Saturday, May 8, 2010

the gift of motherhood

On this eve of Mother's Day, I've been reflecting on my boys, the gift of motherhood and the fleetingness of life. So I sat down and wrote this. I hope you enjoy it.

But a Moment

my precious babe
snuggled close to my chest and my breast
and my heart
time waits close at hand to steal him away
while I beg him to stay

the moments pass so swiftly
like a butterfly that lands softly and offers a flutter or two
then goes again
without saying goodbye
without display or permission
I must be attentive lest it takes flight without my notice

I so long to capture it, keep it in a Mason jar
to claim as mine
and keep it safe
to keep my boy safe from hurt and pain and... time

and yet it is the call of a Mother to both
love and let go
to hold close and nudge away
to give both roots and wings
a joyful, painful, beautiful, holy call

so as another moment vanishes
I ask just this
Dear son, could I hold you just a moment longer?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Busy Mom's Bible

If you have children, then you understand the problem I have with time. There's just not enough of it. Most days I wake up to my two small, living alarm clocks and hit the ground running. There's the laundry, dishes, managing a business and two small children... I really want to exercise but it falls to the wayside most days (and as a physical therapist, I should know better!). And prayer? Sigh...

Somtimes I long for the days when I could sit on the couch alone with God for 20 or 30 minutes or more, just soaking in His presence. Life before a husband and children was so much simpler. Not better - I have an amazing life - but there were certainly less distractions and it was definitely easier to find time to pray. No one warned me of how that would change!

In walks the Busy Mom's Bible. I received one of these bibles from Zondervan's and it has quickly become my favorite. It's cute and feminine. Look, I know that doesn't matter, but it doesn't hurt either! What I love are the short reflections scattered throughout. The reflections are designed so that you can read it in just a minute, with some additional scripture and thoughts for if you have more time. So many of the reflections speak to my heart and spirit. They are practical and meaningful for my daily life. I just wish there were more in there! I've read most of the reflections already! I try to keep it in places in the house where I can pick it up and read, even if just for a minute - by the computer or on the dining room table.

If you're looking for a bible, or simply a way to incorporate prayer into your busy life, you might want to consider the Busy Mom's Bible. I still may not have 20 or 30 mintues to sit down and pray, but I find myself reading a little and going about my day in a spirit of prayer. That's the best way to live!

Read more here!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Make your own baby legwarmers

If you'd like to try to make your own baby legwarmers, rather than buying, you can! You just need some tall socks, elastic and some very basic sewing skills.

First, cut the feet off your knee-highs. I left enough at the ankle to try to still use the socks as anklets. To the right, you see some sweater sleeves I cut off and will try to use as well. They are wool, so they'll be warm for winter!

Next, cut some elastic to about the same size as your raw sock edge, plus 1/2 inch seam allowance. I happened to use foldover elastic here because I had some extra scraps around and it's really soft.

Next I sewed my elastic into loops...
Then I turned my sock inside out and sewed the sock to the elastic, right sides together, pretty close to the edge. Make sure you give it a good stretch as you sew!!!
Here's a pic of the elastic sewn on. I usually just leave it like this, with the elastic flipped inside, as shown on the left. To finish further, you could topstitch after flipping the elastic inside the sock.
And here is my handsome little model!
(Sorry - this pic wouldn't turn for me!)
Please leave a comment or question if you have one!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Dairy-free, Soy-free, Peanut-free No-Bake Cookies!

So my little Peanut is allergic to peanuts. And dairy. And onions and potatoes and beans and ... Weird, I know. Well, poor kid - his mother is allergic to tartar control toothpaste and Neosporin. I guess we know where he gets it from!

Anyway, he loves to "help" me cook. I'm not sure I should if spilling flour and oats all over the floor and trying to pour water into the cookie mix is really helping, but we have a good time. I'm always looking for new baking recipes, well, any recipes that he can eat and enjoy. Since he loves (dairy-free, soy-free) chocolate, I thought we'd try making some no-bake cookies.

So, here we go:

2 C. sugar
3 T. cocoa powder
1/2 C. coconut oil
1/2 C. rice milk (or whatever variety you prefer!)

Put these in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Once they come to a rolling boil, start timing for one minute. After one minute, remove from heat and add (in this order):

1 t. vanilla
1/2 C. Sunbutter (that's the only brand of sunflower butter I can find locally)
2 1/2 C. quick oats

Stir it all well and drop by the teaspoonful onto waxed paper. Let cool and enjoy! Now, don't expect them to taste the same as normal no-bakes because the Sunbutter definately has a distinctive flava. Next time I'm going to try almond butter - I bet it they would be heavenly!

For the first time ever, my little Salvador got to lick the spoon, and he was loving it. He devoured his cookie and shortly after I found him in the kitchen trying to sneak another. I think they were purty yummy, too!

If you try the recipe and like it, let me know!

