Monday, 20 October 2014

Back to blogging, and 1000 days of Thankfulness Challenge!

Well, back to blogging. 

I'm taking on a challenge. Lately I have found that on days when I purpose in my heart to be thankful, I am happier(Go Figure!). So I am doing a challenge. 1000 days of thankfulness. Everyday I will make a post. It might be long, it might not. But it will include something I am thankful about. At the same time I do this post, I will read my Bible and pray. 

So! Day 1: 

I'm thankful for babies falling asleep in my arms. 

Friday, 1 August 2014

On Tree Climbing, Risk Taking, and Being to Worried.

My husband and I took took our kids to a park this weekend, along with his entire family. Brother in law, his girlfriend, sister in law, and her four kids, and my mother in law. We were sitting there watching the kids play on the structure when suddenly someone says "Do you think maybe that's to dangerous for them?" 

It was one of those spinny seats. You know those ones that throw your center of gravity way off? The ones that spin and spin and spin until you wanna puke and then someone stops you and you can't stand up straight? Yeah. One of those. 

The kids were having a blast, but suddenly this contraption became something we had to evaluate was good for them or not. I finally just said, "Cause we didn't do worse!" Suddenly the entire group BURST out laughing. Because we all know we did! Our play structures were full of tire bridges, splintering wood, rusty zip lines, merry go rounds, teeter-totters, and that one slide that looked like it was going to topple at any time. There was never the question of "Is that as safe as it possibly can be?" 

I think this generation puts to much credit in 'safe'. Our kids can't climb trees, because they might fall down and hurt themselves. We wash everything that comes in contact with the ground in case it's covered in 'germs'. Our kids are bubble wrapped from their first moments, taught to run to authority in case of fights, to never do anything that might get them hurt, and if they must do these things, to wear all the protective gear they can. 

When we were kids, it wasn't like that. I totally remember eating dirt. I remember getting so dirty the bottom of the tub was covered in grime when I took my mandatory bath. I remember climbing trees and play structures and jumping off them with no one there to catch me. I remember telling my mom where I'd be in the morning, popping in every now and then to tell her where I'd been, and coming back for lunch and dinner and telling her all the things I'd done. I remember scrapping my knee and leg up riding my bike without a helmet four blocks from my house, and limping home and my mom taking care of it, cause good moms do that. I remember fighting with the kids in my neighborhood, sometimes to the point of fist fights, and the moms all sitting back and saying "Work it out yourselves!" 

It taught me how to being adventurous. It taught me how to know my limits, and push past them. It taught me responsibility. It taught me to get along with others, even if I didn't want to. It taught me to suck it up and learn to live a bit on my own. 

Lately I've made a point of letting my children go more. Miah puts a stick in his mouth? I don't jump to take it away. He eats a little grass? Won't hurt him. He loves to play in the grass, and it's teaching him that he doesn't need to always be with me to have fun, and it's teaching him about bugs and textures and fun. Sam climbs a tree? Sweet, go for it. Wants to ride a bike without a helmet? Sure, why not. Watch when you're crossing the street. Elsie wants to run around in the big 2 acres of fenced in open field behind our church? Go girl! Go! 

You want to know what I've noticed? My kids are happier. They run more, jump more, get more dirty. They laugh more, giggle more, and are more fun to be around. They are always telling me about the cool things they've done, and I'm always thrilled to hear it. No longer do I have children who are scared of their own shadow. Rather, I have children who face challenges and trials head on. That tree can be climbed, and that counter is not to high to get to. My children have suddenly become problem solvers. 

Sure. Their life is a little more 'on the edge' than most children in this generation. Miah puts things in his mouth that have been on the floor. Elsie regularly chews the handle of carts just to watch people give her grossed out looks(My mom included XD). Sam climbs trees and does flips on our trampoline. 

But they are happy.

I'll take that. 

- Natasha

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Struggling to Bond with Your Baby: It's Normal!

It's that moment, that moment you've been waiting 10 months for. You've been through 10 hours of labour, and finally he's here, your baby. Your hands reach out when they hand him to you, and you look down and see... 

A screaming, red, raisin. Where was the cute little baby you'd been promised? This wasn't him, this couldn't be him. This little thing is a stranger. And then the little raisin wants to nurse and it hurts and he's up every 2 hours and you just want to sleep. You think of your 1 year old back home who you love so much, and then the guilt sets in. Why don't you love this baby like you love that one? 


