Thursday, March 31, 2005

Mommy Confessions #2: Dessert is a Right?

I can see it now. Minions of tiny people, looking much more mature than their preschool age would suggest, marching in the streets. The calm and quiet of the of the idyllic suburban residential area is punctuated with cries of "WE WANT DESSERT! WE WANT DESERT!" Carrying placards with their demands scribbled in crayons, fists in the air, these kids know what they want. And what they want is dessert, not just tonight but every night. They want it unconditionally, not tied to any previous behavior. The leader of this crusade is my son, the champion of the dessert loving crew. I am reminded of the song "You gotta fight for the right to paaarty!"

Yes it is true. I have made my son accustomed to a before bed sweet treat and threats of withholding it often becomes a weapon in the fight to get Chase in bed on time.

I grew up loving dessert. It was my favorite meal of the day! (I did not eat much as I was a picky eater). But dessert, no problem. I could always find room in my stomach for dessert. I remember that many nights my mother would give us an extra treat after dessert, a Necco wafer candy. Anybody else remember the the sweet, pastel-colored discs that melted in your mouth?

The other night, caught up in the bedtime routine, I forgot to get Chase dessert. I have learned that even if he forgets, I better remind him or else he will use forgotten dessert as a reason (as if he needs more) to leave the bed after I have tucked him in.

Well, I forgot. I tucked Chase in and went to put to put little Missy asleep in her room. All of a sudden, I heard such a wailing from Chase's room! Had he fallen out of the bed that fast? Worse yet, was someone trying to abduct him? (it is hard for me to get those horrible news stories out of my head) So I went running in there to find Chase sitting up in his bed. Thank God he is OK, I thought. "What on earth is the matter?" Did he hurt somewhere, was he afraid of something I started to wonder. "My dessert! You forgot my dessert!"

This kid can not be serious! He is really this upset because of dessert?

Help! I've created a monster!

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Mommy Confessions #1

I figure I better put numbers on this title because I have a lot of confessing to do! Hopefully, I will not lose track of my numbering system and hopefully the numbers will stop somewhere before infinity.

My 16-month old loves chocolate. No, she adores chocolate. No, she's addicted to chocolate! Well, it's not my fault. (Can you tell I am a little defensive on this issue?) She has been like this since before she was born.

Let me explain. I have never been much of a chocolate fiend. An occasional hot fudge sundae or brownie or a warm cup of hot cocoa was about the extent of my chocolate adventures. My husband always knew better than to buy me a box of chocolates for Valentine's Day!

But here comes little Missy in pregnancy number 2. I was craving chocolate edibles all the time, morning, noon and night. Ben and Jerry's Chocolate Brownie Fudge became my constant companion. The only reason that I did not eat chocolate for breakfast was because of my son who would wonder if his Mommy had lost her mind.

After giving birth to the little girl, I continued the cravings for the sweet taste of chocolate until that time that I could feel my pregnancy/newborn hormones dropping and my old self coming back. I will never forget getting myself a couple of scoops of my favorite chocolate brownie concoction and thinking, "This does not taste quite right."

Of course I kept eating and proceeded to have the mother of all stomachaches that lasted late into the night. What was I thinking downing that much chocolate in one sitting? So you see, she was born a chocolate addict! It's not my fault, really it isn't. (I don't want to hear anything about how I protest too much either.)

Fast forward several months. C of course has discovered chocolate by this time and anything he has, his sister wants. We tried to hide chocolate from her as long as we could but the Christmas candy presents just ruined it. I do not need to tell you how much of a struggle we had at Easter!

So I thought "I will just let her have one piece. I will just brush her 8 little teeth afterwards." Bad idea. For an addict, one is never enough. The screaming fit that ensued when I refused to grant little Missy another piece of chocolate was nothing short of fabulous. I was surprised Child Protective did not come and take her away. She has now raised a fit about chocolate every night since Easter and each night I have given her one piece.

Oh well. That's it. The first of my mommy confessions.

