Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Please help me. I'm ready now.

It all started with a phone call to my midwife. I needed to ask how many I.U.s of Vitamin D I was supposed to be taking. She answered my question, but the thing is, my midwife has this way of seeing things, feeling things, that you don’t even realize are pressing issues. She could feel my wearing down. She could feel my need for a time out. The questions came, “What are you doing to take care of yourself right now?” “Who is helping you take time away from your duties so you can care for yourself?” “Who is around you that can take your kids for an afternoon so you can do something for you?” The answer, of course, for me, “Uh….. what? Um, no one. That just isn’t going to happen. It’s not possible.” The thing is, I am with my kids 24/7. We cosleep, we homeschool, I attend Lovey’s violin lessons, there just isn’t a time when we aren’t together. Occasionally, once a month or so, I go to dinner with my best friend, but it is usually after an extremely trying week and it feels more like an escape than a treat. I’ve always had the idea that my family is my sole responsibility and any time away from them could be traumatizing. I’ve had friends offer to let my kids play for an afternoon without me, but the feelings of “what if they aren’t comfortable there?” “what if they need me?” “what if they get scared” “what if they don’t get along with the other kids” “what if they eat something they are allergic to” start coming and I just can’t do it. No one knows my kids like I do. When they are so little, it is so hard for me to leave them. Will the toddler be ok with someone else changing his diaper? Will they understand his words? Do they know that “booch” means juice, and “ca-ca” means tractor? Do they know what to look for when Lovey’s blood sugar is getting low? It just seems too much to ask someone else to be responsible for. It feels overwhelming and the handful of people that I’m comfortable with my children spending time with, without me, either work and are unavailable during the day, or have young children and I feel that I don’t want to burden them with more little people. I also know that I do get very worn down. Sometimes it is all too much. Sometimes I want a time out. I know I can’t do it all, all the time. My midwife could see something coming that I couldn’t though. A breaking point. As we spoke, and she was telling me “You can’t keep going like this. You have to take care of you. You are entering into another phase of a tiny person needing you for everything. You have to take care of yourself so that you can care for your family. They know you love them, and they will be ok spending time with someone other than you. You need to let people help you. Now.” I knew it was true but I just couldn’t see it happening. Then, as if by prophesy, I got sick. Really sick. My body had worn down. I no longer had a choice. My midwife recommended I stay in bed and just sleep until I was well. I didn’t fight anymore. I couldn’t. I called friends and asked for favors. A friend sat with my kids while my husband took me to the Dr. and then brought the best homemade chicken noodle soup I’ve ever eaten for dinner. Another friend took my kids for an afternoon while I slept. My husband was off for two days, so I stayed in bed. Another friend turned her living room into a ball pit and let my kids go nuts while I went to my weekly appointment with my midwife. By the weekend, I had managed to stay in bed most of the day, every day. I still wasn’t better. Then, my sweet little Nature Baby got sick. With the flu. It felt like a death sentence. If I get the flu, how am I going to deal. I can’t get the flu. I’m 38 weeks pregnant! I have to have a baby in just 2 to 3 weeks! I can’t get the flu! Hubby had to stay home. There was no other way. He had to take care of Nature Baby, so that I could quarantine myself. Two days later, hubby got the flu. Oh man! It was bad. We were all so sick and trying to take care of each other. I was checking temperatures and dosing out ibuprophen then slinking back to bed. My mother in law text that weekend to see what we were up to. When I told her we were all sick, she told me she’d bring soup for dinner. I’m pretty sure she arrived that evening with angel wings on her back. She brought dinner, fed the kids, went to the grocery store, bathed the kids, got them ready for bed, took care of Hubby and I until we went to bed. Then she came back the next morning, cooked, got Lovey dressed, took her to church, came back with lunch for the kids, went to the grocery store to get the kids favorite snacks. And popsicles! Never in my life have I felt so cared for. She knew what needed to be done and she just did it. It was exactly what I needed. I never would have asked. The thing is, I’m ready now. I didn’t have a choice. As everything escalated, I just couldn’t hold on to my “what ifs” anymore. I needed help. And I needed it now. I know that there are people I can count on. There are people who genuinely want to help. They don’t mind turning their living room into a ball pit. They enjoy cooking dinner and bringing it over. They think my kids are fun and enjoy them. They aren’t afraid of the flu. They don’t mind if I cry. Or sob uncontrollably. They are here.

