Thursday, October 29, 2009


i'm not setting a precedent here. i will not normally blog this often. i'm thinking once a week is my goal. but i really had a bee in my bonnet about the whole health thing and had to get it out.

health. how's that for broad.

this is pretty weighty in comparison to aldis and matthew the checker. but it is on my mind a lot and i'm starting to get pretty peeved. because we are self-employed we have a private insurance policy. we pay out the wazoo for coverage that we never use. i've honestly thought about dropping our policy and if something really huge happens, commit to making payments for the rest of our lives.
(insert the paragraph break that the formatting won't let me......HERE!)
are we healthy by disposition or is it because i make a conscious effort to try to maintain our health? (tim is excluded from any of this. he crumbles quite a few times during the winter because he propels his body with sugar, fast food, and energy drinks. and then crashes and enjoys his magic nyquil. he is a big boy and try as i might, i can't control him. ) yes, the boys get colds and ben has gotten sick a few times, but never anything major. ben has honestly been to the doctor once when he was sick and it was so i could get him tested for whooping cough, which he didn't have. and the doctor's advice-just let it run it's course and give him cough medicine. instead i put a vaporizer in his room and did an herbal chest rub several times a day. would it be easier to drug our kids and be done with it? probably, but i don't think that's right for so many reasons. (max has never actually been to the doctor. we did his well baby checks with our midwife and other than runny noses and a bit of a cough here recently, he's been very healthy.)(and in rereading this, i have to say, ben has only been to an MD once when sick. i have taken him to our awesome chiropractors who do natural stuff several times (which is way more effective-oh the stories i could tell.)

don't get me wrong-i think what most people consider to be conventional medicine has it's place. i'm very thankful that an infection or fever won't likely kill one of my babies. but our society has sooooooooo lost sight of prevention that it sometimes makes me downright angry. and our culture's abuse of medicines is in some cases creating nasty bugs that even our magic medicines can't kill.

now, i don't think i have all the answers, and i'm constantly learning and trying to be better and do better, but i try. i try to keep my little boys away from sweets and teach them the difference between growing foods and treats. we try to keep them well rested and not run then ragged. and when they're under the weather, i really try to watch it-go to bed early, give them supplements, be especially mindful of what they eat. so many people wait till their kids are full blown sick before they even take notice. one of my teachers in massage school often talked about the different states of the body. our culture considers a person to be either sick or healthy. he stressed the idea of wellness vs. illness. just because the fever has broken or antibiotics have been started, the body is still more in the illness realm and needs time and nurturing to return to wellness.

so this isn't a total rant and to keep myself accountable (and in an overall effort to be more organized), this is what i'm going to try this winter.

with breakfast, which is usually home made granola, oats and plain yogurt with cinnamon, or eggs and toast with a glass of raw whole milk, i think i'll try a shot glass of water with a splash of elderberry concentrate and silvershield. (ben loves anything in a special glass. my sister taught me that bit of magic.) they also get their vitamins at breakfast and i'll actually remember to take mine.

lunch i'll be honest is usually peanut butter/honey sandwiches and apples. but at least it's whole wheat bread and natural peanut butter. so really it's not bad.

afternoon snack-this is the one i'm bad about. our mornings have a pretty normal structure, but afternoons since ben cut out his nap have been a bit chaotic. i forget about snack and then it's usually 4 o'clock, ben's hungry, i'm tired, and i just give him chips and milk-he's happy and quiet and i'm off the hook. then he doesn't want to eat dinner and blah, blah--afternoons can be our downfall. sooo-i'm going to offer home made crackers and cheese or nuts. and a glass of milk. if i've made some banana bread or muffins, great, but if not, at least i'll have something on hand.

and for dinner, my goal is to ALWAYS have a veggie, which is something i've gotten really bad about because tim and ben won't eat them. ben won't even put them in his mouth, making the one bite rule difficult. it really frustrates me because as a baby and toddler, he was an awesome eater. but i must, must, MUST keep offering them. and no milk, because ben will totally just fill up on milk if allowed to. which, honestly isn't a bad thing. (jako milk really deserves it's own post.) so maybe the milk as a bribe to eat the dinner.

i'm also thinking about adding tea in there some where because i think it can be both healthful and relaxing, but not sure where.
sorry to anyone who is still reading. i get overwhelmed by meal planning and shopping because i try to offer way too much variety. but my boys don't like variety and it makes me work harder. so now i can visually see that really, i just need to keep those staples on hand, toss in a little variety when the mood strikes me, and we'll all be happy. and life will be simpler. and that is a good thing.

and just to lighten things up/redeem this post/enforce my need for crutch children, this is what my guys were doing while i wrote this.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


this one goes out to a certain special nursing mama. i hope it entertains you. and it has nothing to do with squid.

ben helped clear the table. when i went into the kitchen to finish cleaning up (hence all the crumbs) this fella greeted me. it made me smile.

