Showing posts from March, 2020

How to Boost Your Immune System

Hey ladies!
I'm totally into beating the fear that has gripped our nation with a little common sense. The experts are predicting that 40-80% of the population is going to come down with coronavirus, even with all the forced isolation and restrictions that are in place, so I just want to encourage you with some tips on boosting your immune system.

Limit your contact with others, but don't stay inside all the time! Exercise and vitamin D both build up your immune system. Get out and move. The fresh air will feel so good after being cooped up for a while. They also help keep away depression. Think happy thoughts! I'm not joking. Science has proven that positive thinking positively impacts your health. So turn off the news for a while and turn on your favorite show. Write a list of the things you are thankful for. Do a good deed for someone else. Anything to help you shake the weight of this crisis for a bit and make you feel better.Laugh. Kids are great for this, because they d…

The "Luxury" of #StayHome

I was driving home today from our normal walk with my husband. We go to a walking path near his work and go around the loop. We saw other people out and gave the 6 feet distance to keep everyone safe.

It's strange, this self isolating, physical and social distancing. It's not normal, not one bit! But I felt personally convicted to do my part in minimizing the spread of this COVID-19 so that I could help with helping save lives...

I gave myself two full weeks of no in-person meetings, I'm on Day 8 as your reading this. I knew two weeks was a manageable goal for me, one that I could do without significant mental health problems and one that I could set my sights on and accomplish. I also realized that at the end of the two weeks we'll see how things are in the world, how well we are doing as a society.

The thing that I wanted to share with you today might be a little strange but I am privileged that I can #StayHome. That my husband has an income still and we're alright.…

3-Day Potty Training, Success or Fail?!

We took advantage of the encouragement to stay home and social distance this past weekend, to do the 3-Day Potty Training Method.

Our son is 20 months old. We have done some potty training already. At 16 months he was consistently going on the little potty when put there (we tried a Elimination Communication type approach to that). Then he started resisting and fighting being on the potty and we decided to give it a break.

Recently, we started noticing signs that our son might be ready to potty train:

-Letting us know when he was poopy
-Hiding to go poo in his diaper
-Holding his pee through nap time or even longer

We decided to hunker down and stay home for the weekend and go for it. We bought little undies, a toilet seat to go over the big potty, and a stool. 

Now, I was expecting lots of accidents, but by early morning I was cleaning HUGE turds and splattered pee up all over my floor. DISGUSTING! There was A LOT of accidents in that first few hours and by afternoon a few successful p…

Pure Joy?

I don't feel like I am very good at this one. I don't think it is an easy verse to live up to.
I was not very good at being joyful because of my chronic pain, though I am very joyful now that it is mostly gone. 
My baby is having separation anxiety (I think?) and it's a real struggle to get him to sleep without me, I'm certainly not very joyful about that. It is exhausting.
Not to mention that currently the world has been flipped upside down.

Here at Joy in the Journey it is our mission to encourage you mamas to find the joy in your mothering journey. That doesn't mean that we are exactly experts at doing that ourselves.
Because life does really suck sometimes! We go through hard things, whether that's a global pandemic or a teething baby, things can be really, really challenging.
But I want to challenge you to look for the joy in this journey, mama. I think we are supposed to look for the joy, because sometimes that joy is all we have to hold on to. So grasp on to w…

Coping in CHAOS!

So, I was going to share with you about our 3-Day Potty Training experience today (which I haven't yet decided is a success or to throw in the towel and try again later). However, with the state of the world right now I wanted to share with you something else.

I don't know about you, but I'm pretty much FREAKED OUT by this point! Here in Oregon, we have are on Lockdown. All non-essential businesses closed, no meetings with anyone allowed, full on lock down. I'm scared. I really am. I don't want to be, but it's scary. Normal life changes are hard enough to adjust to but the entire WORLD being turned upside down... It's a lot to process.

So as I'm freaked out scared, I wanted to share some tips (that I, myself will and am going to be putting into practice) to help you cope during this time of fear and uncertainty.

#1 If your someone who prays, PRAY! 
I would encourage you to use the model of Philippians 4:6: "Don't worry about anything; instead, pray…

The Silver Lining...

My challenge for myself this past week was to think of the POSITIVE things that can come from what we are going through right now, and I decided to ask my children what they saw as the positives. These are their answers: 

Me: Can you think of one good thing that can come from the Coronavirus pandemic?
11 year old: You get to stay home and have fun with your family.
9 year old: When you are done with it, you will be better than you were before you got it.
6 year old: Yeah, can't get it after you've already got it.
4 year old: Nope.
Ok, so the last two kind of piggybacked on their big sister's answer, but I thought their responses were pretty good. And they answered pretty quickly, too, like they already had been thinking about it. I just want to encourage you with my list. Please share yours!

Church was closed today, but that meant my son got to help his daddy during worship when we had church at home.Extracurricular activities are closed down, but that means more families are eat…

Social Distancing Perks??

