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Showing posts from June, 2019

What is a Healthy Boundary?

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I've received a multitude of books on boundaries over my thirty years...

My first boundaries book was given to my mom for teenage me. To my knowledge, I never read or worked through it, but I received it.

The second book was assigned to me by a missions organization I was planning on going to South Sudan with. Don't Let Emotions Run Your Life Workbook by Scott E. Spradlin. I did work through most of that and found it helpful.

Then my mentor gave me Changes that Heal by Dr. Henry Cloud. I read a few stories in but never finished it.

When I was in my early twenties I went to Al-Anon (for family and friends of alcoholics) to support a family member and found the best training on boundaries I think I've ever received! 

"I am only responsible for my actions, not the reactions of others. They are responsible for their action, even if they blame me."
It really did make a huge difference in my life!
I bought for myself Boundaries with Kids also by Dr. Henry Cloud and again, on…

Crying Day

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On Monday I had a crying day.
Do you have those? 
I don’t know if its hormones to blame. Maybe I just get too busy. Or don’t take enough time for myself. Or maybe just everyone has them every once-in-a-while. Or some seasons in our life we have them quite often. 
It’s one of those days where I feel like I am just totally incompetent. I’m frustrated with my limitations. And I’m frustrated with my frustration. I don’t feel like I can ever be good enough. I am sure that I am doing everything wrong. I don’t understand why life has to be so hard. It’s just a tough day. Crying seems to help, but when I’m crying I feel like the crying is pathetic. There are so many people who have a harder life than I do. And I know this. And I should be thankful for what I have and focus on the positive. It’s hard to do when you are having a crying day. 
I’m always urging you guys to look at the positive side of life and to look for the good, because it’s something I have to remind myself of often. 


But yo…

10 Simple Ways to Spend Time with Your Child

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Connecting with our kids is what we do!

We are Mom and we make a difference every day by being their for our kids, loving on them, and taking the time to connect with them.
Here is 10 Simple ways to spend time with your child:
1. Give hugs. I try to give each of my children "A Morning Hug" as we call it, first thing in the morning. This simple greeting can start the day off on a positive note for both me and my children. 
2. Be together in the morning. I've recently been having my kids pile into my room first thing in the morning while I'm still in bed as a way to hang out as we wake up. It's been a great way to connect and enjoy a quiet moment before we all have to get ready for the day.
3. Read. I love getting to curl up on the couch and read to my kids. Even if it's just a short picture book, there is something special about that time spent together.
4. Exercise together. We love taking walks, bike rides, and hikes together. Getting outside and enjoying nature a…

Pink Plate Therapy

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I’m the mean mom.
I keep giving my son a pink plate for breakfast. 
Not every day, but every few days, and he does not like it!
The first time, he complained, maybe shed a few tears, and ran back to his bed to pout. I told him that he could either stay in his bed and have no breakfast or eat off the pink plate. One of his sisters was sweet and offered to trade, but I told him that it wasn’t an option. 
“You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit” is one of my parenting mottos. My son is a complainer. He has no filter on his mouth and says whatever he thinks (my husband says that my son says what everyone else is thinking but is too polite to say, haha). While I want him to be open and honest with me, I don’t want him to be a person who focuses on the negative side of things. So I started using “Pink Plate Therapy” on him more often.
Right now we are listening to the audiobook Pollyanna. Have you ever read it? Maybe you have seen the movie? I never have, but we are loving the book…

Dear Anxious Mom

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Dear Anxious Mom,
I think your amazing brave. The strength it takes for you to keep a play date, or make that doctor's appointment, or go to the store, is great. You are very strong and brave and I greatly admire that about you.

Dear Anxious Mom,
I find you personally impressive. I know how oppressive anxiety can be, how paralyzing it can be, so I admire your strength and determination to keep going, keep trying, and keep finding solutions.

Dear Anxious Mom,
I love how you prioritize your children. How you care for them with every ounce that you have. I know sometimes you do not feel like you have enough to give, but know your really do, because you are there loving on your babies.

Dear Anxious Mom,
Don't give up! Keep working with your body, your mind, and your doctor to manage your anxiety. I knows it's so hard but it's so worth it! Keep working with yourself and give yourself time.

Dear Anxious Mom,
Take care of yourself. Take the breaks. Ease up your schedule where possible…

The Sibling Bond

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As a young girl when I envisioned having children, I always imagined them close in age, bonded, best friends....

Our two eldest are close in age and there is many blessings that come along with that. They are good friends (most of the time), they hit phases and changes one after another (that's a double-edged sword), and they can share friends and interest easily.

I was hoping when we had more kids, they would be somewhat close in age to our other girls... but then it just never happened. So many obstacles and physical impossibilities and years went by...

Finally, a younger sibling came and it was a joyous time. Watching my elder children with their baby brother has been priceless. Though 10 years spans between the oldest and youngest, that bond couldn't be stronger or more beautiful!

