When Can 10 Baby Sitting Practices Be Applied

When Can Teach Your Baby Sit

Sitting is a milestone in the development process of the baby. Please apply 10 ways to practice sitting baby to support this process offline.

Just a few months ago, she still could not move without your support. He can’t even keep his head straight. But now, the baby has started trying to sit without support. You do not know how to help your baby? Please see the following article.

How to practice sitting for babies?

There are 3 stages to practice babysitting:

Phase 3 – 4 months

Your baby’s head and neck muscles will grow faster and more firmly. As a result, your child will learn to hold up and hold his head while flipping. They will then try to use their arms to lift them and keep their breasts from touching the floor. These simple movements will help your baby’s muscles grow healthy.

Phase 5 – 6 months

At this time, the baby has enough strength to push his body up to be able to sit. Initially, without support, the baby can only sit for a while. However, soon, your child will find a way to maintain balance when sitting by slightly leaning forward with one or two hands on the ground. This will help you are babysitting for a long time without falling.

Phase 7 – 9 months

Your baby can sit still without support. The neck and back muscles also become stronger. The baby is still developing. At 9 months, babies can move from lying to sitting posture without support. Also, when sitting in your hand, you can freely swing and explore, at this time your child will learn to manage to reach for things that he likes while sitting.

Your baby will be stable when they are 1 year old and at this time you do not need to support anything. At this age, your baby is also ready to learn to walk. Therefore, sitting has become a lot simpler.

Does the baby learn to sit in front or learn to crawl?

Babies will learn to sit in the 6th month and learn to crawl by the 9th month. Learning to sit will help them learn to crawl more easily because it helps to strengthen muscles.

How to teach your baby to sit?

Babies can only sit when the muscles are fully developed. Therefore, you cannot force your baby to learn to sit too early. However, you can help your baby’s muscles get used to sitting postures so that learning to sit becomes easier when the body is ready.

Encourage your baby to lie on his stomach and explore

The first step to getting a perfect sitting posture is to practice keeping your head steady. The best way to do this is to strengthen your neck and back muscles while lying on your stomach. Lay your baby on his stomach and put his favorite toy in front of him. Encourage your child to look at toys by raising their heads. When your baby has done, repeat this gesture. This will help your baby balance her weight when sitting. Also, hide toys and let them see, they will try to lift their bodies to find toys.

Move baby

The way for your baby to get used to the movement is to practice it for him. Hold your baby and help him roll gently on a soft surface (mattress, blanket). This will help guide your baby’s movement.

Make a baby seat

When your baby is 6 months old, you can teach him to sit through fake sitting sessions by turning your body into a recliner. Put your favorite toys on the carpet, then let your baby sit on your lap and play with toys. This will help strengthen the back muscles and get used to the feeling of sitting.

Use your baby’s curiosity

By 9 months, your baby can sit firmly. This is the time to encourage your baby to sit as much as possible. To do this, put new toys around so that your baby can get while sitting. You can also sit next to and play with your baby.

Build up the muscles

Any movement of the body involves the muscles. If your baby’s muscles grow well, he will learn to sit faster. Massage your baby often and play some simple exercises to increase the strength of the muscles. Besides, activities like crawling, rolling, and lying on your stomach are natural ways to help your baby strengthen muscles. Encourage your baby to practice as much as possible to learn to sit easier.

5 exercises to help your child learn to sit

Find the shaking drum

Age: 4 months

Method: This is a simple exercise when your baby is prone. Lay your baby on his stomach and let the drum shake in his sight. When your baby has moved the head in the right direction to make the sound, move to another position to move her head.

Benefits: Train neck and back muscles. Also, the baby can use two arms to move the body, so it also helps strengthen the shoulder muscles.

Practice tummy tuck

Age: 4 months (when your baby can lift their head)

How to practice: Put your baby on the foot in the opposite direction. Hold your baby’s hand and gently pull your baby up and down like a belly-up. Move your baby up and down gently. At practice, you can make some funny sounds such as counting.

Benefits: Helps strengthen back and abdominal muscles. This is essential when your baby learns to sit.