I learned so many lessons. I learned that I can’t do everything all the time, and be ok. I learned that people care. I learned that my kids can benefit from other people’s care. I learned that spending time away from me might be actually good for them. I learned that it is ok to ask. I learned that there are people who can be counted on. I learned that others want to bless me. I learned that letting go is easier than I thought. I learned that when your guard is stripped away, it feels more like a blessing than a wound.

As I enter this phase of newborndom again, I realize I will need help. I’m ready to receive it. I’m ready to say, “Yes, the kids would love to spend the afternoon with you.” “Yes, we would love a meal.” “Yes, I’d like to take a nap.” “Yes, the kids would love to go to the park with you this week.” “Yes, please hold my baby.” “Thank you!” I’m ready.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Pirate Party!!!

I LOVE LOVE LOVE planning parties. It is like my thing. Before having kids I always tried to get my husband to let me throw birthday parties for him, and he just never wanted anything to do with it. He is not into people or parties like I am. Now that I am a mom, I get to plan parties for my little loves and they LOVE it! My daughter had a hard time deciding between a space themed party and a pirate themed party. I loosely planned both and finally she decided about a month ahead of time that she really wanted a pirate party. I knew doing a pirate party would mean making everything since I didn't want skulls or swords on any décor. I usually like to plan for months and months and start gathering supplies and making decorations weeks before the party. I was a little rushed in getting everything for this party, but it turned out exactly how I envisioned and Lovey had a fabulous time!

The party prep started with this outfit. I knew I wanted to make Lovey a Pirate dress but I wanted it to be less costumey and more cutesey. I went to a local fabric store and chose several different prints with a nod to nautical. We also got her a crown/tiara since she was the birthday princess, but she said it was uncomfortable and didn't end up wearing it for the party.

(Just a note about pictures, these do not do the party or décor justice. My camera/photog skills are not top notch, and most of the pictures are cropped really tight, but you can get the idea.)

The party was a pirate theme with chevron print and stripes in pink, white, and navy blue. The party was originally planned outside, but the weather forecast called for 40% chance of rain and 40 degree temps, so I moved half of the party festivities inside. Usually November is beautiful in our part of the country and I always have Lovey's parties outside. I was a little bummed that we had to do some of it inside. I made all of the decorations you see here. The tea jug, I covered with leather-like wallpaper scraps from my scrapbooking stash and twine. The number and letter, are paper mache found at our local craft store that I covered with scrapbook paper. For snacks we had planks (graham crackers), peg legs (pretzel sticks), and cannonballs (black seedless grapes). I love making the cakes for our parties, some come out better than others, but I'm still learning. This was a vegan chocolate cake with vegan frosting. Cake toppers were pieces from the game Who Shook Hook and I made the paper banner from the same scrapbook paper I used for the pennant banner on the table front.

I had three activities planned as well as the treasure hunt. The first activity was the Plank Walk. My husband and I built the plank and set it up in the yard. I wanted the plank to be safe for kids of all ages, so we used a 2x6 and used 3 inch blocks so it would only be 5 inches off the ground. We bought one 2x6x8 and cut 3 inch sections off one end. We nailed the blocks to the bottom of the board in 4 evenly spaced sections.  I made foam eye patches for the kids to "earn" after walking the plank.

I used this eye patch as a template to create skull-free eye patches for the kiddos!

"All ye Pirates, to earn your pirate wear
You must walk the plank if you dare!"

The next activity was the boat race. The kids colored a piece of white paper then I helped them fold it into a boat. We filled a kiddy pool with water and plastic alligators and gave each kid a straw to blow their boat from one side of the pool to the other. They had so much fun with this simple game! Even the big kids enjoyed it.

