Category Archives: Babies & Kids

Hiding Tears

I wonder what it is that makes a boy begin to want to hide his tears. What changed from last year when he cried unselfconsciously like any other small child, to now, when he doesn’t want anyone to know, save maybe his mom, that he’s been crying? It’s just one more sign that my little boy is making his way to a man. (I know, I know, men cry…read on.)

This really struck me the other night when my son’s little bird suddenly began to poop blood. My son and I searched the web to see what could be the cause and everything we read said the bird was in BIG trouble, i.e. the bird would probably be dead within hours without help.

I looked at my son, whose eyes were beginning to fill up. “Let’s pray for him.” As we prayed over “Thunder” great big, salty drops began hitting the floor. Afterward, my sweet son went to the bathroom to wash his face, then came out to ask me if anyone could tell he had been crying. *gulp*

Later, when my husband came home, they, too, prayed over Thunder. Again, the big drops fell. I heard our son ask his daddy to carry him to bed “upside down.” He didn’t want his daddy to see his tears. *another gulp*

I’m sure it will take him many more years to figure out that crying doesn’t make him less of a man, and in some cases, will make him more of one.   He is also beginning to sense that in holding back his tears, he is joining the ranks of noble men who face life’s challenges with courage.  It’s just one of those bittersweet moments watching one of your children pick their way through the path to adulthood, and you cringe a little that the path is not always so straightforward.

And, by the way, the prayers of my righteous little man did availeth much…Thunder is just fine.


Filed under Babies & Kids, Giving Thanks, Thoughts

Nature-Deficit Disorder? Surely Not in this Family!

I have been intrigued by a book my sister-in-law has been reading about our children being “nature deprived.” The book is provocatively titled Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder. Apparently, we have so little contact with nature these days, that we have become scared of the natural world and our kids are missing out from the experiences that so much of our poetry and literature is based on, not to mention just missing the joy of being outside.

I intend to read the book eventually, but she has had me thinking about it the meantime. I’m not sure, though, if I have carried the idea too far.

Yesterday, I found a dead robin in our backyard. I couldn’t believe that my bird-loving son had missed it. Just minutes earlier he was playing right where the robin lay. I called him outside to look and before I could tell him not to touch it, he bent and picked it up. I closed my open mouth and thought, “Well, there is always soap and water.”

He held the bird, rocked its loose head back and forth, touched its beak, and thoroughly examined him. He decided a burial at sea would be appropriate for the bird, so we took the bird to the nearby canal and ceremoniously tossed him in. Meanwhile, I was constantly monitoring my son just in case he was going to rub his eyes, pick his nose, or stick his fingers in his mouth.

Afterwards, hearing the soap and water running and feeling satisfied that I had let my son pick up a dead bird, I kept reassuring myself that the robin had died of old age and probably in the intervening moments that my son had gone inside and I had gone outside. He was large, and well formed, and generally healthy looking, excepting of course, that he was dead…he certainly couldn’t have died of a species-jumping virus such as BIRD FLU…could he??!

Maybe I need to just go read the book. Surely the author suggests that we interact with dead animals from a safe distance.


Filed under Babies & Kids, Homeschooling

This Meal Planning Site is Great!

A few weeks ago I wrote that I was going to start using Menus4Moms, a free, weekly meal planner site that includes recipes, shopping lists, freezer tips, and bulk cooking tips.  They have now added a daily reminder for a household chore.  It is kind of like Flylady, but not nearly so involved (no thousands of emails!).  This is just one reminder to spend 15 minutes on a chore in one one area of your house only.

I have really loved the meal planning.  I especially love the shopping list.  I am quite forgetful, so it helps to see a comprehensive list that includes spices, etc. just in case you happen to run low on a staple such as oregano.

The best benefit is that my family is feeling very loved.   I have meal planned before, but I never planned the side dishes very well.  We are now having a great variety of sides and we are definitely eating more vegetables.  I have had the time now to add a special dessert here and there, too.  The extra time has freed me up to make from scratch things that I used to make, such as pie crusts, but no longer made due to time.

Nothing says love like a table full of good things to eat!


Filed under Babies & Kids, Homemaking&Cooking

At least one baby tooth saved…

Hurrah!  With the wonderfully calm skill of Dr. Kyle Raymond, pediatric dentist in Austin, TX, my youngest had her front tooth cavity filled without being put to sleep.  Of course, she screamed and was a little scared but he was finished in almost no time at all.  He let me stay right with her and had me hold her hands while he worked.  She was looking into my face directly instead of his.  She was perfectly fine as soon as I sat her up.  She even held Dr. Raymond in no ill will afterwards.  I think it was his matter-of-fact nature that I particularly liked…he didn’t talk down to her or coddle me, either.  Just a reassuring “let’s get it done” attitude.