Roll

Age range: 6 months

How to practice: Put baby on his back, then put the toy in front of him and slowly move it to the side so that he is still monitoring the toy. Once you’ve put the toy aside, encourage him to take it. At this age, most babies know how to roll. So your baby will try to roll to get closer and observe the toy more closely. Repeat this exercise often, especially when your baby is awake.

Benefits: Help strengthen back muscles to help children learn to sit faster.

Cycling

Age range: 6 months

How to practice: Put baby on a soft surface. Gently hold and raise the baby’s feet, then perform a bicycle-like movement. Make some funny sounds to attract your baby’s attention. Rest for a few seconds after 5 sets of exercise.

Benefits: Strengthens leg muscles.

Practice squat

Age: 8 months

How to practice: Put your baby in a sitting position, hold his hand, and gently lift him. Repeat 3-4 times, then rest for a few seconds before repeating.

Benefits: Help the back, abdominal, and thigh muscles be stronger. By 8 months, the baby was able to sit down and began to learn to stand.

Note: The baby’s body is very fragile. Therefore, you only perform these movements when you are sure that will not hurt the baby. Besides, you also need to take precautions to ensure the safety of your baby.

Things to note when teaching your baby to sit

Respect your baby’s natural development process

You should not give your baby solid foods before he is one year old, nor should he teach him to sit before he enters an appropriate developmental stage. Babies only learn to sit when their heads have been raised and the best time for them to learn to sit is 6 months. If the baby sits too early, it will cause bad effects on the baby’s development.

Do not use a baby seat or walker

A baby seat is a plastic chair with a bar in the middle. Its purpose is to help children learn to sit and sit for a long time. And the walker looks like a pedestrian but it stands still.

Baby seats and walkers do not bring many benefits to the baby. They are even harmful. When you put your baby in a chair, he or she may be sitting in the wrong position, adversely affecting development. There are also some cases of babies falling while sitting in a chair.

Experts object to the use of babysitting chairs because they can deform the body. This chair makes babies sit still and limit the exploration of the world around them. Therefore, respect your baby’s development and let your child learn to sit naturally.

Always observe baby

He still doesn’t sit until he is 2-3 years old. This means that when your baby is sitting, you should also pay close attention to your baby carefully because they can fall at any time. Therefore, always pay attention to the baby to ensure safety.

Sitting in a W position: Besides, you should also pay attention to the baby’s sitting position. The W sitting position may harm physical development. Babies under 11 months old usually sit in this position. Sitting in a W-style is a type of sitting on the floor with legs facing back, knees bent and feet facing out. Sitting this way for a long time will affect your hip muscles, knee joints, and upper body muscles. If you see your babysitting in this position, adjust the position immediately. The most comfortable position is to let your baby sit with their legs stretched forward, straight or bent into an arbitrary circle.

If your baby can’t sit?

Some babies will be more retarded, but if they do not know how to sit until 9 months, take note of the following:

  • If your baby is born prematurely, he’ll be more retarded than full-term babies. Your baby will miss some important development milestones and will reach them later.
  • Babies who are infected or seriously ill in the first months of life will grow more slowly than other babies. Babies may be slow to develop skills such as rolling, crawling, sitting … If completely cured, they will gradually develop according to their progress.

The alarming signs

If your baby is not born prematurely and does not have an infection but still cannot sit, then you must consider the following:

  • Does your baby lift his or her head upon her stomach or do she only lift her face and not move her head anymore.
  • Your baby cannot roll even after 6 months. To the basic movements that your baby also needs your support.
  • Babies can not crawl even after 9 months.
  • Unable to crawl and stand even if supported by age 1.
  • Do not know to go after 18 months.

Consult pediatrician

If your baby has the above symptoms, you should visit and consult a pediatrician. Usually, the inability to sit often comes with many other problems. Therefore, take note of your baby’s important development milestones and discuss them with your doctor at every regular check-up.

Remember that if your baby doesn’t know how to sit but still reaches other milestones, don’t worry. Do not “burn the stage”, if your baby does not know how to sit this month, they will be able to sit for the next months only.

What Do You Need in a Baby First Aid Kit?

When you have a baby in your home, then you need to buy the best baby first aid kit with all supplies and medicines. This specific infant first aid kit look likes something a healthcare grooming kit. You need to know about what you want to take care of a baby in day-to-day tasks such as hair brushing and nail clipping.What Do You Need in a Baby First Aid Kit?

