Saturday, February 28, 2009

How Would I Like Me Now?

I wonder, if my 18-year-old self could see me now, what would I think of me???

It's been almost ten years since I was 18 years old. Oh, how it pains me to type that sentence. I can still sometimes manage to feel young and almost even 'relevant' in our youth camp ministry until I see a sentence like that in black and white.

When I think back on the person I was then, I realize how shallow, self-centered and approval-seeking I was in my relationships with others and with God. I still have a long way to go in each of these areas, but praise God, he's grown me up by leaps and bounds through the last ten years!

At 18, I was a freshman in college (always one of the youngest in my class, I turned 18 a couple weeks into my freshman year). I began dating my (future) husband one week after my 18th birthday, and never looked back. My dreams included a husband, staying home taking care of my many babies (5 to 8 or so, I would've said), and being a pastor's wife. Mostly because Hubby was planning to be a pastor. And I was planning to be his wife. I've already blogged about how God changed our plans in that area...(the pastor area, not the wife area...) :)

I think my 18-year-old self would be surprised that I only have one baby. I imagined I would have at least two children after 6 years of marriage, but if you'll remember, we did have to wait a while for little Z. And I would definitely be surprised that I live at a camp, in a provided trailer, and I'm (usually) content with it.

I wouldn't be surprised at who my Hubby is...but I might be surprised at how far God has brought him spiritually and at the depth of our marriage relationship...and definitely at the depth of my relationship with God. I'd be surprised at the fierce love that my heart holds for one short little human being, and the fact that never sleeping in doesn't (usually) bother me. :)

I'm sure I expected to live closer to our families, and to have a closer relationship with my parents and sister...something I'm always working towards. But I might also be surprised at the easy & fun relationship that I have with Joel's family...then again, maybe I wouldn't- we've always had a great time together. But Western NY State??? Snow country?? I sure wouldn't have pictured us living all the way up here. Another example of the fact that God works in mysterious ways. :)

I think my 18-year-old self would be relieved that in the real world, appearances and 'coolness' don't matter nearly as much as they seemed to in high school, and there are a lot more dorks and nerds out here in life than there are prom queens and celebrities. On the other hand, I would probably be appalled at the way I've 'let myself go' over the last ten years, and how little I care about my appearance...if I look at myself in a mirror more than once or twice after I've finished my makeup and hair for the day, it's unusual. I often arrive at evening church and realize I have no idea what state my hair is in, because I haven't actually looked at myself in the mirror since 8:15 am.

If the 'now' me could say one thing to my 18-year-old self, that is, if I could go back and tell myself one thing, it would probably have to be: "Don't stress out so much over the little things- your relationship with (future) Hubby, your wedding plans, your college - God will work it all out in the end." ...a message that my 'now' self could probably stand to hear from my 10-years-from-now self as well, when it comes to parenting...

But I doubt that my 18-year-old self would listen. Because some things just have to be learned 'the hard way' after all.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

You Found Me...Somehow

It's pretty fun to look at the different Google searches that have brought people to your site. While most of my search entries read, "ceaseless praise" or "baby cry to sleep", some of them are a little funnier.

"praise your wife" - Yes, you should indeed.

"fear of needles blood pass out" - Yes I do. And I might.

"i found a dead chipmunk in bed" - wow. Sure glad I didn't. In my house was bad enough.

"don't poke the monkey" - okay. I won't.

"why would my 1 month old cry constantly?" - well, sometimes, that's just what babies do.

"anything wrong with baby sleeping in a car seat?" - the research is mixed. Z slept in his car seat A LOT, though, and he's doing just fine.

"he's got me crying once again" - I'm sorry to hear that.

"my baby wont take a bottle only a sippy cup what kinda cup can i give him" - wow, that is a really run-on sentence. And I like the Nuby sippy cups with the straw in them the best.

"few words in the praise of little girlfriend" - um, I don't know your little girlfriend...and those words would probably mean more coming from you.

"brown it in the oil" - ooh, you're making want to go watch Food Network...be right back...

