Monthly Archives: September 2014

Complaining

I really hate to complain.  Wait, who am I kidding?  I would love to complain all the time but we all know that it just brings ourselves down and nobody wants to hear it.  So here I am going to complain about things that I REALLY shouldn’t complain about, but I have a blog now so I can do whatever I want!

  • Elliot sleeps a lot. 7pm to 3am ish (then til 6ish, maybe up one more time inbetween).  The other day he slept until 5am straight!  This is no good for my milk supply.  The morning after he sleeps so long I choke the poor kid for the first few feedings and then struggle to have enough for him by the end of the day.  He also eats almost every hour during the day and mostly cat-naps, so I think it evens out a little?
  • I have really long eyelashes.  If I wear mascara I usually wear clear mascara.  But man, they keep hitting my glasses! It took me a couple weeks to figure out that was the problem.  I kept thinking I had something in my eye or allergies or something!  I know, boo hoo.
  • I struggled with oversupply of breastmilk for awhile.  It sounds like a good thing, but the poor child was choking and spitting up all the time with it. I know there are many who struggle with low supply (myself included with Leland) and I know that is hard, but oversupply is hard, too!
  • I made this term up: Secondary hyperfertility (Like secondary infertility, but the opposite).  We struggled to get pregnant the first time, but took care of a small issue on Brian’s side and now we have had no trouble.  I have a crazy body and my fertility returns very quickly after pregnancy despite round the clock breastfeeding.  I hate to complain, and I am happy that we most likely won’t have any trouble when we want more kids, but it is burdensome on my conscience that is leaning toward openness to life (I hate to use the phrase “have as many kids as God wants us to” because that is what will happen no matter what we do!).
  • Leland is really smart. A little too smart for his own good.  I’m grateful, but if you have a smart kid you know how this can be annoying at times! And his memory is crazy – he won’t let you forget a promise!
  • Ooh, I think I can really complain about this one: Post-partum morning sickness (and as is the case with regular morning sickness, not restricted to just the morning).  Apparently it’s a thing. I googled it. I’ve already taken two pregnancy tests since Elliot was born.  Thank goodness for Dollar Tree tests (see I told you they would come back up!) that don’t hurt the budget! Also thank goodness for seltzer, my magic cure for morning sickness and heartburn!

Okay done complaining!  I truly am grateful for so many things in my life, but we all need to complain a little sometimes!

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Homemade Liquid Watercolors

So I wanted to buy little pipettes for giving the kiddos supplements and ended up with ones that were way too big! I wanted little tiny ones to do single drops and these are much bigger.  Unfortunately it was 3.99 to return them to Amazon and they only cost $5, so I was now in possession of  100 3ml pipettes.  Quick googling and boom! craft projects galore! So exciting! Most of which involved liquid watercolors, which are mad expensive.  Not so exciting. Side note – do a pinterest search of “pipette food” and be amazed.

Do I want to share this next bit on the internet? Yes I do.  Have you ever used a Dollar Tree pregnancy test? Talk about saving money!  Instead of peeing on a stick, you have to pee in a cup and then use this itsy bitsy pipette to put exactly 4 drops of pee in a little indentation on the stick.  That’s the kind of pipette I was looking for and still cannot find! Anyone have any suggestions for a tool to give babies tiny drops of supplements? This is also not all I have to say about Dollar Tree pregnancy tests, so look forward to that in a post someday.

ANYWAYS . . . More googling – can I make my own liquid watercolors? Yes I can! Inspired by these 2 posts I did a little experimenting and one method definitely shines above the other – http://www.growingajeweledrose.com/2014/02/homemade-washable-liquid-watercolors.html and http://happyhooligans.ca/vibrant-homemade-liquid-watercolor-paint/

Watercolor disc method on the left, marker method on the right, 1 pipette of 100 in the front!

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I used some super old watercolor discs I had around, and semi-old crayola markers.  With the discs I used warm water to dissolve them.  For the markers I took the ink stick out of the middle and cut it into pieces and let it sit in water for awhile.

Testing out the watercolor disc liquid watercolors . . .

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Testing out the marker liquid watercolors . . .

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Side by side – discs on the left, marker on the right (the bright red on the left one is splatter from the marker paints), pipettes 1 and 2 of 100 on the sides!

DSC04290I think we have a clear winner here – although to be fair, they were very old discs, and the markers were not dried out as the directions stated.  It can be very messy getting the ink stick out of the marker, but if you use not completely dried out markers you won’t have to do all of the cutting and mashing as in the directions (just cut them into 3-4 pieces).

I figure this saves anywhere from $15-$25, depending on materials you have on hand.  Basically for the cost of a pack of crayola markers you can have a set of liquid watercolors.  Buy the washable ones while you’re at it! My mom had a whole bunch of plastic Talenti gelato containers so I plan on using those when I make a whole set for the toddler to create with (thanks Mom!).

