Words of wisdom wanted.

10:35 PM

Uggg.   Blogger is having a bad day, and I am unable to load any pictures right now.  Sooooo......

    For all of you moms/wives/women, how about you pass on some of your wisdom to me?  Please and thank you.  Here are the things I would like to know.

1.  How do you keep yourself focused on viewing what you're doing right now, as a ministry?  And how do you keep from feeling that it (raising babies) is overall much less significant in the big scheme of things than say....living on the foreign mission field, feeding starving children or traveling the world writing best-sellers? 

2.  How do you refrain from tallying up in your mind the times you were home alone with the kids in the evening vs. the times your husband has been, and feel the need to keep things "even"?

3.  Do you enjoy making lunches?  If so, HOW DID YOU GET THERE?! TELL ME YOUR SECRETS.

4.  What do you do when kids are sick?  Hold them all day?  I certainly don't.  And then I of course feel guilty later that I didn't.  But at the time it just seems like it's not practical.  I mean, you still have to make food and clean dishes and walk back and forth and move up and down and so on.  So, what exactly do you do?

5.  Do you really, truly as a good mom have to make note of all their little firsts (tooth, steps, smile, rolling over, waving, etc.etc.etc.) and at what age they happened?!!   'Cause I'm TERRIBLE at that.  I'm pretty sure I've missed a bunch already.  And I don't have a growth chart yet.  So poor little Joss the day she wants to look back and see how she grew from 1-2. :(  I just can't take the pressure!!

6.  What's the secret to laundry?  One big, do-it-all day?   A load every day?  Two big, do-it-all-days?  Laundry every hour, every day, all of the time??? Obviously I haven't figured it out.

7.  Another one about sick kids.  Obviously, they don't feel like eating.  So....is that like, o.k.?  Can they just starve a day?  I mean, how are you supposed to get things in them when they just puke it back up?

8.  Let's talk milk supply.  How do you know if your baby is getting enough?  It seems like my milk is going away but is there some way to tell?  And then do you just supplement to be sure they're getting enough? But that means I will have to buy formula. Poo.

9.   How do you keep from desiring the stages in life you're NOT currently in?  Like wishing you were dating, or newlyweds....how do you cherish the NOW, the present, the time you are in? And keep yourself from comparing your life of raising littles to the carefree lives of kid-less couples?

10.  Do you have a routine of sorts for making appointments?  I am like, the WORST at it.  They hang over my head like a dark raincloud, growing fatter and fatter with accumulating drops (Dr., dentist, chiropractor, etc.) until it all comes raining down at once and I'm completely overwhelmed.  I hatehatehate making appointments.  I wish I could hire someone to just run that entire part of my life for me.  And while we're on the subject, how do you choose a Dr., dentist, chiropractor, etc?  Is there some sort of procedure or do you just pick one willy-nilly?  We already have a doctor, and he is a wonderful person but I'm thinking about switching because I know of one cheaper....and that's another thing....is that even kosher to do? Is that like breaking some hidden, secret Doctor/patient loyalty contract?  He is soooo nice and I would hate to do that to him but this woman is a frugal one. 

O.k., we'll wrap it up with that one because 10 is a nice, round, even number.

   Goodnight all.  I will anxiously be awaiting the answers to all my questions in life, and more.  Thank-you. 

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  1. awww you sweet thing.

    im up at this unearthly central time zone hour because it's my only time to think.

    you are gonna make it shelley.

    don't compare. Paul mentions that somewhere in the NT - those who compare themselves amongst themselves are not wise. That's one of my biggest weaknesses. . . playing the 'i work harder than you do' game, with its close cousin 'my job is harder than your job.' don't do it to your marriage.

    These are all great questions. . . you will get some great answers. . . my advice is to take deep breath, let it out, know that these little people are PRICELESS. You get to care for them.

    Take a lil walk through society and see the empty glazed over eyes of our little ones, pushed and shoved from one activity to the next, entertained and bored every minute, just crying for someone to care, to love, to make chocolate chip cookies and put there bandaid on with a big kiss. Your kids, by the grace of God, have been born to a family that has a dad nad a mom and grandparents and that's so so so rare! They are blessed. You get to bless them. It's oh so very important, and society won't tell you that b/c they're too busy drowning out their guilty feelings.

    Hang in there friend. You matter.