"cute baby with fuzzy blond hair" - why, yes, I do have one of those, thank you for asking.

"hire a hubby.ca" - why would you hire a hubby? And I'm not from Canada.

"where did the work ceaseless come from?" - I don't know, but if you find out, ask if we can send our ceaseless work back, and then let me know.

"baby cries and goes to sleep constantly" - I'm not entirely sure, but I don't think I'd be concerned about my baby going to sleep constantly.

"somehow you found me" - yes, I suppose I did.

"spanked hubby blogspot" - not sure what you're referring to...

"use ceaseless in a sentence" - Okay. Here goes. 'Everyone reading this post probably wonders if it is going to be ceaseless.'

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

God definitely has a sense of humor.

And I'll tell you, He's been using it this week, laughing at me. As I mentioned, our camp's gas went out on Friday. We still have no gas, but we have a kerosene heater rigged up & an electric heater in Z's room, just to make sure he's warm enough. :) Repeat after me: First. Time. Mom. Right? :)

Our stove & oven still aren't working, which is a delightful excuse not to cook-I love it. :) We still have a fridge & microwave- and what more do you need, really? And when the gas went out, I assumed our hot water (like EVERY other water heater on the entire camp) would go out, too. So when we still had hot showers on Saturday morning...and Sunday morning...I figured that we just had a really well-insulated hot water tank & we were still using up the hot water that was left in the tank.

On Saturday, I didn't want to waste our (surely) dwindling hot water supply by running it all the way to the kitchen on the other end of the house to do dishes, so I dutifully spent 15 minutes heating water in the microwave and coffeepot and pouring it into the sink. Then, proud of this resourcefulness and ingenuity, I updated my facebook status to reflect my accomplishment and recieved several complimentary comments. Oh, internets, pride goes before a fall, does it not???

When I still had a hot shower on Monday morning, I decided to finally take five minutes to empty my hubby's clothes out of his closet, and pop in there to check the water heater. In large letters on the side of the tank, our water heater reads, "Electric Water Heater". Yup. And the rest of our staff hasn't had a hot shower since Thursday. I really wish I would've taken those five minutes a few days earlier...

And so of course I had to re-update my facebook friends with my silly miscalculation. Here is what my status read yesterday morning: Carrie says, "Hello, folks, we have an ELECTRIC water heater. Off to clean bathrooms so our whole staff can come over to take showers." I got several comments about how hilarious this was in light of my dishwater microwaving experience, of course. :)

And I can just picture God laughing at me as I was heating that water in the microwave the other day- He DOES have a sense of humor, doesn't he??? :)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Walk With Me

Since even before Z was born, I have been looking forward to the day when my little boy and I would walk sweetly, hand-in-hand. He's been walking for about two months now...and I'm still waiting for that day. :)

It seems like when I gently take his hand to lead him where I want him to go, his natural toddler instinct is to pull away. Or maybe he's just too thrilled with the fun (and forbidden) things around him to follow my lead. I would love to gently take his hand and walk down the hallway to the living room peacefully.

But that is not to be. When I take his hand, he tries to rip it from my grasp. When I hold his hand firm, he jerks and squirms and throws himself down on the floor, flailing and whining. If he manages to get free, he runs in the opposite direction of where I was attempting to lead him.

And when he struggles against my leadership, he often gets hurt. Sometimes he falls down and scrapes his knee on the ground. Or sometimes he is so intent on getting away that he runs into something and bangs his head in the process.

It hurts me to see my little son hurt. And to see him struggle against me. All I want is to walk sweetly, hand in hand, toward the toy room. I want good things for him, and joy and fun. But instead of submitting to my will, and my desires for him, he chooses his own way. And so he experiences pain. And he does not get to experience the closeness of walking peacefully with his Mommy down the hallway.




How often are we each like a toddler, wrenching wildly away from our Father's gentle, loving grasp?