How to make your own first aid kit?

There is a comfort in purchasing the pre-packaged baby first aid kit, but it is probable to make one on your own. Whether you make one or purchase one of the recommended kits, below are specific things to include:

  • Baby nail clippers
  • Nasal aspirator
  • Cradle cap brush
  • Baby thermometer
  • Baby comb or brush
  • Medicine dropper
  • Saline nasal drops
  • Emery gauze
  • Alcohol swabs
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Infant acetaminophen
  • Age appropriate band aids
  • Sterile gauze
  • Antibiotic cream
  • Emergency contact card
  • Simethicone baby gas drops such as small tummies or Mylicon

Whether you want to make your own kit or want to purchase the premade first aid kits, it is a great idea to safeguard your baby.

First aid kit for babies- how to make it

Parents always do their best to take care of their babies and also to safeguard them from any injuries or ailments. Still now, it is very common for any infant to drop sick or get hurt. If your baby falls ill, you do not worry and simply take your infant to the doctor immediately for any major injury. If the problem is not extreme and can be simply dealing at home, you want to be well-prepared for it. Thus, the best baby first aid kit now always comes in handy, if your infant drops or has some other issue. Here are the checklists for making first aid kit for your infant such as:

  • Calamine lotion to take care of skin rashes
  • A thermometer, preferably a digital one, which is more convenient to use for babies
  • Paracetamol is one of the safest medicines to control pain and fever in infants
  • Analgesic and antipyretic medicines to control pain and fever
  • An ointment for burns
  • A baby nail clipper
  • The pair of scissors to cute the bandages and gauzes
  • A few pair of not reusable sterile gloves to keep hygiene while taking care of your baby’s injuries
  • A decongestant or cough syrup that is prescribed by infant’s doctor
  • Few sterile gauzes, cotton balls and sticky bandages to secure bruises and wounds
  • Measuring droppers, cups or syringes for measuring medicines

Therefore, the above mentioned are must items that you might include in your first aid kit for babies.What Do You Need in a Baby First Aid Kit?

Safety of baby first aid kit

When you are having infant, safety must be your top most concern. In fact, dealing with medicine and ill or hurt infant can sometimes make you sense like you are out of your aspect. But with a few precautions, your baby must be feeling good prompt. Here are some important ways of having best baby first aid kit safety that include:

Keep your baby first aid kid safe

Your infant first aid kit actually consists of sharp items and objects, which are not secure to ingest like antiseptic spray, medicine and petroleum jelly. So, you must keep these items out of reach from your children or better locked up, so some probing of your baby does not search your supplies.

Clean your supplies often

As a parent or caregiver, you are dealing with cuts, snot and other polluted messes, so it is very much essential to sterilize and wash your supplies before and after you utilize them. The thermometer, nail clippers and tip of your tweezers are procreation basis for bacteria, so you must use an alcohol swab on them each time.

Clean your hands often

You must always wash your hands while using items in a first aid kit, before even clipping your baby’s nails. Because your baby’s immune system is not as strengthen as yours and unclean hands can lead to sick.

Watch the dosage

You can often provide your baby acetaminophen for every 4 to 6 hours, but do not exceed four doses per day. You must always utilize a dropper that comes with medicine to obtain a perfect dosage. If your infant is lesser than three months, you can talk to your doctor to ensure it is safe.

Stay away from thick nasal bulbs

Some parents have been horrified to find mold developing within their nasal bulbs. Better to stay away from dangerous mold growth or bacteria by purchasing an aspirator, which has an apparent chamber.

Do not use any thermometer

The rectal and oral thermometers cannot be interchanged. Particularly, the rectal thermometers are made to have a tiny probe as well as a bulb that stops you from adding it too distant. You can also ensure to use the accurate thermometer before you take your baby’s temperature.

Believe your gut feeling

When it comes to minor coughs and bumps, your care might be all it takes your infant back to better health. If you are not sure what to do, you just call to a baby doctor and they will instruct you what to do.

Keep a list of emergency numbers

Along with your entire essentials, you always hold a card with emergency numbers in your first aid kit. So, you can take action immediately, if the situation needs more than what you can handle.

