Reformed Grits

I really hate to brag, but…
January 31, 2008, 5:54 pm
Filed under: Cute kids stuff

Who am I kidding?  I love to brag on my kids!  Baby Bee is now 19 1/2 months old and continues to be the Belle of the Ball.  Everyone adores her and vies for her attention.  She is sweet and funny and pleasant, and we are so thankful for her. 
But one thing has really set her apart as An Amazing Baby. 

She loves her playpen. 

I can put her in her playpen in the morning, and she will play and chatter away happily in there for hours.  Yes, I said hours.  She will smile and talk if I walk by as she plays with her babies or pushes the button on her "fridge radio" and says "Bye, Bye!" to it.   I can’t tell you how thankful I am, as she was really getting "busy" and I often found her in the pantry with her arm in a cereal box.  Or under Mr. Grits’s side of the bathroom sink hiding in the cabinet.  Or playing in toilet water.  Or sticking her face out between the rails of the stairs. 

You can see how excited I am about her new safe haven. 

I still love to have her near me when I am doing things, but now I can get involved mentally in an activity and not have to run through the house every 3.22 minutes screaming, "WHERE’S THE BABY???  HAS ANYONE SEEN THE BABY???" 

I’m enjoying the respite that comes before she turns 2 this summer…   


January 31, 2008, 9:11 am
Filed under: Television

I don’t know what to say to say other than,
Mr. Grits and I love this show and have been waiting eagerly until this season premiere!
I am looking forward to a new mystery ever week. 
I’m looking forward to the time with my sweet hubby each week. 
I can’t wait for an opportunity and excuse to eat a wee bit of our favorite chocolate dipped in peanut butter. 

It’s too bad that in a week or so we won’t have DirectTV anymore, and rabbit ears won’t pick up ABC. 

I’m going to have to get creative! 

Where’d it go??
January 30, 2008, 12:39 pm
Filed under: Web/Tech

The 3rd installment of "I plead ignorance" has disappeared. 

Well, not really.  It got moved back to draft.  I was told it was "TMI" by someone I trust implicitly. 

If I offended anyone, I do apologize and I hope that it wasn’t a stumbling block to anyone. 

If you missed it?  Well, I’ll have to dig down in the recesses of my brain and think of a different one.  Let’s just say that you tend to lose all sense of modesty when you have a baby.  When you have given birth to seven?  Well, there’s really just no hope that you will ever be able to tell the difference in what’s "TMI" and what’s "LOL." 

THANK YOU to everyone who has commented to win the apron.  I really thought I’d get a lot of "pity comments" and all, but I’m really pleased that many of you like it as much as I did.  More practical than a lot of aprons out there, and like I told my sister… if I have to IRON it?  Forget it.  I didn’t want to bring this up, but in case you don’t win I have 3 more on sale at in a little shop there if you really like them.   I’d be willing to make more, if needed, but don’t want to go crazy making aprons if they are going to sit in my sewing cabinet.  🙂

Have a great day!

I can’t believe I am actually participating in something…
January 28, 2008, 8:54 am
Filed under: Weblogs


… But I thought it would be fun to give away a cute apron I "embellished."   It’s a chef’s apron with a row of wide rick-rack at the top and a large trimmed patch pocket on the front.   Dsc01046_2

If you’d like to win, please leave ONE comment below.  Comments will be closed on this post Sunday February 3rd at midnight 10PM (not seeing me being up that late, sorry).  I will randomly choose a comment for a winner, and yada yada yada all the other rules, etc. over here.  You don’t have a blogger but I at least have to have your email address to contact you about how to send you your prize.   Interested?  Comment below!  Thanks for playing! 

More pics below…



Anger, food, and being a mom
January 25, 2008, 2:07 pm
Filed under: Life

I sometimes will get emails from young(er) moms just starting out in the trek we call motherhood.  This is a question I got recently and wanted to share it and my response, with permission, in case anyone else may have something to add to this or may possibly be helped by it.  Sorry it’s so long!