Stay tuned for more.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Christian Parents No Different Than Others Study Shows

It seems that the majority of parents in America, regardless of religious identification, do not place a high priority on the moral or religious upbringing of their children. Is it any wonder our kids are suffering from a variety of maladies including increased violence, increased reliance on prescription medications and increased sexual activity?

Also, it is interesting to note parents desire to "do the best that they can" versus setting definable goals of how one would like one's children to turn out. Can that really be comforting to say "I did the best that I could" if you really did not?

I am taking this study to heart as I re-evaluate my priorities for my children. I will ask God to show me where my priorities may need re-ordering.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Help! I'm Being Followed!

I hope everyone had a happy Easter. I return to blogging after a brief, yet productive break. I submitted another book proposal and have had lots of fun checking out other mommy bloggers. I will be adding more links as I find other fun, inspiring blogs.

Does anyone else feel they are being followed? Do you feel that you are never alone in your own house? I think that it has been a long winter because I do not remember being so acutely aware of this problem until recently. I can not go anywhere without being followed. From upstairs to down, to the kitchen or to check the mail, if I am not followed, the little ones make such a ruckus as if they fear I will hop a plane to Florida and never return unless they keep a careful eye on me.

And the bathroom. What about the bathroom? The one place where a woman can go for a few moments of solitude, right? Wrong. The shenanigans I have to pull to try to get some privacy in the bathroom are ridiculous. My latest trick is to sneak in to take a shower when everyone is occupied. I literally tiptoe away, quietly close the door and jump right in to the shower. Unfortunately, once I start the water running, the secret is out and my whereabouts are known but at least I had a few moments of privacy.

One problem I have noticed is that A is so small, she could be a private detective with her stealth following of people. Often times, I will try my "wait until she is occupied so I can escape into the kitchen to get something done" routine only to turn around after running water at the sink to fall over a yelping child. She is good at yelling "Ow!" by this time. She has creeped up on me so quietly and was so close that I literally fell over her, often knocking the poor girl over!

Even as I write this, though, I realize that I would not trade my life now for my previous days as a single woman when I wished that I had someone to share my space with. Now I have that and so much more.

Thank you God for sending me your precious gifts in the form of my children. From them I learn so much and for that I am so grateful. They have changed my life in ways that I did not expect and I am so much better for it.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

The Tiniest Breath

I remember right after I bought Alyssa home from the hospital, laying with her in our bed while she slept soundly and peacefully next to me. I woke up some minutes later, scared, wondering if she was still breathing. (Admit it, you other moms have done that too, irrational as it is.) So I put my ear close to her mouth and what I heard was a sweeter sound than any other. Something about listening to her breathe was so soothing, so peaceful it was hard for me to stop. For just a few seconds, my muscles relaxed and I took a deep breath. Even as I realized how tired I was, I somehow felt rejuvenated and warm all over listening to that precious little breath.

Well, I still listen to Alyssa's breathing every now and then after I lay her down to sleep. And it still soothes me, or it had up until last night.

Alyssa's gums decided to grow a whole bunch of teeth at one time and no matter what I try she can not seem to sleep through the night anymore. Last night, as I lay her down for the second time, my body bone-weary, I decided to see if the calming breath would help me again. I did not think that it would- I felt too far gone.

I gingerly laid her down in her bed and instead of quickly sneaking away like I usually do, I ever-so-gently put my ear near her mouth and listened to her regular, rhythmic breathing. I was instantly soothed and I offered up a prayer of gratitude to God along with a repentant heart for having grumbled and complained about getting up with her.

I prayed "Lord, I am so grateful to have this special little girl in my life, your creation that you have trusted into my care. Thank you Lord for giving her breath and thank you for giving me ears to hear and a heart to love her. You are an Almighty God, deserving of all praise and I rejoice in your name forever."

After that, I was on a roll, could not get back to sleep and went to work writing my women's coaching worksheets and prayers. When she woke up again, I went with a grateful (although admittedly tired) heart to put her back to sleep again.

Monday, March 21, 2005

They Need More Time!

