parenting

I should probably take a break from posting really controversial topics (posts which are still daily being read and I have no idea how that is happening), and post cute baby pictures instead. Dear John Paul, You are nine months old.  You have officially been out of the womb longer than you were in. I feel like I have loved you forever. You are a mama’s boy through and through.  You have started to cry when I walk away from you, and you make it clear when you want Mommy.  And only Mommy.  You also get a little jealous when Big Sister takes your Mommy Time.  I thought we would only have jealousy issues from her, but no! But you are the happiest baby.  You smile for everyone and show off your two bottom teeth.  You have quite the giggle and you love to be tickled. And Big Sister can make you laugh like no one else.  She is a great baby sitter for when I need to leave the room for a moment.  She will climb into you play yard with you and keep you entertained, and she will play songs on her Scout dog for you.  And you

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We went to the beach this weekend to spend time with family. We didn’t do much “beach” because the weather wasn’t great, but there was a break in the clouds long enough for us to spend some time in the sand and for one person from our group to get badly sunburned. You loved it. You really did. You splashed and ran and squealed and dug and played until we absolutely couldn’t stand it anymore. But the waves were rough, so you didn’t get much swimming in. Instead, we all took turns holding your hand while you hopped in and out of the water’s edge, and pulling you back before the waves knocked you down. And then we sat in the surf together. Right on the edge where the tide rolls in to the sand. You would squeal every time the water rolled over our feet and legs. Then you would look at me with such wonderment, like I could explain it all to you. I, of course, have no idea how and why the waves crash in like they do, save some faint memories of 8th grade earth science class and that it has something to do with the moon’s

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To my beautiful mother on Mother’s Day – You always told me when I was older and had children of my own, you would understand the reasons you did things the way you did. I get it now. Every time I look into your grandchildren’s eyes, I feel the enormous amount of pressure on me to do things not only the right way, but to do them well.  I see how they look at me to be their #1 source of their needs and their wants.  They need me every moment of every day to be behind them, encouraging them, leading them, and sometimes making choices for them. I know that when you look at Brooke Allen, you see me all over again – the way she talks, the way she plays, and the way she sasses.  In your frustration with me growing up, you warned me over and over again that I would have a child just like me one day.  I am absolutely reaping every seed that I sowed in my childhood, and will eventually reap my teenage years too. But the best part about that is, you are also reaping what you sowed in me.  I have

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To myself on this Mother’s Day… Look at you.  You look like a hot mess.  Your hair is on top of your head, your 7am make up is long gone, except for the mascara that has started to raccoon around your lower lids, and just how old are those sweatpants?  They probably at some point in your life fit a whole lot better than they do today, but the elastic is all worn out so it doesn’t matter.  Plus, you’ve been sucking in your leftover baby belly all day, so it’s time to relax and let it all out.  The bra is most definitely off, and your t-shirt is a sorority t-shirt that is older than your relationship with your husband. You’re tired.  You’ve spent all weekend chasing after children while your husband works.  You even had to work in the office while you carted the kids over to Gigi’s house.  Then you did church, grocery, Target, meals, bathtimes, and bedtimes all while wrangling children – one who wants to do everything herself, and the other who wants to chew everything he can get his chubby hands on.  You’ve poured countless cups of milk and folded the blanket at least four times.  Every

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We had a little bit of free time on Tuesday night before Brooke Allen went to GiGi’s and I went to a meeting, so I decided it would be the perfect time to take Brooke Allen over to a big park and let her play for a few minutes. We talked about it all the way home, and while we were upstairs changing clothes.  She was so excited to go the park.  Halfway down the stairs, Brooke Allen realized that we were not going on a walk to the park here in our apartment complex.  We were getting back in the car.  And the conversation went like this: NO MOM!  I want to go to the pwaygwound! We are going to the playground, sweetie. NO!  We getting in da car! Well, yeh…we have to drive there. NO! WE HAVE TO WAAAAAAALK! No, baby.  We’re not going to the little park.  We’re going to the big park! NO!  I WANT TO GO TO THE PARK!  *sits down on the steps* WE ARE, Brooke Allen.  We won’t go to ANY park if this attitude continues. NO MOMMY!  I WANT TO GO TO THE PARK. Brooke Allen, just get in the car, and

