Archive for the ‘parenting’ Category

I know lying is wrong. It says so in the Bible. It was important enough to be in the Top 10 things To Do and Not Do, according to God. However, any good mom knows a little subterfuge is all a part of doing the job and doing it well.

Here are some examples.

Example #1

Over the year, my kids get a lot of candy. It all goes into gallon bags with their names on it in the pantry. Whenever they remember it exists, which is not every day, they ask to have some. If it is appropriate timing or I can use the candy as a bribe (eat all your kale), I do. My kids do not eat candy frequently enough to ever eat all the candy in our bags and I am certainly not going to eat all of it since I do not want to weigh 500 pounds.

What’s a good mom to do? I can’t just throw all the candy away. They would notice that. Kids are smart and sneaky, just like moms. We have to be smarter and sneakier.

I throw the candy away a little at a time. That way, the volume reduces gradually and they never know. You must be careful, though to throw the candy away in such a way that they will never know, which brings me to Example 2.

Example #2

Kids bring home two categories of trash. Stuff they make that is “priceless” and they want to keep forever and trash people give them. You know what I mean by the latter. Cheap toys that break within 5 minutes, decks of cards with cards missing, rocks, broken rubber bands, twisty ties, jar lids, and kid’s meal toys. You know, all the stuff they never want to get rid of.

If you are not careful, your house will be like Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout‘s and you will drown in garbage. To avoid this, while your kids are out of the house, choose a handful of the trash items and throw them away. Warning: Do not simply toss them into the trash can. You have to bury them under other trash or put them in a bag and throw them away.

People without kids are now thinking I am one crazy, paranoid lady, but let me tell you that every time a kid throws something in the trashcan, they spend a looooong time peering into that can. They know something fishy is going on in their house. If they see even the spec of some beloved item/piece of trash actually in the trashcan. All. hell. will. break. loose. Bury that stuff deep and put some smelly garbage on top of it for good measure.

I am not even going to cover all the things we regularly tell kids which are out and out lies: Santa, the Easter Bunny, or why they can’t watch Thomas the Train. My friend hated Thomas so much she told her two-year-old Thomas was not on TV anymore or Netflix or anywhere. I laughed and was sorry I did not think of that first.

Happy Parenting!


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(For an explanation of this post, see the first post in this series for Ries.)

Today started out better than yesterday, but ended badly.

I woke up this morning around 4:45 to a sound I could not immediately place and then it dawned on me, it was raining. Actual, honest moisture from the sky. It rained for about 5 minutes! This was the 5 minutes the dogs decided, of course, that they had to go out right away or they might die.


Gideon had fun with Chloe and Miles this morning. And guess what, it rained again this morning. At this rate, the grass (which has hardly grown since February) will be 2 feet tall when you get home.

The afternoon was a series of arguments Gideon wanted to have with me. For instance if I tell him the container of juice we have is pineapple, he will argue that it is apple. I wish you were here to help me with this arguing. You know the baggage I have that makes these encounters especially trying. I try not to argue back, however gently, because it is useless and soul sucking. He neither cares, nor wants my opinion, regardless of its truth, and wants to argue for the sake of… whatever I have not yet deducted. Regardless of how I avoid the argument, he is right there with another. I want him to feel like his opinion is valued, but he has to understand that constantly arguing is both hurtful and disrespectful. I am going to try a new approach tomorrow that will involves a heart to heart with Gideon about how arguing makes other people feel.

We had dinner at Lupe Tortilla with some of the ladies from Bible study and their kids. Gideon was great during dinner, even though our food took forever. We sat outside, by the big sand and play area they have there so the kids could play after they ate. I gave Gideon a warning when it was time to go, but made a huge scene and then disobeyed me again when we got to the car. To top it off, he had peed in his pants at some point, though did not tell me and then did it again when we got home.

It was a less than stellar ending to a pretty crappy afternoon.

I hope the well digging is going better than the home front. No amount of chocolate ice cream will make up for me being alone after such a day and waking up to start it again in the morning.

On the bright side, Wash grabbed for and held onto a toy today. He was very pleased with himself when he shoved it in his mouth.

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I just wrote something in an email to a first time mom, I thought I would share because it pretty much sums up the first few weeks.

Being a parent is wonderful. It really is. Just keep telling that to yourself the first few weeks when you wonder what the hell you were thinking. Once you find a groove, everything is fabulous!

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I don’t know what this says about me (okay, I know but don’t want to admit it) but one of the first things that started to sink in when I was thinking about fatherhood was, how do I introduce my children to the Star Wars epic.  This is crucial to their upbringing.  The heart of the matter is the order.  Do I show it in chronological order by universe or by release date?  I finally realized, I don’t have to do either.