I have been busy working on articles and preparing to formally launch by parent coaching service on the Internet. There have been many glitches and groans as I have proceeded over the past few days. The glitches have been mainly technical (my website is still not up) and the groans have been from Chase- as in "Oh Mommy not again! Your not doing your work on the computer again!" he laments.

I have an internal clock also that alerts me when I have been ignoring the wee ones for long enough and I need to take a break. The problem is, I sometimes go past that point. Pushing it is not good for anybody and the whole household ends up feeling off-center for a while as I attempt to compensate. Compensating is fun as I read a silly poem to Chase or make funny faces at Alyssa.

I realize that balance is the most important characteristic that I can cultivate right now. I pray to God that I will never forget what is most important.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Cooking With Kids- Just for Fun

I have article ideas about the educational value of cooking with kids rolling around in my brain. Boosting literacy, reinforcing math, tactile immersion and parent-child bonding all seem like reasonable outcomes that I could include in my article. But I realized today that the main reason to let your kids cook (and mess up) with you is because you can really have a great time of it.

So, today was Alyssa's first true cooking experience. We decided to make chocolate chip cookies from scratch. That's right. I am becoming a frugal housewife and I decided to take a break from the refrigerated cookie dough, convinced that I could make them just as well.

Chase has known about my brilliant plan for about a week and he has been begging me mercilessly to make the "scratch" cookies and today, I ran out of excuses. I know that I said cooking with kids is fun but I did not mention that it is a ton more work for mommy and daddy too (since as you remember from a previous post, my husband is the vacuum man).

So, away we went on our cooking adventure. I assembled all the ingredients and all seemed to go well as Chase added the salt, flour and soda to a large mixing bowl. He whisked that around a bit as I was melting butter in the microwave while holding Alyssa as she became more and more curious about what was happening.

I sat down with Alyssa on my lap as Chase started cracking the eggs. Chase has been helping me cook and cracking eggs since he was about 2 so he is pretty good at it usually. (Salmonella, I know. I have him wash his hands afterwards).Today, though, half of the eggshell ended up in the bowl and he did not see it for some reason. As I leaned over to help him out Alyssa started stirring up the flour mixture with her hands. Eggshell was removed from bowl but I had not noticed that Alyssa was eating the flour mixture. I decide to let her use the whisk instead of her hand for fooling around with the flour mixture. What a mistake! Flour started flying everywhere and each time I tried to grab the wire whisk away from her, she would fling it again, wasting my precious flour mixture!

Well, finally, there was enough flour coating the kitchen table that she started to have fun with that and she calmed down. I looked up at Chase only to see him putting a fistful-and I do mean an entire fistful!- of brown sugar in his mouth. "What on earth are you doing? Don't you know that eating so much sugar like that will make you sick?" "Okay then, can I open up the bag of chocolate chips and eat those instead or will those make me sick too?"

I could not quite focus my brain to figure out the answer to Chase's question as my mind was starting to go and I had to try to remember where I was in the recipe and what I still needed to add.

"Okay, 1 teaspoon of vanilla and then the chips."

I barely got the bag of chips open before my two chocoholics were clamoring for the bag and chips were flying all over the table. Before I could say "choking hazard" Alyssa already had 2 of the dark brown morsels in her chubby cheeks and Chase again had a fistful of sweet stuff he was shoving into his mouth.

"Alright, mister, that's it for you. Just get away from this table now." So much for my sternness as Chase went to the sink with the bowl that had the discarded eggshells in it, added some of the mounds of flour that were still on the table and then ran some water from the faucet to the mixture and called it his recipe.

By this time, I could not even pay attention to Chase anymore. I just needed to end this "fun" and get the cookies into the oven. Once the cookies were in and I took a deep breath, I realized how cute Alyssa looked holding the whisk with flour all over her entire face and body.

Sam came and took some adorable pictures.

I do love being a mom.

What Were You Thinking?

It seems that several times each day I find myself wondering (often very loudly and in an irritated tone of voice) what on earth these kids are thinking when they perform some of their antics. I am reasonably sure that they really are not just trying to drive me crazy (are they?) and I believe they are of at least average intelligence but sometimes the things that they do just shock me.