This was me six months ago. I remember my mom coming down and asking me how I was doing a couple days after Jeremiah was born, and I broke down. Because I didn't love this baby. I mean sure, I was gonna keep him alive, and we were nursing, and I didn't want anything bad to happen to him... but I didn't love him either. He was a stranger, and a mean one at that! 

I felt so bad. 

And you know what my mom said to me? "Yeah. Sometimes it happens like that. You gotta get to know them first. It'll come, but for now, I'm sorry." 

Just like that. Oh right, that. No accusations of child abuse, no hatred, no whispered rumours about how I'm a terrible mom. Just a quiet understanding of how hard it is. 

Sometimes bonding doesn't happen in that moment. Sometimes that perfect moment, isn't so perfect. 

Six months later, I can now say that I adore Jeremiah. I love his perfect little smiles, I love his awesome little giggles. I love how he prefers me to his dad. (Score one for mom!) 

But I didn't then. With Elsie I had that moment. That moment where you first see them and you just love them. I didn't with Miah, and apparently, I'm not the only one. 

Turns out, lots of moms have this issue. Lots of moms look at their children for the first couple weeks/months and think "Who the heck are you and why won't you sleep and why do you want to nurse again, don't you know my nipples hurt?" Turns out, it's normal too. 

To the new mom who is googling this topic. IT IS NORMAL. 

To the grandma who never struggled and is trying to understand her daughter: IT IS NORMAL. 

To the friend who wants to assure her new mom friend: IT IS NORMAL. 

Sometimes you gotta get to know them first. Sometimes... sometimes you have to be the adult in the relationship and take care of that baby even when somewhere deep in your heart, you're angry and resentful and you're sleep deprived and you just want to let him cry for a bit. 

Moms, just keep holding that baby. Keep feeding him, keep getting up and rocking him. One day you will look at him and think "I love you." And you will mean it. Someday you'll look at that little baby and he won't be a stranger anymore. Someday he'll look at you and your heart will melt. I can't promise it will be today, I can't promise it'll be tomorrow. But it'll come. And maybe it won't BE that shiny moment that you're told to expect. Maybe it'll be that one day you wake up and you're happy to see him. And that's good too. 

Moms, IT'S NORMAL. Needing to get to know your child is normal.  

Do me a favour? Call someone, tell them you need help.

You don't have to do any of this alone. No one does. Whether you are struggling to bond, or had that blissful moment of bonding, or you are struggling with just getting up to care for your child... you are NOT alone. There are thousands of moms just like you out there, struggling to bond too, and there are those who have been there before, whose hearts break for you. Who are praying for you, the mom who is reading this post in a panic because she can't stand to hold this screaming ball of sleeplessness anymore. 

Hold on. Someday IS coming. 
I'm praying for you.


Now, there is a caution here. If you find yourself so upset you can't care for your baby, or you think you might hurt your baby, get help. Call your mom, your dad, your best friend, your OB or Midwife, call a help line, get someone to come over. Go to someone you trust and tell them you need help. Tell them what you are thinking and they can help you get help. Please. 

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Why I Wear Skirts: My Thoughts On Pleasing Your Husband.

If you were to ever look at a picture of me... ever, you'll see that I wear skirts. Lots of them. All the time. I've had people assume that this was a matter of conviction. That I believe that in skirts lies the answer to modesty. 

It's not though. 

It has almost nothing to do with modesty. But it has everything to do with pleasing my husband. 

My husband likes to look at me in skirts. 

When he sees me in a skirt, with my hair down and my makeup on(It's a hard thing for a mom of two under 2 to accomplish people!), his eyes glaze over a bit, and then that look happens. That one that melts me right to the core, and I know that he is fiercely attracted to me in that moment. It has nothing to do with the skin I'm baring, or how tight my clothes are. It has everything to do with how in that moment, he knows that I am wearing it for him. 

Yes, I believe that for my body type, skirts are the most modest choice. I'm hippy and curvy, and pants always seem to grab in just the wrong places. But I could find pants that worked if I wanted to. But I want to please my husband, so I wear skirts. I hated it at first, but there are a couple of Biblical principles that changed my mind. And not a single one of them has to do with modesty. 

It has to do with capturing my husbands attention. Does this verse look familiar to any one? 

