Walgreens Well Beginnings Diaper Review

 

walgreens 4 diapers

 

I don’t do a ton of reviews on my blog (they take time). But, when the opportunity to review a product I already love, or know that I will likely love comes up I go for it. Mom’s Meet emailed about an opportunity to review Walgreens Well Beginnings diapers and I applied right away. I love sharing things that work for our family…especially if they save us money AND work great.

walgreens diaper pack

For the past 6.5 years solid we have had between 1 and 3 children in diapers. I know diapers. We have done everything from cloth, to natural diapers, as well as traditional diapers.  Since discovering these diapers when our twins were babies they have been our standby. Even when we were cloth diapering we often used disposables when we were out of the house. When the twins were tiny I found a rocking good deal on Walgreens diapers. They were cheap, so I stocked up. Which, coincidentally, turned out to work fabulously for us. They were very comparable to the name brands in quality and features (a bit more like Huggies than Pampers) and we loved that they were cheaper. Now, on our 4th child we are still rocking the Walgreens diapers.

And for all y’all who are curious regarding what they actually look like I snapped this little pic of the inside of a size 4.

They have double gussets around the legs, are fairly soft, trim, and have stretch at the top of the back and around the tabs for a great fit.

walgreens open diaper

 

Along with the pack of diapers, I received a bottle of Pediatric Dye Free (!) electrolyte drink, paraben and phthalate free baby wash, and some Well Beginnings Sensitive wipes. I love that they got it right and made a dye free electrolyte drink. I like to make my own when my kids are sick, but for some parents the last thing they want to do when they have a sick kid is Google recipies.

If you have any questions about the diapers leave a comment and I will be sure to reply!

 

Ordinary and Bored

Ordinary
I have a pretty active brain. It is always swirling, always 10 steps ahead, always looking for solutions, and craving something to conquer.  As a stay at home mommy the internet often feels like a lifeline to the outside world. I am so very thankful for it. It provides connection, ease of planning, communication, shopping, and a way to research.  It also brings everything into my kitchen in very close and real way. I can rattle off a list of people who have diseases, cancer, sick kids, relational issues, financial struggles, pet problems, house problems, big new ideas, new diets, new houses, new babies, new jobs, and the list goes on.  For a person with a spinning brain, but only one current and primary calling (wife/mom/teacher) the internet is both great and terrible.  Great when I can reach out and ask a someone for prayer, or catch up with an old friend, or fend off feelings of isolation …terrible at leading me to think that something really bad/exciting/new is or should be just around the corner.

It is also bad at leading me to think that that I am nothing special.  Sometimes I don’t feel like I have anything to hang my hat on. Nothing that will fill my brain with the right thoughts, or purpose.  I am not a skilled crafter. I can sew, but not great. I can do stuff with paper, but nothing amazing. I have no idea how to create awesome graphics. I am not a great photographer. I do not have a “brand”. I do not have a hopping blog. My house is not overly clean, or dirty. I like to organize, but am not obsessive about it, nor do I have the storage to “give everything a place”.  I can cook, but I don’t always love to.  I have a degree, but don’t use it in a traditional sense. I like to learn, but am not a veracious reader. I am a “planner,” but am realistic that I really do not have the time or energy to be on any big board, committee, or plan any big exciting endeavor or event (and still have enough to give to my family). I am a bit prone to depression (mainly when not sleeping) and anxiety, but not in a debilitating way that halts life or forces me to “conquer” it.  I have lots of friends, but not as many close friends as I would like. I am not super fashionable. I am not a runner, gym club member, yogi, “enthusiast” or professional. No special label. I am a wife and mom and follower of Christ. The accomplishments come slow. There is nothing flashy and a lot of the work would not be labeled as “fun”. Although the ironic part is that fulfillment and purpose are really all around.  I want to be the one raising my children and teaching them. Even when it is hard. I know them and they know me. We are a team God created.