I have big plans for coffee filter art (thanks Michael!), and making a gelatin cake!! Doesn’t that look fun???  http://tinyhandsbigideas.wordpress.com/2012/05/31/gelatin-cakes-part-1/

More on Gentle Parenting . . .

I have been thinking yet more about gentle parenting . . . maybe someday I will get all of my thoughts for posts in one place at one time in one coherent post, but for this season of life that is not to be! I also should note I am not by any means an expert on gentle parenting.

I also had this ready to post already and lost it, so here goes again (this time typed in Word first)!

In my last post here I forgot to mention Leland’s other amazing concoction: peas and ranch dressing in his honey/raisin/cinnamon oatmeal!  He ate it all up – I’m glad I didn’t stop his creativity!

I am wondering if we spend so much time concerned with our children’s sin natures that we don’t take our own into account.  Any parenting method would probably work if we were perfectly sanctified already.  I have found myself struggling with anger since becoming the proud owner of a 2-year-old, whereas I never would have thought of myself having any anger issue or temper previously.  And when I am angry is when I am most likely to be a less than gently parent, including yelling, and some physical punishment. I know that when angry is the very time to not use physical punishment!  My main trigger (other than fatigue) I found to be when I was trying to put the baby down for naps.  For a while Leland would play quietly enough, but then he started willfully being loud when he knew he needed to be quiet.  My solution for now is he watches a video while I nurse the baby down for his nap.  It goes against my ideals for limiting screen time, but it is keeping me sane and helping the baby nap.  At most he watches 2 videos a day.  (We don’t have a tv so limiting screen time is a little easier!)

Something I have thought about for a long time is how often as Christians, in an effort to fight the sin nature, we reject all things natural.  I notice this in how gentle parenting methods tend more to embrace age appropriate behavior.  Is it sinful for a 2-year-old to act like a 2-year-old? My Aunt has a theory that Jesus himself acted as any 2-year-old might.  I also thought about this concept when Leland was little and I nursed him to sleep.  There is a popular Christian parenting method that would call this a “prop” for sleep.  But what would I do then with the little baby who fell asleep nursing? I was told it would get harder the longer I waited to stop doing this, but he eventually just started staying awake after nursing and I could lay him down.  Now he loves going to bed! I know Elliot will eventually stop as well.  I think it helps to wait until they are old enough to understand when you talk to them about going to bed and what is happening.  Anyway, other examples of “natural” things many Christians might reject could be chiropractic care, acupuncture, yoga, herbal remedies, babies waking up at night, etc.  I’m not lumping those all together as the same type of thing, just thinking about what things might fall into this broad category of rejecting natural along with the sin nature.

The Christian parenting book I am reading now is not my favorite. I really like many of the overarching principles that focus on the heart of the child and the Gospel, but I do not necessarily agree with the “how” that the author comes to from those principles.  Although the Bible is sufficient for all things for life, it doesn’t give a specific, comprehensive manual for parenting.  We have to be careful that when we hear or say something is the Biblical way that is not just one person’s specific interpretation.  We also need to take into account the whole Word of God and not create an ideology based on one verse in isolation.

Side story: I learned the phrase “it’s not my favorite” from one of the missionaries that led the music camp trip to Namibia I went on in 2004. She taught her kids to use that phrase if they were served food they did not like.  I love how it rides the balance of honesty and tact!

Gentle Parenting

I think I’ve figured out why gentle parenting is making so much sense. At least why respect for our children as persons is becoming clearer and more important to me. 

The other day I dropped one of Leland’s pieces of egg on the floor and he was somewhat upset (reasonably).  And I started thinking about how I would not want someone to yell at me for dropping something or making a mess when it was accident, so why would I yell at a small person when they do so? I apologized to Leland for dropping his egg and talked about how we could clean it up.  

The tricky part is when they are willfully making a mess or doing something wrong.  But maybe still, his goal is not to make a mess.  Maybe he is really interested in how water flows out of his bottle or how cantaloupe tastes in macaroni and cheese (apparently pretty good because he still ate it). Brian teases me for harping on Leland putting things in his drink (for some reason I cannot tolerate that behavior!) but maybe he is learning about spatial relationships and what will fit. Most messes we can clean up.

And then there are the times they look you in the face and knowingly do exactly what they are not supposed to!

I have struggled to reconcile gentle parenting with how to deal with our children as the little sinners that they are. Sometimes that little sin nature is just so apparent!  Is it possible to deal with sin gently? Christian gentle parenting seems to be a minority.  Maybe it is about balancing knowing they are sinners but remembering they are a soul – a soul I can help nurture.