As we are all encouraged to stay home as much as possible to minimize the spread of the coronavirus, I've found some interesting results.

First, I am a "need to get out and see people EVERY DAY" type person, so the idea of staying home and hunkering down in NOT a "nice break" for me. I'm home most of the time anyway.

However, as we headed into this weekend knowing we were going to be home, that our plans have been cancelled and church has been closed (so sad), we decided to try and make the most of it.

We decided to take advantage of the home time to POTTY TRAIN our son (I'll tell you more about that on Wednesday). So we've been really social distancing this weekend with that task at hand.

Now, I did go grocery shopping on Friday. Saturday, which is usually our family fun outing day was spent at home... And was surprising pleasant!

It was so sunny and warm! My husband quickly got antsy (he's a doer) and pulled out the quads we were given as a gift to…

Love Like Daisies

I'm currently in bed sick right now (with a nasty cold, no fever). I had other blogs lined up for you guys but with the coronavirus effecting nearly every aspect of our lives, posting about the "normal" things didn't seem right.

I wanted to share with you a little moment that brought me joy and peace the other day. In the midst of all this chaos and fear I hope that it might remind you, as it did me, of how special and loved we all truly are.

My family has continued to have our daily walks despite the social distancing. Not a lot of people are out walking and exercising but those we see we say "hi" to as they walk by, just like normal.

The day was sunny though a bit chilly. We'd made our usual round loop and were heading back to the van to head home, and my husband back to work, when my son stopped to pick a daisy.

He had been running and walking along the path when suddenly he stopped, turned to the side of the path, squatted down, and carefully picked the…

Thankfulness Defeats Worry

How are you doing, mama?Me? Right now, I am kind of envious of my cat. 
He just sleeps, eats, asks for loving and gets it every time he asks. He has no idea that the coronavirus even exists. He has no idea that I had to go to three different stores yesterday before I found the right cat food for him (he's picky and wont eat just any cat food; it never occurred to me that panicked people would be hoarding cat food). Yeah, I'm jealous.

And I'm kind of jealous of my kids. Even the one with a possible OCD diagnosis (with the pandemic happening, I'm sure his appointment for his behavioral analysis and hernia surgery are both going to be pushed back) is out in the yard right now, carefree and playing Star Wars and completely unaware of the tension that I'm feeling. Since my kids are homeschooled, they have not been hugely affected by the quarantines, though they do miss their extracurricular activities and have asked me lots of questions about what is going on.  
Its not…

Fear Fed Grows

How to respond to a fear-driven panic
CORVID-19 or coronavirus has taken the world and the US by storm. The beginning of last week, I thought this was all a lot of hype, by Friday I was looking up facts to defeat the rising fear in me, by Sunday I realized that this was real and here and I did feel afraid.
Still, I choose to not act in fear. I didn't rush out to the stores, I didn't talk fearfully, and I didn't do anything different. As a result, I felt pretty safe and secure despite all that was happening.
Then Monday came and all the talk of depleted supplies made me feel the need to at least grab some extra food for my family "in case". So I went out to brave the stores, my three kids in toe.
I live in Oregon and, even at noon, the first store was way quieter than normal. There was an air of fear about the people who were there and I began to feel it as I went in search of the items I needed.
As I picked out food, I realized I was acting on my fear. The fear that …

Crazy Baby...

This baby is driving me nuts! I feel awful saying it, but it's really true.
This kid has not had it easy. It took me a while to discover that wheat doesn't agree with him (upset tummy and diaper rash), and sometimes I give into the temptation and have wheat anyway. Then we both feel awful (I emotionally, he physically). He broke his first two teeth through before he turned five months old, then he got a cold. Then his mama had surgery, so he was mainly be taken care of other people (people who love him to pieces, of course, but not mama). Then we went through a nursing strike (I had an oversupply, definitely a first for me!). Then we all got the flu. He's also the first infant I've ever taken to the ER.
So you can't blame the guy for being a little grouchy. We've really only had glimpses of "normal" days. But my goodness, I am getting worn out!
I know he can't help it. He's just having a tough time. I know it will pass. I know he wont always …

Got Joy?

I was watching a YouTuber recently that has gone on a journey of intentional living. She's been looking at her life and choosing the things in her life carefully and with specific intention.

Elle Lindquist is her name. 

I recently clicked on a video and briefly watched only a small portion of it. She was sculpting out of clay! As part of her MORNING ROUTINE. I was shocked, surprised, and inspired. 

Yesterday, I had to get out. I needed a mom break, some time to myself. I grabbed a book, like I normally do, and my sketch journal, which I never bring on mom breaks. I knew I was going to grab some food and a coffee and sit in my minivan and just be for a little bit. I thought doing something I love, creating, just for myself, by myself sounded nice.

I grabbed some sushi from Fred Meyer (anyone else eat sushi from Fred Meyers?), got a cold brew Starbucks coffee, and drove to a beautiful location. I parked my van, rolled down my windows a little and enjoyed the green soccer field in front …

Work Zone Ahead

My home is where I work.