Proverbs 5: 18-21 (KJV)
18. Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.
19. Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.
20. And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger?
21. For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, and he pondereth all his goings.

Yes, I realize this is a warning for men, but I think in there is a note for women too. You are to satisfy your husband at all times, and part of that is on him...  but I think part of that is on wives too! If you know your husband likes to see you with your hair down, let that hair go every once in awhile. If you know your husband likes to see you in blue... wear it. Find out what makes him look at you and think "I'm married to her. I can't believe God gave me her." Of course,  unless you are in your bedroom, stick in the realm of modesty here ladies. 

In our society, pleasing your partner has become a thing of the past. It's all about the bottom line, all about what I can get for me. What does it benefit me to run around in clothes that make it harder to chase after toddlers, or leave my hair down for Miah to pull on? It doesn't, but it does benefit my husband. 

Notice something that verse links to being satisfied with your wife? Not being satisfied with the strange woman. I want my husbands eyes to be so captured by me he doesn't have time to look at that woman who wore the yoga pants and to small shirt to run in. For the sake of his spiritual life, I want him to not feel the need to look. Men are visual beings ladies! Their eyes are drawn to look in the same way womens minds are drawn to fantasy. It leads them to sin. So help them along!

I can already hear the protests in the background! 

"But it's not my job to make sure my husband doesn't sin! It's his! I can dress how I want, I'm a 21st century woman! Do you want to send us back to the stone age?" 

I beg to differ. What if some of the responsibility does lie with women, with wives? What if being attractive to my husband is part of being a good wife? Sure, men are responsible for their eyes, but why shouldn't wives help? Now, am I saying you should wear a shirt that is to low cut to be considered modest because your husband enjoys your breasts? No, of course not. But maybe you wear his favourite bra and let him know it before you leave the house. He will be so distracted by the idea of that bra that hopefully he won't care about the other breasts that are constantly on display in our day and age. 

Captivate him ladies. He would have to a saint not to struggle to keep his eyes pure in this society. Help him keep them full of the one person he's allowed to look at without guilt. YOU. 

- Natasha

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Pinterest and Covetousness. Finding the line and fleeing it.

I realized this week that my interest in Pinterest has become... deadly. Josh recently had  a job offer at a company in the States that would mean a lot more money coming in our doors, but it was contingent on some things happening. I like the sinful person I am heard "More money, lookit what we could GET!" And within minutes I was on Pinterest, pinning to my dream home board, dreaming of the beautiful house we could buy or build. And then the job(We're pretty sure), fell through. And I was crushed that all those beautiful ideas on my board would never happen, and in that moment I was SO convicted. Somewhere along the way, probably at that first pin, my mind turned from being content where I'm at, in the beautiful house God made happen, with my wonderful family... to wanting more. 

I think Pinterest as a whole really encourages this. I have to constantly be on guard when looking through the home decor section of that site. Yes, my home is my castle, and I aim to make it the best it can be. But there is a big difference between saying "I'm going to improve my house to make it a better home for my family." And saying "I want my house to be different." Or, "I want something else to be happy." 

God calls you to be content where you are. He set you where you are. In my case, he pulled some pretty crazy strings to make it happen. Feeling unhappy with your life? Look to your father, the more you focus on him... the better your life will be. Because he will change your heart to reflect his. 

Is it wrong to look through Pinterest and see all the wonderful things you can do with your home? Of course not. God calls you to care for your home, and part of that is decorating it. But. There is an awfully thin line between what is possible and what isn't. 

Here are the guards I put up in my own mind while Pinning for my home, or anything else really. 

1. Can I afford it? 

And I don't mean right this minute. But here's a good example. Unless my husband gets a crazy good job, I'm never going to be able to afford the 5 bedroom house I pinned the plans for. Or the beautiful remodelled kitchen. But I afford the pretty paint color I pinned for my current living room, and the curtain coverings for our kids closets instead of  bulky doors with a little saving. 

If you can't afford it, don't look. It's like trying on the $4000 wedding dress when you only have $200 to spend. It's always a bad idea. 

2. Does it fit into my house? 

Can you honestly see it working in your house? And be honest with yourself here ladies. If you have a tiny little entryway closet like I do, and you're pinning these amazing mud room pictures.... it's never gonna happen. So don't even go there. Don't even look. Maybe instead look at how to add nifty hooks onto the side for the kids, and a chalkboard to write up meals or scratch notes for the day instead. Work with what you have! There are so many neat things that can be done with a home without wanting something you don't have the room for. 

