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Home Again

This past week we (the husband, little man and I) went north – WAYYY north to lead worship for a youth camp up in Kirkland Lake, Ontario (for those of you who are like me and geographically challenged  – this is a little town about 8.5 hours north of Toronto. Just get on hwy 11 and keep going!)

View of the lake at Silver Birches Camp

It was a fabulous week! Despite upheaval, naptimes/sleeptimes out of wack, different bed, and being surrounded by new faces everyday, all day, Little man was a Rock Star! Continue reading Home Again

Little arms reaching…

Hands down – best feeling in the world – is when my son reaches out his pudgy little arms asking for Momma to pick him up. WOW.. Arms wide open, eyes adoring me… love at its purest form.  I pray that my son will always look at me that adoringly. Now most of you Momma’s to older children will tell me to enjoy it while it lasts – and I am, but is there a way to have my baby boy grow to be a big boy and still reach out his arms to me (even if its metaphorically).

I was at a Pampered Chef party (how many ppl LOVE pampered chef?) a few months back, and the consultant was sharing a story with me afterwards about her 19 yr. old son.  She said that when he was a boy, she would always read to him, and one of their favourites was the Robert Munch, “Love you forever”.  In the story (for those of you who’ve never read it… you NEED TO), the author repeats one verse over and over;

“I’ll love you forever, 
I’ll like you for always, 
as long as I’m living 
my baby you’ll be.”
At the end of the story it changes slightly and its the baby all grown up now singing to his mother. And he sings;
“I’ll love you forever
I’ll like you for always
As long as I’m living
My Mommy you’ll be”
It’s really just the sweetest story. So this consultant is sharing about how they brought her 19 yr old to college for the first time. They were getting him set up in his dorm room and she was just a wreck. She said her stomach was in knots and she hadn’t been able to eat all day, because her baby boy was leaving home.  I can imagine her agony.  Well it came time to leave and she could barely make it to the car from her emotions. Her son walked with her and kept telling her he was going to be fine.
Well just as she was about to say goodbye her son pulled her in his arms and whispered in her ear.
“I’ll love you forever
I’ll like you for always
As long as I’m living 
My Mommy you’ll be.”
Obviously she started to cry, I was crying as she was telling me this story.!  Imagine your 19 yr old son remembering this story from his childhood and saying this to his mother…. She obviously cultivated a relationship with her son over the years that brought them to this point.
I think to myself – what kind of relationship do I want to have with my son 19 years from now? I want him to still look at me with those blue blue eyes that say to me, “Momma you are my world!” Ok so maybe one day I won’t be his whole world anymore (let’s be realistic) but to still have a relationship of deep love and connection.  
Perhaps it is my naivete or inexperience talking – but I believe that open arms connection is fostered now.  It’s like the story of the little boy who was always asking his daddy to play, and daddy was always too busy, until the little boy became an adult and his dad was now older and asked to spend time with his son, but now the son was too busy for the dad. (that story is just heartbreaking)
So my goal is that now – I will always take him in my arms when he reaches out for me, and later when his reaching is a little different, not so much the snuggle he’s looking for but he reaches for me to watch him play soccer, learn the new riff on his guitar, or help him figure out his math problems.  Each reach needs to be responded to.  So that he keeps on reaching.
I challenge each of us today – despite our busy busy lives…. the housework that is calling our names, our tired bodies just wanting to relax and watch a show… if your child is reaching for you – don’t forget that if you reach back now – he’ll/she’ll continue to reach for you forever.
That’s all for today. I hope you and your family enjoy this beautiful summer day.

Mommy serves baby cat food…..

Have I told you about my son?  The boy who’ll eat anything and literally everything!  If that child so much as senses that there is food nearby of which he is currently NOT partaking – you will know about it! HE LOVES FOOD.  My son has two loves, two things that will make his little arms flail and the happiest giggles and gurgles to emit from his little (or not so little) body… FOOD and his Praise Baby videos.

Obviously, I am well aware of my son’s love of food – but until today, I didn’t realize just how far he’d go to eat whatever was near at hand.

SO – this morning I’m in the kitchen tidying up, Jude is on the floor happily playing with a water bottle (please don’t judge.. he HAS toys, he just seems to like water bottles more!)  I had finished in the kitchen and needed to gather some things in the living room. Rather than disturb his play I decide to just leave him where he’s at and finish up in the living room quickly.

A few minutes later, I hear some weird sounds coming from the kitchen and my son (and my cats for that matter).  I go into the kitchen to inspect and find this.

Preparing himself a snack of cat food!

Clearly he is a starved child!

Jude happily enjoying his ‘cat food’ snack that he prepared for himself.

Molly is trying to rescue her food from the ‘cat food’ robber!

That’s right! My son decided that apparently I was holding out on him and not giving him delicious cat food!  So he helped himself. As you can see my cat Molly is trying to get in there to protect her food but Jude is a formidable force to reckon with when it comes to food. Long story short – Molly never did get to rescue her food!

SO to all my Mama friends – what food/non food has your baby snuck behind your back!?

Some Mommy’s have a hard time because their child is picky.. I think I may be eaten out of house and home! 🙂

Happy day my friends – praying you get to eat more than cat food today!

Notice he is ONCE again filling his face!!!!!

PS – after a couple photo opps (I really couldn’t resist!)  my baby ended up here.

Judge the Mommy

So  I was reading this article a while back about how Mommy’s are their own and each other’s worst enemy.

