Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Unconditional Love

Here is a recent conversation with my four year old:

J: "Mommy, I love daddy, I love my brother, I love my sister, but I don't love you."
Me: "That doesn't change anything. I am still your mommy, I still love you, and I will always love you."
J: "I love you, mommy."

I may have been offended if my son said that a year ago. This was not said in the middle of an argument. He had put some thought into what he said and decided to see what my response would be. I took it as an opportunity to show him that I will always love him, regardless of whether he loves me back. This is important to me, because I want to raise a child who chooses to love God. God desires that we show Him love. Still, whether we love Him or not doesn't change the fact that He loves us and that He will always love us. We don't earn it, we don't deserve it, it is not forced upon us -- it is ours to receive.

"We love, because He first loved us." 1 John 4:19

Monday, August 27, 2007

Another "healthy" criteria to add to the confusion...

It drives me crazy when companies define something as healthy because usually the products they are advertising as such don't really contribute much to overall health.

If it weren't for blogs like Parke Wilde's US Food Policy, I would have totally missed Kellogg's announcement to limit advertising to children for their products that don't meet a certain nutrition criteria. In one post, Parke talks about Kellogg changing the serving size for Trix cereals so that it can be advertized.

A related post about the froot loops cereal straws showed how this product also meets the "healthy" criteria set by Kelloggs. Some good points were brought out in the comments section:

Kati from Preschool Rock said:
"This shows how implementing a policy based on nutrients alone to define 'healthy' is the wrong approach. It looks like this product fits the criteria Kelloggs set to allow advertising to kids - "no more than 200 calories, no trans fat, no more than 2 grams of saturated fat, no more than 230 milligrams of sodium and no more than 12 grams of sugar." (...) Is this food healthy? It's almost 40% table sugar. I don't think we're teaching children a thing about healthy eating because the product contains 'only' 3 teaspoons of sugar."

On the other hand, Lisa stated that the food is not labelled as healthy, she considers it a treat and that she allows her kids to have one straw a day, which adds up to only one teaspoon of sugar. I wonder how that compares to a glass of chocolate milk, for example...

Anyway, my point is that all foods can fit into a healthy lifestyle, but I wouldn't go by industry's definition of healthy. Consider where the food fits into your lifestyle and make your decision from there.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Any ideas??

My son just asked me what rhymes with curtain.
I'm stumped. I can't think of anything.
So I throw this question out to you.

What rhymes with curtain???

UPDATE: After several hours, I finally came up with certain. Of course, I mention this to my husband and he immediately comes up with the same thing.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

This Day...

It is a common occurence in my household to explain that the food is the same whether it's in a red bowl or a blue one. I often hear, "I don't like that" when something doesn't happen the way my kids want it. So many times I have found myself showing the same ingratitude. Just last night, I was thinking about how I respond more favorably if things are said or done a certain way. But I realized that requiring things to be said a particular way in order to make the message acceptable is really like my son rejecting his spaghetti because it's not in a red bowl. This is not justification to say whatever you want however you want, but rather it is an explanation of how often we take offense to something that is said or done simply because it isn't done in a manner that we deem "appropriate".

Then I read a post by Jennifer (aka the lactivist) that pierced my heart. It brought all that was stirring in my heart to a new perspective. She starts off her post saying, "Sometimes I think about the people that might have been. Not so much about someone not living up to their potential...but about just how close you came to not existing period." Her post, inspired by her grandfather's time at Iwo Jima, ended with a challenge to be thankful for our existence and to make our existence count.

It was not her challenge to make my life count that pierced me, it was the reminder that the lives of those I love count. My thoughts went back to when I was pregnant with my first child. Two people I knew had stillbirths, another friend had a baby with severe spina bifida, and I had a friend on bedrest (who later miscarried). And here I was with an uncomplicated pregnancy and birth. Even breastfeeding was uncomplicated. I often wondered, why not me? Why not my child? I don't have the answer for those questions, but I will tell you that I have not taken any of my pregnancies for granted. I must confess, though, that in the nitty gritty detail of living, I have not prized my children and husband the way I should. I have been so caught up in the the whining, the tantrums, the backtalk, the night waking, a word not spoken in the way I would have preferred, that I have dismissed the laughter, the tenderness, the thoughtfulness, the kindness and unconditional love I have been given by these same people.