3. Can I use it at this point in my life? 

Okay guys, here comes the hard part. I love white. Love it. But wanna know what would happen if I plastered my house in white? My children would destroy it in oh... 3 seconds flat. 4 if I'm really lucky. Me pinning a bunch of pictures of white houses isn't going to do me any good. It's just going to make me discontent with my super easy to clean, hide everything black leather couches. Instead I should plan for where I'm at now. Maybe I can look at that beautiful purple paint, and the patterned grey carpet, both great for hiding stains, or some beautiful leather couches with brightly colored throws and pillows. Easy things to clean. 

Everyone has circumstances in their lives which make some things unattainable right now. Don't look at the things you know aren't attainable. You'll just covet. In 20 years when my kids are grown, we'll revisit white. Right now I'm embracing the leather. 

I think by now, most people have eliminated most things on their wishlists... but there's one more folks! 

4. Does it benefit my family? 

This isn't just a "Well of course it does, it'll make us more organized!" type thing. This is honest at it's hardest ladies. Does it benefit your home to have that chalk board there, or is the chalk dust just one more thing to clean up when you already have a white  board on the fridge? Do you really need new couches when your kids are still potty training? Does it benefit your home to have your kitchen redone, or it really just you saying "But it could be better!" Take a step back and be brutally honest. Does it benefit your family to be spending your energy in this part of your life? Or could that energy be better spent else where? Remember, brutally honest.

Well, those are the steps I take, and honestly, it's helped me a lot. I hope it helps you too.

- Natasha

Monday, 17 March 2014

Blended families: From One Christian to Another

In this day and age, it seems every second family out there is blended in some way. Take my family for example. Samuel is Josh's child from another relationship, and we have a good relationship with Sams biological mother. 

Yet still, people don't know how to deal with us. I find people get awkward, and mumble and look shocked when I say Samuel is going back to his moms. 

Yes everyone, my husband had pre-marital sex, and yes, a child was conceived of it. Yes, I adore my son, and yes, he is my son. Please don't suggest otherwise. 

Sam loves his mom, and is very happy to tell you that he has two families, two homes, and two groups of friends. If you simply ask him, he'll tell you about his life. We do the same here. We're happy to talk about our arrangement with Sams mom, about our living situation, and how we deal with discipline. I find most blended families are the same. 

I think Christians have this idea that with blended families, we have to have a stigma because of the sin that caused our family to have to be blended.

I think this is frankly pretty sad. Families are families. If I didn't tell you, you wouldn't know Sam wasn't mine. I have made a point lately of reaching out to other blended Christian families, because I know that it's hard to deal with the sidelong glances and sometimes outright rudeness.

So this is a challenge to Christians out there. Reach out to a blended family. Learn about them, about how they make it work. Instead of panicing when someone says their child isn't their blood child, smile and say "How you blessed you are!" And mean it. All these people want is to live in victory over their sin, peaceably with their family. Just like you.

- Natasha

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Price Matching in Canada and the States for Canadians

Well, I live in a border town, and so... we shop in the states! But this presents a bit of a challenge, because suddenly, the prices I have to check double. Now I have to check Canada and the States prices and make two separate lists. This is time consuming, but I've got it down to only about an hour of work every two weeks to make my menu, plan my lists and price match, saving me about $100 every pay cheque.

 I'm going tell you how I personally do it with two small children who always need my attention. 

First off, two websites.


Bookmark them. You will use them every week. 

Smart canucks has a data base of every flyer, every coupon, every deal you can find in Canada. All for free. It's updated in a timely manner every week, and it's a great resource. The only problem is all stores in Canada require you to have the actual flyer in your hand. So while this is a good resource for when you are planning, you do have to get flyers to actually price match. If you consistently find you aren't getting your flyers in time... ask around at your church or other social events. Guaranteed someone's kid delivers flyers who always has extras and is willing to let you take a set. 

Deals to Meals in a States resource, yes, it costs $5 a month. You'll make that up in savings in one shopping trip, I promise you. You pick your state, and her and her team price match for you. Considering that as far as I was able to find, the States doesn't have a resource like smartcanucks... believe me, you want this. It will save you a TON of time. The pro of this is Walmart in the States does NOT require flyers to price match. You just bring your list and they will price match. If they give you a fight about it, stick to your guns, their official policy, found here, says that they don't require an ad. Most cashiers won't fight you on it. If you really want to hedge your bets, find the youngest cashier there. Most times they won't care enough to fight you more than asking for the ad. 