In an age of choices… we are reduced to judging based on our personal parenting choices. For example; Research (conclusive research that is clear and evidenced based) can be found and spouted to back every sleep theory under the sun.  And so what is the result?  One Mother determines that Ferber’s ‘cry it out theory’ is best for her  – while her Mommy friend down the road determines that Dr. Sears has is right with his theory on baby sleep and parent attachment and is going to use his methods. What should be a simple case of choice, each parent determining in their own right what works best for their home, turns into a Judging session.  Whether silently and behind the other mother’s back – “Can you BELIEVE Suzie? What kind of mother allows her child to just cry!” or even better when the judgements are delivered in sly and underhanded modes – “I just COULDN’T let my child cry.. I’m just too tenderhearted and that would just hurt too much. But whatever works best for you…”

Why do we do it to each other?  Why do we constantly judge one another’s parenting strategies?  And don’t sit there reading – thinking (oh I NEVER do that… )  you do… I do… we ALL DO!  As the article I was reading went on – it pointed out one fact that I had never really considered before.  We judge others because we are so insecure in our own parenting decisions.  By judging others, pointing out their faults we feel that we DO measure up as parents .. because at least we never do that!!!!  And more importantly.. its just the Mommy’s (for the most part) why is that?  Think about it. If a child goes to school with an unhealthy lunch, what do you hear? “what kind of mother sends her child with just this for lunch?”  Right? Note here that you instantly think of whom? THE MOTHER! Dad’s are never judged with that same pen are they?  Even today, where the average family is made up of a full time working Mom and Dad, Mom’s are still carrying the burden of raising the kids. If they mess up – it’s the Mom’s fault, if the child is mouthy – it’s the Mom’s fault – if they child disobeys, acts up in school – clearly Mom is not doing something right.

In my opinion, it’s time to give yourself a break and realize that you’re not alone as parents! There are two of you (i realize that often there is one absentee parent) to share the burden.  So Mom’s if you have a partner in your life, lean on him!  Don’t put all the pressure on yourself to raise perfect little people, to dot all the ‘i’s’ and cross all the ‘t’s’. NEWS FLASH you are human! 🙂

I believe that the first step to ceasing the whole judging cycle we Mom’s play starts at home. Stop judging yourself. Stop comparing everything you do with what your friend does with her child. (whether you come out the winner or not!)

The other day I was chatting with some friends about parenting strategies and one lady said something that I thought was profound, she said, “I think its sad when a parent makes a parenting choice that goes against their intuition simply based on what other’s are doing.”

Mama’s – you have been given a blessing and a huge responsibility – your children.  And noone will stand to account for how you raised your child other than you – SO make your decisions based on what you feel is best – don’t compare yourself with others and GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK! 🙂

I apologize for my ranting tonight…

To all the parents out there who read my blog – I wish you all a wonderful judgefree day tomorrow.
Enjoy being the best parent you can possibly be. And remember at the end of the day – your child will remember one thing – how much he/she was loved.

Goodnight friends

here’s a point on the side of cloth diapering!

Ok – for all my goings on about the difficulties in cloth diapering.. I now share a story that is in favour of cloth.

As you all know – I frequently have what I call disposable days.  I think to myself, ‘Self! you need a break so crack out the disposables!’ however, what often happens (as though in some way I am being punished for forsaking my cloth) it backfires on me… LITERALLY!

The ONE thing I have NEVER had to deal with when cloth diapering is the explosions up the back.  I used to think that was just apart of diapering because my nephews are notorious for ‘poop up the back’.  I never realized that that was an issue that, for the most part, was isolated to disposable diapers.

On one such sunny afternoon, I was indeed having a disposable day. We were have a big bbq, friends/family, and I just didn’t want to have to be conscientious of diaper changes.  So I threw Jude into a disposable diaper (now before you disposable diapering Mama’s get up in arms – granted I do use cheap disposables because why would I pay top dollar for something I rarely use – so I will hesitantly admit it is slightly possible this wouldn’t have happened with a oh say a Pampers deluxe model!)

So there we are outside enjoying life. My son is sitting happily in his bumbo (LOVE the bumbo)  and eating his supper as we eat ours.  After a time, he starts to get fussy. I try distracting him, playing with him, talking etc. Nothing is working. So I go to lift him out of his bumbo chair, he has his back to most of the others at the table (who, I must add, are still eating) and surprise!  RIGHT up the back.. All over the bumbo. That child has succeeded in pooping out of his diaper, shorts, and onesie!  I heard quite a few gags :(…. So I try and quickly grab him and move him out of line of sight, as my husband goes to wash up the nasty bumbo chair.  Jude and I head into the house for a diaper change. But here’s the thing. When the poop is all over the back of him where the heck do I lay him down!!!!!  As I take a few milliseconds (that feel like eternity – its like the intense part of a show in slow mode) to ponder what the heck I’m going to do, I finally say, ‘forget it’ lay him in his poop on the change table.

NEXT its taking the clothes off without getting the stuff on me or on my child’s head! K. Has anyone see that movie Life as We Know it? – IF not you HAVE to see it.. but there’s this one scene where Katherine Heigle and Josh Duhamel are changing the babies diaper. http://movieclips.com/AeHp-life-as-we-know-it-movie-changing-diapers/ It’s hilarious – THIS is how I’m feeling at this moment. I want to pull out the gloves, mask and kitchen utensils to do what I have to do.

In this moment – I realize, the only good thing about disposables is you don’t have to wash them. Had he been wearing a cloth diaper – yes it would have still been nasty. BUT the nastiness would have been contained! My friends would have been spared during their meal (which I’m not sure anyone enjoyed all that much after we left!) and most importantly I wouldn’t have ended up needing a shower (along with my poo covered child)

So to those of you Mama’s considering cloth heed my words (POOP UP THE BACK = NASTINESS!)

🙂  Here’s wishing you all a backfree day 🙂