Question:  I have been completely astounded by how different motherhood has been
from my expectations.  Mostly, I am completely blown away at how very
quickly I can get angry :(.  Anyways,… here’s an issue I’m wrestling
with _ like I said I have a 15 mth old and she’s very self-willed.  We
do spank, and she rarely cries when we do.  She will stop the undesired
behavior (for a time).  However, I’ve been reluctant to spank for
eating issues.  I don’t want to engage unnecessarily in battles.  She’s
not very willing to eat many different kinds of foods and even gets
angry when they are offered to her.  And, when she is tired of
something or just plain doesn’t want it anymore, she will launch it
across the room.  Needless to say, I’ve begun to approach mealtimes
with much trepidation.  I’ve suggested to my husband that we end
mealtime when she begins to get crabby in the highchair, but he is
reluctant b/c she doesn’t eat much to start with.  I think we are on
the verge of her just having too many choices in this area b/c we have
never put our foot down in this area.  Any thoughts?

And, are the toddler years as maddening for everyone or is it just me?

It’s interesting that you mention this as anger was something new I had never dealt with in my life.  I’ve never been an angry person.  My parents never lost their tempers.  It was very unexpected for me too.  With all the parenting books and seminars, etc. I went through I had this expectation that I would discipline once, and the behavior would disappear.  Not so.  Honestly someone needs to write a book that says that you have to do the exact same thing in parenting about 500 times before they get it. I look back now and see hard discipline times were more "phases" than anything else.  You go for a month or two drilling the same thing, and next thing you know you really aren’t even talking about it anymore because they aren’t doing it… and you didn’t even realize they quit.
As far as mealtimes, we used to make it a huge training session, and it was so stressful when we just wanted to have a nice meal.  I began to "train" at meals that daddy wasn’t there, and then at dinner when he was, I’d suggest calmly correcting her, while VERY firmly holding hands (NO, we don’t throw food.) and giving one more chance.  After that, if she throws a fit, I’d just calmly pick her up and resign her to her crib with the door shut until the meal was over.  She will not starve, I promise you, and she will learn that mealtime is for eating.  Yes, it will take time.  Maybe 500 times.  🙂  You mentioned you haven’t put your foot down as far as mealtime?  Exactly when do you think it will be easier to do so?  😉  Like I said, breakfasts and lunches I will make what they like within reason, but at dinner "I make what daddy likes" and if they don’t care to eat it, we don’t make a deal over it or force them to try it but they do have to sit with us.  It just got too stressful, and we tell them breakfast will be first thing in the morning.  They are allowed to say "no thank you" but we absolutely insist that they are respectful and don’t make a face or say "EW" or whatever.  When they have done this, I look at them in the eye and say kindly but not fakely, showing they’ve hurt my feelings, "I have been in the kitchen for quite a while cooking dinner for our family, and it hurts my feelings that you would say something so unkind when I have been doing this for you."  Especially once they get 4 or 5 or older and really just ADORE their mommy, this works so well!  They actually are learning to be respectful that way; but if you teach them to eat it and say thank you and act all nice as if they love it, I’m kinda thinking you are teaching them a wee bit of deceit??  JMO.  But eventually they will eat.  My almost 13 year old went to a friend’s house this week and had salad for the first time in his life.  EVER.  I was floored.  I asked why he ate it, and he said he didn’t want to hurt her feelings… and that it wasn’t bad.  And then, that night we had salad again at our house– and he asked for some!  SHOCK!  If I had forced him to eat "a little bit all along" I really think it would have been more of a stubborn issue for him and he would have insisted he didn’t like it.  But then I know the masses out there disagree with me.  Just what works for us. 
Sadly, as far as anger…the thing that makes anger easier to manage… is perspective.  Which is exactly what you and I don’t have when we are worn-out from chasing our first!  I have more now; but not enough for my almost 13 year old.  I figure I’ll be a much better mom to my youngest at 12 than I am to  my firstborn at 12 because of perspective.  What to let go; what to hold on to; what to laugh about. 
I will say, that I am not one to recommend books because I tend to lean towards the fact that all we need is God’s word.  BUT… one book that has helped give me some perspective is Tedd Tripp’s Shepherding a Child’s Heart.  One idea in that book that helped me let go of a tremendous amount of anger was this:  the wrong that our children do is not against us; it is not about us.  It is against God.  Our job is to come between and teach our children how to be in right relationship with their God.  The reason that helped me so much was that I remember in my head when my oldest would do something as a young one, over and over and over, I would think, "YOU will NOT do this to ME."  or "How DARE you do this (to me.)"  Etc… I had to change my thinking to, "Oh, son, your sin damages your relationship with Christ.  He came to die because of this sin.  Let’s change our behavior and ‘sin no more.’"  Obviously those words were not what I used, but that was the attitude of my heart in discipline.  It was very helpful.  I still have days that I have to remember this, consciously however. 
Parenting a toddler is really hard.  You can’t reason with them.  But as soon as you throw your temper back at them, you become like them, and to parent effectively you need to be the adult so that you can shepherd your child towards a relationship with Christ.