Ok, now down to planning! First off, get a notebook, or a spread sheet. I personally find it easier to not have to be moving my screen around and use a notebook. 

Here's how I work it. I wait until my kids are the happiest, and then I start on my menu. For me, that means in the morning, bright and early. Miah is still sleeping and Elsie is a happy baby who keeps herself amused in the mornings. I make a full two weeks, plus two extra days. This means that sometimes I have some flexibility about what I'm going to make, it also means that I typically have some extra groceries in my house from last pay cheque. 

I know many of you are sitting there, "Shouldn't you check ads first, then make your list around the ads?" Sure, and sometimes I end up changing my menu based on a really good deal. But my husband is a creature of habit, and between my children and him.. I find it's easier to just make food I know everyone will eat and try to buy the ingredients for the food we love as intelligently as possible. 

I make a grocery list based only on the food we need to get through that menu. If my menu calls for 4 lbs ground beef and I have four in my house, then it doesn't get on my list. 

Once I've made my menu and 'needed grocery' list, I go to SmartCanucks. I open up every flyer for every store even close to me. Make sure you open the ad for your neck of the woods. I once opened at Atlantic Sobeys ad by accident, when I live in Ontario, and almost had a caniption when I saw that their turkeys were $.69/lbs. I ran out to get the flyer from my mail box when they got here, only to realize I was looking at the wrong flyer. 

Go through each flyer thoroughly, even if normally you wouldn't(Sometimes stores have great deals you normally wouldn't expect from that store), and consider kicking your brand loyalty if things are an honestly better deal. Remember to keep in mind sizes. $2.99 for a block of cheese might seem like a great deal until you realize it's only 250g and you can get the 500g one for $4. 

How I  find it works the best is I write the name of the store, and then underneath that, I write every deal for food my family will eat from that store. If I know it's a particularly good deal, say $.79 for Catelli Pasta sauce, I star it. I then move on to the next store. If I find two stores have the same item on, I cross out the one that is more expensive. By the time I'm done, I have a pretty good little list. 

I then reference this list against my grocery list. I put the price matched price and where it's matched from in brackets beside each item I'm price matching, and I add to the bottom of my list anything that I'm 'stocking up' on. Take for example, my list a couple months ago. My list called for no chicken, as I already had all I needed in the house, but chicken went on sale in the states for $1.99/lbs. So chicken was my stock up item that month. Every two weeks my husband gives me X amount of dollars to spend. I get as close as possible to that number without going over. Everything I don't use on the 'needed' list, I use for stock up foods. This means when I have a lower number one week, I usually have food in the house anyways. 

I then go on dealstomeals and I make and print off my grocery list there using her method. I cross match it with my full grocery list, and then I start to highlight. Anything that I can buy in the states cheaper, I highlight with a blue marker. Things like snacks, meat, and milk are always on my states list. In Detroit, I can buy a gallon of milk for $2.50 as opposed to $5 in Windsor. Just two gallons of milk and I've paid for my dealstomeals subscription. Remember the exchange rate, if an item is only a couple cents different in the States, buy it in Canada. With our current exchange at 14 cents to the dollar, you actually end up losing money if you buy in the States. 

Once I'm done that, I head out shopping. In Canada, I like to shop at Superstore. They have a great price match policy, and if you decide to coupon, they have a good set of in store coupons. They also have the PCplus points card, which lets you load deals and collect points. 1000 points = a dollar to take off your grocery budget. It adds up quickly. In the States we shop at Walmart because of their price match policy. I can usually get all my shopping done in one evening. There is only three exceptions to this rule. I buy diapers and formula at CostCo in Canada. It is so much cheaper than anywhere else. On top of this, most of my produce I buy at a local farmers market, or our local Josephs food market. Look in your area for a small mom and pop farm vegetable market. You will typically find their vegetables more fresh, cheaper, and much more tasty. 

My  method might not work for everyone, and to a certain point it's a little bit more lengthy than it needs to be, BUT I have never missed a deal I wanted, and I am always within my budget, assuming I don't take Josh along and he ruins it. :P 

All in all, find what works for you. But shopping in the States saves me at least $80 a month. That's including toll booth fees and everything else. 

