Monday, May 30, 2011

Up to.

I've been gone. Have you noticed?

Mark had a business trip out of state while my trio of boys and I left and enjoyed our family in the Lakes Area. For the last ten days my boys have had the time of their lives spending days with their grandmas, grandpas, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Oh my, lots of cousins.

They played,
and played,
and played,
and played.

It was a wonderful, relaxing, and much-needed escape to the sanctuary of family in the most beautiful (in my opinion) part of Minnesota. As miles of cars traveled south back to the Twin Cities on over-crowded, small town streets, I think with pride, Ha! I get to live here.

While we were visiting our families, we thought it most appropriate to Baptize our newest bundle.

Welcome to the Christian family, Michael. You have put on Christ, in Him you have been Baptized!

(FYI, I'm wearing the preppy white cardigan, and Mark is next to me. Michael's Godparents are holding him.)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Mouther.

I've called Poison Control a lot. Like...ten times? And seriously, I got so embarrassed about calling 911 to ask for Poison Control that the direct number not only made its way to the refrigerator, but on speed dial of my phone.

The funny part of this is that of the numerous times I've needed Poison Control, it's always the same child who has been the culprit, and wouldn't you know it, it's not the current difficult one.

Yes, Luke, our oldest, is what I'd like to call a "Mouther." A "Mouther" since birth, it wasn't uncommon that I would nurse him for two or three hours on end. I was always frantically picking objects off the floor knowing they'd end up in his mouth (or diaper), and there were many toys that while recommended for ages 3+, I knew that if the pieces fit in his mouth that they'd inevitably be in his mouth.

I imagine that most parents have called the Poison Center for common occurrences like their child eating the toothpaste (check!) or eating more than one vitamin (check!).

But, has your child eaten a dishwasher tablet (check!), or taken a bite out of your favorite Mr. Clean  Magic Eraser (check!)?

Has your four year old bitten through one of those fun glow-in-the-dark necklaces on the way home from a Halloween party and appear to be radioactive? (check!)

Our little woodchuck is soon to be five, and he still puts everything (EVERYTHING) in his mouth. It's not uncommon for us to remind him during the day to take his shoe out of his mouth, a block, to stop licking the doorknob, or to stop biting his toenails. I could go on, but you get the idea.

Maybe you have a child who has similar uncontrollable urges, say, to lick a dollar bill from the till at McDonlads. It's alright, I won't judge. I won't even make that grossed out germophobe face.


I will probably laugh though.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Is This Thing On?

"Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ."
Galatians 6:2 NRSV

A faithful woman recently shared with me the necessity of transparency, to show ourselves to others in a true sense. Just as a window is transparent to let light in, so must we also be transparent to let The Light of Christ shine in us and through us to others. 

Who are we to others? To Christ? When light is shone on us, what does it reveal? 

"Is This Thing On," is a new label and category I'm adding. It's my microphone for transparency, a sometimes clean, other times smudged and scratched window into strengths and weaknesses as honestly, and as transparently as I can make them.

If blogs are good at anything, it's the ability to show the best of our lives. We never see the screaming kids, microwaved dinners, exhausted mother, or the dirty windows; perhaps appropriately so. All I want to do is level every so often as an encouragement to those who are tempted to think that they are the only ones who don't have it all together.

While we can't all be neighbors, I'd like to think that we all share a cup of coffee over the internet waves while our kids patiently wait for more apple juice :-) .  

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Things I Love.

I'm not big on conventional cleaning products. Yes, paper towels are helpful and those disinfecting wipes can come in handy, but I'm not big on buying them if I can make do without. And, most of the time I can.

There is one item, however, that I cannot find an alternative for and that I keep buying and buying.

I love these. Here's why. My boys ALWAYS have dirty hands. Their fingers are always full of marker, paint, dirt or food. They come in from outside, try to pry off their shoes while holding onto the wall for balance and get fingerprints all over. Their hands may not look soiled when they grab each white railing on their way up the steps, but after a day or two, oily smudges appear all over the railing and trim.

(note to any home-builder: Never, ever, ever put white trim in your home if you plan on having children. Oh boy!)

Basically, our walls and trim and doors always look filthy, and these sponges work guessed it...Magic! I also use them to scrape soap scum off the bathtub, and yesterday they successfully removed oil-based paint from wallpaper.

So, while you may see me making-do with baking soda and vinegar, these I cannot do without.

Friday, May 13, 2011


My last post was published but then sucked into blogger oblivion. Apparently, Blogger has been having some maintenance issues.

