Friday, July 31, 2009

I'm not great about keeping up on world events. Two children have MASSIVELY shrunk my sphere, but none the less, I do attempt. This is something I read this morning: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32222438/ns/health-kids_and_parenting/ This got my goat enough for me to blog about it.

For those of you without the time, let me sum up the article: the UN spent a couple BILLION dollars on an initiative to improve the health of children in poor countries only to find out it really didn't make a bit of difference. Noble, yes, but completely misguided.

Now I know I am not comparing apples and oranges here, but this is what worries me about Obama's big health plan. The massive amount of tax payer money, my money (ok, well, Matt's) being used to finance a program that is chock full of holes. The UN can at least claim ignorance about not knowing it wasn't going to work. Obama can ask Hawaii how the whole government run health care thing turns out (they had to close down there program because it was a money sucking hole)

What would happen if instead of government run programs, they used my money to help the programs that are already established and working in neighborhoods? What if the UN gave the money to the organizations already helping people in the countries? I am all for great health care and preventing death in children, my heart breaks for the billions of dollars that have done nothing to save this kids. The government has a LONG, well established history of jacking up programs, (ask anyone who has to use a VA)can we please give someone else a chance to manage the money for a bit?

Monday, July 27, 2009

Balance

The common theme I have found through all stages of motherhood thus far is balance. When you bring home a tiny bundle that is totally dependent on you, it doesn't seem like it should be too hard to figure out what to do, but it is. How do you balance the need to nurture a child to sleep and teaching them to figure it out on there own? As they get mobile you have to figure out the balance between rescuing them when they crash and letting them pick themselves up. Here are my balance issues right now:



Entertainment: I don't believe my primary job as a mother is to prevent boredom in my children. I want to find a healthy balance between exposing the girls to a bunch of "stimulating" activities and memory making events and letting them explore by themselves. I don't sign up kids for a bunch of classes but I do let her do art, dance and music at home. I don't want my children to expect to be entertained, to not have to think of creative ideas to occupy their time.



Responsibility: It is important to me that my girls understand what it takes to run a home and that they know that as a family we work together to get things done. I don't want them to be 25, living at home and expecting me to do the shopping and the laundry. Then there is the balance of ability and having a chance to just be a kid. It is not my job to remember where your shoes/bunny/picture are but I need to respect that 3 is still pretty little.



Education: I believe God has entrusted me to be the primary educator of my children. I also believe that children a wired to learn and most of the time all I need to be is the one to provide the tools. But everyone else is sending their kids to preschool. How to I balance a belief that children do best with parents in a culture that tells me I am not qualified to teach my own child?



Ability: Elie is great at a lot of things. She loves to read, color, paint, build with block and do puzzles. She doesn't like to get hot outside and her large motor skills leave a little to be desired. How do I respect the child God made her to be while pushing her to live a bit outside of what feels easy and comfortable?



Pride: This is really a Gretchen issue, not a kid issue. Today when Elie got herself dressed she put her dress on backwards and did the whole row of tiny buttons. She was so proud to do the buttons all by herself and I haven't made her turn her dress around right. How do I balance the desire to teach her the "right" way while still honoring her hard work? It's not even just clothing, but books on a shelf, silverware in the drawer and folding laundry. My way isn't the only way and it isn't always best, but my pride gets in the way.



I know from talking to friend that I am not the only one who struggles to find the best balance for the family, at least I am in good company!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Addilyn 18 months


How did my baby girl get to be a year and half old? If time goes this quickly with baby #2 I had really better pay attention to #3 or I think I will miss it all together.


Addilyn seems more "baby" to me than Eliana did at this age. I don't know if it is because she doesn't talk quite as much or if it is that I have a big kid to compare her to. She is a ham and will do what she can to make anyone laugh, she cracks herself up all the time. She loves to put on clothes, the other day she was wearing her outfit, a pair of Elies short and t-shirt, and 3 pair of my underwear. She can also undress herself, which is trouble. Shoes are always a hit and so are baby dolls. The child eats no meat of any type but would live on diary, fruit and carbs. She sleeps at least 12 hrs at night and takes a nap for almost 2. She has a fair amount of words and signs. If told "no" or has an object taken away she will lay on the floor, cover her face and throw a fit. She is spontaneously affectionate, coming up to give hugs and kisses for no reason. Addilyn doesn't like to be wet or dirty and will tell you, I am wondering if she may potty train early like her big sis. She is terrified of loud noises and thunder.


I have enjoyed my littlest blessing so far, she is different from her sister and so much her own little person. I am so grateful that God chose Matt and I to be her parents.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Garden


I have always fancied myself a gardener. I'm not really, but I like to think of myself as one. Gardening holds a couple of major hurdles for me; for one you have to remember to water it. This poses a problem due to my somewhat spacey nature that is very spacey when preggers which I have been for a couple of years now. Another hurdle, or two in this case, is the dogs, who love to dig in and run through my garden. Alas, after many years of half-assed attempts at something productive, I have success.


I am proud to say my garden ROCKS this year. We have already enjoyed a nice harvest of spinach and radishes. We eat a salad fresh from the garden several times a week. The herbs are used in almost every meal. My tomato plant is going to need its own zip code soon. The snap peas never even make it inside, I just pick them and eat them. In the next week I expect to have a few peppers to enjoy and the cucumbers are not too far off.


Look at me and my green thumb! See, all you need is a fence for the dogs and a drip hose for the...memory.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Randomness

-For some reason the baby on the left of the screen is growing faster than mine. I am not 23 weeks yet, subtract about 10 days and it is a little more accurate. Strange.

-I have had a 1, 2, and 3 year old at my house for the last several weeks. My house looks like I have had 3 small children in it and I am still deciding if I care.

- I feel good, sleep a lot and want to eat everything that doesn't move. I feel baby all the time. She gets hiccups just like the first 2 did. Matt can feel her too.

-I have all 3 kids asleep. I should get some kind of award for that.

-My garden rocks this year. We are enjoying fresh herbs and salad fixins' right now. My tomato is going to need its own zip code soon.

-I want to hire a cleaning lady. I would have to clean before she came which seems to defeat the point a little.

-We really should start working on a name for this little girl.

- I got fried yesterday. I went for a walk with my friend around the lake. I never wear sunsreen on this walk and am usually fine. Not so much this time.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Who are you?!

"15 Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. 16 For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. 17 And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever."

How do you introduce yourself? Sure, there is the obvious name part, but then what next? Do you say where your from? What you do? Where you went to school? What about your spouse and kids, do they come up?

At church on Sunday (yes, I went) the guy speaking talked about the above passage from 1 John. It is a very easy part of the bible to create a bunch of "rules" about, but if you do, you manage to miss the point entirely. Basically, it comes down to this: Who you are comes from your heart, "the wellspring of life" and your heart has focusing issues.

As someone raised in western culture, I have been taught by most everything I see and hear that I am a culmination of three things: my pleasures, my purchases and my put-out. We learn from an early age to be productive and efficient, to operate as an assets in this world. Even our play identifies us; you want to be know as a serious skier? Own top of the line equipment. We even introduce ourselves according to these things.

So what of the distractable heart, does it buy in too? If we are to live from the heart and we spend our life chasing pleasures, purchases and put-out who are we saying our heart is really living for? At the end of the day, does your heart feel sucker punched? Did you spend your day living up to the world? Has your heart given up even trying to get your attention? Did you really live?

"26 Jesus replied, “What does the law of Moses say? How do you read it?”
27 The man answered, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”[
a]
28 “Right!” Jesus told him. “Do this and you will live!”