Conclusion

Parents might not be doctors, but they should know what best for their baby and therefore, it is very much essential to take instant medical action in case of medical emergencies happen. That is why; it is highly recommended to have best baby first aid kit for your infant without even doctor’s prescription. Safeguard your child in any situation and be prepare for anything happens accidently.

Make Today Awesome

Make Today Awesome

I was going to write about some silly post I saw floating around on Facebook. We will just save that post for another day. Instead I will keep this short and sweet and take this time to say “Don’t forget to be awesome.”  Whether you are starting a new workout routine, choosing to eat healthy, being a sloth (don’t worry I don’t judge), staying home with the kids, going to a job, working from home, or whatever you are doing with your day; just be awesome. There is so much out there that pins mom against mom. We need to stand up and say “I am awesome and I will be the best mom I can be!” So take this day by storm and BE AWESOME!!!

My Favorite Ever Fall Mantle

My Favorite Ever Fall MantleI think, in the almost three years of my children’s lives, we have collectively done about five crafts.  And I’m okay with that.

It’s not that I don’t see the value in doing crafts with my children.  It’s not that I don’t love the finished product when curious and growing little fingers explore with some paint.  It’s not that I don’t hope for them to appreciate or participate in the arts one day.

I do.

Rather, in all the running around, cooking, feeding, bottom wiping, music class attending, library trips, story times, vacuuming (sometimes), and “no not now sweetie, Mommy is busy” excuses, we just haven’t done too many crafts.

Plus, the thought of getting out all the things for the approximately two minutes that they will be interested and then cleaning up the mess that was made for approximately twenty minutes (during those two minutes of exploration)  just…well, is somehow less than motivating.

I see so many pinable crafts on Pinterest and so many moms on Facebook with their kids and crafts, and I think…”Oh, how awesome.  We need to do more crafts.”  But then, we just don’t do it.

Maybe it’s also due to the fact that I am not what you would call a “crafty” person.  At all.  While I can totally appreciate a good craft,  I cannot actually “do” a good craft.  Yes, I am craft deficient even despite the artistic gene my art major of a mother surely passed down to me.  Maybe someday it will decide to express itself.

Maybe when the twins are 21 I’ll take a painting class.

But I’ve decided that I’m going to let myself off the hook on this one.  I used to feel guilty that we were not finger painting and glitter throwing designing daily.  I think I even blogged about the one or two crafts we actually managed to pull off, as if I had to prove (to myself?) that I could do it all.

But I’ve decided instead to appreciate the fact that I actually cannot do it all and to be thankful for the village that helps me fill in the gaps.

So this is why I appreciate this mantle.

You see, I did not do a single one of these awesome creations with my children.  Instead, we proudly display the montage of art that comes home with them from preschool and Sunday school each week.

So, yes, this is my favorite ever fall mantle.

Because not only does it proudly display the beautiful crafts my little Picassos have created, but it also reminds me how thankful I am for their preschool and Sunday school teachers who do actually do these crafts.  (And they do these crafts not only with my children, but will all the children…two and three-year-olds mind you.)  They deserve a medal.

Simply put, this display is a reminder that I cannot do it all by myself.  And in accepting that fact, my mantle has become as beautiful as it has ever been.

Dear Lord, 

Thank you for the gifts you give each one of us.  Help me to appreciate and nurture the gifts you have given me, to accept that I cannot do it all, and to always appreciate the gifts you have given to others.  Help us to recognize and use our gifts to enrich the lives of one another each day. Amen.

20 Ways to Stay Active with the Kids this October

20 Ways to Stay Active with the Kids this OctoberSummer has come and gone.  The school year is buzzing along at a steady clip and I find myself missing the quality time I spent with my kids over the summer.  I know my kids are missing that time, too.  How much time does one need to reconnect with the kids?  I say 30 minutes.  30 minutes of totally blocking out the other stuff and playing together.  It might look at bit like exercise.  It might feel a bit like exercise.  But don’t be fooled, folks.  You are just PLAYING.