I am so thankful that God has blessed me with a relatively peaceful life. But, sometimes I am left feeling not so special, and just kinda bored. This is ironic because there is little people chaos swirling around me most all of the time.  It is a very hard job to raise four little ones who are five and under. To be home with them and raising them, teaching them, and training them all day/every day…and often on very little sleep. I am so glad God has not given me more right now. I could not do more. I don’t have the time or energy to be anymore than mommy/wife right now.  I would probably crumble under the pressure. But for someone with a brain like mine it is hard to know how to just be at peace with just being. Not having a label.  Not having a traditional project, or special skill.  Being a wife and mom is all I have ever wanted.  When my professors would ask me what I planned on doing after college I always struggled to answer that question. “You should go on to grad school!” No, thanks. “Have you decided on a career path?” Yes. Sometimes I would tell people I knew my calling, other times I would not. For my very liberal minded professors I was pretty sure that a “good student” should be much more than a “mother” in their eyes.  I knew this was a lie. But sometimes I still struggle.

Bored
There is no question in my mind that being a mother is a very high calling. I know I am doing important work. I know this has eternal value. I am happy with my stage of life. I love having young children. I love language acquisition, I love raising babies, I love teaching my little ones new things, I love answering their questions, I love most things about this gig. I am not wishing away these years. I want to enjoy every stage. But the reality often feels like lots of long dark cold days spent constant picking up. Constant training. Babies who prefer to be held most all of the time, and few real and tangible accomplishments because of the difficulty at getting anything “big” done.  Slowly putting out the biggest “fire” around the house.  Nothing is accomplished easily.

I don’t want these days over, but it often feels like I am waiting for something. For Daddy to come home. For the weekend. For vacation. For something other than the 7:30 am when Daddy leaves to 6:00 ish when he comes home.(Because I need to admit “9-5” is a big fat lie.) Because for homeschooling/stay at home moms there are not many coffee dates, lunch appointments, or meetings to move the day along. There are just lots of meals to prepare. School to fit in here and there as attention spans allow.  And nap time.

Until I can accomplish getting dinner on the table on a regular basis (rather than waiting for my hubby to come and cook) I feel like I have no business following my whims or “great ideas”.  This is my calling. This is my job, my city, my home, my minivan, my family. I am content. But my brain and heart sometimes struggle with the ordinary, the slow, and the sameness. The gradual passage of time, seasons, and the difficulty of accomplishing much more that what is necessary to keep our home functioning.

For the time being I will pray for contentment. I am living out my calling and I will try to be who He created me to be. Even when it feels mundane. Even when I feel ordinary. Even on the long dark days. Even with a migraine. Even sleep deprived. Even in a body I don’t always want to claim. Even when he works late. Even when the kids have colds. Even when it is hard.

Our Suppliment and Vitamin Routine

(Images and photos are not working currently. I will try to add them again soon.)

Lately, I have had a few friends ask what supplements we use at our house.  I will start out by saying that I am NOT an expert.  I am just a mama who has done quite a bit of research, and have some smart friends who have helped me along the way.

We believe that good nutrition, and a diet full of healthy (when possible) and (mostly) organic foods.  We also believe in traditional ideas about food and its preparation (check out the book Nourshing Tradations). Food is the foundation to a healthy body and immune system. We are most definitely not perfect. We do the best we can with the budget we are working with and the time we have. Some days we eat well, other days we don’t. You have to find a good groove in these areas. It has taken us years to get to this point and we still have a long ways to go.  By taking gradual steps it really has been so fun and not that hard. You will rarely regret the time you spent making a nourishing meal…or that your hubs spends making a nourishing meal. 🙂

With that being said, there are a few different supplements and vitamins we use at our house.

Here is what we are currently giving the children (and often ourselves too).

1) Probiotics. Most people don’t eat a lot of fermented foods, or good quality cultured foods with probiotics.  Many people eat yogurt, but it is often full of sugar which negates a lot of the benefits, or eats a variety that has few strains of the good stuff in it.  Over time we have also decided to limit our dairy consumption somewhat and this is why we supplement with a good probiotic. Why take probiotics? Because approximately 80% of our immune system is located in our digestive system. Having good gut health and flora is crucial to our health in so many ways. Check out this article for more information.

What to look for- Make sure that the probiotics you are buying in the store are refrigerated. Check to see how many “billion” cells per gram the brand has.  The higher the better. Also, the more strains the better  (lactobacillus casei, bifidobacterium breve, etc)

We use Udo’s Choice Infant’s Probiotics for the children right now. It is in a powder form and can be easily shook on top of something they are eating (like applesauce), or mixed with something like a spoonful of elderberry syrup.