"Thar she blows! Create a boat that you will race,
Blow through the straw to set your pace."

The third activity was making spy glasses. We saved paper rolls and cut small pieces of paper to fit the roll. The kids got to color their paper, then we taped it to the roll. They used them to search for the buried treasure. I don't have a good picture of this, so here is a picture of the pennant banner on our swing set and the picnic table we turned into a ship! Lovey and I painted the sail.

"Use paper and crayons to decorate each one unique
You will use them as the treasure you seek."

The last activity was the treasure hunt!!! The best part for me by far! I bought a really cool chest from our local craft store and filled it with treat bags, beads, and coins. I sewed the treat bags from muslin fabric and filled them with rings and mini crowns for the girls, and bouncy balls and soft foam balls for the boys. Also included in each bag was an all natural fruit strip.

I made the map out of scrapbook paper and leather-like wallpaper, and tied it with twine. I drew out the map, numbered with each clue they were to find. The clues were hidden around the yard and as they found them, they would add that piece to the map.

I printed the clues on paper I already had and tore and burned the edges,
 then tied on the map pieces with twine.

Ahoy Pirate Princess and Friends!
If you listen carefully and follow the clues,
You will find a treasure waiting for you!
The Birthday Pirate Princess will lead the way,
To get started let's all say Yay Hey!

Clue #1 For your first clue, you must look in a tiny house
Too small for a pirate, too big for a mouse.

Clue #2 Next you must find the place pirates by swingin'
And climbin' and slidin'.

Clue #3 Find the spot with leaves of green
Where squirrels run and chase and glean.

Clue #4 So close to the treasure ye all be.
The treasure is buried between two small trees.
X marks the spot so look all around,
Treasure may be buried above the ground.

We used a large planter to bury the treasure in so it would be easy for the kids to dig up.
We wrapped the treasure chest in a black t-shirt so that the chest would stay clean.

I originally planned to use shovels and hooks for the kids for dig with, but I couldn't find shovels anywhere this late in the year. My husband suggested wooden spoons and it worked very well!
We switched to hooks toward the end because dirt was flying everywhere! Also, the treasure was not buried very deep. They all loved the wonder of the treasure! They were so excited to see the treasure chest open and grab a bag, necklace, and coins!

I also made these hooks using paper cups and foil. These were sooooo easy!



Tuesday, November 5, 2013

My baby is perfect, except for this one thing.

Your baby is born. He is perfect. Ten fingers, ten tiny toes. Two squinty eyes. One perfect little nose. His little lips find the cutest pout. He is perfect. Except for this one thing. We are told for some reason that his penis is a mistake and needs to be altered. All parents of boys are told this! Every boy born has a birth defect, according to some medical professionals. That skin at the end of his penis, that is a defect and must be removed for his sake. Parents are told that if left as is, their precious baby boy will be exposed to more infection, disease, and possibly not look like everyone else. Here is the saddest part, we believe it. I had Lovey almost 5 years ago. Everyone was circumcising their sons. Had she been a boy instead, would I have followed the Zombie Train and had my baby boy’s penis cut? I’m not sure. I don’t remember reading or researching circumcision when I was pregnant with her. It is possible that if she were a boy, we would have not known better, and she would be circumcised. Now, Nature Baby is 15 months old and totally completely whole. By the time we had him, we had been enlightened. We knew that circumcision was not something we could ever do. We just felt like it was the most absurd thing ever to do to a newborn baby. God created that baby. He is perfect. Every part of him. Even his penis. God didn’t mistakenly put skin where it didn’t belong, on every male. He created our bodies exactly how they need to be. That skin has more function than just covering the penis. Once you research it, it is impossible to believe that circumcision is necessary, helpful to the infant, or even tolerable. If you research circumcision, and still decide to do it, you have not researched it enough. It is a major surgery that involves cutting off a part of your newborn baby. With NO pain medication! Circumcision just isn’t necessary. Circumcision can lead to other surgeries and complications. I know several parents whose young boys had to have an additional surgery at 2 years of age because “his circumcision wasn’t done right, and needed to be re-done.”

