Thursday, October 29, 2009

Stone Soup

::This post was written on Thursday, but Sweetie Heart really was sick. She was down for the count all day on Friday. That's why this didn't get posted until today. Everyone is well now, thankfully!

Yesterday, Sweet Girl was running a fever. It just kept getting higher and higher. She slept most of the day on the couch only waking long enough to eat a few bits of toast and a few sips of water, Emergen-C, and B.R.A.T. milk. Her fever peaked out last night at 102. But her fever broke in the night.

Yesterday morning I took Sweetie Heart's temperature before sending her to school. She was fine. I gave her some olive leaf extract, and colloidal silver just to be safe. Everyone slept great last night. Sweetie Heart had a little cough, but nothing to worry about. I dropped her off at school this morning at 8. At 9:33 the phone rang. You know where this is going don't you. It was the school nurse calling to say Sweetie Heart had a low fever. Of course she does, I didn't check her temperature before sending her to school this morning.

She came home and climbed into bed. She read for a bit and then laid down and fell asleep. She slept for a little and woke up. I heard her crying and asked her what was wrong. Her class was reading Stone Soup at school today and making stone soup tomorrow. Because of her fever today she can't go back to school for 24 hours after the fever breaks. No school for her tomorrow. That means she will miss the stone soup.

Super Mom springs into action! I tell her we can make stone soup for dinner tonight. I was planning to make soup anyway since there are people sick here. Now I didn't have to figure out what kind to make. Immediately, her spirits rose and she sprung into action. She wanted to help make the soup. Even though she still has a fever she's not acting like it. Since she was helping Sweet Girl wanted to help, too. Of course, there is plenty to do to make the soup. Mostly I pulled things out of the fridge and freezer, put the broth in the pot and I got to chop the celery. The kids did the rest.

Here are some pictures.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Good Information

This past week we had a 4 day weekend. I decided to use the time to get a little information from my kids. Sweetie Heart has been asking if she can set her own bedtime. I have told her there are certain things she needs to be able to do before she can. A few of those things are : getting herself up on her own, being ready to leave the house on time, going to bed when she's tired. Pretty basic stuff. She hasn't been able to get herself up yet, but she has been getting ready on time.

This weekend I decided to see if she could go to bed when she was tired. So during family meeting I told both girls that there wouldn't be a bed time on Thursday or Friday. The look of delight was beautiful. There were many promises of getting along and going to bed at a reasonable time.'s how it played out.

Thursday night we read scriptures and had family prayer at 6:30, which is when we usually do it. Then we let go. The girls got ready for bed and then came back downstairs and played. And played. And played. Sweet Girl sat with Webby for a bit while he studied. Sweetie Heart read a book. Sweet Girl got out toys to play with. Sweetie Heart came downstairs to see what everyone else was doing and to make mischief with her sister.

At 10pm, Sweetie Heart said, "I'm going to bed."
Sweet Girl said, "Not me!!"
Webby and I both said, "Me too."
So Sweet Girl said, "Oh, all right. I guess I will too."

When I went up to tuck them in Sweetie Heart said to me, "I stayed up too late. But it's really hard to go to bed when Sweet Girl is still up." Very good information! Sweet Girl probably would have stayed up until she fell asleep where ever she was, in the middle of playing. Now I know that neither of the girls are really ready to pick her own bedtime for now. I didn't really think they were ready, but as you can see from previous posts, I have been wrong before. So now I have good information. For Sweetie Heart equality and what others are doing is more important then what she feels she needs. Sweet Girl just wants to go and go. But she doesn't want to be by herself when she does it. It was clear to me that both girls were tired by 8:30 or 9. But when given the freedom to choose, for the first time, they pushed themselves a bit too far. But I was true to my word. I let them stay up the next night as well. They stayed up with us until we went to bed at 10pm again.

What I learned was they are not ready to set their own bedtimes. They aren't will to listen to listen to the signals their bodies are making telling them they are tired...yet. So during the next break I will give them a extended bedtime instead. We will try it out again another time.