Source-I take Udo’s Adult probiotics (about $15 for 60 count)…hubs is working on it. After he got hit hardest with a cold bug I think he is realizing the value even more. These can be purchased from Vitacost, or your local health food store. If ordering probiotics online make sure that they will be “cold shipped” to preserve the good stuff.

If you or a family member has taken antibiotics recently this will be hugely important for you. Get on a good probiotic as soon as possible with the highest “billion” number you can find. Your local health food store can help you with this.  If you are currently on an antibiotic you can start taking a probiotic, just be sure to not take them at the exact same time.  Take your antibiotic, and then a few hours later take your probiotic. Continue the probiotics after your prescription has ended as well.

 

2) Vitamin D- This is a biggie for feeling well and preventing the flu. After the twins were born I was feeling VERY run down and quite miserable. I went to a regular doctor and finally an endocrinologist that ran every test under the sun and took 14 viles of blood. What showed up? Nothing but a vitamin D deficiency (I was also suffering from serious lack of sleep that was contributing as well). People who have great vitamin D levels are FAR more likely to fend off the flu. “The risk of children suffering from flu can be reduced by 50% if they take vitamin D, doctors in Japan have found.”Read more from the source HERE.

Source/Dose-We use Genestra Brands or Biotics D-Mulsion 1000 for the whole family (You can purchase any drops, just modify the dose appropriately) . I give a drop or two to the children (1000-2000IU), and hubs and I take about 4-5 drops (4000-5000 IU). We purchase this at Vitacost. (New customers get $10 free to spend and shipping is free after a $49 dollar purchase.)

 

3) Fish Oil. We take Nordic Naturals Omega-3 fish oil or Green Pastures Fermented Cod Liver Oil. We prefer FCLO, but often use Nordic Naturals because is more easily sourced, is a well known brand and they take purity seriously.  When you are consuming fish products you want to make sure that you are being careful about things like mercury and other toxins.  I trust these brands and am willing to pay a bit more for the peace of mind.  We all use the Omega-3/FCLO and just give a smaller dose to the children.

Source-I purchase the Nordic Naturals at Vitacost for the best price 0r at our local health food store if I have a coupon. I purchase the FCLO through Azure Standard (a co-op).

Recently I ran out of the Nordic Naturals Omega-3 for awhile and I eventually noticed a huge difference. My excema flared up, a joint in my foot that hurt before I started taking fish oil started to hurt again after a long time, and my skin got more red and blotchy.  It turned into an interesting experiment I had not planned on doing. It was nice to know that these things actually are helping us.

Dose-Of the Omega-3 I take a teaspoon or more a day and give the kids about 1/2 a teaspoon. For the FCLO we just follow the directions on the bottle.

My naturopath said that omega 9 can be a bit inflammatory, and the omega 3 is the most important one for me to get the highest dose of. That is why I chose this version of fish oil.

 

4) Elderberry– We LOVE elderberry.  You can purchase it at the health food store, or easily make it a few different ways. We use it mainly for its amazing benefits for the immune system. Check our this post I wrote awhile back with more info on making Elderberry syrup which includes my sources and dose.

 

We also give the Littles a multi vitamin here and there, vitamin C when needed, things like honey mixed with apple cider vinegar (like Braggs brand), and garlic when it looks like they might be coming down with something.

Other good articles

How to Kick Strep Throat Faster and Better Without Antibiotics

Why You Shouldn’t Get The Flu Shot

 Once again, NOT an expert. Just a mama trying to care for her family.

Our Kindergarten Plan for the Twins

school dry erease

I am always curious to hear about what curriculum and tools other homeschooling families have chosen to use.  Now that there are so many curriculum options, it makes the choice a bit harder. When I was homeschooled as a child there were far fewer choices (although I am sure we all got by just fine).  Don’t let this list overwhelm you. It is really just a small stack of books and workbooks and one weekly activity outside the home. We are still deciding if we will do other classes or activities. This mama likes to keep it simple (especially with a new baby).