Within the next week, I'll write a post about my price book and what I typically pay for my groceries. 

God Bless! 


Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Two Children under One: Thought of a Mom who's been there

When I tell people I have two children under  one who are not twins.. I get one of two reactions. 

I get the "Well you must be busy.." mixed with this "You're crazy lady" expression, or I get the longing sigh and "You're so lucky..." 

I have never once gotten another reaction. Reaction number one far outweighs reaction two. 

But people seem so misinformed about this topic, and new moms certainly don't get any info about spacing their children close together. So I'm here to talk about my experiences and the pros and cons of this stage of my life. 

I'm gonna talk about the cons first, and then get you into the good stuff. 

My body didn't have time to recover

My hips are still out of whack three months after Miahs birth because they never really had a chance to recover after Elsie. Miahs pregnancy was harder on me for things like walking and climbing stairs for this same reason. But it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be at all. 

We had a hard time bonding at first

This one was hard on me. I remember looking at Josh at 3 weeks with Miah screaming to nurse and Elsie screaming cause she wanted to be cuddled and saying "I'm a horrible mom, I don't love him. It's like he's not even mine, I don't even know him!" 

I remember feeling such guilt that I didn't bond instantly with him like I did with Elsie. With Elsie I spent every minute of my pregnancy bonding with her. By the time she came out, I already knew her. I didn't have the time to focus on Miah with his pregnancy. I was to busy chasing around my newly walking toddler.

  When he was born... I loved him... but I was also pretty resentful, because I wanted to spend time with Elsie, but this little baby wanted to nurse and it hurt(we struggled with a bad latch), and I was so tired, and I didn't know this little baby like I knew Elsie. 

I actually remember the first time I looked at him and honestly said "Mommy loves you." I cried for almost an hour after I realized I honestly meant it. That was around 2 months. I called Josh and he said "You've meant it the entire time... you were just really overwhelmed." 

You will struggle with Mommy-guilt like never before.

I still struggle with this. Toddlers take up a lot of time. So do newborns. You will not have enough time. One of them will always need you, often times both will need you. Your house will always be a mess, your dinners will always feel slapped together, and you will always be exhausted from lack of sleep. That's just par for the course. What people don't tell you is the mommy-guilt will get you. 

"Do I hold him enough?" "Does she know I still love her?" "Does he need to nurse more often?" "I held her all the time and he spends so much time in his swing..." "Am I stimulating them enough?" "He's a little behind in milestones... is it my fault?"

You'll think these things all the time. And really, there's no way to answer them. You're doing the best you can and if they are alive at the end of the day... GO YOU! 

Your older one might struggle with Jealousy and even violent outbursts.

For a couple months we dealt with Elsie hitting Miah whenever he was nursing or crying and I had to pick him up, just from sheer jealousy. I really had to be careful to play with her and snuggle her and tell her Miah was "Her baby." She struggled a bit with the protective sister instinct and the "I want my parents." jealousy... but now she's mostly fine, gives him a soother and bottles and rocks him and holds him. But be prepared for some fights along the way, maybe even a couple meltdowns.


Now... I know, it seems like "Well then why would you ever do that?" because the pros are so great. 

They play together.

My children are so interested in each other. Elsie is completely fascinated by Miah, and Miah loves Elsie. He always gives her these adorable little smiles. Elsie sings to him and dances with him, and when he gets up in the morning, she's super excited. They play together really well, and something tells me this will only get better as they get older. 

Nursing was easier.

I was already used to nursing after Elsie, so nursing Miah was no biggie at all. I also knew what to expect, so I wasn't so discouraged when those first couple days were hard. 

Pregnancy and Labour were easier.

Remember how my hips didn't go back and it causes my problems now? Well, it didn't in labour. It was amazing in labour with my pain level and speed of labour. Pregnancy also rocked in some ways, because first off, I didn't have time to think about being pregnant while chasing around Elsie. I didn't struggle with the severe hip pain and back pain I did with Elsie, because my hips and back were already where they needed to be. Overall, the entire experience of the pregnancy itself was easier. 

You already have all that baby stuff out.

I hate sorting away my baby stuff. Because I know I'm just going to have to drag it out later anyways. When I got pregnant again, I was so excited that I didn't have to put away the crib or the bouncy chair or the high chair, or the ridiculous amount of baby toys we have around.. it was all going to be used again right away. 