And what are the consequences of our willfulness?
Check out more metaphors over at Jenni's place!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Red Envelope Day


Here is the official info from http://www.redenvelopeday.com/ .
When:March 31st, 2009
Get a red envelope. You can buy them at Kinkos, or at party supply stores.
On the front, address it to:
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington , D.C. 20500
On the back, write the following message:
This envelope represents one child who died because of an abortion. It is empty because the life that was taken is now unable to be a part of our world.
We will mail the envelopes out March 31st, 2009. Put it in the mail, and send it.
Then mention this event to every one of your friends who you think would send one too. I wish we could send 50 million red envelopes, one for every child who died [in the U.S.] before having a chance to live. It may seem that those who believe abortion is wrong are in a minority. It may seem like we have no voice and it's shameful to even bring it up. Let us show our President and the world that the voices of those of us who do not believe abortion is acceptable are not silent and must be heard. Together we can change the heart of The President and save the lives of millions of children.

Friday, February 20, 2009

It's cold in here. Brrrrrr...

The camp's gas went out...we have gas heat, stove, and water heater in our home & up at camp. Thankfully our power is still on, so we have water & fridge & microwave & lights & fans (for sleeping)...And computer & phone & TV- thankfully! :) The leak problem is on the gas company's end, however...so they said it could be up to 2-3 weeks before they get it fixed! The camp director is working on picking up some kerosene heaters to keep our pipes from freezing in cabins & in our staff houses. It's currently about 50 degrees in our house, but we have a little electric heater in Z's room, so he's napping soundly. If you think of us, please pray that we'll get this situation resolved quickly! :(

We had to cancel this weekend's retreat group- but they were able to reschedule in a couple of weeks, so that's definitely a blessing. We have big winter retreats scheduled for the next two weekends, though, and nobody wants to spend a weekend in the snow without a hot shower. :( The good news is, though, that Hubby will be home tonight & tomorrow evening for some extra family time! :)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Z has discovered his love for Nilla Wafers this week. He adores them. This afternoon, I was trying to finish a couple things in the camp office, so I was handing him Nilla Wafers to keep him occupied for a few more minutes... the next thing I know, he's crying in a concerned voice, "coo-ca, coo-ca, coo-ca", and tossing everything from the office trash can behind him onto the floor.

Once I noticed what was going on, I asked, "Zachary, honey, what are you doing?" and he pointed into the garbage can and said sadly, "Coo-ca". Apparently he was digging for a cookie that he had dropped into the trash can. Thankfully, he could not reach it, and I gave him another one. :) I love when I can understand what he wants & help him. :)

Communication is wonderful, isn't it?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Vocabulary Lesson (and necessary translation) from Z:

"at" = hat
"ot" = hot
"oggie" = doggie
"octie" = kitty
"ock" = sock
"uck" = duck
"all duh" = all done
"ot duh" = hot dog (sounds exactly the same as 'all done')
"all gah" = all gone
"tay-to" = potato
"ah-no" = Elmo
"ca-ca" = cracker
"na-na" = banana
"onk" = honk
"boo" = Pooh
"da-da" = Da-da
"ma-ma" = Mama
"gah" = junk (Mama's favorite exasperated utterance) :)
"bbbbbbbbbb" = bubbles
"noggin" = noggin

All words should be uttered in an excited tone of voice, with the emphasis on the first syllable- i.e. "NA-na". Sometimes it may be appropriate to squeal the first syllable, especially if you see an "octie" or "oggie" on your porch, or you really want a banana. If the word is only one syllable, you may repeat it over and over, i.e. "at at at at at" or "uck uck uck uck" until someone understands what it is that you want and hands it to you.

If someone does not hand you the desired item, it may be necessary to throw a tantrum to get said person's attention. Infuriatingly, sometimes the person may sit there and watch you throw tantrums, and even take pictures of your tantrum without handing over the object of your desire. At this point, it may be best to calm down and take another approach. :)

...at least I'm hoping he'll start to learn that last sentence at some point.... :)

These last few days, Z has just been extra-naughty. He has really started to just look me straight in the face and defy me...over and over...and then, of course, he receives a swat, but, oh, how I hate spanking him... :( And when he tests me over and over, I just feel so discouraged, and I think, "Will he ever learn? Is he getting anything from these swats???" I know it's just a stage, and it won't last forever, but I feel like a terrible parent on the days when I look forward to naptime & bedtime with all my being.