I really believe in play-based learning and lots of time for creativity. I don’t anticipate spending hours at the table each day, but pockets of time here and there to stay roughly on pace with our books. If they are not enjoying something, we will take a break from it and try something else for a little while.  I really want to instill a love for learning in the children and they have years ahead of them. These are very important early years.

I shopped around online and eventually made the trip to Exodus Books in the Portland area. I needed to get my hands on the books to compare the different options. I also really wanted the in-person advise from someone who has seen all the curriculum and knows what they are talking about. It was so valuable.  I went home and made my final choices and ordered through their website. They have great shipping rates and you can get an unlimited amount for only $5. The other thing that sold me on buying from them is that they have a huge selection of used books.  I was able to scour the internet for lists of books people loved and then go and look for them used on their site. It is hard to find an online resource for cheap used books where you don’t have to pay to have them shipped individually (which no longer makes them cheap or easy to order).  Also, supporting a local homeschooling family rocks too. I priced all our books at many sites. Some had a couple of them for lower prices, but with higher shipping it was a wash. I also wanted to order everything from one site and support the family that spent time helping me talk through the options.

Here is our plan for the year…

 school roller

We will attend Classical Conversations class again on Tuesdays this year. This will cover a good amount of science, geography, math, english grammar, Bible, timeline, Latin, and fine arts. I will use a tri-fold board with our memory work on it and some songs to help us memorize the new material each week.  We will supplement with a bit of additional Science in the form of casual nature studies and nature notebooking. We will also add in our regular math curriculum and continue to do “Family Worship” times (a family devotion) with Daddy at the end of the day for more Bible.

 

explode the code

Reading/PhonicsExplode the Code books A, B, and C- We did not get very far through these last year and will continue to use this series. We will move onto books 1, 2, and 3 after we finish these. (Purchased from Exodus Books)

70 Basic Phonograms Cards by Wanda Sanseri– These are pretty similar to the phonics in The Writing Road to Reading, but my book (which kinda overwhelms me anyway) was missing the cards. I am just going to follow the basic instructions and information that comes in the pack of cards to teach the sounds. I am hoping this will be what helps the twins gain the tools to learn to read. So far I really like this basic approach. (Purchased from Exodus Books)

 

singapore essential math

Math-

-Singapore “Essential Math” Kindergarten books A and B- We started these books awhile back after ordering their books for this school year and we are LOVING them. There are a few different versions of Singapore and this one was obviously the one I choose. It was a bit cheaper and I liked the simple format and the fact that I did not have to buy more than the book “A” and “B” to complete the system.   I spent a lot of time choosing a math cirriculm and looked through a good amount of the popular brands.  I felt like this was the “middle ground” between the ones I was interested in.  It is visually interesting, but it black and white which still allows for a lot of creativity. My daughter LOVES to color the pages after finishing the assignment (which helps my more anxious learner get excited). I am so thankful we choose this one. At the rate they seem to be moving through book A we might need to supplement with something else or move onto the first grade books when they finish both K level books. (Purchased from Exodus Books)

life of fred apples

Life of Fred “Apples” –This is a literary approach to math. It is a story you read and learn from. We are excited to try it out, but not ready to use it as a stand-along curriculum as some have said you can do. Daddy is helping us read through this book.  (Purchased from Exodus Books)

 

a reason for handwriting

Handwriting-A Reason For Handwriting book A- After looking through a few options I choose this for a few reasons. It is visually interesting but not overwhelming. It also follows the same simple style of letter formation that I have been teaching them already (and similar to Explode the Code). It also has them practice and copy Bible verses which I loved. In the back of the book is what they call “Scripture Border Sheets”. They are lined sheets with cute images along the side for the children to color after they write the weekly verse on “Day 5”.  This will give them a nice finished product to be proud of each week. This also happens to be the First Grade level. I preferred it over the Kindergarten for a few reasons and will be challenging, but not over their heads. If we continue this book into their first grade year, I am fine with that.  (Purchased from Exodus Books)

 

draw write now

Art-Draw Write Now Book One- This teaches drawing in a fun step-by-step way.  We have tried a similar book and the twins loved following along and creating things they would not be able to create on their own in the same way. It also includes some applicable copy work on each page which you could use for a lot of your handwriting practice if your children have already mastered forming all their letters.  (Purchased from Exodus Books)