I do laundry, cook, clean, do the dishes, teach my children, change diapers, organize, pick up messes, as well as correct, comfort, and hold my children. I work all the time! It seems never ending and some times incredibly monotonous. Every day I do a very similar thing as the day before. That can be rough at times.

The majority of all the "work" I do in a day is inside the four walls of my home. I also rest and have fun and enjoy moments in my home, but there's a lot of work that goes on.

That's why for me it's so important to GET OUT. To get out for me means letting go of the work I have to do, the lists I want to accomplish, and the chores that are always there to do. It means putting aside the "stuff" for awhile and just being instead. It means time for focus and freedom, laughter and fun.

To me, getting out is so important. 

And that's where my Daily Walks come in. Walks for me are a time of adventure, a break from school an…

Losing My Marbles...

You guys are making my lose my marbles!!!Have you ever said this to your kids?
If I ever yell this at my kids, I will, quite literally, lose a marble.
Let me explain…
At the beginning of this year my hubby and I decided to start what we call The Marble System for our family. We have always raised our children to take responsibility and help around the house, but it was really on my husband’s heart to instill a system that positively reinforced good attitude and teamwork. We’ve had to do a little tweaking to our original plan over the past few months, but the system seems to be working pretty well, so I thought I would share it with you.
1.Everyone decorates a jar for their marbles (we used mason jars). This is a fun activity to do while you are explaining the system to your kids. We bought the “marbles” from the Dollar Store (I believe they are called glass beads; ours were by the floral and craft section). We also decorated a big pickle jar to hold all the marbles that we needed at the…

It's Good for the Soul

As I sat in bed this morning, with my cup of coffee and blanket over my knees, I anticipated a smooth talk with God... But the words just didn't come.

My sleepy brain and sluggish spirit just kind of sat there. The thought whirling around, I'd focus for a moment, talk to God, and then the churning of so many thoughts and ideas would flood back in and take over.

I did my best. With God and me, it's like talking with a good friend, it doesn't have to always be the best conversation, it's showing up that matters most. 

After my sporadic prayer time I pulled out my journal and did a Brain Dump. As soon as I pulled out that pen and paper and started jotting the thoughts and concerns down I began to feel better. Not from being less overwhelmed, but understanding why I was, Step 1 remember. 

Then I did a quick categorizing of "Yes" and "No" indicating whether "Yes" I should focus on that or "No" I should let that go for now.

I followed u…

Thank You

Thank you...Do you know that you have been putting up with me for a whole year? 

One year ago, when Mrs Joy texted me and asked me to pray for her to find someone to write a blog with her, I don't think she was specifically thinking of me. But I told her that of course I would pray. And then thought, what about me?
I've always loved writing. So much that I took honors English for two years in high school...
But did I really have anything to say? There are so many blogs out there, was there anything left to say?
Then I thought about Joy's goal for the blog: to encourage mothers.
All my life, my calling has been to be a wife, mother, and to serve, love, and support those around me. 
Encouraging mother's seems to fit into that category, doesn't it?
I know that all of my posts have not been real winners. I know that quite often I am preaching to myself and what I talk about may not be relevant to you (I'm sorry for that!). Thank you for being patient with me. I…

Sorrow in the Passing

Sadness over the passing of time
My eldest child, my daughter, is twelve...
I'm been having a lot of mixed emotions about her growing up, about her changing from girl to women, and everything in between. 
Now she's twelve!
I know that's not an official "teenager" but she's in that life stage regardless. She's changing. She's not just "my little girl" and I feel sad, grieved, sorrowful. *Tears coming to my eyes*
It is INCREDIBLY hard for me when I realize my daughter is going to be driving in four years, and "leave me" in six. It grieves my soul to know that the time of my daughter being little is really over and a new stage of her life has begun... And a new phase of MINE!
My role as mother, my parenting changes as she grows, and this new stage is scary to me. 
I'll never let go of loving my daughter, being there for her, and supporting her through life. I will be here to guide her into adulthood, to hold her hand along the way, and …

Nursing a TODDLER

Nursing a Toddler
I want to first preface this blog by saying however you feed your baby is wonderful! Bottle fed, breast fed, a combination of both. Breastfeeding for a month, six months, a year, or three years whatever is best for you and your baby, YOU GO MAMA!
Now, having said that, I wanted to share with you my experience nursing a baby into toddlerhood.
Let me start by saying breastfeeding was really important to me and I continually prayed for a good nursing relationship, for my milk to come in, and all sorts of nursing related stuff during my pregnancy.
Once baby was born and started nursing... OUCH!!! I was cracked and bleeding and in so much pain by Day 3 I knew I couldn't go on without help. I got help by way of a shield (which I used for a few days) and a lactation consultant and things greatly improved...
But it was still a struggle and every month my milk would drop! I would pump like crazy, stress out like mad, and drink copious amounts of fluids while praying my milk wo…

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