Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Following the rules...

I said something so profound to Hana yesterday I MUST record it in my blog. Because you see, in my bi-lingual, third-cultural world my English just ain't so good anymore, and I rarely say anything profound. and don't any of you who know me comment on how profound I might have been before my brain started tangling up two languages, two kiddos and a whole slew of others life things that require brain cells and their working capacity, or lack there-of...

Anyways, back to my profound statement. It has to do with parenting and I thought what I said made SO much sense, yet it was so simple. Let me start from the beginning...

When Hana came to us, I was determined to use a pacifier if she wanted something to sooth her, because I didn't want to deal with all the issues that come with thumb sucking. And then at 3 months of age I caught her sucking on her thumb in her crib and it was so darn cute, I forgot to take it out and tie it behind her back for the next 6 months so she'd never do it again. And wallah! We had ourselves a thumb sucker. I told myself it was easier than getting up three times (or maybe 300 times) in the night to put the plug back in. And many many mothers told me success stories of how their children quite at 2, 3 or 4 years of age. So I decided not to worry about it.

Then we got past the age of 4 and 5 rolled in and she seemed to be sucking it more rather than less. And her bite, well lets just say braces will probably be in her future. There is no way on God's green earth that her front teeth will ever meet, there is a huge gap there and I can't imagine it will correct itself...

exhibit A

There is no exhibit B, I just always wanted to say that -- "Exhibit A" (I momentarily at some point in my life thought about being a lawyer, for 3 or 4 seconds).

Anyhooo, this brings me to our current delimma. She is a month away from her 6th birthday and still sucking her thumb. So I am currently trying to figure out how to come up with some sort of contraption to keep it out of her mouth at night, and also trying to teach her self control during the day. She often sucks her thumb while she is watching TV. So the rule is, if she does that the TV goes off for the rest of the day and she can not have any movies or computer time or iPod or anything.

Yesterday morning, I caught her AGAIN sitting and watching Anne of Green Gables, sucking her thumb. So the TV went off again (for the fourth day in a row, or maybe even more). And as she was vehemently promising not to do it anymore and begging to have the TV turned back on I said...

"You know the rule, and Mommy has to follow the rules too, or you NEVER will!"

And then as I went about the rest of my morning those words kept going through my head and I kept realizing the deep truth behind them.

I think one of the major issues with parenting today, is this very thing. It isn't only that the children won't follow the rules, it is that the parents don't either. And I don't mean just that you set an example for your kids if you break rules, and they see that and will copy your behavior, which is true. I mean that, when you set a rule, YOU as the parent must follow it.

If I set up a rule for behavior and do not enforce it, then I am essentially not even giving my child a chance to follow the rules! The rule is two part, she sucks her thumb, I turn off the TV. I have an obligation in this rule as well. This just reinforces one of my biggest beliefs about parenting, raising children is as much about the discipline and training of the parents as it is the child, if not more!

How many times have I seen parents tell their children no about a toy or something they want in a public place only to allow it when the child whines and cries or throws a big horrible crying fit?

This should be the second rule of parentings...

*In the voice of the Genie from Alladin*
Rule #2, YOU as the parent, follow the rules!

And I am preaching to myself here, by the way because I am in no way perfect when it comes to this.

Okay, my profoundness has been recording for posterior, ahhmmmmm posterity! You may continue with your lives!!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

FLY lady...

Have you ever heard of FLY Lady? About 6 years ago, before Hana was born, I discovered "her" through some friends on a forum I was really involved with. I was inspired to be a better housekeeper. It did wonders for my habits in keeping our house clean. I developed a really good routine and was keeping a fairly organized spotless house, when our first little blessing arrived. All that baby stuff poured into our tiny little apartment, and I was totally consumed with soaking up every single minute with my precious newborn, adoptive breast feeding, cloth diapering, the works! So FLY lady went out the window (no pun intended).

But many of the habits I learned from her remained. My sink usually stays pretty clean (her first and key recommendation for staying motivated to keep a clean house), I still almost always get dressed in the morning (but not down to my shoes like she strongly suggests cause, well, I live in Japan and we don't wear shoes in the house here, besides I would hit my head on half our door frames if I added even half and inch to my height inside our house). I still have pretty regular days for a "house blessing" and de-clutter according to her suggestions. But I dropped the morning routines, and the night routines, the zone cleaning schedule through the month, and so forth.

Fast forward 6 years, one move later and one more baby. Just about 1.5 years ago when I was beginning to work up the energy to start a major deep cleaning on this house, planned to begin just after a guest left, we got blessing #2. And again, I was determined to soak up every amazing moment with my newborn cause this might be the last one! So FLY lady never landed that time around.

Finally, now I have the motivation and drive to get with it again. In the last week or so, I have cleaned out many closets. Some had boxes in them that haven't even been opened since we moved in here. I've rearranged, and organized, and cleaned. I've thrown away a lot of gomi (trash), maybe about 10 large bags. Mostly filled with clothes from when I was 13 kilo heavier. I feel like I'm finally making some progress, and pretty soon this house is gonna look GOOD! I'm almost there and it feels great.

The scary thing is, the last two times I nested like this (or almost nested the second time) babies came along! :/ We are not on the list for a third one and there is only one other way then that a baby would be possible...........



Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Random stuff....

Had a doozie of a headache yesterday. (wow, doozie or is it spelled doozy, either way my spell check doesn't approve, at any rate, that's a fun word I haven't used in a while! doozie!!!) So back to my headache. I think back in High School I had one like this a time or two, but oh my goodness it was horrible. I threw up 3 times from the pain and nausea. Slept from 8pm to 6am and it was gone. What was THAT all about? I have no idea, but it makes me want to do a detox or cleanse of some sort really bad for some reason. Anyhow...

Got back in the gym today. Somehow after getting back home from America having only gained 1 kilo, then losing that 1 kilo in the first few days, I now seem to have gained back 2 kilo. How does THAT happen!? Bunches of yummy Japanese food that I missed a LOT is how that happens. At any rate, I'm about to get rid of it. Oh how I LOVE to workout. I just LOVE it!

My 10pm-ish bedtime and getting up at 6am continues. Loving that too. So I am off to bed!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Life is so fun...

Gosh, sometimes I just marvel at the life the Lord has given me. I am soooooooo blessed! And having so much fun doing what we do, being married to the man I am married to and raising these beautiful, fun children! I could not have imagined my life like this and it could not be more wonderful. My dreams were so, so, um, boring compared to what God had in store for me. And when I think about what is to come, I can't wait to see what happens!

Just coming back from our trip to the states I stand in awe of the many many blessings. So amazed at the wonderful people who love and support us. So thankful for our friends and FAMILY! We had so many wonderful, meaningful times with both. I am overwhelmed with joy and pride in these people I am so blessed to know.

The trip to America was really refreshing to me spiritually. I had several times of sweet worship and just felt the whole time that God was filling me up with spiritual rest. It is amazing how going around and sharing what God is doing in Japan and that being the only ministry responsibility we had for 7 weeks was so restful and so fulfilling. It is so important to take time to reflect on what God is doing, on his amazing power, on the miracles that He has been knitting together over time. To put them into words and share those stories with people, oh it thrilled my spirit and renewed my strength for more ministry!

I love love love what we do. I love my life! Thank you Jesus!