You're already sleep deprived.

I kid you not. This I think made those first couple months easier. We were already sleep deprived. Elsie was already getting up at night and crying while she teethed, so adding a nursing baby didn't really make a difference in our ability to function. We never really got back in the habit of sleeping through the night anyways. 

We have such fun.

When you space out your kids... you get used to doing big kids things, like going to the park... and then you realize that you have a little baby now and those things are a lot harder. It can be a resentful moment. I didn't have this with Miah. We were already playing baby games,  it was already hard to get out of the door. My kids are so happy and I have learned to love peek a boo and pat a cake. 

I can totally see why someone who choose to space out their children. I totally get it. But I think having them close is also awesome, and I think I'm gonna do it again, not this next one, but the one after that. Because it really is an adventure, and it's a lot of fun. 

- Natasha

Thursday, 9 January 2014

A Big Difference: Expression of Anger and Expression of Sin

Lately I have seen a whole bunch of quotes that look an awful lot like this one: 

"We expect children to never have bad days, never be grouchy, never lose your temper. Yet we do this all the time, why do we expect things of them we don't expect of ourselves?" 

On the surface, this is a great quote, but something about it bothered me when I first read it, and now I have finally realized the issue with this train of thought. 

Yes, children have bad days, and yes, children get grouchy, and they lose their temper. But there is a big, big difference between someone having a bad day, and someone using that bad day as an excuse to sin. My problem is not when my daughter has a bad day, my problem is when my daughter has a bad day that leads to her being sinful. 

The other day, Wiggle woke up very grouchy. None of us know why, she just did. So we let her be grouchy, but throughout the day I corrected the sinful behaviour that came from her being upset. She threw her toys when told 'no'. She got corrected. She hit me when she decided that I was mean for not sharing my food, I corrected her. She got down on the ground and threw a hissy fit, I corrected her. Do you  notice something? I didn't correct her for having a bad day, I didn't correct her for being choosey about what she ate, or for not smiling enough. 

I chose to correct the attitudes that were sinful. Because these things aren't things that are ok for me or her. Why would I let my child get away with something sinful and give them the excuse "Well they had a rough night last night so she's tired today?" God doesn't give the order "Be angry and sin not... unless you're really tired, then it's ok." 

As parents, our job is not to coddle our children into  spoiled young adults who expect the world given to them, and expect people to understand they had a bad day and that's why they're mad. Our job is help them grow in Christ, and that means that we hold their attitudes and actions to Gods standard. And yes, we will make mistakes, and the battle seems kinda uphill a lot of the time, but that doesn't mean we don't do it. This world seems to be under the impression that because it's 'natural' it must be right. This is completely contrary to what God says. He says our very natures are sinful, and thus our 'natural' is wrong. Why would I for one second not help my child step towards Christ for the sake of her attitude being 'natural'? I won't. I will push my child to dwell in his shadow, in the warmth of his wings. Even if it means correcting her behaviour when she's tired and grouchy, because while anger is ok, sin is not

With Flash we have had this problem previously, and here is how to we dealt with it. 

1. We made it clear that attitude is a choice. 

Sure, you can wake up feeling stinky, but that doesn't mean you need to have a bad attitude about it. Contrary to what most people think, if you honestly decide that you're going to be happy today, you most likely will. Your attitude is determined by you. This applies to children as well. 

2. We laid out a plan for  him to deal with this anger.

If Flash was having a bad day, we would tell him whenever he felt angry, he could have some time to go to his room and calm down, and when he was ready to talk nicely we would listen. This left the responsibility to deal with his anger on him, and thus if  he chose to not calm down, the consequence of his anger was  justified. 

3. We didn't tolerate excuses or "Well he!"'s.

So often you see people make excuses for their anger "Well he was mean" or "Well then he shouldn't act like____." This is just plain old stupid. The Bible doesn't say be angry and sin not unless someone else irritates you, does it? No. So with Flash we have a no excuses policy. I don't care what he did, I care how you reacted. 

4. We apologized if we reacted in anger ourselves.

When I was a child there seemed to be this stigma on parents apologizing to children,  as if apologizing and admitting you were wrong was somehow going to undermine authority. But it doesn't. Having a double standard does. If you react in anger, apologize to your child and admit you were wrong it will go a long way. 