When I sit back and observe my kids, they will give me all the information I need. They know better what they are capable of then I do. They want to stretch themselves and learn new things. It's my job to say yes, to observe and to guide as needed. When I do this I am amazed at how capable they are. Sweet Girl peeled and cut up a carrot using a sharp knife today, simply because I said yes. Sweet Girl made a wacky cake from scratch for dessert tonight, because I said yes. I have to do a lot of back tracking right now. I'm very used to saying no, there isn't enough time, blah, blah, blah. What I'm thinking is, I don't have the patience to help, teach. Whatever, that's my problem not hers. Is it any wonder that when I ask her to help me she doesn't want to do it? So, often I am saying no and then turning around and saying yes. No is easy to say, yes is a lot harder. But, you know what? Yes is so worth it!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Well, There Goes That Theory

So I have had this idea in my mind that my kids cannot get things done on there own. Not only that but if they weren't doing it the way I would do it and in the time frame that I thought was reasonable they were going to fail.

I've been schooled! OR is it skooled?

Here's what happened. In Vicki Hoefle's Parenting on Track program (you didn't actually think I wasn't going to mention her did you?) one of the first thing she encourages from the parents is: do nothing and say nothing. For a week you nothing and say nothing to you kids. The practice gives you good information about what your kids can or are willing to do.

Now I've been "doing" the program for awhile. But it's really hard for me to keep my mouth shut! I just nag and badger, get frustrated and make everyone feel bad. Then I blame it on my kids that we are having a "bad" morning. And really it is my fault. So I decided that it was time to take the plunge. No Talking for me in the morning! And that is no small feat for me.

Here's what I wrote to Vicki on her Parenting on Track blog:

I wanted to share with you the experience I had this morning. It started with the alarm going off. My daughter (7) doesn’t really wake up to her alarm. So I went in to open the blinds and to tell her it was time to wake up. She had a really hard time getting up this morning. She was really tired. So I made sure she was awake enough, told her I was not going to wake her again.

I decided that today I was going to everything I could not to badger and nag her like I do most mornings. I got in the shower, got out, got ready myself, and went down stairs. She was still in bed and it was 7:15. Now that it is cold and dark in the morning she doesn’t want to get out of bed and complains about being cold. I understand that. But we have to walk out the door for school by 7:50 to get to school in time. I pressed my lips together and did what I needed to do to be ready in time.

She slowly came downstairs at almost 7:30. Argh… I almost opened my mouth, but didn’t. She wanted to talk and she doesn’t seem to be able to do that and anything else at the same time. I did tell her she could keep talking but she needed to do other things at the same time.

I continued to do what I needed to do, she kept doing what she needed to do. She came up to brush her teeth as I was getting the baby dressed. She was Brushing her teeth as I was walking down to get ready to get in the car. I was waking out the door to put the other 2 in the car as she was loading her backpack and getting her shoes on. Normally, I would be “encouraging” (read nagging) her to get moving. But I didn’t, I just kept moving. Normally, when I nag, she gets upset and begins to get negative and upset. Today she just stayed focused and got the job done. I decided I would just get in the car and wait for her to be there. She got in the car and we were ready to go at 7:51. I can’t believe it. She short changed herself so many minutes and she was still ready on time!! When I dropped her off she said, “Oh, no snack today. I forgot to pack one.” Just matter of factly, no tantrum. When the mood is already darkened, by me, she fusses and cries about things like that.

So a quick run down. Me+ no nagging+ patience= happy, un-pressured daughter who is ready in time!

This is what I have wanted morning to be like. I was always so worried about her not getting to eat, going unprepared, forgetting things, not brushing her teeth. In the end none of that matters. Like you always say, it’s the relationship that matters most. When I choose not to fight or badger or nag; I am choosing the relationship. She was in charge of herself this morning and everything worked out better than when I get involved! As I just step out of the way things work out the way I wanted them to all along!

I did ask her what time it was a couple of times. BUT both times I really couldn't see a clock. I do admit that I did do it partly to get her to be aware of the time, but it was for me as much as for her. Usually I remind her to keep track of her time. This worked much better.

Thank you again for sharing the skills with me!

Here was Vicki's response:

Hallelujah Sista.

Gosh, it takes so much courage for parents to step out of the way. And look what happens. Congratulations. Now, be prepared for some slipping backwards and do not pay any attention to it.

Now that you know she CAN, set that image in your mind and do not, under any circumstances, let it go. Keep it. Keep seeing this capable child repeating this exercise in independence until that is who she becomes.

Oh the joy of parenthood. Thank you so much for sharing.

I've also let her go to school without her homework folder, haven't nagged her about doing her homework (which she didn't do at all for a week), didn't "encourage" her to study for her spelling test, haven't "reminded" her to pack her lunch or backpack.