Take Alyssa today. I was busy taking care of my business in the bathroom (yes, you know that I get no privacy) and she had found an old key on a keychain. Keys on keychains used to be Chase's favorite toys. (Ah, the simpler days!)

Well, anyway, Alyssa, being the adorable little 16-month old that she is started using the key to pretend to open all the doors in the bathroom. I remember thinking how cute it was to see her pudgy little hands role-playing with the key and thinking how brilliant she was that she what a key was and how to use it. I'm just being honest. After all, if your own mother can't think that you are brilliant then who can?

Well, I had to interupt my reverie to finish up what I was doing and so that I could get dinner going. In the 30, no more like 10, seconds that it took me to look away from Alyssa to attempt to find the tissue (we can not keep it on the roll anymore becuse those cute pudgy fingers will rip the ENTIRE roll to shreds),she managed to transform from cute role-playing toddler into a WWYT poster child.

The girl had put the key UP HER NOSE! Yes, that's right, the key was placed inside of her nostril. She was just holding it up there just as calm as you please. She did have a slightly quizzical look on her face. Was she wondering "What posessed me to do that?" I do not know for sure.

I did not want to shout too loud lest I frighten her and make the pointy object go even further into the place where it should not be. So as I moved towards her to calmly remove the key from her she removed the key and went on about her business.

I found myself trying to recreate the moment that the key went into her nose. Was she merely wondering, "What do keys feel like in your nose?" or was there something more intellectual, more scientific in her query?

I guess I will never know.

Hey, I could do a whole series on WWYT moments. Like the time that Chase decided to bring his water gun into the bathroom and proceeded to get the entire bathroom soaking wet when I thought that he was just going to the bathroom....

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

The "Wonder Twins" Again

Why is it that if Alyssa sleeps through the night, Chase wakes up instead? Why is it that if Chase is playing quietly so that I can get some writing done, Alyssa suddenly needs my full attention? Is it a conspiracy?: "Hey, I am too busy to bother her right now so why don't you take over?" I do not HEAR them talking and Alyssa can not really talk yet anyway.

This is where I come back to my Wonder Twin example. No, my kids are not twins but they are brother and sister like the Wonder Twins. Remember how the Wonder Twins could send silent messages to each other in times of danger? Have my kids been watching this show? Does it even come on anymore?


Last night, Chase slept like a baby and Alyssa was up most of the night, presumably because of the teething. When I finally managed to get some Tylenol in her (she fights it) she eventually went back to sleep. Oh, my aching eyelids!

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

"Wonder Twin Powers: Activate"

The coming of nightfall brings a mysterious occurrence to our home every night. Our once peaceful household is gradually filled with increasing amounts of activity. As I am getting more and more tired and starting to settle everyone down for the night, the kids seemed to have some invisible source of energy.

Remember the Superfriends and the Justice League of America Saturday morning cartoons? Remember the really cool Wonder Twins? They had a routine in which they would touch hands and shout "Wonder Twin powers, activate!" and then they would be able to take the form of different shapes. Well my kids are not twins and though I have never witnessed them doing it, I am convinced that this is their mantra every evening.

It seems that the nonverbal 1-year old (Alyssa) and the very verbal 4-year old (Chase) must secretly get together and shout "Activate!" every day around 6 pm. Alyssa begins dancing her bouncing, arm-waving routine as Chase begins crawling around pretending he is a dog (complete with barking) or using his ruler as a sword. Next, Alyssa starts chasing her brother around squealing with glee as he pertends to run from her. Then, Alyssa may take a break from that game to spend some time twirling around the middle of the floor until she gets dizzy while Chase gets his Dad to start wrestling. Alyssa quickly comes to the scene of the full-body contact and literally throws her body on the pile. (All this is happening while I am either trying to finish my writing for the day or straightening up and making preparations for bedtime).

Eventually, my "Wonder Twins" succumb to my best efforts to settle them down. This is no easy task and usually requires some superhero strength of my own. After everyone is asleep, I spend time asking myself what I can do differently the following night to thwart my little heroes and their nighttime activation.