5. We always give an outlet for talk.

If Flash wants to talk, we are always there to listen to him about why he's angry. If it was something we did that we were wrong in, we fixed it, if it was something we did and he didn't like, we explained why it had to be that way. Never discount your childs opinion, this will just make them feel undervalued. But be clear that you are the parent and the final decision will always be yours.

- Adele

Image Credit: 

"Grumpy Child" by Clare Bloomfield found at

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

When You Are Overwhelmed: When everything is falling apart

If you're a parent... you've been there. Those days when it seems nothing is going right. 

The baby won't stop screaming, you're covered in pee or other bodily fluids, the toddler is throwing a hissy fit, and you can just feel the judgemental stares of that little old lady following you as you try to bounce one and get the other under control, and neither is working. 

Yeah. We've all been there. 

For me lately it's been hard. Miah's colicy, which means he screams for hours. With  no real reason. Lately people have started calling this "Purple crying." I don't care what it is... it is horrible. 

Add that to the fact that I am the only person in the world he won't take a soother from, and the only person who can't calm him down, no matter what I do... And Miah is a tough nut to crack. 

Wiggles has just started her jealous phase. As soon as I nurse Miah, or Caleb holds him... she hits him. Hard. With no warning. The problem is sometimes she's gentle and loving and we want to encourage that, so we can't just keep him constantly out of reach. Her little personality has really developed over the last little bit. She's opinionated, stubborn, and is 1 going on 13 I swear.

My house is never clean anymore. I gave up on it. There are ground up soda crackers in the carpet, and baby clothes scattered everywhere cause Wiggles loves to play with them, and somehow it always seems that dishes are never fully done.

Combine all this with sleep deprivation, and you have one very overwhelmed Mama.

But here's somethings to remember for all of you in the same boat I am. 

God understands.

I know, I know, some of you are sitting here thinking "Really Adele, really?" But no everyone, hear me out. When you are in the midst of a tandem screaming session and neither baby wants to be calmed, or your toddler is freaking out and the baby needs to be nursed and you can't fix both... It seems like you are all alone. It feels like no one understands how tired and frustrated and inadequate you feel. 

God does. 

Cry out to him for wisdom, for strength, for patience, and he'll give it! Take your heart ache before your heavenly Father and he promises that he will meet your needs. Trying to get through this challenging time without the Lord is a bad idea. This is not the time to pull away from God, but rather a time to draw every nearer to him. 

This is only for a season.

Your baby won't always be up all night screaming, and colic eventually goes away. That toddler will develop some manners and will learn obedience if you use some persistence and care. One day that baby will rock himself to sleep and you will sleep through the night again. 

This will not last forever. Everything will adjust itself out eventually, you just gotta wait it out. That blissful six months stage is coming! 

You are the best possible thing for your children right now.

It's so tempting when you're overwhelmed to think "I bet (insert other mothers name), would be better for my kids." Or it's tempting to have thoughts of running away or giving up. 

Oh Mama... you are the very best thing for your child right now. No one knows them like you, probably not even your husband knows them like you. Yes, it seems like you are the last person they need. It seems like you're never going to get this right, but think of it this way. 

These babies are taking the time to voice that something is wrong. Because they trust you to be able to fix it. 
They know that when you are near, the bad things go away. Maybe they just need a cry, and know that in the safety of your arms... they can vulnerable. This is especially true of older babies.

Don't let doubt take away the knowledge that your children where given to you by God for a purpose. Not to anyone else, you. God thought you were the best thing they needed, and don't you forget it. 

Give yourself a break.

I bet you are your hardest critic.

Sorry to break it to you darlin'... but you're human. Trying to meet the needs perfectly of yet another human. Neither of you is perfect, and one of you has limited to no verbal communication skills. Of course you're occasionally going to have problems! 

You don't have to be the perfect mom. Nope, nope you don't. In fact, you can't be. 

Sometimes the baby will cry, and it's ok to just let them... cry. And sometimes the toddler will be freaking out for no reason you can find again, and it's ok to bribe them with a cookie and hope that that solves whatever problem they're having. 

Sometimes being a good mom is saying "I don't know what to do anymore, so I'm going to walk away before I do something I regret." 

Sometimes being a good mom is giving yourself a break and saying "I'm human too, and I'm  not gonna be able to do this perfectly, but I can do my best and God will take care of the rest." 

Most of all.. You are a great mom. Don't let anyone, including yourself, say otherwise.
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