Some parts of parenting a toddler are NO fun, but his adorable emerging vocabulary is one of the more delightful parts. :)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Eight Is Enough...Isn't It?

Right now, a lot is being said about the octuplets, and about their mom, Nadya Suleman and the decisions she's made involving choosing IVF as a single mother. Over at Jason's blog, he pointed out that no matter what your standpoint on this news story is, it raises some important questions, and shouldn't be taken lightly. Mary also wrote a great post about it over here, and I could not agree more with everything she so compassionately said. However, I feel the need to share my own personal viewpoint on this news story.

I watched Ann Curry's Dateline interview with Nadya, and came away concerned. For her and especially for her 14 children. Yes, that's right, 14. Nadya said that she 'tried the marriage route' first, but it didn't work out-she wasn't able to conceive. But 'her dream' was to have a big family, because she was an only child who always wished for siblings. So, even after her marriage ended in divorce, she pursued IVF (in-vitro fertilization), because 'nothing was going to stand in the way of her dream'. She saved up money and ended up having the same fertility doctor implant her with embryos, fertilized from the same $perm donor, a family friend, several times. The first four times, she gave birth to one baby each time. A couple of times, the embryos 'didn't take', and the next-to-last time, she gave birth to twins. Then she decided to try once again, and her fertility doctor implanted six embryos (which he said he had done each time). A few weeks later, she discovered that there were seven babies growing in her womb (some of the embryos had split into twins). She carried the babies nearly full term, and gave birth via C-section, and after seven children had been born, the doctor reached to remove the placenta, and discovered an eighth baby waiting to be born! Miraculously, all eight babies survived the birth and weighed between 1 lb 8 oz & 3 lb 4 oz.

The birth of these octuplets has raised a lot of controversy having to do with IVF itself, specifically the process that Nadya's fertility doctor used in implanting SO many embryos. I have heard comments to the effect that a typical IVF implantation would involve 2 embryos. As far as my own opinion about IVF, I have not thought through the issues surrounding it enough (many of these issues affect a pro-life standpoint) and I do not know enough about the process to comment on the responsibility of this doctor's decision.

At the beginning of the interview, I was pleased with Nadya's pro-life comments...she talked about how every pregnancy is a life, each child is a precious gift from God, and she wasn't going to entertain the notion of 'selective reduction' for her octuplets, and I nodded in agreement. By the end of the interview, however, I began to be disgusted as she contradicted herself many times. At one point, she said that 'if her (other 6) children would have told her they didn't want her to have any more children, she wouldn't have'. But in the beginning of the show, she said that one of her reasons for getting the embryos implanted was that she believed that they were lives that God had created and deserved a chance to live. Do her other six children's desires cancel that belief out?

I also had strong concerns about the fact that she has no income at this time. She and her children have been living off disability payments and student loans, which have now run out. She is going back to school, and claims she will have income after her education is complete, but until then, who will feed her children? Not to mention take care of them while their mother is at school?

I think for me personally, the most concerning thing is Nadya's attitude, which implies that 'her dream' of having a large family is more important than the well-being of the children that she's choosing to bring into the world. To follow your own desires and dreams, not caring how your actions will impact your children's lives, this is NOT love. In fact, this is the epitome of selfishness.

Now, I understand as well as anyone the desire for children. My own dream has always been to have children and be a stay-at-home mom, taking 24/7 care of my babies. I'm very thankful that God has blessed me with a husband and blessed us with a child. If I were single, I know that my desire for a husband and for a child would be very strong and very painful.

But I would hope that I would choose what was best for the children whose lives would be involved, instead of following my own dream at any cost.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Praise Baby CD

A few weeks ago, I won a copy of the Praise Baby Collection: Born to Worship cd from a giveaway on the Praise Baby blog. Z and I have listened to this CD several times, and we both really enjoy it. The CD is a good mix of modern worship songs (We Bow Down, etc.), hymns (Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing), and at least one new song that -to my knowledge- cannot be found anywhere else (Made to Praise).