Suggestions anyone?

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Vacuum Cleaner Fun

I never knew how much fun a vacuum could be. My mother-in-law gave (er, loaned) us her heavy-duty, state-of-the-art vacuum cleaner. Much to my husband's delight, she even included attachments.(Oh joy) and so began my husband's role as head vacuum cleaner dude. We probably have the most dust-free carpeting on the block. This is not so surprising given the fact that my husband is a gadget man. What is surprising however, is that 10 months later, he has not tired of the thrill of vacuuming.

In fact, my husband's obsession has now rubbed off onto our 4-year old son, Chase.

Here's how it happened.

One day, I left home and Sam was left to care for a sleeping one-year old and an inquisitive 4-year old. What do the two males decide to do for fun? They decide to watch the training video for the vacuum cleaner (and all of it's neat attachments).

Do people actually watch these videos, you ask? I have often asked myself the same question assuming that in fact people did not have the time to watch instruction manual videos. Well, I was wrong.

In an apparent moment of male bonding, the 4-year old and his Daddy watched an engrossing video about how to vacuum, how to use the attachments and most importantly, how to take the vacuum apart. By the time I returned home, my son came running up to me asking me to watch him take apart the vacuum cleaner. "Does your father know what you are doing?" is my usual response to these types of activities. "Yeah, he saw me do it already!" Chase responded excitedly. Before I could protest, Chase had pushed a couple of buttons, pulled a lever and taken pieces off the vacuum cleaner. Shocked, I said "What have you done? Do you know how to put that back together?". I did not yet know about the father-son video viewing adventure.

I yelled, "Sam, come quick. Chase destroyed the vacuum cleaner!" "It's alright, Sam reassured me. "He's also learned how to put it back together". "How many times did you watch the silly thing?" I asked. "Just once." "Just once? You people watched the video one time and now Chase can take the thing apart and put it back together?"


With glee, Chase begins to vacuum the floor with Sam looking on like a jealous lover asking when is it his turn. Eventually they compromise and Sam takes care of cord management and vacuum direction while Chase actually pushes the ridiculously heavy appliance.

What a sight!

Good thing vacuuming is not my first love. I am thrilled to have the most well-vacuumed house on the block.

Tuesday, March 8, 2005

Diaper Basketball?

Forgive the ranting of this post as I have been up nearly all night with a feverish little boy and a teething little girl. There will be no sleep for the weary as I have 2 articles due.

I thought I was seeing things as I witnessed first my 15-month old take her dirty diaper and throw it over the railing into the dining room below. Next, Chase went and retrieved it and then proceeded to do the same thing only I heard a cheer as the heavy, soggy thing landed with a thud. He had thrown the diaper into a wide-mouthed trash container that we keep near the entrance of the kitchen for junk mail. But it gets even better. My husband hears the commotion, retrieves the diaper out of the container with the papers in it, comes upstairs and proceeds to make a basket himself.

Am I nuts or just really tired? Who invented this game anyway?

Well I'm too tired to play today but maybe I should join in and see what all the fun is about.

Monday, March 7, 2005

Dancing Girl

Have you ever seen a six-month old belly dance? It is a hilarious sight indeed! Whenever Alyssa's clothes are off or if she is wearing a shirt that she can lift up, her baby belly starts rolling around. She then starts hitting her tummy with her hands as if there is a rhythm going on in her head and then she smiles one of her oh-so-sweet smiles.

We can add this new form of dancing to her already established routines which include ballet and praise dancing. She already seems to know first position and other select ballet moves which she readily demonstrates whenever the fancy hits her, sometimes with music and sometimes without.

Praise dancing is her most highly perfected form of bodily expression and it is best seen to the worship tunes of Michael W. Smith. As the music proclaims God's goodness, Alyssa's chubby little hands reach for the sky and her arms wave back and forth. It is hard to watch her and not feel that everything is OK in the world.

Hallelujah for music and dancing!