There are many reasons parents decide to circumcise their boys.

 One is just because everyone seems to do it, so it must be right.

Another may be because their doctor acted like it was no big deal.

One more reason is because fathers want their son’s penis to look like theirs. I have a lot to say about this. When do fathers and sons compare penises? Men, do you know what your dad’s penis looks like? Does it look exactly like yours? Do you look down in the shower and think, “I’m so glad my penis looks just like my dad’s.” Women, do you know what your mom’s vagina looks like? Does your vagina look just like hers? Would you have been ok with your mother agreeing to a surgery when you were a newborn so that your vagina would look more like hers?  

Another reason is because parents want their kid to look like everyone else. They don’t want their child to be different. The fact is the majority of males born in the United States are being left intact. Whole. Uncircumcised.

Another reason parents circumcise is that they feel that it is required by God. You can research more on that here and here.

Once you research circumcision, and watch a video or two about the procedure, I really think you will see that circumcision is not best.

There are support groups for parents who have circumcised their sons and now wish they hadn’t. If you have circumcised your son(s), and now regret it. Know that you are not alone. You can find healing and move forward. When we know better, we do better. Give yourself grace for everything before that. Link here.

Your baby is perfect. Every part of him! Love.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Her first broken heart: Deep Feelings

It happened so suddenly. And so unexpectedly. My daughter’s first heart break. Four and a half years old. She just found out that her very (new) best friend in the whole world had to go back to Texas. Our neighbors’ niece was staying with them for an extended time. She and Lovey made fast friends. They played well together and were two pees in a pod. KK was much more adventurous than Lovey which complimented her quiet nature perfectly. Lovey loved KK from day one. Then the unexpected, KK told Lovey that she lived in Texas and she was going back in a few days. Lovey protested. “You can stay here with your Padan! You can live here and we can play together every day! Don’t go to Texas!” She was sad and mad and tried everything she could think of to stop this tragedy. It was so hard to see her in so much pain. I suggested the girls draw each other a picture so that they could have a special reminder of the fun they had together. I also took a picture of them holding their drawings so that we could send the photo to KK in Texas. As KK left our house that day to return home to Texas, my daughter’s heart broke. She became overwhelmed with sadness and ran to her room in a puddle of tears. I went to her and she could not even speak, only whimpers then sobs were heard. She was sitting on her bed, holding the drawing from her beloved friend. Tears streaming. I tried to hold her. She wanted to be alone. It was so hard to let her go. I wanted to hold her in my arms, to tell her it was ok. That was not what she needed. She needed to feel this. I quietly backed out of her room, only going to check if she needed me when I heard her whimpers fade. Even then, she didn’t want me to hold her. She was dealing with her first heartbreak and she didn’t want her momma. As hard as it was, I wanted her to have the space she needed to work through her feelings. She emerged from her room holding the drawing and asked if we could find a special place on her shelf for her most beloved drawing. I wrote this poem while reflecting on her heartbreak and her deep feelings. For she is a deep feeler.

Your heart is broken

Alone you sit

Tears falling

I wish you would let me go to you

Hold you

Tears tears

Tears are on my face

Why do these tears come out of my eyes

Take these tears away

Put my tears back

I want my tears

I want to dry your eyes

To make the tears stop

Your body fighting against you

I want to stop the pain

I want to hold you

Please let me hold you





Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Peacemaking not Peacekeeping: What we have learned about marriage.

