“DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD”

That first “stupid” comes out of your angel’s mouth.

“Gasp! Where did they hear that?” We look around like we are s…

My dad had creative ways to alter big family squabbles and wrangles.

He used to say, “DDDDDDDDDD!”

It always got our attention and he meant business.

With a cheesy grin and brows raised, he would glare out the side of his glasses staring us down and then complete the moment by saying…

“Children….Say lovin’ words.” in a sing-song fashion.

He would then return back to what he was doing while his six children knew exactly what that meant.

That was it.

When your baby is small is when you determine your word weather. I will tell you that it is extremely difficult to change your word weather later! Some of our taboo words in my husband’s and my home were stupid, dumb, shut-up, fat, butt,  kill,… and no swears ever. Discover substitutes and model them for your children.

Some families can stir up a pretty harsh word storm meant to be hurtful and demeaning. It creates a weather that is difficult to get rid of and feels scary and sad. Words do hurt. Words are lethal.

Begin young to determine your family language.

Do something strange to get your kid’s attention away from word hurting, in a fun way.

To this day, I can hear my father make that noise and say those words.

It makes me smile.

Do you know what?

It worked.

 

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Put a Pause in it…

The very minute your baby enters  your life you shift into something I refer to as “maintenance mode.” It is an entrance to a never ending treadmill ride where you are constantly running in sync with time.

  • Baby wakes up.
  • Baby needs changing.
  • Baby needs food.
  • Baby needs a bath.
  • Get baby dressed.
  • Put baby in the car seat.
  • Take baby out of the car seat.
  • Feed baby again.
  • Change baby again…

And it just keeps going on and on and on and on. And you coast on maintenance mode driving and rushing forward until you crash in bed for a few minutes before baby wakes again, and it starts all over.

Adding more children that speed on that treadmill gets going faster and faster and doing things seems to be always on a deadline to “hurry up.”

So I am suggesting every once in awhile to push stop on that treadmill and look at your child…right in the eyes.

I heard one mother of triplets used to do it when she would place her babies in their car seats. She took one moment out of her day and looked right in their eyes…  and paused out of maintenance mode and forgot about time.

She may have given them a rasberry under their chin, tweeked their nose and said “You’re a snicklefritz,” or sang a song…”I love you, a bushel and a peck, a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck…”

Every once in awhile put a pause in maintenance mode. We all know “IT” has to be done and the treadmill keeps rolling, but you have control of the pause button. And when you stop and look, you are once again reminded why you love being a parent. It’s that baby!

the tones of life

I never realized what a treasure this one little gift has been from my childhood home after my parents passed away. It sings a familiar tune as the metal tubes sway and tap merrily in the breeze. It lifts me up and takes me to a gentle time and place.

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This thought expresses the blessed tone of my parents’ life music they sang to us.

Let our words be like wind chimes.

Tone is something we hear like wind chimes blowing in the air. What sounds do our words make…? Communication is more than what we say; it is how we say it and how we sound. As much as possible, without forfeiting what we have to say, let our words be music to people’s ears.

Melody Beattie

 

I’m so glad I do it wrong!

Self soothing is the newest fad for hipster and millennial parents’ bedtime rituals.

You read ‘how’ on your electronic device you surfed, “How to get my child to sleep before I go crazy!” from child sleep experts who have completed long term child studies.

You put your baby/child in a bed.

You hug and kiss them, close the door in the dark room,

and then…

they eventually go to sleep all by themselves.

They teach themselves self soothing strategies all by themselves! Millennial babies are intelligent.

No night light,

no timing to check on them after they have cried for 45 minutes..or was it 30 minutes? I can’t seem to remember the older text books…,

…no long drives to relax them or stop them from crying so loud,

absolutely no rocking chairs…no way!

Twenty first century new age children self soothe and that is the up-to-date parenting fad.

Mommies and daddies must get on to important grown up evening time.

I am a witness!! It’s incredible…

Parents have the evening for quiet relaxation, work, sex, and even chocolate.

Journal Entry: June 2017

Last night Luke covered his little eyes with his blue, brown and white soft blankets, letting me quietly whisper while massaging his fingers and counting them; one, two, three, four, five…then circling his palm and dot it in the middle… with a boop! I could feel his little body relax. To stay awake he would silently try to count his fingers on his own but then would hand me his hand. He plops his leg over my waist to scratch, but also to make sure I am still on the bed next to him; like a sort of seat belt to keep me strapped close. As he quiets, he holds my hand just to know I won’t leave and then he finally closes his eyes and succumbs to the sand man’s spell. I sing quietly while I listen to his breath in rhythm. It calms me as I lay still while next to him with his hand still holding mine tightly. Every single night and nap time, while mommy and daddy have been away, I have laid next to this three year old little man just as I did with every single one of my own babies, scratching their legs and arms while quietly talking about the day  or telling them stories as it changes to night. It was cozy time then and now. Time to create peace for them. Time to show them that calm can be part of their day. Time to show them that when night time comes, I am still close; still here.