    1. ahhhh!! *put their bandaids on! ;)

  2. -my children are my mission field right now, period. There is no way I could do one or the other justice if I were to try & do both-but that's just me.
    -husband makes that we both have girls/guys night once a month where we can get out & just breathe-I NEED THAT. Then if we are lucky we get a date night out yet. but usually our dates consist of doing something special after we put the kids to bed early-it's just easier than getting a sitter for 5 kids.
    -laundry...if I have a busy week, it's one load a day. if I have a lazy week I do 2-all dayers.
    -lunches-this is where I give myself a break. lunchables, chef Boyardee, & campbells are my go-tos...then I make a good healthy dinner.
    -choosing Dr.s was trial & error for us. we were on our 3rd peds Dr. before we decided we loved him.
    -scheduling-get a big desk calendar, put magnets on the back & put it on your fridge. Write everything down as you schedule & if the girls do or say something you want to remember, write that in too. Then later transfer it to a baby book
    ........these are just some things that have worked for me...good luck:)

  3. oh, & sick kiddos...as long as they are drinking lots of fluids, don't stress about the not eating. she will eat when shes hungry.

  4. i am with you on #5!!!!! i have had huge guilt for never keeping a baby book for any of my kids. then i decided: that was a thing of the past and maybe jesus will come back before my kids realize they don't have one.
    my mom has one for me and i never look at it.
    oh but there was that one day, a few years ago, i just felt really nostalgic and was running my tongue over my teeth and i wondered..... WHEN did this all begin for me? i phoned up my mom to ask her the dates and times of my first 5 teeth. she didn't know, so she said "check the baby book." well,it is up in the attic so a few days later, i got the chance to sneak up there. i was just bubbling over with excitement to visit my teeth history and get more connected with my dental past. i opened that pink book and wanted to die. DIE! those entries were blank. mom! where were you when i cut my first tooth?! weren't you there?! not to mention tooths #s 2,3,4, and 5! i haven't told her yet that i know- that i know what a slacker she was during that part of my life. someday i will get a chance to share that loss with her...
    ok, well, i am done-- but i think i have proved my point. no one cares! at least that's what i keep telling myself.

  5. Aww Shelley, it's great that you are thinking through all this now while your kids are little. Ask God to give you a vision for your family, for your role as a mom, & for your kids future. Think & pray through the things that you want to instill in your kids & set goals based on that. These are things I wish I would have been more intentional about doing when my kiddos were little. It's hard to get to where you want to go unless you have goals & follow steps to reach them. Read the book "Desperate" by Sarah Mae & Sally Clarkson. (and anything else by Sally Clarkson too) I'm serious it will be so worth you time and will help a lot with question #1 & 9. :)
    - Do I ever enjoy making lunches? :) I don't know if I could say I enjoy it but it has just become a necessary fact of life. Some things I have done (that I need to get back to), are praying for my husbands day as I pack his lunch, & a couple times a week slipping a little something special in, like: chocolate kisses & notes (sometime just scribbled on his napkin).
    - sick kids: Well, when they were little sometimes it meant a day spent holding them and yeah other stuff didn't get done but that's ok, my hubby always understood those days & would help get supper around when he got home if he needed to or just we just had sandwiches. Each child was different, some needed the comfort of being held a lot, some just wanted to go to bed & 1 didn't even want to lay down he would just wander around. As far as eating when they're sick- If they're puking I don't push food, but I do push lots of fluids & then occasionally try toast, applesauce, etc to see if they'll keep it down.
    - recording 1sts - don't worry about it. If you do it, great! If not, let it go. I didn't get that done. With my 3rd child born when 1st was 25.5 mo. it was about survival & recording all those things didn't happen. Do I wish I would have? Sometimes. There are times that the kids & I think it would be interesting to know some of that but, it really isn't a big deal. And, I really haven't had a strong need to know all those little things about myself either. If it bothers you, keep it simple & just note it on the date on your calendar & then you can always go back & write it in a book when you have time.

    More than anything, keep yourself in the Word & always praying. I know, when do you find time for that at this stage of life? But, remember it doesn't have to be huge chunks of time, just a couple verses, time spent talking to God, and don't forget to take time listen to Him. This is your lifeline. Also, find an "older" woman to mentor you. Someone who you can say anything to, who will listen, pray with you, & encourage you. This is so important & valuable, we weren't meant to walk this journey alone, we all need people around us to encourage us & keep us focused. We all have days where we really don't want to do this anymore & most anything else looks better, so we need God & people around us to help us keep the vision alive in our hearts. And, it's ok to ask someone to be that mentor to you, if fact you'll probably have to.

    There's so much more I could say but I'm not very good with writing my thoughts, so I won't take up much more space. Just remember being a great mom isn't about having a clean house, laundry all done up & put away, wonderful meals, & perfect birthday parties. It's about caring for your child's heart, & showing them Jesus.