My husband and I celebrated our 7th year of marriage a few weeks ago. I can say without doubt that we are more in love now than we were 7 years ago, or three years ago, or yesterday. Or even 12 years ago when we first started dating. We have not had an easy time of marriage. There have been plenty of tears, fights, and long hours of prayer. In fact, in those 5+ years we dated before getting married, there were plenty of arguments with God about whether this whole thing was really going to work out. He assured me that it was His plan for us to marry, and so we did. We both entered marriage with some preconceived ideas about what marriage was. I absolutely believed it was a fairy tale. My husband would adore me. I would serve him dinner and he would praise my cooking. We would spend every second together, holding hands, talking about our dreams. In love. My husband had the idea that marriage meant freedom. No longer living with parents, hanging out with his friends all night, don’t have to answer to nobody, freedom. You can see that our visions of marriage were very different! He was dying to hang out with his friends and work on engines all night, I was dying to go for walks and watch movies cuddled as close as possible all night. I wanted to lay out his clothes, and serve him dinner, and talk about his day. He wanted to do his own thing, his own way, in his own time frame, without someone asking a million questions. It took us nearly 4 years to work out all these kinks! Having children helped me to let him be his own person without trying to parent him. And he eventually grew to appreciate my obsession with being with him constantly! I truly adore him and he really loves that now. And he truly adores me.

We have come such a long way in these 7 years of marriage. There are so many things we have learned along the way. Here are few things we do every day that make our marriage not feel like work.

·        We appreciate each other--out loud! We try to live in a state of thankfulness. We tell each other when we are thankful for an act, a mood, a reaction, a thoughtful gesture. It is common for my husband to say, “Thank you for cooking supper, it was so good and I know you put a lot of love into it.” It is common for me to say, “Thank you for changing Nature Baby’s diaper, I really appreciate it.” Or “Thank you for working so hard for our family. I know you had a really hard day at work and I really appreciate everything you do for us.” Telling someone out loud when you appreciate them does so much for their attitude, self-esteem, and character. Bonus—this spills over to the kids too! Lovey often thanks us for many things throughout the day.

·        We are a team. We do things together. We each do what is necessary in the daily life of this family. We don’t keep score or say “I always have to bathe the kids, why don’t you do it.” We each do what we are good at, what we like to do, and some things we don’t like to do, to get everything done. When one person seems to be overwhelmed, the other picks up more duties until that person is refreshed and ready to take over. We do it because we love each other, and we genuinely want each other to be happy.

·        We spend time together. We don’t get date nights as often as we would like. We have gone on one date since Nature Baby has been born (a year ago) that I can remember and we took him with us. We still feel connected and it is because we make spending time together intentional, even if it isn’t just us. We go for a walk as a family nearly every evening. The kids are happily strapped in the wagon, and we get to walk side by side and talk and laugh, and enjoy nature and each other. Even in busy weeks, where we don’t seem to get time to talk as much as we’d like, we make a point to check in with each other. Whether it is a phone call during my husband’s lunch break, or a kiss while passing in the kitchen, we make an intentional connection.

·        We fight fairly. We don’t argue a ton (we did plenty of that in the first few years of our marriage), but when we do disagree, we do it gently, while considering the other’s view. We try to see the other person’s view point and take into consideration what that person is feeling, thinking, and believing. We understand each other, our hearts, and our goals for this family. When emotions rise, tempers flare, and hormones surge, we don’t resort to ugly fighting, name calling, badgering, or abuse. We consider the other person, the impact our words might have long term, and we try to be diplomatic. When we know we have crossed a line, we apologize. Being honest, I’m not really a fighter. I tend to stop talking cold turkey and walk the other way. I get so worked up about the possibility of hurting the others person’s feelings that I tend to not say anything, even if it would be helpful to the situation. I often have to come back and say calmly what I feel caused the argument and what would help change it. My husband will admit that he is quicker to anger. He tends to say first, then think on it, then return to apologize. He is very diligent in apologizing and is always sincere. But he will also tell you that I am known to say “It’s better to not say something you’ll have to regret later, than to say it and have to apologize.” Admittedly, I might say this as a defense to why I don’t like to argue, but it is still true. I have come a long way in learning to be a peacemaker not just a peacekeeper. In case you aren’t sure the difference, a peacekeeper does anything to keep peace, even if it means not talking through situations that need to change. A peacemaker does the work of navigating through the situation, the feelings, and beliefs, to bring change and reconciliation. My husband has come a long way in managing anger and not reacting too harshly or quickly.