I crafted this one up to go with the Halloween vibe and get the kids interested.  Write the list of activities on orange and black construction paper or use white paper with orange and black markers.  Cut the paper into slips and put them into a jar or glass fish bowl.  Jazz it up with some Halloween stickers or candy corn at the bottom as a little reward – or an iTunes card if you have a media motivated kid.  Let your creative juices flow on the presentation.  Then give it your best shot as a family to empty the jar by November 1st!

The List:

  1. Sock Toss (laundry basket, socks, victory laps)
  2. Jumping Giants! (pretend giants jump and drop on command – try hopping frogs, walking penguins, crawling cats – imitate the animal up and then drop down to your belly)
  3. Yoga (grab a video at the library or check your OnDemand library)
  4. Weight Movers and Planks (using small weights or bags filled with rocks have the kids move the rocks from one side of the drive way to the other, then drop and hold a plank.  Try adding some push-ups and jumping jacks as well)
  5. Walk to collect fall leaves.
  6. Bike Ride
  7. Balloon Move and Play (hold balloons and squat, lunge, hop, jump)
  8. Cotton ball clean up race (cotton balls get thrown all over the room – race to pick them up.)
  9. Freeze Dance
  10. Hop Scotch
  11. Hide and Seek
  12. Baseball (in the yard, simple rules – hit and run.)
  13. Balloon Volley ball
  14. Pumpkin toss (bean bag toss game for kids)
  15. Red Light Green Light (walking, running, or biking)
  16. Flashlight tag
  17. Bubble chase
  18. Glow Stick toss
  19. Parents choice
  20. Kids choice

In Good Health,

Does my use of my time show what is important to me?

I am a mother of 3: a five-year old, a three-year old, and a four-month old.  Sometimes, I wonder where all my time goes.  I think most of it ends up in the hours of folding and putting away laundry.  As I try to figure out how to manage my time with a semi-new baby in the family, I often feel like I get nothing done.

Even though I feel like I have no time, my husband and I have found some hours in our busy schedules to coordinate Financial Peace University class.  In the class, participants learn about budgeting their money, making smart purchases, and saving for their futures.  This may seem like a whopping subject change, but there is a point.  When you make a budget, Dave Ramsey has you classify your spending to show you where you spend your money.  If you have never done it, I truly encourage you to do it.  It is eye-opening to see how much money you spend on food, eating out, and other frivolous expenses.  Dave talks about where you spend your money shows what your values are.  That is a powerful statement and so true. So I began to wonder: If where I spend my money is a powerful statement of what I value, can the same be said about my time?

Where do I spend my time?  I realized that too often I find myself getting caught in the trap of saying, “I don’t have time for that.” As I thought about it more, I realized that phrase was an excuse.  I have been given a set number of hours in my day. I can fill my day with doing things of value or waste them doing things that don’t matter.  When I said, “I don’t have time for that” what I really meant “That is not a priority to me.” Whether it be at this point in time, today, tomorrow, or ever.

My husband and I recently came up with a Top 5 list to help us think through a tough decision of where to live.  It’s the top 5 areas in our life that are the most important to us.   What were those top five things?  1. Financial Freedom 2. Family  3. Church 4. Friends 5. Cost of Living (A side note:  As a Christian woman, you think I should put God as number one, but part of the reason goes like this.  #3 is more of indication of our role in our church home factors in our life.  If we don’t have financial freedom and aren’t debt free, we will never get to enjoy our family like we want to.  We will never to give to our church like we want to.  We will never get to share in experiences with our friends like we want to.  God definitely has a presence in all of these parts.  God is not ranked as number 3.)

If these are the Top 5 things in my life that are important to me, then I shouldn’t be wasting my time on Facebook or playing Candy crush.  Even though I do admit I love those things and they may have their place in my life, they shouldn’t consume me.  Cleaning isn’t in my top five, although I do spend a lot of time doing it.  But I find myself telling my children, “I can do that after I finish this” or “I can’t do that right now” when they want me to do something for them or play with them.  I need to remember: My children are in my Top 5 not cleaning.  Maybe that revelation should tell me where I should spend my time.

While my kindergartener was at school this past week, my three-year old asked me if I would help him make a helicopter show.  I had three huge baskets of laundry staring me in the face with another two large hampers of dirty laundry waiting to be done.  I told him, “I would love to play, but mommy needs to take a shower first.”  (What was I telling him? Playing is not my priority.  Mommy’s cleanliness is.)  After my shower, I let the baby have some time on his play mat, and I focused all my attention on my three-year old.