 

Other books we will be using:

the nature connection

The Nature Connection: An Outdoor Workbook for Kids, Families, and Classrooms. (Purchased used from Exodus Books)

pacon primary journal

Pacon brand Primary Journal “Picture Story” (A composition book that is empty on top for a drawing and then has regular and dotted lines on bottom to help young writers.) We will likely use this for our drawing and nature study. (Purchased from Learning Palace)

And also…
Sharing Nature With Children (Purchased used from Exodus Books)
Christian Liberty Nature Reader Book K (Purchased from Exodus Books)
A Hive of Busy Bees (Character development) (Purchased used from Exodus Books)
(I will add to this list as I find and remember more of our books we bought for the year).
Our newly 3 year old really likes to learn along with the bigger kids. She will do a lot of similar thing that I will modify when necessary.  When she gets bored or things are over her head she will be free to go off and play by herself (in the play area, with special toys, with the iPad, or on busy bags).
*Disclosure-If you purchase through the links in this post I may earn a small percentage and you will be helping to support this blog. Thank you!
Hope this helps someone. I am not an expert, but if you have any questions about the choices we made or have any great suggestions I would love to hear them! Comments make my day.

 

 

Life in Bullet Points #3

 

  • Attempting bread baking again. Started a loaf yesterday and exercised real patience to try and soak it for the first time.  My friend Sarah had a recipe that already had the soaking instructions incorporated and I could not help but soak it…although it was a little painful to wait even longer. Currently the dough is rising by the (gas) fireplace and I have high hopes. If it knows what is good for itself it will turn out. -Update-Bread fell a touch, but turned out yummy and with great soft texture.

  • Having one of those weeks where the children seem to need my constant direction, help, and training. Love those sweet ones, but looking forward to a time when they play together more peacefully and moods are a bit more even. Some weeks are good, some are hard. As I type this Little Lady just went in and woke sweet baby up trying to video tape her sleeping. WHAT? Guess we won’t be starting school yet this morning. We will get through and next week will be better. 🙂 But look at them…can you resist that?

 

  • Loving our new Berkey water filtration system (Royal size). After an unusual number of tragic rare cancer cases of the same type occurred in our area of town, I was feeling a bit helpless. Environmental causes are in the back of some peoples brains. We won’t know for quite some time if a cause is found, but at least I know we are drinking clean water.   On a recent night away Little Lady was drinking bottled water with a pretty label on it from a nice hotel and said, “This is nice, but I wish it was from our FRESH water at home.” Little man has all on his own declared it “Our BEST purchase ever!” I have really not made a huge deal about the filter so it makes me giggle that the tots are so passionate about it. (I also got the fluoride filters to get the fluoride out. To consume or not to consume fluoride should be a personal decision. Not sure why they think they need to make the choice for us and add it to our water supply…rant over.)
  • Saturday we pick up our first Bountiful Basket (we chose the organic option)! Can’t wait to see what is in it. Why do I get so excited about groceries? Seems like I spend a good chunk of time shopping for and feeding this family of mine. I am so thankful that hubs is a great cook and is so good in the kitchen. It really takes some pressure of that he often cooks for us. Love that man.

When the days get long.

Sorry things have been a bit more quiet around this blog lately.  Hope this day finds you well!  This post is just to share where I have been at lately and let you know that you are not alone if things are rough at your house too.  This mama thing is not easy. 

Lately the days have been a little long…especially the week days.  I love my sweet children and being a stay at home mama.  Nothing huge has gone down at out house. I am blessed and the children have been healthy …but, WOW.  Mothering these little ones has been intense.  We usually average 1 or so “rough” days, 1-2 “good” days, and the rest “okay” days in a week.

The past couple weeks my days with the children have all been “rough.”  I cannot remember having this many long days in a row since right after our youngest was born.  I was recovering from a c-section, had 3 in diapers, could not lift any of them, and had to move them through every daily task (as they really could not do much themselves) on very little sleep.  It was hard, but we got through it.