I'm not going to re-post, I'm only going to recap.

1. I love the natural smell of a newborn's head. I could just breathe it in all day. Wait a minute, I already do that :-)
2. I've always thought I've loved Minnesota. After this horrid winter and then finding five woodticks on my pants after a walk, I'm not so sure.
3. I'm really antsy to do something. I'm waiting to be inspired...and get some sleep so that I have the energy to do this so-called something.
4. A month post-partum and I have that crazy urge to CUT MY HAIR. Patiently waiting for that temptation to subside.
5. My middle guy has been such a hunny this week, really. We do have some temper issues to deal with, as well as some post-baby adjustment, but when it comes down to it, there's nothing like a toddler who crawls into your lap just for a kiss and hug.
6. Coffee. Wow. It's just that good.

Friday, May 6, 2011


There were many parenting books that I read with out first son. I thought he might be a strong-willed child, or maybe I just wanted to be equipped in the event that he was. The parenting strategies we used with him worked marvelously, and aside from being a busy-body, wiggle-worm, our discipline routine worked well.

I was often perplexed at other parents explaining the discipline issues with their children. Their kids threw such big tantrums that they had to leave places. Their kids hit them, kicked them, refused to sit in the high chair, or threw themselves into dangerous situations. Their kids screamed when they didn't get their way and more or less ruled the household.

At the time, I couldn't figure it out. My first born has had one tantrum, and it was, respectively, a few weeks after bringing home a new baby. He was three. "Why can't parents get their kids under control.?" I wondered,  "Why aren't they disciplining their children?"

Um. To all those parents out there:  I'm sorry. I get it now

In the last three weeks I have had more physical battles with my two year old than I have had in nearly five years of motherhood. I have heard hours of screaming tantrums, have endured objects thrown across the room, feet and hands hurling toward anything or anyone that they can hit. I've seen a child truly out of control with me seemingly not able to do anything about it.

I mistakenly thought that my first born was strong-willed, but girlie, you ain't seen nothing yet!

So, we are redirecting. What we did with one is NOT working with the other. Our gears are shifting from child training methods to trying to understand better the way our son ticks. Because really, there can be no training if a child is hysterical. We need to try and understand our sweet second born, to get into his head and better cope with his outbursts and anger.

Do you have a child like mine? Many of the qualities that these children have are considered to be highly valued in adults. They are leaders, fight for justice, and aren't afraid to stick to their guns and stand up for their beliefs. Their intensity, when properly channeled, can be applied to success in their lives. As a consolation, I often like to think of the Greats of Science, Arts, and Athletics. I like to think about Lance Armstrong as a child, or the challenges that the parents of Apollo Ohno faced trying to curb his intensity into something productive.

I imagine that Michelangelo could have been an explosive, strong-willed, and spirited young man. How could he not be? He spent twenty years of his life hanging upside down from the ceiling painting the Sistine Chapel. His marble statues are as close to perfection as I've seen. As a child, I can picture that his mind was solely occupied on one task at a time, and that any interruption couldn't be tolerated--not from mother, not from anyone.

There are countless examples of Greats throughout history that display qualities uncommon from average folks. Edison, Pasteur, Mozart, Galileo, Da Vinci, Ben Franklin, St. Thomas Aquinas, and hundreds of other authors, scientists, athletes, and thinkers.

I'm not necessarily planning on raising a musician or a sculptor, but I DO need to have an effective way to get from there.

Two books have come highly recommended to me on this issue. They went into my Amazon shopping cart today!
The Explosive Child
Raising Your Spirited Child

And, to all of those mothers who give me consoling smiles and encouraging looks as I maneuver my way through embarrassing social situations, I realize now that you get it, too. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


 "It is Jesus that you seek when you dream of happiness; He is waiting for you when nothing else you find satisfies you; He is the beauty to which you are so attracted; it is He who provoked you with that thirst for fullness that will not let you settle for compromise; it is He who urges you to shed the masks of a false life; it is He who reads in your heart your most genuine choices, the choices that others try to stifle. 

It is Jesus who stirs in you the desire to do something great with your lives, the will to follow an ideal, the refusal to allow yourselves to be ground down by mediocrity, the courage to commit yourselves humbly and patiently to improving yourselves and society, makng the world more human and more fraternal."
~Beato Giovanni Paulo~

Monday, May 2, 2011

The View From Here

I'm not gonna' cry. I'm not gonna' cry. I'm not gonna' cry...