    You are a great mom, Shelley! Hang in there!

  6. Hey Mama,
    I am totally with you on so many of these things.
    One thing I had to do was distance myself from Pinterest! I didn't understand at first, but it seemed like when I would get off of there I would feel super overwhelmed! Then one time I was thinking about it, and realized that every time I looked at new projects it would make me feel inadequate, or WAY overwhelmed! Once I stopped looking at it so much then I felt better about the things I needed to get done. Now I use it mostly like a search engine. So if I am looking for a specific project I just search for it. That has helped me... Obviously I still love Pinterest :) Just had to distance myself.

    One thing I started doing with milestones is I hung a calendar on my fridge. Then whenever does or says something new I can quick make a note on that day. Even if it is really simple then I am hoping to go back and expound on those :) I am seriously slacking with Everett and Vivian's book still isn't done! I finally finished her 2nd year shutterfly book, and that took me about 6 months!!

    When my kids are sick I just pay attention to how much they are going to the bathroom. If Everett is still having wet diapers I don't worry.... That is the biggest indication of dehydration. My kids might go the day without much to eat either. It is hard for me because I always want to feed them! But fluids are most important to watch...

    Ahh the milk supply :/ Mine is down now too.... Everett is eating quite a bit of baby food so I think he might be weaning himself a little bit??? He takes water out of a cup too which makes me feel better. I hate the idea of formula :S Even though I know its fine, for some reason I always try everything else first. Have you been working out a lot lately? I started some new workouts a month ago and I think my milk dropped a little then too...

    I also hate appts :S I usually try and make them all at one time. Usually when Everett is taking his first nap, I let Vivian watch 30 minute show and do checkbook, appts, and paperwork. Then after the 30 minutes I spend time with her.

    Whew. I hope that helps some. I totally don't have things figured out by any means. There are so many things I struggle with too. Meal Planning :S Laundry :S

    You are doing an amazing job, and I love reading your blog! Your girls are so SO sweet! They remind me a lot of my two, so it seems like everything you write I'm like, "That's me!" , "I totally understand exactly what your saying" :)

    Hope you have a good weekend, sorry this got lengthy, Next time I might just email you lol :)

  7. Dreaming of other life stages, like the newlywed phase, or the dating phase, or even the carefree 5-yr-old days? Um, maybe it's unholy of me but I kind of embrace it... I have to admit it kind of depresses me when girls lose that, lol :) Same goes with wishing I was on the mission field.... how could you not wish that :) it's ok :) Seriously, though, I find it SO much easier to appreciate my real life when I acknowledge what I might be missing... it might sound bad, but when I'm totally REAL with myself, it also feels wonderfully REAL--not scraping-stuff-together-ish!--to count my true blessings in *this* precious life-o-mine :)