It's not easy. Today was not pretty. Well, it wasn't that bad, but I did start to nag a bit. It's hard not to when they go through the house like a cyclone and don't seem to see the mess they are making let alone pick it up. It's not easy to watch them dink around when I know they want to get up to the library for story time. They ask if they can go but don't do what needs done so we can get there on time.

Yes, I get frustrated. Yes, I get tired. But at the end of the day I know that this way is better. It makes my family happier. And I choose the relationship with my kids over the stuff in our lives. They will get it, it's just baby steps for all of us!


Yes, that was a squeal you heard! My BFF Vicki Hoefle came to my house yesterday!!

I stayed up extra late cleaning my house. And I got up extra early to make 2 different kinds of muffins. All about putting on a good show. Not really, I'd clean my house and make muffins for any of you if you'd come for a visit. I promise! But I do like to try to impress just a little. But let's face it, I have small children AND I live in an apartment. So even though I cleaned it was still a bit cluttered. But I don't think she cared much. Did you Vicki?

It was a great morning! We spent it getting to know each other better. You know, all of the history stuff...where are you from, what brought you here, yada, yada, yada. We talked about our kids and life. It was wonderful. Sweet Girl was a bit stand offish. Not a real big surprise. She gets like that around new people. Once she gets to know Vicki a bit better all bets will be off. And the real Sweet Girl will appear! Squeak was as cute as he always is. He's just the sweetest little boy. He slept, and she watched him. He slept some more and she picked him up. Then he started...well squeaking and groaning like he does. She just drank him in. We all do!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Have You Been Watching?

Well, I hope so. Because Vicki, at Parenting on Track, is giving you the opportunity to take her class for free! And that is awesome! All you have to do is tune in live (if you want to be able to ask questions) or log in whenever it's convenient for you and watch on MomTV. It easy and it's free! So tune in on Monday nights at 9pm...or whenever you want.

Don't worry if you haven't seen any of the classes yet. You can log in now and watch all of the classes she's done thus far. I've been watching and they are a great refresher. Go there now...or when you have a few minutes!

Monday, October 12, 2009

I found this in some stuff of my grandma's. It was clipped from a newspaper back in 1970. It's still, if not more, applicable today. I've been wanting to share it for awhile now.

I haven't always agreed with this. If I had read it 15 years ago, I would have scoffed at it, mocked it, maybe even been offended by it. Now I am ready to embrace it. I feel it to be so true.

Open Letter to Woman

I AM man.

I WANT you to be what you ought to be, a personification of:

BUT…while you ask me to regard you as more than a mere sexual object, DO NOT prohibit my doing so by distorting your womanhood.

DO NOT be random in giving the treasure of physical intimacies and then expect me to value you more than you value yourself.

DO NOT, especially when we are with others, abandon that modesty which indwells your nature, for I depend upon you to be my touchstone of moderation.

DO NOT use crude speech, and mock my efforts to make my words to you respectful.

DO NOT applaud the public vulgarities of those who, in the name of artistic expression, disclose their contempt for women and depict you as a slattern.

DO NOT be fooled by the exploiters who would convince you that femininity is a weakness and virtue is retardation.

YOU are strongest when you are most feminine.

YOU progress when you embrace virtue.

REMEMBER that I will accept you at your own evaluation of yourself.


I WILL spend much of my life in concern for your welfare.

I WILL want to provide for you, to protect you, to accept your love and to give you mine, for it is only by uniting with you and doing all these things that my life becomes truly meaningful.

SO, uphold my image of woman, that I may more easily be the man you want me to be!

~written 8 March 1970

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Catch

Have you ever been looking at your children and just get this little catch in your throat? Almost like a hiccup but you know that if it went unrestrained you could be shedding tears of happiness.

That little catch usually takes me by surprise.

::It happens when I pick up Squeak and look down at his precious face. He's so new and so sweet and fresh from heaven. Oh, the things he could teach me!

::It's in listening to Sweet Girl making up songs and sing to everyone and no one.

::It's in catching a glimpse of Sweetie Heart out of the corner of my eye, and for the briefest of seconds seeing her as a teenager, growing faster than I can imagine.

::It's in watching my kids step out of the bathtub and noticing how long their legs and how big their feet are.

::It's in the smell of sleep in my girls room and the sleepy, "I love you" in my ear.

::It's in the hugs and kisses that are freely given at any time.

This mom thing is hard. Sometimes I don't know how I'm going to get through the end of the day. But I am given the little catches to remind me how very blessed I am!