This was the scene.  I was told we were going to make a helicopter show.  I was completely confused, as I had no clue as to what a helicopter show was or even looked like.  I decided to let go and let his imagination take me away.  I was given a very detailed explanation of where the blocks should go.

As the show started to take place this was the scene.

Does my use of my time show what is important to me?

And by the end, this was our creation.Does my use of my time show what is important to me?

What a blessing to be taken out of my rigidity of cleaning and housework to spend some time just playing. (I admit, though; I still felt guilty.)  I know it is important to play with my kids, but sometimes I get carried away with all the other things bombarding me in life that I forget what is really important.  I forget what means the most for me is where I should spend my time.

~Colleen

So my prayer for this week:

Dear God,

Help me to learn what is truly valuable to me.

Help to me to make time for things that are a priority to me.

Help me to find balance.

Thank you for the moments of imagination, creativity, and play.

Let me be a good steward of time so I can complete your good works.

In Jesus’ name we pray,

A Prayer for Change

This week, Pastor Sherry closed the adult Sunday school class on discernment with a beautiful and powerful prayer.  The prayer, written by 12-year-old Mary Katherine Lidle the day before a car accident that would claim her life, can be found in the book, Open the Door, by Joyce Rupp.  Many of us were moved by these words and wanted to continue to reflect on their meaning.

Look at me—
I’m walking through a door
My life is changing and it’s just perfect now
No more doors for me
They’re too hard to get through
I’m staying here where it’s safe—

No, child,
Those doors are a part of you
You can’t ignore them
‘Cause they’re there
You’ve got to go through them
Who knows what you’ll find
You’ve got to meet their trial
If you don’t, you won’t be what you should become
There are always gonna be doors and you
Can’t stop ‘em from comin’
You’ve got to go through them to grow
It’s called change
Look at the wildflower; it changes all the time
Always blossoming or closing up, sprouting or withering
You’re scared to go through those doors
Into the unknowing, “into change”
You don’t know what’s going to happen
You don’t know what change is going to bring
Listen to me
Go through those doors with hope
Go through those doors knowing change is the future
And you’re part of it
You don’t know what change is, that’s why
You’re scared
Change is the sun booming over the horizon
Scattering rays of hope to a new day
Change is a baby lamb meeting the world for its first time
Change is growing from a young child to a young woman
Change is beautiful; you will learn to love it.

Maybe It will Do the Trick

Often I am scrolling through the endless Facebook conversation and I come across someone’s status that reads something like this:

“Maybe this fitness challenge will do the trick…” or “Maybe this squat challenge will do the trick.”

There is no trick.  There is no fast track to health and fitness. There is no fitness challenge, nor any number of squats that will make you skinny for the rest of your life.

There is only choice.

You must choose to make the person you want to be, the person that you are. If you want to be fit and healthy, that is a daily choice. Every day you wake up and you choose to brush your teeth, you choose to wear a specific outfit, and you choose to apply makeup in a certain way. When you get to the kitchen – the choice to be healthy that day begins. Every day is the same. We make the choices to take care of ourselves and give our bodies what they need – or we make unhealthy choices.

I have a dessert issue. I think about chocolate every day. I go on stretches of not buying it. Then I’ll make brownies “for the kids” and eat one a day until they are gone. I beat myself up about chocolate: The love of chocolate vs. the hate of cellulite. It’s my little internal, daily, debate. I want to let it go. I want to get control of the debate. Of course, I could make it easier on myself and stop buying chocolate entirely. Every night when my chocolate clock goes off, I could easily say, “Too bad. Nothing here to eat made of chocolate.”

Like everyone, I have to make these choices, too. Therefore, I know these are not easy choices, every day and every meal. When I am defeated at night, and I eat ice cream, I know tomorrow I can try again. The next meal is another opportunity for a good choice. But I have stopped hoping for a miracle fitness challenge to change me, and I have accepted my role on my path toward health and fitness. I think of it as the biggest fitness challenge of all: daily healthy choice.

