Posts Tagged ‘mommy blog’

Stranger Danger

Ahhhh, stranger danger. The kind of conversation every mother eagerly awaits to have with her children. On pins and needles. Really. I never really thought about it much until reading Mama Kat’s funny conversation with her kiddos. Baby Bug is three now, and we do run around a lot, especially in the summertime, so she should be prepared, right? Before you say she’s too young, this kid is incredibly smart. Incredibly friendly. And loves gum. At church, she will ask every mother picking up a child in the nursery if she has gum because her own mommy does not (whoops!). Problem? Maybe not so much, but it would’t hurt her to learn a few things. Heregoesnothing.

I started off by asking her if she knew what a stranger was. She said no, and I explained that a stranger was someone we didn’t know.

A: Do they have guns?

Do they have guns?! Not exactly what I was expecting, but I knew where the question came from. The other day we were listening to Wee Bible Songs in the car and the song, “I’m in the Lord’s Army” was playing. She asked me what artillery was (lyric: “I may never shoot the artillery”) and I told her it had to do with guns, which led to the gun conversation. Fun times. Back to strangers.

I explained to her that while most strangers are not dangerous and do not have guns, there are some that are dangerous and may have guns. I asked her what she would do if we got separated at the park and someone approached her and asked her to come with him; she said she wouldn’t go. We made up a song. “You don’t gooo with people you don’t knooow. You don’t gooo with people you don’t knooow.” It’s catchy. Pick any tune you like :) I said but what if the stranger tells you his or her name and says you’re not strangers anymore? She replied with the song. Good on her.

Child predators are tricky little…uhm…nothing nice to say, so I wont’ say it, but they’re tricky. They will introduce themselves, befriend our children, and take them away. I tried to explain to A, that no matter what, she was not to go with someone unless she had clear permission from mommy or daddy beforehand (I know relatives and friends may need to pick her up one day, etc, but go with me. We’ll add concepts as we go). Even if she knew his or her name. Even if s/he said mommy and daddy said it was ok. We would let her know ahead of time should she need to go with someone else.

I decided a little role playing might illustrate the point better. I pretended to offer her gum (gasp! will she go or will she stay?!) and asked if she wantd to pet the pretty kittens in my car. She wavered. She did. But she firmly finally responded with “I say no I don’t want to pet the kittens cause I don’t go with people I don’t know.” Yes!

She started coming up with her own scenarios like, “If a girl at the aquarium (yes, aquarium) says can I have some trick-or-treats I’m sposed to say noooo.”

A (as the stranger): Do you want to come see my puppy?

Me: No thank you, I don’t go with people I don’t know.

A: But it’s a really cool puppy.

hahaah :) For a three year old, I was pleased with our progress until I asked her why we have to learn this. Her response? “Because strangers have guns and hurts us.” Yikes! I’m not sure yet where I stand on this particular outlook on strangers. I don’t want her to live in fear, but I do very  much want her to live aware. So far she’s not traumatize and it hasn’t been brought up again :)

It was good for our first foray into the wild and scary reality of stranger danger.

We’ll keep working.

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Breast Feeding and French Braids

Almost from the moment I found out I was pregnant I devoured any and all knowledge pertaining to pregnancy. It’s that Type A, slightly perfectionistic, over-achiever in me. I wanted to know and learn everything there was to know about pregnancy, delivery, and breast feeding. I bought books, spent hours online reading articles, searched forums, and signed up for weekly newsletters about everything that was happening to my body and to my baby. I went to a breast feeding class. The La Leche League is a group entirely devoted to breast feeding. A lactation consultant will even come to your house to help if you and your newborn are having trouble getting the hang of the things.

After the birth of my daughter, a nurse came in and told us what to do and what to expect over the next couple days. From bathing, to baby poop, to feedings, to spit-up, we knew a lot. Great. We needed it.That’s all very helpful information for first time parents. In the hospital, A was a piece of cake. It was everything I imagined it would be; positively dreamy. The most annoying part was being woken up every few hours by a nurse who wanted to ‘check my bottom,’ not my beautiful (so I thought at the time) newborn. We left confident, baby in tow, ready to conquer the world and keep a completely helpless human being alive, on our own.

Fast forward three years. You know what I wish they would’ve taught me in the hospital or during pregnancy? How to French braid my daughter’s hair. I know, it seems so trivial, but honestly, a little hair-doing class during pregnancy wouldn’t have killed me. I’ve tried watching videos on YouTube and watched my MIL do it once, but I learn by doing and unfortunately, A isn’t always a willing participant. I can only force her to play ‘Mommy’s Beauty Salon’ so many times in a row. A nice class ahead of time where you could practice on the adults taking the class with you would’ve been really beneficial.