Lately I am dealing with new levels of sibling fighting, 4 year olds who are very smart and determined, a 2 year old who is equally determined and considers herself 4.  She is more “two” than the twins ever were.  She is pretty sure she should be able to do everything they can do and most definitely “holds her own.” Little Man is giving me a run for my money.  His brain never stops and this tot’s stamina is an amazing thing.

As they grow I am also trying to let them have more freedom around the house and it is a rough transition (with crafts, creativity, playing in different parts of the house etc.).  The house can quickly spiral out of control and teaching them to clean after themselves is a bit exhausting.

I feel like 2 of my 3 little ones are simultaneously at harder stages of development than they have ever been at before. We have had days where I have basically just stood amidst them and carried them through communication.  I was constantly working with them, disciplining them, texting my husband to tell him that THIS MOST DEFINITELY IS THE HARDEST JOB IN THE WORLD, loving them, and hopefully shepherding them the right way (most of the time).

There were times I got really angry….and then later apologized.  I was offended they would act this way towards each other and toward me. I was tired. I was pretty close to feeling “done” a few times (whatever that would mean).  I hid in the closet and ate a cookie, did my devotions more intentionally, took more rests during naps, and I am still standing.

The word going around is that consistency is the key.  I am here to tell you that YES, it is so important. But it is not a guarantee that your little ones will obey or immediately turn their behavior around.  We try to be pretty consistent with the little ones.  When things got extra intense I became more aware of it…and things were still rough for awhile. It can take time. If you are struggling with your children like I am, keep going!

For the first time I am experiencing some of the typical mommy feelings in a fuller way than I had before.  I now know what “mommy guilt” feels like, along with feeling like a “bad mom.”  I know I have been listening to lies and discouragement that is not from God.

We have had lots of conversations with the children about important stuff.   There has been lots of gospel talk (Jesus, sin, our need for a Savior, etc.), lots of prayer, we are implementing a new ticket system, and I am hoping we are turning a corner (or will soon).

Some seasons of motherhood are fun, while others require extra patience and perseverance.  This post is a bit humbling to write. Just coming out from my rock and keepin’ it real.

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Check out this awesome post my friend Anna happened to share as I was finishing up this post.  It says it all so much better than I can.

 

I am linking up with Far Above Rubies. If you are visiting I would love to hear from you and come and visit your blog!

Game Mode Mama (Alternative title-Sergeant or Shepard)

I have my game face on much of the time I spend with my children.  Not necessarily a grumpy face (although that happens plenty), but like I am trying to accomplish a mission.  Acting as if my resolve and focus will get us safely and sanely through our day.  Maybe my gumption (do people still use that word?) will keep us all on track?  The almost constant use of phrases like “Sit in your chair until you finish your food,” “Use loving words,” “Can you try asking that again the nice way?” “Please stop screaming.” “Do unto others,” “Please be kind,” etc. leads me to think that it is me and my words getting us through these (often long) days.

Is this the way we should handle our task as mothers? I don’t think so.  We will not win our children’s hearts with our barked demands or by hollering things through the house.  Yes, we need to use our words to guide our children.  But we should also remember that the tone we use ourselves will be reflected in our children.  I often wonder, “Why are my children always so demanding?” Part of it is their nature. They are young and often very focused on themselves. The other part is probably what they are seeing modeled.  If I am spending most of my day in “game mode,” making semi-stern faced requests,  that is what I am going to get back.

Are all of my children’s behaviors my fault? No.  I cannot take all of that on. BUT, I lead by example.  If I am not acting in love or am more focused on results and staying on track, my children will notice.  Mommy will not be fun to be around. Mommy will be more of a Sergeant than a Shepherd.  I want to lead my children to Jesus and help be a picture of who He is to us.  How do we want Jesus to treat us? With firm demands and a lack of patience (not that he ever operates like that)? I don’t.  I rely on His grace.  I want to show that same grace to my children.

 

Some verses I found this morning that speak to some of these things:

“Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:31

“The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.” Proverbs 14:1

“Everyone who quotes proverbs will quote this proverb about you: ‘Like mother, like daughter.” Ezekiel 16:44

“But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children.” 1 Thessalonians 2:7

“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 7:12

 

Real life example-It took me 25 minutes, 1 long cuddle, giving the baby 3 more helpings of berries, 2 tantrums, one coloring project, and many “Mommy phrases” to get me through typing 2 of the sentences in this post.  When you allow yourself to be “in the moment” with your children and meet their needs, things might MOVE SLOWLY.