First, a disclaimer, I am not a prequel hater that many Star Wars fans have become.  I am also not a Lucas fanboy that thinks that Star Wars can do no wrong.  What I worry about is that my children will be swayed by the visual / audio stimulation of the episodes 1 – 3 and think the older ones look cheesy in comparison.  Most imporantly, how do I build up these characters and this universe and still preserve the big surprises.  The end of Empire Strikes Back was not a surprise to me when I saw it.  I would like to be able to protect the obvious spoiler in Empire Strikes Back, while  building the characters background, and hopefully creating surprises in the prequels that were never surprises to any one who had seen the original trilogy.  There are also lesser spoilers, such as Yoda’s introduction in ESB, that would be ruined by changed order but maybe harder to maintain anyways.

Anyways, here is the order I came up with:

  1. A New Hope (epsiode 4) – This introduces the universe as a whole better than any other.
  2. Phantom Menace (episode 1) – Now we know universe, this introduces us to Obi-wan’s “more civilized time” and his friend Anakin Skywalker.
  3. Attack of the Clones (episode 2) – Continues the story of the Obi-wan / Anakin friendship and the budding love story on the eve of war.
  4. Empire Strkes Back (episode 5) – Imagine the big spoiler here after you have more invested in characters.  How can that be?
  5. Revenge of the Sith (episode 3) – This is how.
  6. Return of the Jedi (episode 6) – And they lived happily ever after.  Right?

I have many thoughts on this but will limit my discussion here.  I will gladly take and respond to any feedback.

–Ries, now I just need to figure out how old until they can watch it and then keep them away from all Star Wars marketing until then.

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Yesterday morning, Gideon, who is two, crawled in bed with me, naked funny enough given what followed, and proceeded to have the following conversation with me:

Gideon: When I get bigger, I am going to have a big twig*
Me, wanting to temper his expectations just in case: Well, I think it will be just the right size for you.
Gideon: No. When I bigger and bigger, I am going to have a big twig!
Me, trying again: Your twig will grow bigger as you get bigger but it will always be just the right size.
Gideon: It will be big.
Me, giving up: OK.

I had no idea that being a boy and having boy parts was not only captivating but contemplative as one considered the future. I am hoping to be spared more twig conversations with the next one and get a girl, whose parts I am way more familiar with.

Ries, of course, was no help and spent the entire time laughing at us in the bathroom as he got ready for work.

*twig being a euphemism for his boy part which he used the correct term for.

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We started this blog in December of 2007 to chronicle our plunge into parenthood as we expanded our family. Sometime around March 30, 2011, our family will expand again.

That’s right. We decided this parenting thing is only halfway crazy and we still have some marbles left to lose.

I had my first appointment with my midwife yesterday. Jackie Griggs, the lovely lady who shepherded Gideon into the world, will be with us for this birth as well. I am 10 weeks along and I heard the heartbeat yesterday. It was a strong 170.

I am not as tired as I was with Gideon but I feel a lot worse. I know that will get better soon though it is a bit of a drag right now.

This second time around has been interesting. While we know what to expect, we also know full well what can go wrong. I am not wasting too much time worrying because I know what will happen will and God will be with us regardless. Our family knows He provides in different ways, even when we do not like manna and would rather have pizza or gyros or sushi.

I have been praying for three things:

    A healthy baby (a little less drama getting there, please!).
    A labor under 24 hours.
    A girl, but I will resign myself to being a Momma of boys if I need to.

I told Jackie my list and she said would like a labor under 12 hours for me. I hope so too.

When we told Gideon about the baby he asked, “For me?” with big eyes. Now he asks me if things I eat are for the baby. He knows the baby is in my belly and that food goes in my belly, so he has deduced that the food I eat is in my belly with the baby. It is amusing.

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Originally uploaded by eprahs

Gideon has been helping me cook since he could climb the step stool to reach the counter. He is proficient at stirring, measuring salt, and stealing food from the prep pile.

My friend Paul, who has left Texas for Missouri, snapped this as we made enchiladas a couple weeks ago. We can be found in these exact places almost every night as we cook dinner before Ries gets home. We both wear aprons. Gideon’s apron is dino camouflage.

I highly recommend this activity if you have kids. Here are a few rules we have for cooking and safety, some of which, we figured out the hard way. Not following the rules means not helping:

1. No crying, pouting, jumping, or shenanigans on the step stool.
2. Do not eat anything unless Mommy gives it to you or tells you it is safe. (This rule was added after I caught Gideon sticking his finger in the juice of a thawing pork loin and licking it. GROSS!)
3. Never grab things off the cutting board.
4. No touching anything Mommy does not give to you.
5. All workers must wash hands before cooking.
6. When we open the oven, stand on the other side of the kitchen on the rug until Mommy says you can move.

I always have to guard the chopped vegetables and olives from Gideon, who would happily eat everything before it has a chance to be cooked!

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