Why French braid? I’m not sure. I think maybe because I’ve always got my super long (to me anyway) hair up in a sloppy bun and I just want something a little better for my daughter because she’s so amazing. And I like learning new things and I’m sure she’ll request it one day. I’d like to be able to oblige. I tried to do the cool French braid-across-the-forehead look (a la Lauren Conrad) for story time one day. It didn’t exactly come out how I pictured.

Oh well. The baby girl didn’t mind and her bangs were out of her face (we’re growing them out), so off we went. No more ‘salon’ allowed. It didn’t exactly help my mom self-esteem any seeing a little girl at story time with a beautiful rendition of the look I was going for with A’s hair. I even commented and asked the mother how she did it, trying not to come across too creepy. What I really wanted to do was ask if she had a moment to sit down and show me how, but A is the outgoing one, not me.

A hair braiding specialist would be nice, especially since I’m not exactly a girly mom. I wear sweat pants about five days a week and my aforementioned hair does two things–in a bun or straight (like ice pick straight) down. Actually it does four things: a regular pony tail, crazy bun, straight down, and I’m in the beginning stages of starting to wear a long regular braid to the side.


A hair-doing (what is a better word for this?!) club would be cool. I would definitely go. Like a group of moms getting together to swap recipes but swapping hairdos for ourselves and kiddos instead.

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Fancy Towels w/Pockets!

Around Christmas time, my choir director had a little soiree at her house. It was b-e-a-utiful. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house–does this include stealing ideas?! She had these towels in one of her bathrooms that I absolutely fell in love with (not ending sentences with prepositions is much harder than it sounds). My upstairs bathroom (the one guests use) was leaving a lot to be desired and I figured fancy towels would be a nice (free) way to make it look a little nicer for guests. I Google everything. Everything. Finding a fancy-towel-folding tutorial was a lot harder than I anticipated, but I found one here, at the Red Chair Blog and was so inspired I decided to do my own little tutorial. I’m not exactly clear yet on proper blogging etiquette (yes, there is blogging etiquette), so I hope I’m not stepping on anyone’s toesies (tow-zees).

Start with your bath towel and fold it into thirds. Go hang it on the towel rack.

Ha! I went to hang my bath towel up and this is what I was greeted with upon returning :) Get your dog out of the way and start with your hand towel face up (tag side down). Obviously, if you’ve removed the tag and there isn’t a design, it doesn’t really matter.

Fold the bottom about 2/3 of the way up.

Take the top of the part you just folded UP and fold it back DOWN on top of itself. You may have to adjust the length of the initial fold UP in order to achieve this look. You don’t want this fold to be half way up the towel or it won’t be long enough to hang over something.

Flip everything over.

Fold (using that word a lot, eh? it is fancy towel FOLDing though) the two sides toward each other, tucking the right side into the pocket on the left side.

A different folding and tucking view.

The pocket! Over half way now! Take a little break and give yourself a pat on the back. Envision all the happy memories you’re going to have walking into your bathroom and seeing the masterpiece you’ve created.

Start with the washcloth tag side up. Start your washcloth fan by folding the tag in and then flip over and fold, flip over and fold, etc, until…

It looks like this.

Fold the washcloth in half.

Tuck the washcloth into the pocket you just created in the hand towel.

Finished :)

So, give it a try. If you have a dedicated guest bathroom (this is not dedicated), you could even put travel sized shampoo and soap in there. A ‘welcome to our bathroom’ card detailing where everything can be found, whatever. The possibilities are endless.

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500 Days of Summer vs. Shutter Island

Things have been kind of heavy around here so I thought I’d lighten it up a bit! Not that Shutter Island is exactly your feel good kind of movie, but Leo is certainly your feel good kind of guy, ha! :) Can we just talk about him for a second? After he did Romeo and Juliet, I was in love with the boy. OBsessed. Ask my mom. I bought every Teen Beat, Tiger Beat, and BOP magazine with his face on it and promptly cut it out to stick in my Leo DiCaprio 3-ring magnetic photo album. You know the ones I’m talking about. I’m pretty sure my mom still has it. Maybe she can bring it to me so I can post some pictures. It was truly a masterpiece. I don’t even think A’s baby books are that good.