Saturday, March 5, 2005

Discipline: WWJD

At the risk of using an sometimes over-used phrase, I share this story that was sort of an epiphany for me about God's love and forgiveness.

Chase has a lot of coins in his dinosaur bank and his dad got him a bunch of paper coin wraps from the bank so they could wrap up the coins and take them to the bank. His dad put them in a plastic bag and put them up and told Chase not to play with them. Well, Chase is so tall that he can get to almost everything so he got them down and started throwing them all over the floor.

What a mess! We were scheduled to go to a puppet show at the library and I was so angry that I just wanted to yell at Chase and tell him that we were not going to the show anymore. God has really been working with me to help me to slow down, catch my breath and consult him when the kids have disobeyed or done something wrong so that I can make better parenting choices.

This was really hard as I looked at these papers absolutely everywhere in the family room! So I left the family room and went away to think and pray for a moment. This was no big, long ordeal, maybe 2 minutes at the most and I then told Chase that he was going to have to clean up the papers before I was ready to go or I would go without him. He was not yet dressed for the day but I still had myself and Alyssa to get dressed. Realizing what a big mess he had made, he started crying and asked if he could at least get dressed first, before he started the big job. I said no, more angrily than I would have liked to, and then I left him downstairs to clean up the mess.

When I went to check on him, he was still sniffling but he was mostly finished cleaning up. "I'm really sorry mommy" Chase said and I said that I was glad that he was apologizing. I explained that Daddy knew how hard it would be for such a little boy to clean up such a big mess and that was why Daddy had instructed him not to dump them out.

Even before the words were out of my mouth, I knew how familiar those words of loving admonishment, of trying to save someone from themselves, of being able to see a truth and a consequence that is not seen to the person choosing to disobey were to me. These were the conversations that I had been having with God in my prayer time about my own disobedience!

I know that discussing obedience of any sort for any one over the age of 18 has become a dirty word of sorts. However, I am convinced that refusing to follow the Inner Spirit that God has deposited in each of us is an act of disobedience that carries consequences. It is not necessarily that God does bad things to me to punish me but my actions have certain unpleasant consequences that I did not intend. He knew those consequences and I did not yet I heeded only my own understanding.

Despite my mistakes, misunderstandings and moments of foolishness, God has stood by me and continues to do so. In an instant, I understood how much God really loves me and how much he wants me to approach discipline with my child as He, my Heavenly Father does.

As Chase continues to slowly pick up the brown wrappers, I get down on the floor and begin to help him. His eyes light up with surprise. "You are going to help me Mommy, even though I was disobedient?" Yes my son, I thought, with tears in my eyes at the enormity of the analogy between his life and mine. "Even when are you disobedient, I will NEVER abandon you." I realized then that whatever my own childhood was or was not, I have the best parenting role model ever.

As I tell parents that I work with, for each method of discipline that you use on your child, at the moment of discipline, if Jesus was at your elbow, looking over your shoulder, would he approve? Today, I had my own moment of asking "What Would Jesus Do?" and I learned more than I ever thought I could from a little boy and his mess.

Today's Devotion:

“He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:10-12).

Dear Lord,
Help me to always discipline my child in love. Help me to remember that the root of the word discipline is "to teach" so that I treat each incident of discipline as a teaching moment. Most of all, remind me that the compassion and forgiveness that Christ tells me to extend to all does not stop at my children. Thank you, Lord, for standing by me to guide me in my parenting journey.

Friday, March 4, 2005

Serious About Laughter

Yes, I recognize the irony in my title. But I have so much fun laughing with my little ones and I feel it is so good for our spiritual, emotional and physical health that I have felt the need to make a serious study of the fun side of life.

When I was a practicing psychiatrist, I spent all of my time focusing on the negative aspects of life. It becomes a habit. So although I feel I would like more joy in my family life, it does not always feel like the most natural thing to me.

The book "The Learning Power of Laughter" by Jackie Silberg has lots of fun games, songs,jokes and poems that keep us laughing. I feel like motherhood is unlocking a cache of joy deep inside me that has been locked up for a long time.