If you found my blog by searching under “tooth decay in my baby” I urge you to search for a pediatric dentist who is willing to try alternatives to sedation.  In my baby’s case, we caught it early enough and were able to drill without sedation or even local anesthetic.

For decalcification, there is also a treatment available where the dentist will paint a fluoride varnish on the tooth once a month for 6 months.  We decided in my baby’s case that the treatment would just be putting off the inevitable, but do look into that option if you start noticing little while spots on your baby’s teeth.


Filed under Babies & Kids

Dangerously Low Resources, Part II

The last few days I have been pondering the term “dangerously low resources,” the crisis message that recently appeared on my computer screen. Too bad that we don’t all get a message that pops up on our foreheads when we are dangerously low on our own resources.

For example, when I have skipped too many days in prayer and Bible reading, and I am crabby with everybody, disrespectful to my husband, and generally a disorganized mess, wouldn’t it be great if the message “dangerously low resources” popped up before my eyes?

Or, if my husband and I have been busy with the children and their activities, stingy with babysitting money, have had too many nighttime critter companions, and suddenly find ourselves out of sorts with each other, wouldn’t the dangerously low resources message be a sweet kick in the pants?

There have been times when I have been out shopping, say, at a specialty foods store like Whole Foods or even at the disorienting and numbing Wal-Mart, when the DLR message would have saved me some pain later.

Inventory your life today and see where your resources are dangerously low. Perhaps you haven’t had a bubble bath in a while, or a novel you have been wanting to read is still on the shelf. Maybe it’s been since your last baby was born that you have spent real time on your face before the Lord. Maybe you’ve added a bit to your credit card rolls, thinking a little here and a little there won’t hurt you. In any case, we are so often too busy to see where our resources are lacking and almost kill ourselves trying to make things happen without the fuel required.

Jesus would recognize the daily depletion of his resources, and would often arise early and go away from others to be alone with the Father. If even He needed to re-fill his resources, just think how much you and I need to do this. And just think what can happen in our lives if we do.

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Filed under Babies & Kids, His Banner over Me, Homemaking&Cooking, Homeschooling, Thoughts

Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!

Believe it or not, it is snowing in this little border town! My neighbor said it was twenty years ago that it had last snowed. We are actually getting more snow than some areas northwest of us.

So, for school today, we got to have a field trip to the north in our very own yard and observe, compare, and contrast:

  • sleet
  • freezing rain (and how it is different from sleet)
  • snow (we never did catch a perfect flake…they were huge conglomerates of many)
  • icicles and their development (where do they form first? last? why are they shaped that way? when will they melt?)
  • freezing temperatures and their effect on water
  • ice glazing (the leaves were beautiful!)
  • gravity (the children slid down a 3 feet slope into the canal…okay, that one was a stretch)

My favorite highlights:

  • The children picking up big leaf imprints of ice from the magnolia tree and scooping up snow and eating “chips and dip.”
  • My third calling out, “Yea! My first snow!!!”
  • My baby being scared, then still, then curious, and finally tasting and touching it.
  • The industry that the outdoors brings out in children.
  • The tinkly sound of sleet.
  • The quiet of snow.

My not-so-favorite highlights:

  • Mud, mud, and more mud.
  • Wet clothes.
  • Snow down my back…multiple times.

It is predicted to snow through the night but warm to above freezing tomorrow. I have a feeling I’ll be wakened early with giddy little kids itching to make a snowman again before the thaw. O Happy Day!


Filed under Babies & Kids, Giving Thanks

A Great Morning

More often than not, as the sun begins to peer over the horizon to gently wake us up, my little critters begin to appear in the bedroom one by one. They fill in the empty spots on the bed and one very lucky one will get to fill in the warm and cozy spot left by DH after he gets up for work.  Such was the case this morning…all but one were snoozing away next to me on the bed while I was drinking my coffee and reading my Bible. Suddenly, my 5 y/o comes streaming into the room with a pack of notecards and armed with her prized new crayons.

“Come on, everybody! We can’t forget to make Daddy birthday cards!”

Suddenly, all were up and industrious within seconds – rare for the morning – happily sharing crayons, helping the baby make her card, and generally thrilled with the prospect of making their daddy happy. All of this was still occurring on my bed.

When I was in college, I used to think how fun it would be to have a whole litter of puppies on my bed, rolling and frolicking with each other. As I sipped my coffee and watched them, I smiled as I remembered the thought. As wonderful as that would be, this was so much better. So much better.


Filed under Babies & Kids, Giving Thanks, His Banner over Me