·        We trust each other. We trust that the other person has our best interest, and the interest of the family at heart. When my husband is considering a work related change, I trust that he knows what is best for our family and will make the decision that makes sense for all of us. When considering a parenting decision, my husband trusts that I know our children’s hearts, what works best for each of them, and can help guide them in a way that honors the whole family. I trust my husband with my feelings and he trusts me with his wallet. (If this were a status update, you would be reading LOL here.)  

·        We remember Who is the center of our relationship. As Christians, we believe that God is the center of our relationship. He is the center of our family. We keep in close relationship with Him and we grow closer together. We pray for each other daily. We know that God has a plan for our lives and we work toward that plan by praying, studying, and seeking his will. When I wake up early enough, I catch my husband kneeling beside the couch praying for us. It makes a difference in a marriage, and a family, when you pray for one another.

·        We don’t give up. We recognize that our marriage has extreme value. We have extreme value. We won’t let some trivial thing end what God has created. We will not let anything cause us to entertain thoughts of divorce. We do everything possible to reconcile. Even in the really rough years of our marriage, when we questioned everything, we knew this would not be a marriage that ends in divorce. We love each other. We value each other. And we won’t give up. We understand that marriages do not begin with the thoughts of future divorce. Many people find themselves holding divorce papers that they never anticipated. We are intentional about not letting anything separate us in mind or in heart. We are quick to reconcile, quick to forgive, and quick to pray. We have to talk about the hard stuff—the stuff that we carry into this marriage from long before we knew each other. We (have to) trust each other. And we trust that God put us together for a purpose, and for always.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Preparing for Preschool

Lovey starts preschool in exactly three days. Most days she is so excited can hardly stand the wait. “How many days ‘til school? Is it just one day? Can I go to school tomorrow? Can we practice school today? Let’s do story time. Let’s practice writing my letters!” Then she starts to feel overwhelmed by the thought of leaving me and says, “I don’t want to go to school anymore. I’m going to miss you too much. I just want to be with you forever.” She is my Velcro-baby. She is always next to me, as close as she can get. I say often that if she could crawl back into my uterus and hang out for a while she totally would. Eating lunch, our chairs are touching, and she is on the far edge of her seat so that at minimum our sides touch while we eat. For about the first year after I weaned her from the breast, she had to hold my hand while we ate every meal. She sleeps next me in bed every night and crawls into my arms as soon as she wakes for hour long cuddles. If we have to rush to get up and get ready for something and she doesn’t get her cuddles, her whole day is off. She plays independently during the day and loves to be outside with Daddy, but she always comes back to my arms for a quick cuddle.

I always intended to home school her, but I know that she needs this school year away. She needs a place where she can be her own person. Where she can have her own thing. Since having Nature Baby, Lovey has had to share her most prized possession, Me. She has been very gracious but I know it wears on her when I can’t do a painting project with her because NB will get into the paint, or we can’t dance together because NB needs to have a nap. She needs play time where she won’t be interrupted by baby’s nap. She needs other kids to be silly with and create bonds with. I know she will love school. She loves to learn, it comes naturally for her. She does addition and subtraction every day just in her play. She loves to be read to and loves to make up her own stories. She also loves to do worksheets from preschool and kindergarten workbooks we have. We are blessed to be able to send her to a great school, the school where I taught all those years before having her. I know the teachers, the principle, the school board members. I trust them. I have security in knowing that she will be cared for and safe. I couldn’t send her to any school but this. She is going to have a blast!

There are a few things we are doing to prepare for preschool.

               Gear: She picked out her backpack and water bottle. We ordered them online to get the best deal and find something different. I made her cozy nap mat cover complete with one of her baby blankets for extra coziness. I made her cute cloth napkins for her lunch box and bought her a special fork and spoon. I searched and searched and finally found BPA-free, phthalate free, lead-free, all-that-other-bad-stuff-free food storage containers. I love these reusable sandwich bags (bottom right).