  8. Dear Shelley~ Love your blog …. love your honesty … love how you’re just so real. I read here frequently, but my comments aren’t quite so faithful. =) Anyways, here’s a couple of {my humble} answers to some of your questions …
    1. This is one that I constantly have to re-focus with too. My passion would be to be doing some kind of medical work in a poor country. But I remind myself how much impact my crew will have for the kingdom one day if I am faithful to train them right now. And how much I would lose (with my children) if I was pouring myself into a different project. Another thing I try to keep as a priority is ministering to hurting people right around me in my own community.
    2. Don’t know about this one. Never thought of it. =) sorry.
    3. Not much answer here. I hate lunchtime too. It always feels like a major interruption to the day. We pretty much do mac n cheese or sandwiches or soups. Wraps of all kinds. Or supper leftovers from the night before.
    4. Yours are pretty little yet, and yes, at that age they DO just want to be held all day. I try movies, story tapes, special snacks or drinks, reading stories, and yes, tons of rocking chair time. Tylenol can help a ton too.
    5. I was perfect for my first kid, lol. But now what I resort to is my day planner I have my planner out on the desktop anyways to record school days, so I quick jot down one-liners like “Saraya -10 lbs today” or “Gabriel cut 2 upper teeth”. Then when I work on photo albums or baby books I just pull out the planner and there are all the facts. We also have one wall in the house where we measure kids. Just randomly really, maybe twice a year or so. And then I again will jot it in the planner.
    6. Endless laundry. Yes. Ugh. I usually throw a load or two in every morning, and then Friday have a huge folding session. I’m not a fan of laundry tho, so this isn’t really a fantastic method. =(
    7. If a kid is seriously puking everything then my tip is tea. I like red raspberry leaf and mint mixed together (I buy the loose leaf tea), sweetened with alittle honey, and then give them only 1 teaspoon every 5 minutes. It’s usually not enough to make them puke, and yet they still get hydrated. In one hour’s time they have kept down 2 oz. of tea. Which for a tiny tot is enough to really help. This always works for mine. After a couple hours I give more and more until they are drinking normally. If they are not puking just don’t want to eat I go for grapes, popsicles, pretzels, bananas. But you would know what your girls love. =)
    8. This one is tricky. I try to make sure my baby nurses at least 10 minutes per side. I can also feel when my milk lets down, and I listen for the swallowing. If she only swallows for a few minutes and then is sucking dry the rest of the time, then she probably isn’t getting enough. Another tip is to count wet diapers or watch weight gain. If my milk supply wanes it is often because I am limiting what I eat (trying to lose that baby weight!!) or not drinking enough or am not resting enough. The herb Fenugreek is a great one for helping with milk supply. For myself I often have to offer solids around 6 months b/c my milk supply doesn’t keep them satisfied anymore.
    9. This one is hard. No real answers here, except I really, really try to cherish the moments. Everybody older than me tells me that I am in the best years of my life, so I do my best to realize that.
    10. My #1 mom advice would be: if you have a Dr. you love, keep her/him!! They are not as common as you might think! As for choosing one, I often ask other mom friends who they love. And as for appointments, I have a huge calendar on the side of my filing cabinet next to the desk and I write them there. And also copy into my planner. I try to not have more than 1 or 2 per week which isn’t too hard since I don’t do doctors/dentists/chiros very often.

    Whew, that was long. Sorry if I overwhelmed you with ideas. Wishing you a wonderful weekend of family fun & a smooth week of mommyhood ahead!

  9. For purpose, listen to this link to a talk from Dr. Dobson
    Listening to it gave me a bigger vision for family and how it affects the future. It's not about me after all.

    on #9. "comparison is the thief of joy.." in EVERY stage. I find that i really can decide just to make a decision to be content. Sometimes it happens fast, mostly slow and subtle.
    It also helps me so much to look at life in categories... There is a time for wondering and being free; there is a time for commitment and roots, investing in something that is costly but valuable and bigger then you. There is enough time in life to do everything, but i haven't found one stage when it all collides in one glorious symphony of everything i've ever wanted. To have one good thing means sacrificing another. If it's done right, a lot can happen in the whole of life. Just not all at once.

    As for laundry and appointments, dang if i know how to deal with those! ha. =)
    I'm grateful for your pursuit of wisdom and the feedback that you are getting here. We need to encourage each other more in these ways.

  10. Hi Shelley!
    You have so many of the same questions I do right now.
    -I've been thinking alot about the "your children are your ministry" thing too, especially this week after seeing the presentation from the group that went to the DR. It makes me feel like I should go on a mission trip like that and really HELP people. But, as I've been pondering it, I see and hear of all these messed up kids and families in our world today and know that our job is VERY important. So, I'm trying to focus on that and do my best to raise a holy, virtuous young woman.
    -The laundry thing.... To my chargin, I discovored clothes in the bottom of the hamper that haven't been worn for a month(!!!!) as I was doing laundry this week. Sorry, no help here. If you find a good method, please share:)
    -Milk supply...Same problem as you. Isabelle is almost 10 months now and I just stopped pumping this week because mine had gone down A LOT lately and I felt it finally wasn't worth the hours pumping for these pathetic amounts of milk. Since I was pumping exclusively, it was easy to tell what things affected supply. I found that working out pretty hard seemed to have an small negative effect. Dieting(or even eating normal amounts!) and drinking adequate amount of water affected it some too. When I went back to my "pregnancy" diet, which consisted of adding 1-2 snacks, it came back some. Sleep seemed to have the biggest impact on my supply but there's not much you can do to control that at this stage of life:( When Isabelle would get up >3 times/night, my milk supply would be down significantly the next day. The last straw for me was when I got sick for a few days, it tanked then never came back when I was feeling better. SO FRUSTRATING! I had to start supplementing with formula about 1 months ago and started formula exclusively this week. I feel so guilty, but am trying to keep in mind that really it's only going to be 2 months out of 10 that she will get formula vs breast milk. Plus, these small babies need to keep growing so they should have all the calories they will take, even if it involvoes formula. I'll be thinking of you and praying for you!
    -The Dr. thing... Having seen more doctors in the past year than I ever would have hoped to in my entire life, if you have a good doctor, keep them! Not all doctors are created equal. In the veterinary field, there are huge differences in how "good" or how much vets know or do, even though they were taught the same things. It's scary. When I think about the medical profession and the fact that human lives are at stake, it's even scarier. In this instance, there may be some truth to "you get what you pay for".
    Have a great weekend!