today me and the boys went grocery shopping. i tend to avoid shopping for way too long, and then do a really big shop. it's not a good habit. i avoid shopping for a lot of reasons but today i was really motivated for some reason. we started at aldi (which i prefer to call aldis) and since we were out of pretty much everything, i didn't even bother to make a list. ben, being his charming self, always brings an added element to shopping. once, when he was close to max's age, a woman told him, "you are the ambassador of happiness!" because he would catch someone's eye and then smile his biggest, most cheerful smile until they smiled back.

max's added element is that he wants to eat. he's figured out how tasty chips are, thanks to daddy, and was determined to get the can of pringles. he would start begging and grabbing before he even finished the chip he had in hand. and yes, i feed my kids while we shop. by the time we checked out, bagged up, and loaded out, i felt like i had gone to an aerobics class.

on the way home we stopped at dillon's (which for a really long time i thought was dillions. i don't know why.) we got a coveted race car cart so ben was thrilled. i got really excited in an uber-nerdy way because kroger now has a white whole wheat flour for something like $2.45 instead of the king arthur which is almost twice that. i don't really understand this magic, but am looking forward to working with it. never did i think i would see the day when i got excited about flour. honestly, in the first year of our marriage, i don't think i went through a single bag of flour.

other than the flour, this is what really made my day: as i loaded my many bags of flour onto the check out belt i took note of the checker. i always analyse the checkers at stores. instead of the dillons polo, he had a white oxford on, black rimmed glasses, and some flair. nothing all that odd. he just didn't seem like the normal checker type. something about him struck me as different, like he really belonged at borders or starbucks or something. i noticed that one of his flairs was for air force one-available on videocassette today. or in 1996. so i mused that i liked his flair and he told me how he'd found it at an antique store. i told him it reminded me of how tim used to try to pack on as much flair to his walmart smock as possible. (smock-what a lame word.) then, i noticed, taped to the check writing stand, there was a piece of paper that read, "for what movie did joan crawford win her first oscar? flip over for answer." i asked if he wrote it, and he said he does them to get through the day. i, of course, had to check the answer-"mildred pierce" by the way, which he highly recommended. i told him that he had totally made my day with his quirky flair and trivia and he said i made his day, cause most people roll their eyes and give him weird looks. me and matthew the dillons checker built quite the relationship in our short interaction.

yah, it was a lot more amusing in person. written out, it's pretty weak. but i tried.

after dinner, ben pushed max around in this box for awhile. max loved it, although the pics really don't do it justice.

these pics reaffirm what all good parents already know-a good box is better than any toy you can buy. give your kids a sibling and a new box every once in a while, and you're set. it's the simple things.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

ummm...(shy) hello.

so it's been awhile. my excuse-the camera was broken. i'm really not interesting enough to go several posts without pictures. i use my children as a crutch. two cute crutches. my smarter--than-me three year old pointed out to me that i could use the camera on my phone. but it's hard to catch my very active boys on my slow phone camera. and i would then have to figure out how to download those pics.

i enjoying writing, but it takes more brain power than i've been able to muster lately. and, unless i have something worthwhile to write about, other than red shoes and word scrambles, i kinda feel like i'm wasting your time. but isn't that exactly what we turn to the Internet for-to waste time? i know i sure do. so, do i write mindless sillies that entertain myself and maybe you, or do i just not write anything at all? to be, or not to be? bacon or sausage? life's great mysteries.

until i get all that figured out, i think i'll just keep reinforcing this kind of good behavior by taking pictures.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

my babies.

i have been thinking about a lot of things, a lot lately. (got that.) which usually means i write nothing, or maybe some obnoxious piece about word verifications. but my boys and my life as a parent is up there at the top of the list. max's birthday came and went, and ben didn't really get a birthday shout out around here either. my mom read my blog a couple of weeks ago and said i need to be nicer to ben. although she has seen her fair share of his nightmare fits and rude sneers, she still loves him oh so much. they have a bond that melts my heart. he notices when she changes the seasonal decorations at her house and gets sincerely excited. he says things like, "i'm grammie's sweetheart" and asks to go to her house nearly every morning. he compliments her jewelery and her painted toenails and she buys movies and toys from garage sales so he (along with his cousins) have new things to play with at her house. so when she said i needed to be nice, i knew she was biased, but i also thought, maybe i whine too much.

both of my boys are amazing gifts. i tell them often that i'm thankful to God for blessing me with such wonderful boys. i'm pretty certain they know how fiercely i love them, even when we've had really, REALLY, really bad days. and honestly, the more i pray for grace, the less we have bad days. a change in my attitude has helped too. instead of writing off the day as "bad", i've tried to classify bad moments as just that, and hope for the day to be redeemed. tough days-yes. challenging-you betcha. but bad-not so much anymore. (and honestly, in my three years, i can only think of a handful of terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days. maybe i was being a little dramatic. not that i ever do that.) but most days ARE full and exhausting.