This is not proper anymore. It is not teaching them how to fall asleep on their own. How to self soothe. I have done it wrong all these years. My babies don’t even remember, but I do! And, oh, as I now do it with my grandchildren, I think to myself,

‘I would not trade this moment for all the jewels in the world.’

Bless your self-soothed baby’s heart, who sits in a huge dark room in a bed cuddling a lovey for security all alone figuring out strategies to self soothe. They are champs.

I may be more tired than you as you make passionate love in the early evening, or eat your secret ice cream stash watching your favorite show earlier than me, but I am creating cozy with a child I adore. I am filling up a soul. And when I do it I not only give, but I get more back in return.

I’m so glad I do it wrong!

Oh my dears…I’m going to stay old fashioned forever.

 

 

Quiet Fireworks

Fourth of July fireworks is a beautiful celebration except for those who are afraid of loud noises with hearing sensitivity; which is most little kids.

Here is a cool and fun alternative for your little ones to be “in control” of their own tiny firework’s show. It is a win win project for adults too because the cleanup cleans for you.

Supplies:

  • White household vinegar

  • baking soda

  • cake pan or cookie sheet with sides

  • cupcake tin or bowls

  • Inexpensive grocery store food coloring (red and blue if you only want to stay with the Americana theme)

  • small spoon

  • Extra: paper towels, small bowl of clean water if you have a child with sensory issues.

  • counter and stool or chair for your child/children to stand on

  • a ready camera on video mode!

Directions:

Bring your child to the counter and allow them to help you pour a thin layer of baking soda to cover the entire bottom of a cake pan. It looks like snow so have your child bring their cars to drive in it, or water resistant dolls or animals to play in the dry snow. While your child is doing that pour some vinegar into the cupcake tins or bowls. Have your child help you squirt food coloring in each receptacle of the cupcake tin or bowls. Have ready a bowl of clean water where you child can access it if they feel they need to stay clean and have paper towels ready if they desire to dry their hands.

Do NOT demonstrate. Allow them to discover the firework show themselves. Have them spoon some “vinegar paint” into the snow to make their own sizzling colorful fireworks. Allow the child to do it over their toys and play in it. I guarantee you will want to do it too!!!

I found that even if they pour one of their full bowls of vinegar paint in the pan with a huge sizzle, that it will continue to make little tiny sizzles for as long as the baking soda is activated while they continue to spoon another color.

It is great fun and a more gentle quiet way to celebrate the 4th of JULY for little ears.

It‘s a blast!

When done dump the entire thing down your kitchen drain and it will refresh and clean it. Rinse off the pans and spoons and wah-lah..done!

(Food coloring sometimes takes a bit of scrubbing off counters or even fingers, but it is not permanent!)

Have fun with it!

 

How to bubble wrap your child

Don’t you wish

you could swathe bubble wrap

completely around your children

to protect them

from the world?

bubble wrap

It’s so easy to sensibly reason why life has owies, ickies, and scaries until you get a baby completely dependent on your care and then all that rationale flies out the  window. You begin to really wish it was as easy as bubble wrapping for a defensive shield besides all that love your planning on giving.

There IS an actual sort of bubble wrap that you can do,

and it works, but best when done every single day for their protection.

It is called prayer.

‘Oh golly, that’s too easy, that won’t do it,’ You say.

Prayer has power and prayer empowers. Prayer teaches your child, from the very start, that he/she is valued by the parent who, from the beginning prays for them. When they get a tiny bit older teaches them how to pray. As they learn how, prayer becomes a together time. Then gradually, praying together teaches who sent them to us in the first place; a loving God who they belong to first. And who loves them, if it is possible, even more than we do.

This is a power

that wraps around your baby

like a shield

and empowers your child

when they are not with you.

Is not this the very best bubble wrap of all?

Directions:

  1. Protect in the morning by praying with your child; especially before they leave the house for daycare, camp, or school. (One mother of teenage boys said this is an every day ritual that she cannot afford to give up as a connect to her boys who now are seeking independence).

  2. Protect in the night by praying before you tuck in, kiss and say ‘I love you.” When the day goes to night the world feels vulnerable and scary. Prayer is that shield of protection that even the Boogy-man or monsters under the bed cannot penetrate. And bless those scary things in your prayer so your child can feel stronger then nightmares that come. In life when real tough challenges, monsters, or Boogy men come, they will know they are empowered by God through prayer! And also know you are still praying for them, too.

Bubble wrapping is as simple as that!

Snap Snap!!

Wrapped up in Love!

…Amen