 

Today’s Goals-Be sillier, laugh more, loosen up, pray more, be joyous, watch my tone, love more loudly.

P.S. Blogging does not magically turn me into “Super Mom.”  I totally still struggle just like everyone else.  But, I have hope.

 

We are linking up with Raising Homemakers today! If you are visiting from there I am so glad you stopped by!  I would love it if you would leave a comment with your blog so I can come over and “visit” with you!

“I kinda like myself,” she said.

“I kinda like myself” she said in a soft voice as we were sitting together in church.  She was drawing in her notepad, and generally going about her business and what she said totally caught me off guard.  I was floored.  I looked at Hubs to see if he had noticed and whispered what she said to him.  He looked over and said, “You are beautiful.” Wanting to affirm her, but not embarrass her or probe more into what she meant.  We knew this meant a lot coming from her.

She is a bit more cautious than our other two. Her twin brother is quite talkative and a deep thinker.  He always has something funny or interesting to say and could run the show if we let him.  He often takes up more of our attention in discipline, and gets more laughs and praise as a result of his personality.  She on the other hand, is a bit more fearful in new situations.  She often asks for my help when doing art projects or trying to write things.  She does not want to mess up.  For awhile I have been a bit unsure of how to lead this sweet girl.  I feel that some moderate shyness (normally when she is feeling uncertain of her surroundings) is only part of what she feels inside.  So many parents seem to want to “un-shy” their children.  That never felt right for me.

I have told my husband on a couple different occasions that if there is one kid we could totally screw up, it would be her.  I don’t want to contribute to any of her struggles.

God has slowly been showing me ways to help her.  She is the way she is for a reason. God created her.  I don’t want to try and change her.  But, I don’t want her to be fearful.  I don’t want her to be lacking in the confidence she needs for whatever God will call her to someday.  So we have made the conscious decision to try and encourage her as much as possible.

Yesterday Hubs told her he loved a painting she had done earlier in the day. She got an awkward smile on her face.  She did not know what to say. (She probably looked like I did when someone complimented me on my weight loss earlier in the day.  I felt like a deer caught in headlights.  Why is it so hard for me to take a compliment?) I knew it was because he was pointing to a part she had me help her with.  I directed his glance towards the part she had done by herself and he told her how nice it looked. She beamed. A natural happy smile that showed she was proud of her picture and thrilled he had appreciated her work.

This parenting thing is tricky. My brain quickly begins to swirl and take things too far: Too much confidence and we are afraid we lack humility.  Clean the house instead of being with your children?… and our priorities are out of whack and our children won’t know they are important to us.  Help a child complete her art work?… and she might have no true sense of accomplishment.  If I build them up too much will it cause them to think that the world revolves around them?  These are the things we might assume and apply to everything.

When she said those sweet words in church I knew it was big for her.  As my parents noted, she had came to a place some people never reach.  Am I there? Usually not. I leave a group of people and try to retrace all my words.  Did I say something stupid? Did I hurt someones feelings? In an attempt to cover the silence, make myself look a certain way, or make someone feel better did I talk too much? Did I make them feel welcome?  Why am I never anybody’s “best friend”?  My insecurities come out when I am around other people.   Why can’t I be more like my husband? Why can’t I be more easy going?  Will my children be as messed up as I am?  I pray that they will not.  I also pray that in time God will continue to work in me and quiet the voices in my head.

As I talk to good friends I learn that we are not as different as I thought.  Certain circumstances take us to places of self doubt. Different situations and relationships bring these feelings to the surface.  For me, a lot of it started in Jr High and High School youth group when I was constantly made fun of and was the butt of many jokes (hard for me to even admit or type).  Now, when I open my mouth I am afraid of being what they always acted like I was.  An outsider.  Never really fitting into either “group.”  I still find myself in those situations.  Stuck in two worlds.  Trying to connect them, make sense of them, and decipher God’s plan for me.

Will my daughter still struggle with confidence? Of course she will. But, seeing these strides in her through that sweet phrase was affirming for us.