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I was not a good mom this weekend. This was your Daddy’s long weekend, and often on these weekends, I feel completely overwhelmed and worn out.  I don’t get many breathing breaks. On Saturday after work, I knew we were leaving pretty quickly from GiGi’s house to go get a prize for your excellent behavior last week.  You filled up your behavior chart except for two spaces, so that warranted a trip to the Dollar Tree.  I parked my car and ran in the house, leaving the garage door open, but being sure to lock the house door.  I always do this if we aren’t staying at GiGi’s long. You weren’t quite ready to go, so I dressed you and took JP upstairs to change his diaper.  GiGi was getting dressed in her room.  You joined me to help with JPs diaper and then you decided to go back downstairs.  I finished getting JP ready and then went to see how much longer GiGi would be.  She said you had not brushed your teeth yet, so I went downstairs to find you. Your new favorite game is hide and seek, so when I called your name, I figured you were hiding.  I put your brother

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Christianity is has several truths that we believe. 1.  God created the heavens and the earth, and His people in His image. (Genesis 1) 2.  God sent His only son, Jesus, to take away the sins of the world through his death and resurrection, and salvation is through Jesus only. (John 3:16) 3.  All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. (2 Timothy 3:16) As Christian parent, I have a responsibility to my children to teach them these things.  It’s a command for us. But it’s an easy command to follow, really. I love my Savior so much that I want to follow His commands as closely as possible so that I am found righteous in Him.  I know I won’t be perfect in keeping them, but it is out of love that I pursue them. I love my children so much that I want the same for them.  I want them to find salvation, find it early, and to live a life that is pure and holy.  Part of my job as a mother is to teach them how. Brooke Allen is three.  She knows all the words to the Mickey Mouse

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I am not a perfect mom.  I make my own choices about how to mother my children. For the past three mornings, Brooke Allen has had a Peep with her breakfast, which is a Pop-Tart or a Clif bar.  She gets Sprite with her meals at restaurants, and Sprite with cherry flavoring at Moe’s when she eats her cheese quesadilla.  She eats a lot of quesadillas, actually.  Anything with cheese.  I figure the cow that made the milk that made the cheese ate grass at some point and there’s some vegetable quality in that.  I don’t worry about buying organic, gluten free, dairy free, GMO free, all the stuff that makes food taste good free.  Brooke Allen likes her macaroni and cheese from a blue box (I do, too). I didn’t breastfeed either of my babies.  Truth be told, I didn’t want to.  I’m also a working mom, and what little time I have at home, I didn’t want to be tied down to a breastpump, thinking of all the things that need to be done because I am home by myself with two kids.  There is laundry to do, children to bathe, and sleep to be had before we

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I pray for you.  I pray for you every day. And not just during my regular study time during the day. I pray for you all throughout the day.  I pray for you when I drop you off at school.  I pray for you when I put you to bed each night.  I pray for you when I kiss the top of your head.  I pray for you when you crawl into bed with me every morning at 7am.  I pray for you when I pick you up when you are crying because something imaginary touched you.  I pray for you when we are both in a frenzy and frustrated with each other. I pray.  I pray hard. I pray that whatever it is causing you to be upset or hurt would stop.  That it would all go away.  I pray that you will never be hurt again, but I know that won’t happen.  I pray it anyway. I pray for your heart, that it will be strong and kind.  That you will be open to loving all those around you, but still be protected from the predators who will seek it through your life.  That your heart will never

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Dear Brooke Allen, You are three years old today. I’m not really sure how we got here, or why time had to go so quickly.  I’m in a bit of mourning over the past three years, wishing I could go back to specific times in your life and relive them over and over again. Like when I first held you when you were born.  And when I used to rock you at night, and you would gaze back at me while I sang to you.  And when you found your love for Mouse.  And when you smashed into cake for the first time.  The first time I heard you laugh, and the first time I heard you say my name.  The first steps, the first falls, and the first time you asserted yourself with your own opinion. But I can’t go back.  I only have those sweet memories.  Instead, I can talk about who you are. You are brilliant.  Absolutely brilliant.  You are so observant of everything around you and you soak it up like a sponge.  You can talk about everything you see, hear and do, and you talk about it with confidence. Your memory is amazing – you

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