  11. I have always done 1 load of laundry a day, and as soon as it's done, I usually fold and put it away so I'm not having to think about it. Otherwise I'm sure I would get so overwhelmed by having it pile up, and I'd feel like I could never get caught up on it!
    When Jaidon is sick I do usually hold him, and plan on pretty much getting nothing done during the day, unless he is sleeping. I just feel like even tho I know there's things I could be doing, he is one day not going to need me, and I'm certainly not going to look back on life and wish I had had a cleaner house, or meals always on time, or everything in perfect order.
    As far as pediatricians go, I was going to one for awhile that I really liked, but he was way too expensive, and when I heard about this other one that was MUCH cheaper, I switched, and I love him! -Jerin

  12. Hmmm... the laundry thing. I'm the type of person that thinks I have to get all my work done N.O.W. And then when it's done I relax. But then I had a baby. :) I do our regular laundry on Mondays and Thursdays, and if I'm able to I'll do Dominc's those days too, but usually I do his Tuesdays and Fridays. Some time I'm sure I'll mix his with ours, but this routine works good for me still. I'm learning to let things go too... I really hate to have dishes undone, clothes not folded, etc, in the evenings, but I know how Bryan doesn't like for me to be working all evening, so I tell myself that it's ok. I can do it tomorrow. Just relax. :) Seems like a little thing, but this is coming from the person who used to not be able to go to bed until the whole house was completely in order.
    When Dominic was 3 months old I went back to my workout schedule, and after two weeks I lost most of my milk. I didn't know what was going on and by the time it was all said and done, my poor baby was so skinny and it was the. worst. time. ever. I had to quit working out, I took fenugreek and mother's milk tea, and managed to get my supply back up. I gave him formula in a bottle 2 times, and then he went on a nursing strike and just wanted the bottle. I knew he needed the formula as a supplement, but I didn't want to give up nursing, so I mixed a little bit of formula in his cereal for about two months until he started gaining weight again. After six months, things went smoothly again; he gained steadily and I nursed him till 12 1/2 months. But oh I know how horrible it is to look at your baby and wonder if he's hungry and you don't have enough for him. I was so inexperienced. :(
    I bought a planner book, and at the beginning of each month I sit down and fill it out. Days bill are due, appointments, etc. I actually enjoy it; I'm an organizing freak. :) It's really helpful though. I'm a lot more scatterbrained than I used to be!

  13. http://blog.lproof.org/2013/03/what-would-you-look-like.html

    Here is a blog article that relates to #1. I am not a mom yet, but I often feel that my life is not "big" enough. Enjoy!
    -amanda miller

  14. It's ok.


  15. Well, you asked, right? Here we go.
    1. I thought of this when Grandma Smucker was in the hospital and I watched her grown children coming and going and making sure someone was always with her and I thought, Oh my word. All that investment in your babies. THIS is where it pays off. Right here.
    Mothering is an act of faith. It IS significant in the grand scheme of things, but you might not see it until you're 79 and the doctor can. not. believe. the commitment level of this family.
    2. Keeping track sounds dangerous.
    3. Let's just say I'm happy to be at the stage where I can have Triscuits, Swiss cheese, and half an avocado for lunch. By myself.
    4. Sick kids means enough needs to keep three of you busy. Try to meet half of everyone's needs, including yours. Let the rest go.
    5. You'll have pictures. I'll have stories. Others will have dates in the baby books.
    I also have a file or two stuffed with things I scribbled on scraps of paper.
    6. Two loads a day. That way, if you're gone for a day, it still works out.
    7. Someone else might have said this. Give sips of clear fluids, wait 15 minutes, give a few more. Unless they barf it up, then wait longer. Gradually work up to more clear fluids, then jello or clear soups, then crackers. Not milk products or meat. It can take a day. They won't starve.
    8. Not sure.
    9. Not sure either. Just know that it's tough to go from the euphoria of dating/newlywed to two babies. And it's ok to say so.
    But when my mom was like 85 she would dream at night about having babies again, and now I've started doing it too. Babies touch your soul and you are never the same.
    10. I try to make one obligation phone call a day.

    Great things are happening in your life. They come disguised as teething babies and frustrating questions and endless laundry.



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