As a sidenote, when I hear the first song on the CD, Step By Step, I can't help but relive many nights of standing in my summer youth camp's chapel, stomping my feet to the words "STEP. BY. STEP. You'll lead me..." For some reason that song tends to remind me of junior high angst...usually with some now-long-forgotten boy at the center of my concerns... but, really, I love that I can share with my little son songs that I sang as a child & teenager, and songs that I enjoy and worship with as an adult.

I am enjoying the song "Jesus, I am Resting, Resting"- I believe I've heard it before, but I've never been familiar with the words, and I'm loving getting to know this song better.

And my favorite song? On the whole album? The one that makes tears well up whenever it comes on? Made to Praise. The song that's unique to this album. Want to see why? Well, you'll have to start by imagining that all you've ever wanted in your whole life is to be a mommy, and to raise children that love and praise and serve God. And then you waited years for God to bless you with a sweet baby. And then He did! And then, one day, as you're driving down the road, listening to your Praise Baby CD and glancing in the rear-view mirror at your sweet little boy, who might be sleeping or quietly listening in the back seat, you hear these lyrics:

From the earth to the sky,
I'm the apple of your eye
You created my form,
and knew me long before I was born

I was made to praise You
I was made to love
I was born to worship
the Father, the Son and Spirit of God.
Made in Your image and wrapped in Your love

From the sky to the earth
Lord, we celebrate Your birth
That You came as a man,
revealing to us Your wonderful plan

We were made to praise You
We were made for love
We were born to embrace You
The only God and Father above.
Made in Your image and wrapped in Your love.


Are you crying yet??? Anybody? Well, you may have to add some time-of-the-month hormones into the imagination mix if you're not... :) I seriously just cried re-reading the lyrics. :)
I just love the gentle reminder of this song that each of us are created and set into our place by God, FOR His glory- not just our own happiness (although happiness is found in serving Him as He has designed).

In short, Z and I adore this CD. We will be listening to it many times in the years to come, I can assure you. Check out the rest of the Praise Baby line over at www.praisebabycollection.com- they have videos that look really neat, too- and you can watch clips from them on their site!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

This morning, as I played with Z in the living room, I happened to glance into the kitchen, and there on the table were a dozen roses and two gifts for me- one was a gift basket of rose-scented bath & body things, and the other was this:

I let Z play with the frog a little, but I drank all the coffee. :)

The thing is- Hubby had to work at camp last night with the group until 11:30 pm. And of course, being the master plan-ahead-er that he is, he did not have a Valentine's gift for me yet. I really didn't expect one & it wasn't that big of a deal to me. Anyway, he decided he wanted me to have a nice surprise, so last night, with his lingering cold, in the middle of a tiring retreat, he headed to Wal-Mart (a 30-minute drive). I think I remember him crawling into bed around 1:45, maybe... but I guess that's love for you. :)

So...as far as how we spent our Valentine's Day? Well, we have about 150 teens at camp for a retreat this weekend. So Hubby spent about 3-4 hours driving the tractor in the snow so the teens could enjoy the Snake...and in between that and Z's naps, we spent our day in the kitchen.

Here's our family in the camp kitchen:

Here's Z checking out the syrup boxes under the pop machine counter:

Here's my little 'wild thing' in Jill's fun hat:

And here is my musical prodigy, playing the recorder (a Valentine's Day gift from my aunt & uncle). He loves to walk around the house toodling away on it. In case you were wondering, he can only play one note. And, no, it's not really that annoying. :) He also received a tambourine & several other instruments, none of which have driven me crazy as of yet. :)

Did you all have a good Valentine's Day???

Friday, February 13, 2009

Will You Pray?

Okay, internet friends, I know I've already posted once today...hope you're not sick of hearing from me...

