Wednesday, September 29, 2010

still going strong-ish

This is my mantra lately: "I'm doing this for the thrush."

Read week 2 of my sugar-fast at the Mother Runner.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

sugar fast

I'm doing a little sugar fast for a month and blogging about it at The Mother Runner. Come check it out.... and leave a comment if you want to boost my self-esteem a bit. It's been a bit of rough day.

I'll just say this here. I'm on day 3 of this sugar fast and also on day 3 of Anna whining/crying/screaming all day long. If ever a woman needed chocolate, it would be today, and I couldn't eat it. Talk about frustrating.

Monday, September 20, 2010

smarty pants

The other day, Sam was reading an article about potential 2012 presidential candidates for the Republican Party. Anna came in from the porch, looked at the screen and said, "Party. P-A-R-T-Y" and continued playing.

Apparently, she's learning how to read.

Later that day, however, I got her to eat an entire piece of lunch meat (she goes on hunger strikes when she get's a cold...) by letting her hold a chocolate chip cookie in between bites. She never once actually took a bite of the cookie.

So let's not jump to any conclusions about her cleverness just yet.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

a mother who's starting to know

A confluence of thoughts and experiences led me to blogging today:

Last week I read that 500 women were raped in Congo in July and August by both rebel militias and government troops and cried whenever I thought about it for the rest of the day.

I've been thinking and praying about how to have more patience with Anna and how to say yes more and no less.

My mom shared what was said at an area conference about mothers being online and/or working while at home.

I read King Benjamin's address about teaching our children.

I listened to an interview with Julie Beck and her daughters on the Mormon Channel while I folded laundry, cleaned the kitchen, and got dinner started.

With all this stewing in my mind, I've been really analyzing how I spend my time. Do Anna and Levi have my attention while they're awake? When am I crossing over from relaxing down-time to brain-draining wasting time? Am I productive with the time I'm online? Are my priorities right? Are household matters getting attention before my personal entertainment? Am I pulling my weight in our marriage and parenting duties?

I used to devote quite a bit of time to reading the news. But on that day that I read about the rapes in Congo, I thought, "What good is this doing? What on earth can I do for those women, for that country?" I said many prayers for the Congo that day, but it was truly draining to feel the weight of those wrongs all day and feel helpless to do anything about it. There are others who can act. World leaders, church leaders-- it's their job to know about these things and decide how to act, and what aid can be given.

But my job is to provide a peaceful and happy home for my family. And to do that, I need will and energy. When I spend to much time online (reading the news or otherwise), reading magazines, shopping, or watching TV, I can feel that energy being suck away by the world, into its problems and injustices, into self-doubt, into wanting what I don't need, into thinking I need to do or be more than I am.

So more and more I am exercising my will and closing my browser. In the time I used to spend on the news or blogs, I do family search indexing. All the parenting magazines get a quick browse for helpful articles (like one I recently found with FABULOUS ideas for teaching toddlers about all sorts of things) and then get tossed in the recycle bin. I've unsubscribed from about a dozen email lists.

I can tell things are getting better. I am saying yes more often. Anna's happier, I'm happier. I create more, sew more, cook more, and have more fun doing it. Anna's more polite and helping with chores and becoming amazingly creative.

We're no where near ideal yet. I still slip into vegetation and have plenty of bad habits yet to be tamed and broken. But it feels so good to know I'm on the right track.

Julie Beck said, "Mothers who know do less. They permit less of what will not bear good fruit eternally. They allow less media in their homes, less distraction, less activity that draws their children away from their home. Mothers who know are willing to live on less and consume less of the world's goods in order to spend more time with their children—more time eating together, more time working together, more time reading together, more time talking, laughing, singing, and exemplifying. These mothers choose carefully and do not try to choose it all. Their goal is to prepare a rising generation of children who will take the gospel of Jesus Christ into the entire world. Their goal is to prepare future fathers and mothers who will be builders of the Lord's kingdom for the next 50 years. That is influence; that is power."

I feel the power and I'm starting to know.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

let's go running

I'm running a 5K on October 2nd. I thought it might motivate me to start up a regular exercise routine, which it (mostly) has. And I'm loving running through Acton Town Forest and around Nara Park.

This is not me, obviously, nor is it in Acton. But it is a runner, and it is in Groton, which is very near Acton and this provides an accurate visual aid for showing you the beautiful scenery I get to experience on my runs.

My mothering/running/fitness-blogging friend Lizzie is joining me in spirit and will be running near her home in Brooklyn. She's encouraging the rest of us (or the rest of YOU, rather) to jump on the running in October bandwagon. Or walking in October. I truly believe almost anyone can finish a 5K with little to no training, and with a month to prepare, you can do even better. So what do you say? Are you with me?

Does it ever seem like all I do is post about all my friends' good ideas? Maybe because I do. I feel much more comfortable as a cheerleader and loyal supporter than instigator.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Jesus loves Anna

My friend Jocelyn is kicking off 30 days of blogging about The Family: A Proclamation to the World today. She's invited anyone to join her, and after reading today's post, it got me thinking about how I'm teaching my family these old-fashioned (ancient, honored, time-tested) ideas.

On Monday, for Family Home Evening, we finished up learning all the verses of Book of Mormon Stories.* The last verse is about Jesus Christ visiting the Americas and how He blessed all the little children there.

We all went into a dark room and I told Anna about how it was dark and scary, but then the people saw a light descending from the sky. And when I turned on the light, I had a picture of Jesus. I then showed her a picture of Jesus blessing the little children. I said, "Jesus loves little children like you."

Anna then said, "Jesus loves Anna. Jesus loves Mommy. Jesus loves Daddy. Jesus loves Levi." And now when I turn on a light in a dark room, she says, "Jesus brings light!" I am so glad my daughter knows Jesus loves her and will be a light in dark places.

In the Proclamation it says, "All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny." My daughter knows this.

*Thanks to Rachel Frame for planning out dozens of FHE ideas for toddlers and preschoolers. If you know Rachel, you've got to ask her for her ideas for kids. They're perfect.