We may be on to something
January 24, 2008, 4:49 pm
Filed under: Miracles and other amazing things

It’s about those headaches…
When I first went to the neurologist in August I was having them almost daily.  It was taking over my health and sanity. 
We’ve tried a number of things.   The first may have worked, but made me stupid.  And depressed.  And anxious.   So I begged off as soon as the headaches let up hoping they’d stay away.   
The next 2 months were miserable– filled with lots of headaches and discouragement. 
This time, I started on something that they said "may eventually help…" the same day I started "low-carbing" it.  After the first day of the diet, I have only had one week’s worth of headaches… and you can guess which week of the month that was. 
I don’t know if it’s the meds I’m on (which aren’t "supposed" to have kicked in yet) or if cutting empty carbs out of my diet have helped.  I know I’ve lost 6 of those pounds I gained back.  Just call me the yo-yo diet queen. 
I suppose the idea that being able to have a semblance of "control" over the propensity to have headaches is comforting.  (Gee, that was a lot of big words.)   
But time will tell.  In the meantime, I’m going to actually cook a meal for my family tonight. 
Be impressed. 

January 24, 2008, 11:45 am
Filed under: Life

I am sitting in a chair in my kitchen with the laptop on my lap. 

Around me, dishes are dirty and long to be put in the dishwasher.  It’s actually empty, and waiting for me.  Crumbs on the island.  The counters need to be cleaned; the floor needs to be swept.  On the kitchen desk, I have numerous store fliers that need to be disposed of, and a number of "priceless" drawings that need to be filed for posterity.  And a dirty dish.  And an empty purse. 

Ahead of me, in my "green room" (which is supposed to be an eat-in area but is too small for my family and I use it for various purposes) I have laundry that needs to be put away.  It is even folded.  My vacuum cleaner is standing at the ready– plugged in and all.  In the adjoining laundry room, I also have a basket of clothes to be folded; a dryer full of dry clothes; a washer full of clean, wet clothes.  A load yet to be washed.

I have a small stack of "school stuff" in my room that could be easily taken care of.  My bed needs to finish being made.  Half-way made, it still invites me in.  Down comforter, fuzzy blankets, soft pillows– anyway, not today.  It calls, but I can’t answer.   I need to empty the trash– smells like poopy diapers.  Hm.  Wonder why? 

My living room looks like trolls live there.  7 socks, all inside out.  Numerous shoes.  A backpack for the one who is home today.  Couch pillows.  On the floor.  Remote controllers everywhere, crying to go the basket they call home.   

None of it is getting done.  Mostly because I’m sitting here describing it. 

My toes feel like ice cubes that might snap off if I stand up to walk.   The girls are upstairs and I can hear the  bass of the television as they watch Dora or some other waste of time show.   Outside, it’s freezing.  The shadows are long and weary,  even though it’s nearly noon.  I can hear the birds calling, begging for spring.

Must… stand… and… work…

Send reinforcements…..!