Thursday, February 22, 2007

My Weak Spot

I'm the type of person who can usually muscle through a weakness. I can read, think, formulate and execute a plan, and receive good outcomes. But as a mom, one of the areas where I feel completely inadequate is as a feeder. I hate, again, hate feeding the kids. I'm mostly at fault, giving snacks at the wrong time, reading books with competing information and applying none of it... but honestly, eating is just not a big deal to me. Somewhere in my head is a principle that food is not the center of one's life, and I hope to instill that in my children. But how can you do that without also instilling poor behaviors? We run on an early shift in this house, rising between six and seven; but bedtime also occurs early, between six and seven, giving Mom and Dad a few hours to reconnect. So the children eat earlier than most, lunch at 11 and dinner at 4. I've tried for two years to have the family dinner at 5 when Dad walks in the door, but the kids were tired, hungry, and I was usually frustrated. They are still little, after all, 1, 2.5 and 4, so there are years to come when they may be able to tolerate a later supper.

After 4 years of trying to be a good feeder, here's my summary:

1. Each child will have a meal that is their best, the time when they will eat the most. (Karen, mother of 6)

2. Only put three to six bites of food on the baby's plate. Anything more than that will be used as ammunition. (Liz, mother of 3 great eaters)

3. I think the phrase "I'm not a short order cook" was invented by someone who didn't have a kid with food allergies (milk,egg, nut... thanks, Levi). When that comment comes up, I feel judged. I won't use it with others.

4. There is an inverse proportion applied to every meal that states "the more time Mom has spent fixing the food means that the children will spend even less time sitting /eating/ enjoying the meal." X=1/X... remember? That also means that drive through meals are joyfully and patiently eaten, sometimes lasting up to 30 minutes at the table.

5. If I had to choose between a good eater and a good sleeper, I'll take the good sleeper.

6. My kids eat better than some and worse than some. They can still be respectful and polite, even in their refusals to eat.

7. I would rather have my kids grow up with few memories of meal times than remembering fights over food.


I remember a variety of music in my home growing up. Classical, hymns, contemporary christian, ragtime, children's music, etc. One of Mom's first bits of advice to me as a new mother was, "Bathe your babies in all kinds of music." I have, Mom. Every chance I get. Though I'll admit, my preferrence is jazz and classical.

I popped in my "Messiah" CD this morning, cued up one of my favorite pieces ("And He Shall Purify"), and hit play, filling the kitchen with sound. Izak looked up at me and smiled broadly, "Mom, this is my favorite music!" Yet in less than a half an hour we were all gathered around the piano singing "God Bless America", and "Stinky Cake." Ecclectic, yes, but babies bathed in music? Absolutely. Thanks, Mom.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Wall Words

My sister-in-law told me of a great website - You are able to order transferrable, vinyl quotes, either from stock or create your own. This phrase has been on my mind for over a year now. It's my summary of I Samuel 15:22, which says, "Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings as much as in obeying the voice of the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams." In other words, God delights in the follower who is quick to do what he/she has been told. He'd rather have obedience than sorrow and consequence for being disobedient. If you know what God has told you to do, do it, and do it quickly.

Sunday evening, at a congregational meeting, my husband announced his resignation from NWCC. Over the past four months God has been leading Matthew (and me) to this conslusion. I believe His timing, wisdom, and strength have clearly directed us to take this faith step. I will share more in the future. But more powerful than the tears of sadness at leaving this sweet body of believers is the driving conviction that it's best, it's always best to obey the voice of the Lord.

Winter babies

And snow is falling... again. It seems like we've been locked in the house for months. I'm determined to have kids who will handle cold weather well (motto: the warmer they are, the longer they will play outside), but the wind chills have been below zero for several weeks. They're just too cute to freeze.

Birds at my feeders: purple finches, sparrows, finches, a downy woodpecker, morning doves (the C-130 of birds), juncos, and a swarm of european starlings (I think). NO CARDINALS.

Books I've been reading: Francine Rivers' The Priest, The Warrior, and The Prince. Currently in The Prophet.

My grandmother left me an inheritance. So, because of my husband's wise counsel, I bought a brand new piano! I take delivery on it on Thursday. It's a 44" console, hand-made in Europe by a company called Perzina. She's beautiful. Red ribbon mahogony. Fantastic company in downtown Waukegan that I highly recommend: Family Piano Company. They are outstanding!

My toes: pink polish with little hearts, purple and red. With sparkles.