But I have a friend, Ashley, who really needs prayer. She and her husband are expecting a baby in August...she went for an ultrasound today, and they could not find a heartbeat (last week they did hear a heartbeat). This and several other factors lead her doctor to believe that she will miscarry this pregnancy...and there is nothing to be done but to wait. Ashley already suffered a miscarriage- in January of 2007, and then delivered a healthy baby girl in December of 2007 (five days after my Z was born).

So, please, take a minute to ask God to heal her baby. God's will is perfect, and un-knowable, I know, but I can't imagine why He would choose to bring Ashley through this pain again. I will update when I find out more. In the meantime, thank you for praying.

The Sweetest Sound

My ears have just begun to hear the sweetest sound.

The sound that I have been waiting and longing to hear for so many years.

A tiny voice, knowingly calling me 'mama'.

Sure, he's babbled the 'm' sound up to this point, so I've heard the sound 'mamamamama' come out of his mouth, but for him to lean towards me from Daddy's arms, or point to a photo of me on the wall, and joyfully proclaim, "Mama!" is an amazing experience. Each time I hear it, my heart overflows with love for my boy, and gratefulness to God for blessing me with this sweet lil' guy.



And can I just say...people-don't steal my joy. I know that on some long day I'll get tired of his chattering and of hearing, "Mommy, Mo-om, Mommy, mommy mommy mommy mommy MOMMY..." ad infinitum. I can't tell you how many times I have heard, in response to my jubilation about Z's emerging vocabulary, "Oh, yeah, it's fun at first, but before too long, you'll be wishing he would just be quiet." I understand that. I have taught preschool, after all. But for now, I'm enjoying it immensely, and will not give those statements the time of day. So don't waste your breath. :)

And I'm off to cherish some more minutes with my little boy before he grows even more before my eyes.

I'm entering this post in Scribbit's March Write-Away contest!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Why I Heart Blogging :)

This weekend, Mabel's Labels is running a contest, and the prize is a trip to the BlogHer conference in Chicago on July 24-25, 2009- now, wouldn't THAT be fun???** The question that we are to answer is "What have been the rewards and benefits of participating in the blogging community?" Now...where do I even start???

I have been reading blogs since the fall of 2007, and blogging since May 11, 2007- just a few weeks after I found out I was expecting my son, little Z. I never realized that I would enjoy writing, but the platform of blogging has helped me to discover that it is a great way to articulate my feelings about the things that God is doing in my life, and to share with others the things that I am learning on my parenting journey.

Through my involvement in the blogging community, I have learned a lot about parenting. For example, I had never heard of babywearing before I came across some babywearing bloggers. Now I wear my 14-month-old son in his Patapum often, and my new ring sling should be arriving in the mail next week! (yay!) I also didn't know that not all Christian parents spanked their children every time they disobeyed- there are so many different viewpoints that I have had the opportunity to be exposed to! It's so encouraging to read posts from mothers across the country and around the world, whether those posts focus on cherishing each moment they have with their children, describing their difficult day, or discussing tips and sharing wisdom they've gleaned from their years of parenthood. It's such a blessing to be able to drink in all this wisdom and counsel from women who have been at this years longer than I have and who have felt the way I'm feeling and yet, somehow, survived. :)

I also see my involvement in the bloggy community as somewhat of an opportunity for ministry. When I get time to 'fool around on the computer' during my son's naps, I pray that I would use this time to be an encouragement to someone, whether I've met them in real life or not. Through my blogging, commenting on other's blogs, twittering, and facebooking, my goal is always to bring glory to God and to encourage others through each word that I type.

I do believe that I am a stronger, wiser person for the time that I have spent blogging and reading others' blogs. I believe that God has used other bloggers and the difficult times that they have gone through and so graciously shared about to change and grow me and to deepen my relationship with Him and my appreciation for the blessings that my husband and my son are. The blogging community is unique because, to a point, you are free to be as anonymous as you choose, and you can share feelings or ask questions that you wouldn't dare to ask out loud. It is unlike any other forum, and can have great benefits, as long as it is used wisely.

**(the deadline for this contest is Monday, February 9th, so if you want to participate, you'd better get your entries in!!!)

