Thursday, January 28, 2010 |

My new obsession

I made my order. The cloth diapers should be here soon!

Warning: This may be my new obsession.

I remember my friend Bonnie telling me a while back that there is a whole culture of cloth diapering. It is so true. (And on a side note, while trying to decide if this is for us, or more specifically for KRIS, Bonnie suggested that Kris could go over and have a chat with her husband about it, to see how he, as a dad, enjoyed cloth diapering. We both laughed and thought that would be a hilarious conversation to eavesdrop on.)

I am just so looking forward to being a little nicer to our friend, the Earth, as well as to our friend, the Pocketbook. I'm glad not to be putting chemicals next to my kids' skin 24/7. And I'm excited to put those cute little things on them!

We went with Gro Baby Diapers. Besides all the things we loved about them, they have also committed to having fair treatment and wages in their factories - of which they even have photos on their website. I'm glad they're manufactured responsibly.

My other favourite part is the diaper sprayer we ordered. It hooks into the clean water line of your toilet, and sits nicely on a little hook when not in use (and can be shut off to avoid messes by curious little hands, of which we have 2 and eventually 4!). I'm hoping to save on using the flushable liners by just being able to spray the poop right off into the toilet. I read some reviews on them, and everyone gave a 5/5 and said they're indispensable if you cloth diaper. They also said it's super easy to install - we'll see. :)

I guess I sound like I'm advertising - I'm not. I'm just that excited. And I need things to be excited about these days. So, for right now, it's diapers.
Friday, January 22, 2010 |

147 million orphans

Today, while reading Kisses from Katie (an amazing blog), I discovered another amazing blog - 147 million orphans. They sell necklaces made from magazines by Ugandan women. They also sell really cool cow bone hoop earrings. I just love the idea - fundraising, recycling, giving hope and dignity to people in a developing country. Check it out. The jewelry would make great presents. Or, to just keep for yourself... :)

Again, it inspires me to be doing something more. It can be so simple.

The restlessness continues...
Friday, January 15, 2010 |

Terrible Twos?

It hardly fails. I mention that my son is almost 2, and far more often than I care for, my words get met with a groan, and "Oh, the terrible twos". Mmm... how encouraging.

Now, Sam has his moments. But so do I. (Oh gosh, so do I!) But to refer to an entire age group as "terrible" seems a bit over the top to me.

I've kind of wondered if its just OUR reaction to things, and our own issues, that make it terrible or not. Kris and I got a flat tire coming home from church in the city on Sunday. A really nice highway maintenance worker stopped to help, and when he saw that Kris had it handled, decided just to leave his truck with the lights flashing parked behind us to make sure none of the idiots driving would hit us. It was really nice of him. He saw that Sam was sleeping in the back seat, and asked how old he was. I told him he'd be 2 in a few weeks. It was so neat, because he said his kids were 10 and 12, and how much he just LOVED the age Sam is. He said he loved how they learned stuff, and got to be more independent. And even though having a 12 year-old girl was tough on him sometimes, it seemed, he still delighted in that stage too. What a change from some of the comments I've been getting from strangers.

We talked about it for a bit, and I said, "I wonder if people think it's such a terrible age because they don't like letting go of control?" I'm a person who likes to be in control. But I'm learning to let that go. I'm definitely not perfect. I've noticed, the more I try to control Sam, or take away some of the freedoms he can handle, the more he acts out. Yet, if I just let him be who he wants to be, and wear rubber boots with his sweater vest if he'd like to, the less issues there are. It's just amazes me how the more little freedoms and choices he is given, the less fuss he makes about following the rules that aren't an option. Hmmm... we certainly still have some tantrums, and Kris and I still get frustrated, but if we can remember to let go of some control, it makes a huge difference. I feel like this is a revelation for us. And it's helping the twos to be terrific, and delightful, and completely enjoyable, the way I think they're supposed to be. (I may have to re-read this post once our kids are getting into the teen years. I feel a lot of the same rules probably apply!)

I just really appreciate how God has been moving and changing me into the parent He wants me to be. It's not always easy to see the areas that I need to work on in my life, but it's really rewarding to parent in a way that I never thought myself capable. I always thought I'd be strict, tough-as-nails, overly-structured, and really controlling. Yet, I'm learning to be more gentle, and let the rules slide when they don't really matter, and be gentle and calm. It's definitely a process... But I am so thankful to be surrounded by so many shining examples in my life of this kind of mother. And God always lets me know which parts of me need to be weeded out.

I'm thankful for these things. And for my wonderful, growing, learning, delightful little 2-year-old. And for a husband who is on the same page. God is good.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010 |

What Sam Taught Me

Becoming a parent has taught me so much more about who my Heavenly Father is than I knew before.

It always astounds me to think that God loves me SO much more than I love, or could ever love my Sammy. And I love that kid a LOT.

We officially turned Sam's crib into a toddler bed last week. The transition has been going really well, despite his getting out of bed a bit earlier than normal. (Because, "Hey, I can!") Last night, about a half hour after he went to bed, I heard some thumping around coming from his room. Then, a quiet knocking at his door, followed by a little voice calling, "Mommmmmmy... Mommmmmy".

Now sometimes, especially after a particularly hard, long, or frustrating day, it can take everything in me to go in there and deal with him. I go hard for 12 hours a day, so though I love him so much, I'm also thankful when bedtime comes, and I can put my feet up and enjoy a few hours of something different.

But a lot of times, I like when he needs a little more of me. I went in there, and my heart swelled as I saw my little boy standing at his door, eyes squinty and blinking while they adjusted to the hallway light. Then he saw me, and smiled. I scooped him up, and we sat in his rocking chair together. I kissed his head and cuddled him in tight. He stroked my hair and face, and looked up at me, while his eyelids got heavy. We stayed like this for quite a while. I thought back to the days when he was a newborn and we sat together in that very chair bonding while I nursed him for those many long hours. And now he is so much bigger, but I was so thankful that he still fit so well in my arms.

In a moment I realized what a trust Sam has in me. He trusts that I will come when he needs me. He comes boldly to me, and because I love him so much, I scoop him up in my arms and cuddle him. He doesn't even question it. Now, I am only a human, and my nature gets in the way and I make many mistakes and let Sam down, too. So how much more does our Father, who is perfect, want to do this for us? How much more boldly should we be able to come to Him, and trust that he will take us in His arms and hold us as long as we want? I don't think that I trust Him the way that Sam trusts me. I would like to change that.

Something else I can add to the list of important lessons my 2 year old has taught me...
Monday, January 4, 2010 |

Dear Crappy Alberta Weather,

I hate you right now.

Yeah, you're kind of pretty. And yeah, you're breaking seasonal records. But I can't even be happy for you, because I'm mad.

I'd just like to go for a walk with my son without worrying about severe frost bite. Is that too much to ask?

I know I live in Alberta. And I know that winter in Alberta is your favourite time to do your thing.

But please, for the love of all that is good, stop the madness.

Consider this strongly-worded letter the first of many complaints if this ridiculous behaviour keeps up.