Wednesday, March 2, 2005

Gum Addiction

Why does my 15-month old daughter love Trident so much? She doesn't eat it. No, she lovingly examines, caresses and unwraps each piece and then either piles up the pieces neatly or gives them to others.

Whatever it is, I think it is genetic. Chase did the same thing.

See my other blog at for more details.

The (Morning) Family Bed

I guess there are worse ways to start one's morning. As soon as the children both wake up (and they usually wake up around the same time), they love to climb into bed with Sam and I. Catapulting into the bed are cold feet and legs belonging to a certain 4-year old whose pajama pants always seem to short no matter what size they are. Next come the grabby, pinching, chubby little hands of a certain little girl that wants to get our immediate attention.

Next, the real fun begins. Chase starts to body slam and jump on his Dad, often narrowly missing me as I yell, "I'm delicate!" Alyssa initially joins in the full body fun but quickly tires of it and goes in search of my Trident. I almost always forget to take the attractive and interesting gum off my nightstand where I reach for it in the evenings after the children are asleep and the results are always the same. What is attractive and interesting about sticks of gooey resin flavored with peppermint and wrapped in little papers? I have no idea but trying to separate Alyssa from gum will result in a scream that would make one think she was being tortured. She does not eat the gum. She carefully takes each stick out of the package, studies it, and then carefully unwraps it. After studying the unwrapped piece of gum, she either gives it to someone else or places it in a neat pile on the floor.

By this time, my eyes are finally able to stay open and focused more than a few minutes at a time and I come to the full realization of what Alyssa has done. "Oh boy, not the Trident again!" So I begin my morning retrieving pieces of Trident, re-wrapping them (Yeah, I know there are germs on there but I am not wasting my Trident!)

I often feel tempted to complain as I used to every morning. I would spend our family bed time complaining about how little sleep I got and how it was going to make facing my busy day more difficult. I realized that complaining only made me feel worse and did not increase the amount of sleep that I had the night before. So instead, now I remember what it was like when I was single and woke up alone every day and I remind myself to feel grateful for cold feet and grabbing hands.

So begins another morning...

Today's Devotion:

Philippians 2:14-15
Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe

Dear Lord,
Help me to greet each day happily and filled with gratitude for all of my blessings. Banish complaing, grumbling and murmuring from my conversations. Even in jest, help me to maintain only positive conversations about my family life. Thank you for reminding me about all that is good in my life and keep me forever thanking you. In Jesus name,

Tuesday, March 1, 2005

The Wonder Twins Again

Why is it that if Alyssa sleeps through the night, Chase wakes up instead? Why is it that if Chase is playing quietly so that I can get some writing done, Alyssa suddenly needs my full attention? Is it a conspiracy?: "Hey, I am too busy to bother her right now so why don't you take over?" I do not HEAR them talking and Alyssa can not really talk yet anyway.

This is where I come back to my Wonder Twin example. No, my kids are not twins but they are brother and sister like the Wonder Twins. Remember how the Wonder Twins could send silent messages to each other in times of danger? Have my kids been watching this show? Does it even come on anymore?


Laughter: Good Medicine

Well, we are all fighting illness around here. I am trying to follow my own advice and fight feeling bad with laughter. It really works! From making up silly rhymes to laughing with Alyssa as she walks around with her washcloth on her head, I am finding a lot of reasons to laugh. Of course, Chase is thrilled. He is at the age where if we could be silly all day, he would be very content. I am reminded of a study that showed that children up to the age of 4 laugh about 400 times a day while adults only laugh an average of 15 times a day.

Starting today, we will laugh, laugh, laugh our way to health!

Today's Devotion:

Proverbs 17:22 (NIV)
A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

Dear Lord,
Thank you for giving us laughter. Laughter is another one of your wondrous creations that is so complicated that even scientists can not fully comprehend it. Remind me to be cheerful always, no matter the circumstance, for that will only help whatever situation I am dealing with. Help me to be a cheerful role model for my children that they will never forget to laugh. In Jesus name I pray.