ben really is a great little guy and i marvel at him often. he is simply, very intense. he is incredibly verbal, which is awesome but, well, exhausting. i so love how inquisitive he is, but it wears me out. if i tell him "i don't know" to a question, he repeatedly demands, "just tell me Momma." like i really do know the answer and am just not telling him. don't worry kiddo-i will try to wow you with my brilliance any chance i get, but sometimes, i really just don't know. and he asks "how" about everything. "how" actually equals "why". "how are you not letting me watch another movie?" i'm proud that we've taught him and he understands his own emotions well enough to express them, but sometimes, i really don't want to hear about how he's frustrated that i won't let him have any more chips or watch a movie. no momma wants to hear that their precious is sad, even if he's "sad" because i told him not to push his brother. and if i had a counter for how many times a day i hear, "hey mom...", it would read approximately 8 billion. (if i don't answer the "hey mom"s, he follows with, "do you hear me? do you hear my voice? do you hear me?" with ben, ignore is not an option.

i realize, many of my frustrations with number uno stem from my own lack of patience. yes, he is impulsive, because yes, he is a three year old BOY. but i'm also thankful that God has given him such a strong, healthy body. or my frustration comes from my own lack of self control. maybe i'm crabby and tired because i stayed up too late when i should have gone to bed. but i also need to recognize my own needs and work to make our world a good place for all of us. these littles teach us so much. which leads me to max. (sorry, i should have warned you, get comfortable. i am not a brief person.)

before max was born, a dear friend told me about how she dreamt baby gweasy (max's utero name, long story.) would bring balance to our lives. she couldn't really describe how that huge and abstract feeling-balance, was conveyed in the dream. she just felt it. because she's perceptive like that. yep, she's a wicked cool gal. and it is so true. again, it is hard to verbalize, but it is very true. her words gave me great hope (and maybe a little disbelief) because when i got pregnant with max i was a little concerned. i already felt very in over my head with ben and just didn't know how we could wrangle another little fireball.

and it's not like max has been a walk in the proverbial park. he has his moments, good and bad. but i can't obsess over the bad moments like i did with ben because i have another kid to take care of. and it will pass. and life will go on. and i don't get as consumed by ben's bad moments for the same reasons. sometimes, you just have to shut the door for a little while and walk away. and it really will pass. my mom used to always tell me that with ben. "this too will pass, mary." but i didn't have any perspective. really?! will this child ever sleep through the night. will these tantrums ever end?! (well, i'm actually not entirely convinced on those two issues. bad examples.) but with max, i can look back and see that yes, those really hard moments passed and we survived and life is actually better in the grand scheme. with maxie, i actually savor the good moments more because i know just how quickly they too will pass. and i get it with ben too.

the balance is oh so good. not the kind of "balance" you would normally think of, because i'm sure plenty of outsiders would think "chaos" was a better description of our life with two boys. but it's MY balance. the chaos helps erase any pride or dillusions of perfect children or parents.

and the balance was totally a gift. because we didn't think we were ready for another kiddo. you see, max was a bit of a surprise. with ben, we had only ourselves to blame. because we were diligently using natural family planning, we knew where we were in my cycle, and we really wanted a babe, especially after losing our first baby in an early miscarriage. we thought we were ready. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! (i don't know if we could have ever really been ready for mr. benedict.) with max, we were being half-bottomed about our nfp use, and while we were receptive to a new life, it really wasn't the plan, and we, by our half-bottomed guesstimate, thought we were in the safe zone.

but God, knowing what was truly best for our family, took our little bit of cooperation and gifted us a sweet little max. (who i was convinced was a girl. oy.) don't get me wrong-we were still excited. after losing one little soul, we knew all too well that babes really are a gift and not a priviledge. but it was a very tired, we're still raising this first baby, kind of excitement. is that common for the second kid? i mean, you know what you're in for the second time around. maybe i'm just a wimp.

my little max (and ben is his own ways) has deepened my trust in the big G man in the sky so much. like a good Father, He wants what is best for us, but He won't force it on us. we have to ask for His guidance and be open to His gifts. although i could have never imagined how intensely hard parenthood could be, i could have also never imagined how deeply and truly good it could be.

the moral of this story is: yes, Mom. i really do love (and even like) ben. and max. and tim, just for good measure. (my mom likes my three guys more than she likes me. )

oh, and: Trust.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

hurts me brain.

you know those "word verification" things that you have to type to leave comments on some blogs, or for placing orders, or other "we don't want this to get hacked" things on the interwebs? the things that look like hallucinations? they cause me GREAT stress. if you had to verify 911 calls that way, i would be dead. (okay, that implies i've used 911 for an actual emergency other than, the kid i'm babysitting set off the house alarm and i was wondering if you have a universal off switch for those. the sheriff did NOT like that.)

so like i said, great stress. i feel like i'm back in school doing the sight and hearing tests. i hold my breath and hope i can get it. when i mentioned this to tim one time, he looked at me like i was extra special. am i the only one that has this problem. not that i would be surprised if i was the only one with this problem.

yep, that's it. that's all i had to say. i just tricked you into reading all that. sucka.