Friday, February 6, 2009

Let it Snow...in my Kitchen?

Have you ever wanted to play in the snow with your kids, but you didn't want to pull out that hated snowsuit and wrestle them into it? Well, I have. Then I got this GREAT idea from MckMama- to bring the snow inside!

So, we did. Z isn't big enough to stand on anything & play in the sink, so I just brought a bowl of snow inside & put it on a towel on the kitchen floor.

You can see from the next picture that he's pretty excited about it:


Digging in the snow:

wiping the cold snow off his hands:

of course, eating the snow:

and a silly face about the snow:

It was so much fun!!! Thanks for the idea- I know we'll be doing it again! :)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Mommy Guilt

As Denise addressed in her post, most of us Mommies feel guilt about a LOT of things regarding our kids. I think it's a natural part of being a mom - we'll never be perfect, and there are always things we can do better! I think I need to read the book that Denise recommends in her post! :) But here are my 'guilty lists', just to share, and hopefully make some of you feel better about your parenting. :)

10 Things I do NOT Feel Guilty About: (this list is MUCH harder than you might think)

1. Leaving Z in the nursery at church and MOPS.
2. Letting Z go to sleep on his own in his crib.
3. Giving Z fruit instead of veggies at 4 of his 5 meals/snacks a day.
4. Letting Z watch Sesame Street in his exersaucer for an hour every day while I get a shower and check email.
5. Wearing Z while I work in the kitchen at camp or do housework.
6. Singing songs & reading books to my little boy all day long.
7. Hugging & kissing Z as often as I can.
8. The state of his wild hair, and the fact that it really does 'need' to be cut.
9. Letting him wear the same jammies two nights in a row.
10. Not making Z wear real shoes- Robeez work great for right now.

10 Things I DO Feel Guilty About:

1. Feeding Z junky 'toddler food' like mac & cheese, chicken nuggets, hot dogs and fish sticks every day.
2. Finishing a post or an email while Z cries or plays in his bed after he wakes up from his nap.
3. Wishing Z would quit being grouchy when I know he's in pain from teething.
4. Letting Z watch more than one hour of Sesame Street a day.
5. Z doesn't drink NEARLY enough whole milk, so I supplement with cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese, etc.
6. When Z's schedule gets messed up by things I want to do like Mother's Group, camp or church activities.
7. Leaving Z with his Daddy so I can hang out by myself for a few minutes (and write this post). :)
8. Leaving Z with a babysitter so his Daddy and I can go out.
9. Not leaving Z with a babysitter more than we do.
10. Not disciplining Z consistently enough for certain things he shouldn't touch.

I am tempted to add lots MORE to the guilty column...and this doesn't even touch the other areas of my life- I feel guilty for the way I keep my house, the way I do my job at camp, the state of cleanliness in my office, how long it's been since I've written to certain people or called them...and on and on.

I know God doesn't want us to live in guilt, but in His grace. I guess I still need to learn this even more each day. :)

This should be a law of physics...or something.

If you put a tuna sandwich on your toddler's high chair tray, and you eat a piece of pizza yourself, your toddler will refuse the tuna and cry for the pizza. Smart kid, right?

The next day, if you feed your toddler a piece of pizza, and try to eat a tuna sandwich yourself, your toddler will scream, refuse the pizza, and cry for a bite of your tuna sandwich.

I think my new mealtime strategy will involve putting Z's meal on my plate and my meal on his highchair tray.


**Also, my cousin's son Weston needs prayer!** Weston is 15 months old, was born about 5 weeks prematurely because his kidneys were blocked & failing, but then after he was born, he wasn't toxic, so they decided to wait until he grew & got stronger to do surgery. He has been doing so well all along, that they still haven't done the surgery. But now his kidneys are toxic, blocked, and beginning to fail, so the original surgery they were going to do may not be enough now. He may need dialysis and a kidney transplant. Please pray for Weston, and for encouragement for his parents, Tausha & Matt! I can't imagine what God's plan in this could be, but I know He does have a plan.