In good health,
Mel

The Giving Game

Following the sermon on generosity Sunday, I found myself reflecting quite a bit on how we are called as parents to give.  Without ceasing.  Every day.  How often do we feel drained at the end of the day because we have given and given and given. We often feel that there is not enough to go around.

Anyone else feel like it’s a continuous game of “zone” defense?   You know, when the giver is often outnumbered by the takers?

What…you don’t have little takers running around the house?

Mama, I need milk.
Mama, up?
Mama, need napkin.
Mama, need ‘nuggles? (Ok, so this one doesn’t count as “taking”…am I right?)
Mama….waaaawaawaw!!!!  I got ooowwie!!!
Mama, brother needs time out!
Mama, do puzzles?
Mama, I like watch songs?
Mama, let’s do “Happy Day” again?
Mama, I tired.
Mama…

…and the list goes on.

One morning this week, it felt like an hour from the time I got the boys up, changed their diaper, negotiated clothing options, put on chosen attire, loaded up the cadre of stuffed animal friends and blankies, carried our seriously tough looking posse down the stairs, flipped on Curious George, cut up the bananas, toasted the waffles, chose the correct colored plates and character-themed milk cups, rinsed the blueberries, selected the yogurt flavor of the day, called the crew up to the breakfast table, snapped them in, pushed them in, presented 3 different spoon options…to the time I finally sat down to a quick bite of banana for myself.

Of course, the exact moment my rear hit the seat…

Mama, I need more milk?

Deep breath.

You need more milk _____ ? 

Peees. Definitive nod.

Ok, sweetie. Just a minute.

How often do we give so much of ourselves as parents that we forget to nourish ourselves.  I will be the first to admit I do not always give with joy and gratitude in my heart every.single.minute.  It is hard.  I’m often exhausted.  I often want to throw a pity party for myself.

I remember talking to a dear friend shortly after my boys were born.  She had just had her third child, and I had just gone from exactly zero to two.  I was overwhelmed and trying to pick her brain to see how she managed with three.  She told me something that still resonates with me…

The first child is the hardest.  That is when you learn to become a parent.  You learn to be selfless.  The rest are a piece of cake after that.

Two-and-a-half years later, I think it’s safe to say I’m still working on that selfless thing.

So, I’m grateful for the current sermon series on generosity.  I know I need this reminder of the connection between a parent’s love for a child and God’s love for all of us.  Maybe for some of us, it is when we constantly give of ourselves to our children that we come closest to mirroring God’s love for us.  (Talk about zone defense. I think two-on-one at times is tough!) 

And, while my kids are just toddlers and rarely sit me down to express their most sincere thanks for a perfectly toasted waffle, I imagine that, for most of us, our generosity goes without thanks many days.  Perhaps we, as adults, can do a better job of being grateful for the constant giving we receive.   Maybe that gets us one step closer to that “selfless” thing.  One step at a time.

Dear Lord, Thank you for always giving.  Help us to pass along your Gift to others in our life.  Amen. 

~Holli

How Far Would You Go??

The latest selection of the PUMC Women’s Book Club is “Defending Jacob” by William Landay and it was a GREAT read in my opinion!  Now, I would be remiss if I didn’t add that I love whodunnits.  I often don’t even care how badly they are written or even what they are written about.  I am a terrible guesser of endings and I love surprises.  And a surprise is what you get with this book (if you guessed how this one would end, please leave me a message without spoiling it for others)!

“Defending Jacob” is a story of a family of three; a devoted mother, an assistant DA father, and a 14 year old son named Jacob.  A classmate of Jacob has been murdered and the circumstantial evidence is pointing to Jacob even though he insists he is innocent.  I was drawn to the reactions of the parents and found myself imagining what would I do.  How much evidence would it take to make me believe my child guilty?  How far would I go to defend my child in the face of that evidence?  How much do we overlook in our kids?  What do other people think about my kids – right or wrong?

This is a story of family relationships and how they can be put to the test.  How everything can change in the blink of an eye.  How we can be crippled by scrutiny or we can rise to the challenge of it.  How we can put blinders on in our single minded devotion, but it is nearly impossible to know the absolute truth.  How as parents, we do the best we can to make the right choices.  It makes you think!  Put it on your summer reading list and enjoy!