Bedtime: I have been pushing her bedtime up for a few weeks now. Lovey is a night owl and she loves to sleep in. I can’t stand waking a sleeping child. It just doesn’t seem right. They need to sleep to grow and be healthy and happy. But because school starts at 8, she’ll need to be up around 7. Probably 6:30 to include cuddle time, but that just seems so early.

               Morning Routine: Lovey is a slow mover in the morning. I made a chart with the things she needs to do in the morning. Get dressed, brush teeth, brush hair, put on shoes, grab backpack. (She will eat breakfast in the car, since I’m sure we will run out of time quickly and we have about a 5-10 minute drive depending on traffic.)

               Special token: I bought these sweet charms and put them on a necklace for each of us. She can wear hers to school and when she feels too far from me, she can look at it and know she is in my heart and I am in her heart. I’ll give the necklace to her the night before her first day of school. My mother in law also bought a special book for me to read to her the night before her big day.

(Her necklace is above, mine below.)

               Gift for her teacher: We decided we should bring a gift to her teacher on the first day of school. She said she wants to bring some books for the classroom. I also want to include something sweet just for her teacher and aide so I’ll most likely get some good chocolate.

 I can’t wait to see her in her backpack, all ready for a big girl adventure. I know there will be tears (mine) that first day. I’m sure I’ll drop her off then sit for the next 7 hours and hold nature baby and cry that my big girl is off to school. The good thing is she only goes three days a week so we get a whole day of cuddles between!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Day That Lady Called Me "Supermom"

My husband and I have a favorite restaurant that we visit at least once a week. The wonderful thing about it is that they have an extensive menu so my husband has lots of options even though I get the same thing every time. And they have the best sweet tea on the planet. It also helps that on the weekend kids eat free. We have been going there since our daughter was a baby. It makes us feel at home. Lovey gets really sad when someone is sitting at our table. I’m sure she has thought of asking them to move a time or two. One day while we were sitting at our favorite table, something awesome happened. A lady, well she was in her late teens/early twenties, called me “Supermom”. She happened to be waiting on us that day and noticed the babycubes that I had packed Nature Baby’s lunch in. She marveled at them, “Where did you get those neat little containers? Those are so cool!” Then, “Oh my gosh! I have never seen a seat like that before! Where did you get that? That is so neat! What… Are you like Supermom or something?” I told her I got this booster seat from a resale shop near our house and yes, it was the coolest thing ever. Looking at Nature Baby, she said, “You have the coolest Mom ever!” Now, obviously, I am not Supermom, but in that moment, just hearing someone say those words… I felt great! I thought to myself “I’m not Supermom, I just happen to be blessed with some pretty neat gear.” Then, I thought, you know she thought I was Supermom because of material things that I had. I wish she would have called me Supermom because of my patience, because of my quiet voice when my children are impatiently waiting for their food, because of the games I make up on the fly to occupy hungry children. But still, in that moment, she lifted me. Just hearing the word “Supermom” brightened my face. No matter her reason, I felt good about myself.

 I know a true Supermom. She goes to doctor visit after doctor visit with her child. She reads, studies, researches, reads some more to try to make her child’s life easier, better. She sacrifices her time, money, social life to ensure her child has everything he needs. I do not even come close to Supermom. But does Supermom know that she is Supermom? Everyone feels that they are just doing what they have to do. That they are doing the things they do for their family because it is what they do. They don’t feel “Super.” But wouldn’t you like to hear that you are super? Wouldn’t it make you feel good to know that someone is proud of you, that they think you are awesome? Guess what, YOU ARE SUPER! You are! If someone hasn’t told you that lately, consider telling yourself. You are amazing. There are things that you do that no one else can do. To your children, you are the best. Even if they don’t always verbally praise you, they are thinking it. Imagine what could happen if we took the time to tell people that they are “Super!”


I’d love to hear your stories of when you felt great about something you accomplished, or when others lifted you, or how you have helped to lift up others.