Sick

I think I just sent 232 photos out into the great unknown. I had downloaded them from my phone onto my card and then on to the computer. I checked to make sure the newly-named folder was up and went back to the card to delete those bad puppies. I mean, I’m trying to free up space and not be a pic hoarder, you know? I know I’ve copied over some of the pics and vids, but not all.

So I erased them all and then. Oh, my heart is sinking as I write this. And then I went back to the folder and only 10 pics had transferred into that folder. Aiyiyiyiyi. Heart. Sunk. Gone.

Wait. Wait. Wait! Oh wait! I think my computer has a cool thing where, let me check.

I think, maybe, it just transferred the pics it hadn’t transferred before. Oh, I hope that’s true. Gah. That’s why I hate erasing pics and vids. I just never know…

May 4, 2011

Sunny again and the dandelions are growing like, well, a weed.


And I did get the clothes and newspaper and other stuff away. Yay me! Now, if I could just have a self-cleaning dog…


Yes, there are some clothes on that video cabinet that need to be put away. Just waiting for Sweetness to wake up.