My daughters are doting and loving big sisters and it warms my heart more than I can express! They care for him dearly, play with his daily, and adore him to no end. The love in our home has been enr…

936 Weeks

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I keep dreaming about having a newborn. 
Literally, in my sleep, I keep dreaming about the birth of my son. I’m also daydreaming about it, too. That newborn phase. Having been through it 4 times already, I know how quickly it goes. And how dear it is. There is nothing like the smell of a newborn. And the way they just love to cuddle on your chest.
I know that it is filled with its challenges and unknowns as well. But it’s still such a precious time. And so short!

Do you know that we only have 936 weeks with your child from the time they are born until they turn 18? I recently listened to a podcast where a lady, at her son’s dedication, was given a jar with 936 marbles in it. She was supposed to take out a marble at the end of every week to remind her of how quickly your time with your children goes and how important it is to make every week count.
We’ve been counting down weeks a lot lately (only 4-6 weeks before we meet our new baby!), but I never thought to count down the weeks I h…

Coping with Grief and Loss

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Grief and loss comes in many forms.
The loss of a loved one.
Separation of a family.
Loss of an unborn child.
The loss of a dream...

In motherhood, loss could look like having a birth experiences different than you hoping. Not getting to breastfeed as long as you wished, or your child struggling with a medical issue. It could be you, yourself struggling with sickness and not being able to do all that you wished as a mom. Or maybe it's simply that motherhood is not all you thought it would be. Regardless, we feel grief when there is a loss of a dream.

For myself, and many mothers I know, when these griefs hit, we can't just stop and take time to process, we have a child or children to care for in the midst of trying to take care of ourselves, let alone our emotional needs! It's hard to find time to process when your little ones need you so frequently. It is hard to find time to process the loss and grieve and come to acceptance and peace.

I wanted to share with you a few practica…

Dreams

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What are your dreams for your children?
My two sons and I were standing in the grocery line the other day and my 5 year old starts reading the jerky packages. 
Lady behind us: He just read the word “Honey”! How old is he?
Me: He just turned 5 in January. He’s picking up reading really well. 
Lady behind us: You are so smart! You are going to be smarter than all the other kids in your class!
Me (laughing): Well, yeah, he will be because he is homeschooled. He’s the only one in his class. 
Lady behind us: Well then, you are going to be smarter than all your friends! 
Me (not able to restrain myself): Well, there are all kinds of smart. Some kids just pick up reading quickly. 


The lady was trying to be nice, and I love that. I hope I didn’t offend her. It just felt like nails on the chalkboard when she was telling my son that he was smarter than other people. I truly believe that all children, all people, are smart. There are just different ways of being smart. Each of our individual brains work…

168 Hours

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How did your week go?


I don't often think of this but each week starts with the same amount of time allotted us, 168 hours. We get seven days to walk through and by the end of the week, all our days, all our hours are gone, no matter how we spent them, they're gone.

This week I was in "survival" mode for most of it. It's summer and my kids are off school but it still was a "get through it week". My husband was working for the first three days of the week far from home and I was trying to manage the house and kids by myself. 

After my husband was home from his work trip we had to deal with a big bathroom leak I discovered while he was gone. It was really hot this week (in the 100s) and we were trying to get out of the house and stay cool. It was a week. Parts were great, like the Splash Pad with my kids, parts were hard, like my husband being gone. But now the week is over and all the hours are spent and gone. Did I spend them wisely? Did I make a differenc…

Doing What's Best for Them is HARD

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Sometimes doing what is best for your kid is hard!

We homeschool and we love it! It works great for our family and our children. It gives us time together to teach our kids a lot of life skills. It gives flexibility. It gives the joy of being there in the daily with each other. But change is hard... That rings true no matter what parenting choice you are making. Choosing what's best for your kid can be hard!

The choice to homeschool was instinctual and "easy" for me but so many steps along our homsechool journey have no been. Going from a four day co-op to being home was a hard decision. Having my daughter repeat first grade, was hard. Knowing if I was doing everything I needed to for my kids, was hard. And doing what's best for my child, is hard. My individual child, not as a group, but just them and what they need.

With my youngest daughter, we started homeschooling her before she turned five. She was bright and loved the predictability of academics. She has succeeded…

What I Really Needed

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Last week I shared about how We Get What We Need. I want to continue on this subject of needs. What do we really need
When I was 2 months postpartum with my first baby, I thought that I needed to go back to work (waitressing during the evenings). So I did. And leaving that baby every evening was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. But I thought that I needed to do it because my husband’s job just wasn’t enough to support us. 
You would think that returning to work after I had my second would have been easier because I would have been used to it by then, but it wasn’t. In fact, I had the most postpartum depression I have ever experienced, and I attribute it to going back to work when she was only a month old. I also babysat a little boy who was between my daughters’ ages, five days a week, during that time. I had always been a hard worker, I had watched both of my parents work hard as I was growing up, and it’s just what I thought I needed to do.
Then I ripped open an inguinal he…

Flavors of Motherhood

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I like to have different flavors of things.
Different flavors of ice cream, different kinds of cookies, different flavors of cake... Yes, I have a sweet tooth.