A song that sums it up for me is called "This Day". It was performed by Point of Grace in the mid-90's and I sang it when my mother remarried.

This Day

This day is fragile - soon it will end
And once it has vanished, it will not come again
So let us love with a love pure and strong
Before this day is gone

This day is fleeting when it slips away
Not all our money can buy back this day
So let us pray that we might be a friend
Before this day is spent

This day were given is golden
Let us show love
This day is ours for one moment
Let us sow love

This day is frail - it will pass by
So before its too late to recapture the time
Let us share love,
Let us share God
Before this day is gone
Before this day is gone

Words & music by Lowell Alexander

"See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is." Ephesians 5:15-17

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

The power of one...

Today is the last day of World Breastfeeding Week (WBW). I have made several posts about WBW on my infant feeding history blog, but I wanted to post something here too. If you've read this blog long enough, then you know that I am always coming back to the topic of breastfeeding. The more time passes by, the more it becomes dear to me. This post will be more of a rambling nature, but I do want this to be posted today :-)

My idea for La Leche USA's theme, "The Power of One... _____." is:

The power of one phone call.

How many mothers with breastfeeding problems pick up the phone to call a friend, a lactation consultant, La Leche Leader, even their doctor to talk about it? I haven't checked to see if someone has tried tracking that data, but that's beside the point. My point is that some mothers hesitate to call, or just don't -- whatever the reason. Well, I am glad that La Leche League now has a 24hr hotline (1-877-4-LA LECHE). What a wonderful privilege it is to make a phone call that won't inconvenience anyone -- regardless of what time it is -- for free!

I once read somewhere about someone giving a lactation consultant service gift certificate as a baby gift. I thought that is a wonderful idea so that a mom can have that kind of peace of mind if she needs to call on someone. With my first two children, I didn't need to call anyone. As a matter of fact, I have never even been to a La Leche meeting. But I'm glad I called someone regarding my daughter's breastfeeding, as it helped me manage the situation I was in, which was already quite stressful. As much as I have told friends to call me if they need anything, I know that I don't have many of the answers as I am not trained in that area, but I know I could connect them to who does as well as encourage them. I once asked a mother if they had a friend who was a lactation consultant, would they call them for advice. Her answer as a definite yes. So one day I hope to be a friend like that. Nonetheless, I have considered donating to the LLL hotline as part of a baby gift. Not only will this spread the word about the hotline, but it will be my own small way of making sure it remains.

So, if any of you are inspired to comment, what is one thing that made (or could have made) the difference in your breastfeeding experience?

Friday, August 3, 2007


We love doing cupcakes, especially for first birthdays. It's cute, simple, and just the right size for the birthday child. There is no need for a knife, and plates are optional. Cupcakes also work well for class parties, as some schools and daycares apparently require cupcakes. Best of all, there are so many possibilities with cupcakes. Here are some of the ones we have done:

Baloon Cupcakes (from Family Fun)

Froggy Cupcakes (also from Family Fun, with modifications)

Ladybug cupcakes (my own idea), using mini oreos, chocolate chips, red icing and licorice twizzlers.

If you'd like, you can dress up the ladybugs like this. I didn't feel like piping black icing, so I kept it simple.

I don't have a picture of this idea, but I found some mini cars for a dollar and put them on cupcakes, along with some checkered flags made of toothpicks. Very easy.

If you still want the look of a real cake, try the pull-apart cakes. These are cupcakes lined up together and "joined" with a thick layer of icing, which in turn is decorated. An example is this pull-apart turtle cake from the Betty Crocker website. I've also seen pull apart cakes at my local grocery store.

Want more ideas? An internet search will pull up plenty of cupcake ideas. Here is a list of some of the links I like:

On a side note, the computer cupcake image up top came from Family Fun's website, but I wasn't able to find any directions on their site.

As time permits, I will post the other cakes that I have done: Noah's Ark, racetrack, race car, and train.