I was also one of those twelve year olds who saw Titanic fourteen times…in the theater. Thank you James Cameron. He was such a boy then!  Catch Me if You Can, The Aviator, and Blood Diamond are all movies I could watch again as well (which is rare).  The Departed is actually one of my favorite movies; in the top 10 I’d say.

Jump with me quickly (super quick) to the 500 Days of Summer. Did anyone else think this movie was completely boring? I literally fell asleep less than half-way through. Maybe I was really tired though; I wouldn’t put it past me. I’m all for romantic comedies and love stories, and I even think the little lead guy was handsome enough, but man, that movie was sleep city! What’d you think?

WARNING! WARNING! WARNING! SPOILER! SPOILER! SPOILER!

DO NOT PROCEED if you haven’t seen it yet (go see it and then come back!) :0)


Shutter Island is also another winner. I can’t wait to see it again actually :) I’d say C and I will probably need to own this movie! It’s the kind of movie that you need to watch again, knowing what happens, because things will make so much more sense. Conversations and sideways glances that didn’t seem to matter much the first time around are actually riddled with meaning.

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Judge Judy Part Deux

Upon further reading and having a mini chat with my awesome church’s associate pastor, I’ve come to a slightly clearer understanding regarding this subject. As with most words in the Bible, the English translation doesn’t always do them justice. The original language usually has a little more to offer and such is the case with the word ‘judge.’

*Romans 2:1 You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.

*1 Cor 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.

*Romans 14:10 You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.

*Matthew 7:1 Do not judge, or you too will be judged.

The word ‘judged’ in these verses is Strong’s #2919 (scroll down a bit to the exhaustive concordance section) and implies punishment, condemnation, damming, and the act of calling in to question. Not very nice. And exactly the kind of thing I am guilty of doing. When I don’t want someone to move into the house across the street from me because I’ve judged their character based on the car they drive (i know. ridculous.), that’s snobbery and judgementalism (i do what i want. like make up words.) at it’s finest. This is when we get into condemning ourselves because that’s quite hypocritical! It’s not like I’m rollin’ around in a Mercedes. These are not good examples. My brain isn’t working tonight. Ooo. Got one. Sometimes I get frustrated with the way in which a certain person in my life spends his/her free time and sometimes I judge their walk with God based on that fact; but, I’m bringing it (judgement, condemnation) back onto myself, because really, how do I spend my free time?! If someone followed me around for a day, would they know that I love Jesus based on how I used my time? Unfortunately, but honestly, I’m going to have to go with no on that one.

BUT! The part that I get so hung up on is when it is ok to judge. Yes, there are times that it’s accepted.

*Matt 7:16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?

*Matt 7:20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

These are the verses that kept popping up when I wanted to justify the kind of judging I was doing. Here, the word used is Strong’s #1921 and means to know upon some mark or to become fully acquainted with. So, there is a difference. In these verses it’s more about discerning rather than judging. I believe that discernment is a gift from the Holy Spirit and something that is developed over time.

As with most things regarding God, it all comes down to the condition of your heart, and this is a behavior He has begun to point out in me that is less than desirable. The main thing for me to realize is that what I’ve been doing–seeing someone’s external appearance (cars, behavior, etc.) and drawing conclusions about that person’s character, their heart, is sin; to look at a person and condemn them in my mind as a ‘sinner’ who “must not be walking closely with God because of this, this, and that.” Only God knows hearts.

When I first started doing this blog I was kind of worried about how it would affect my quiet times and my desire to spend time with God. I tend to over-extend myself, over-inflate my ability to do things, and take on way too much. It’s been good though. It’s made me more self-aware, more aware of the things of God, things like this, places where I’m pitifully falling short. It’s been good.


On a lighter note :) I realize that I haven’t posted anything cooking related in a while; that’s because I haven’t been cooking! It’s been a whirlwind of fast food and restaurants the past couple of days (parenting fail), but I hope to bake something today or tomorrow and maybe even cook dinner on Thursday :) PS-there is a new tab up at the top labeled “God Stops,” check it out and share! :)

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Danny Boome’s Shepherds Pie

Mmmmm. Just thinking about this dish makes my mouth water. I could have it once every ten days I think. I’m positive. Let’s begin with a story before the recipe :) You know how sometimes you have to pretend to be a plane, train, or other form of transportation in order to get your kid to eat? Example: “Come on Bobby Junior, open the hanger and let the airplane fly in!” Well at my house we make the sound of the animal we’re eating. Sounds kind of wild, but it works, unless we’re having squash and then I have to get creative. On Shepherds Pie night A asked “What does this say Mommy?” to which I naturally replied, “Baa Baa.” As you’ll see in the recipe, it does not include sheep (or lamb). Ooops :)

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef or lamb
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup beef stock
  • 1 1/2 cups garden peas Note: Omitted

Cheesy Mashed Potatoes

  • 4 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled, quartered Note: I use about 3 Russet or Idaho Potatoes
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup grated mature white Cheddar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

This is one of those recipes that requires a lot of prep (to me at least) so if you have the opportunity to get it done before the cyclone that is dinnertime hits, get it done! In order to prevent the potatoes from browning just put them in a bowl of ice water and keep it in the fridge.

not brown potatoes!