Last night I made pizza! Yum. I love pizza. Instead of making my regular pepperoni with olives and basil seasoning on top, I made three different kinds! The regular pepperoni, then a Spicy Sausage and Pepperoni, and a Mandarin Orange and Sausage pizza. Not only was it fun making all the different kinds but it was awesome to enjoy the different flavors as they burst forth in our mouths. 

My middle daughter found the spicy exciting but too hot for her sensitive taste bubs. My husband added extra red pepper flakes to his already spicy pizza. The baby ate the Mandarin Orange and Sausage pizza but skipped all the oranges and ate the rest. My eldest enjoy all of them. 

We all enjoy different flavors.
But what about in motherhood?

I feel like often we categorizing mothering and parenting in our heads as those we feel inferior to, because we…

A Clean House...

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Expectations. 
What kind do you put on yourself? 
I’m going to talk about one that I think a lot of women struggle with, and that is having a clean house. 
Honestly, my health journey has taught me a lot about this, but before I had my injury and in the earlier years of it, I was much more stressed about my house than I am now (most of the time). 
I can remember how down I would get on myself for having such a messy house. Not health code violation messy, of course, but messy none the less. I had two busy little girls at the time, a few cats, a couple dogs, and I’m the kind of person who would like to spend good weather out of doors and bad weather indoors crafting (not deep cleaning), and it showed. Still, I would guilt myself about it, so much that my husband bought me this plaque one year

I remember the panicked-yell-at-everyone-and-clean-like-crazy modes I would go into before company was coming over (ok, I still do sometimes). And, even though I would work for hours to get the h…

Your Favorite Memory

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My husband was away for work the other night. It was just me and the three kids. I was tired, I didn't feel like cooking, and I really wanted to get out of the house!


So I splurged and took the kids to Red Robin for dinner. It was fun! The baby threw all his toys on the floor, my girls colored the back of the menu, and we ate. After eating, we went back to the activities on the menu and my daughter asked one of the questions written there: "What's your favorite memory of me?"
I instantly smiled and my mind scrolled through all the wonderful memories. I picked one of our first memories. "When you were in my preschool class and I used to hold you after you woke up from nap," I said. She knew exactly what I meant. We both smiled and my heart filled with love and warmth as I recalled those sweet memories and moments we share.
"What about me?" My eldest asked. "And you," I said, still more smiles, "My favorite memory of you was when we were …

Favoritism in Parenting

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I've been avoiding this blog for a long time...

It's not an easy topic and I'm afraid I will somehow miscommunicate and be misunderstood.

I wanted to talk to you about favoritism in parenting. Have you heard phrases like "She's the favorite child" or "That's the difficult child"? Phrases like these are used about children and I think often used lightly, but what they convey to the child is "You are loved differently."

Do you remember in my blog When it Comes Back 'Round how I talked about my oldest being more work to connect with? She always has, to me and my husband both, been more of a challenge to connect to.

That sounds terrible, doesn't it?
How dare I speak about my child that way?
Here is what I wanted to share to YOU. If you have more than one child, you WILL connect differently to each child because they are DIFFERENT PEOPLE.
My eldest is not very verbal and tends to say things in a way that can be awkward and have unintended …

Body Image

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Body image.
At a recent MOPS meeting, the moms were encouraged to talk about something that they struggle with and this was the most brought up subject. 
I’ve always been a big girl. I’m almost 5’ 10” and I wear a size 12 shoe, so that alone should tell you how big my frame is. I was able to relate to these other mamas because I’ve almost always carried extra pounds, too. Part of the reason is that I’ve struggled with food being a huge comforter in the past. Another part was that I didn’t know how to eat properly. My physical pain limitations the past 6 years have played a recent factor.
Extra weight seems to be the most common thing that women struggle with when they think about their body image, but it’s not the only thing. A lot of mamas have a hard time with how carrying and giving birth to and breastfeeding their babies has changed them. Some have other things they don’t like about themselves (teeth, hair, nose, you name it). Others wish they could put on a few curves in certain pla…

5 Baby Sleep Tips You Have Probably Never Heard Before

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In the first month after my son was born my biggest baby questions were about sleep! He had a growth spurt and I had no idea it was just a phase, he slept okay and then horribly, and I didn't know what was happening or what to do.

So I googled how to get my baby to sleep... Everything I read made me feel like I was doing something wrong. "Put your baby down sleepy but awake," might be great advice but not in the first month! Worst than that though, I saw a ton, a ton, a TON of "Cry It Out" advice and sleep training methods.

It ended up really harming my view of what my baby needed and what was normal as for babies sleeping. So I wanted to share with you 5 Baby Sleep Tips you've probably never heard of before:

1. Hold your baby. This sounds counter-productive and opposite to everything you might read or hear, but hold them, especially in the first three months! They need to know you are there and they are not designed to be far from you. You are their safety an…

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