Coming soon: Homemade (and dairy-free!) "Animal" Cracker recipe!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Finding peace in the craziness

It's been a long couple days. Both my boys have had a little cold this week. No biggie, but a bit more goopy and a bit less cheery than normal. My little Santiago is 6 months now and it's his first sickness. Poor baby. But he's so sweet; so smooshy and snuggly.

Salvador just turned three! He's certainly a big boy now, begging for crackers and fruit snacks and Dora, jumping off the furniture and driving his train much crazy.

But at the end of the day, all he really wanted was to climb on my lap in the chair in his room and snuggle. Well, actually he really wanted a back scratch (he's a little back scratch addict like his mama). So we sat in his chair in the dark in his room. We didn't say anything, just sat. And he was calm and at peace.

And it reminded me that that is all I really need. To climb upon the lap of my heavenly Father and just sit. I don't need to say anything, and He doesn't either. I doubt He even minds if I fall asleep. I just need to sit, and know I am loved. To know that I am safe and all is well. I am not alone. I can feel loco all day and yet He still wants me to sit with Him. And that's all I really need.

Life is good. I am calm and at peace.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Potty Learning Victories!

So my big boy is moving beyond the set-backs caused by the flu and is doing pretty well with using the toilet. He had an accident in the night last night - poor guy was yelling for me from his room but I wash much too sleepy to hear right away and I arrived too late to get him to the toilet. But besides that he's had several dry days in a row. Almost no accidents! Yay!

He hasn't quite figured out that he can go without me, though. He always comes to me and waits for me to take him to the toilet. Sometimes he still waits for me to help with his pants and chones. Oh well, I'd rather do that than wash diapers!

And the smarty-pants. He's already figured out that these magic words: "My pee is going to come out!!!!!" will get him out of almost anything he doesn't want to do, like quiet time and bedtime.

Smart, smart, smart. That's my kid, alright!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Holy Bad Timing, Batman!!!


They are words that strike fear and anxiety into the core of most parents. It was going pretty smoothly for my almost 3 year-old darling. Then, WHAM!!! We got the flu. Not a pretty combination.

A little about our journey: It all started this past summer when Salvador was 2 1/2. I bought him a potty and found that if I left him naked from the waist down, he would sometimes go in his potty. At first I had to suggest it, but later, he would stop playing and run to his potty if he felt he needed to go. Yay! I was pleased, thinking that our victory was close at hand.

Then came little brother, born in August. Suddenly no more potty. No more nakey buns, either. He always wanted to be fully clothed. If asked, "Do you want to sit on your potty?" He'd respond,

"No. Diaper please." OK. Fine.

This was not a great surprise to me. I somewhat expected some regression once Santiago was born.

Finally, it's the new year. Salvador is almost 3. I know he's got all the skills he needs, just not much desire. So, I think - let's have a potty party! We'll make it fun!

So we planned a Super Hero Potty Party. After all, Salvador has been telling us for a few weeks "I a Super Hero!" and proudly flashing his muscles. I made him a cape and mask and appliqued a t-shirt with a Super Salvador 'S'. I bought stickers, balloons, games, a peeing boy doll, and even sewed little "chones" (undies in Spanish) for it. I bought big boy chones in an array of wonderful choices like Cars, Diego and Nemo. I bought a really nice toilet seat adapter by Baby Bjorn so Salvador would feel nice and secure on the toilet. We had charts, stickers and treats. I even bought a pinata and goodies for it. We were ready.

Party day came and went pretty well. We helped Salvador teach his doll, who he named "Goo Goo", to pee and poop on the toilet. By afternoon Salvador was making some attempts. He had a wonderful time flying around in his cape and hitting his pinata. We had about four victories and four misses during the day, but he stayed dry all night and peed in the toilet first thing in the morning, so we were happy as pigs in mud. Next day only one miss and lots of successes. Cruising right along.

Until 2:00 a.m. when the puking started. POW!!!

You know how it is when you're sick. Everything hurts. You feel terrible. You don't want to move. Not even to get up to go to the bathroom. Right? Yeah, well, Salvador certainly didn't feel like going to sit on the toilet. So he didn't. Plus he didn't have much urine to put in there anyway. What he did have was the runs. I'll save you the gory details, but lets just say it's a good thing I had put a towel on the floor just in case. AWKKKKK!!!!

Next day, Salvador is feeling somewhat better but he'd forgotten everything he'd learned on potty party day. ZAM!!! Not a single catch! My wash machine was filled to the rim (like Brim!).

HOLY SMOKES! It's been a long week. Today we've only had two accidents so far and one good catch. We'll still trying to get the poor kid rehydrated.

But I'm sure we'll get there. We'll keep plugging away. We will not go back to diapers, and I am certainly rejoicing about only having one kiddo in diapers, even if it means more pee laundry for a while. So for now, we'll just go with the flow.

Pun intended. KER-SPLOOSH!!!!!