Cooking is pretty straightforward. My only tip is that when you’re taking the meat and vegetable mixture from the pan, use a slotted spoon! I didn’t the last time I made this and kind of just dumped everything into the baking dish and it was suuuuper greasy and soggy :( boo! Or you could just drain it, either way.

Husband Rating: 7.5 He said the vegetables seemed crunchy. Boo. What does he know?! Make sure you give them plenty of time to soften!

Would I make this for someone else? Yes!

Happiness

C and I were listening to a Chip Ingram podcast last night before bed about how we’ve all been fed a lie. “Just do what makes you happy, baby” is what so many people tell so many other people. Ingram was specifically talking about what parents tell their children in reference to making big decisions: what college to go to, what to major in, what career to pursue. We just want our kids to be happy, right? That’s understandable, right? We wouldn’t be good parents if wanted something else. Ok, ok, before anybody fires up the torches and throws a book at me, remember I’m speaking for myself and for my kid(s). If my main goal as a parent is to teach A to imitate Christ, does that mean I should encourage her to ‘just do what makes her happy’ or that sometimes she’s going to have to deny herself happiness in order to pursue a higher calling? Down the rabbit trail we go…

That leads me to something else (don’t worry, I’ll go back to happiness) that I love about God and something that gives me great peace about my daughter. God knows her. I mean, He knows everything about her. He has a plan and a purpose that only she can fulfill in this world. My most important job on this earth is to help her find God and find that plan. But as a parent, isn’t it über comforting knowing that the God of the universe holds your child’s life and future in His hands? That if you can just point him or her in His direction, that’ll He’ll do the hard part? There’s something about that that helps me sleep at night. My daughter, who is so precious to me, is more precious to God. As much as I want the best for her, He wants even better, and knows better. It blows my mind.

Happiness. Where were we. When the big questions in life come about which path to take, I want to be able to offer something more to her than just happiness. I don’t want her to pick a career based on what current hiring trends are or how much money she can make. Sure, those seem like logical things to consider, but if God is who He says He is, do we need statistics and flow charts? I want her to know and to do what she has been called to do. I want her to fill that one spot that God carved into the fabric of the world just for her. That’s how special I believe each of us are to Him. Because at the end of the day, if we’re truly seeking God’s will and plan for our lives, won’t we be happy? Not happy. Joyful. Think about Paul. That man was called by God to preach the Gospel. He was beaten, shipwrecked, thrown in jail a few times, gossiped about and more stuff I can’t even remember. Here’s what he had to say about it:

2 Cor 4:16-18 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So fix your eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Now that’s what I call a proper perspective. I wish I looked at everything like that. I don’t. Parenting is my first major splash into all of this because you don’t get any do-overs. So, happiness is temporary, this whole world is temporary; I want to teach her to live for heaven, to make decisions with heaven in mind. From what to wear to a dance and how to fix her hair, to whether or not to have a boyfriend, to which school and career ‘she’ chooses. Tangent: I love how she inspires me to be a better person. I need to live with heaven in mind before I can teach her. Scary.

Something else (+ maybe a few more something elses), my prayer for her is not for her just to be ‘happy.’ My prayer is this:

Eph 3:16-19 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established  in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

I don’t want her to settle for happiness. I want her to be filled to the tippy top with God. That is where true joy and the abundant life is found.

Eph 4:1 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.

I want to urge her to fulfill the call that God has placed on her life, whatever that may be. I want to urge her to have a wild and exciting ride finding it with God. There’s nothing more thrilling than trusting God. When you’ve let everything else go and you’re on the ledge, that’s when the fun begins.

As you can see, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed Ephesians tonight. All of 4 and 5 was just great. Enough about the kidlet. I love her and parenting her is scary. She deserves the cream of the crop and I’m afraid she ended up with something not so grand, but that’s the great thing about God–He knows exactly what He’s doing.