Tuesday, June 4, 2013

How To Eat Food That Makes You Gag - Life Skills

Tonight I served my precious, kind, polite two-year old beef stroganoff over egg noodles with a side of watermelon.  

As I got it ready, my precious, kind, polite two-year old informed me that the noodles were yucky, and she only wanted watermelon.  Then she whined.  Then she cried.  Excessively.

I put her in the high chair, and I patiently explained that Mommy worked hard to prepare yummy food for her to eat, and I do NOT serve yucky food to her.  I told her that it was a very ugly thing of her to say, and that we don't ever tell someone food is yucky, because it might make them sad.  (She ate it last night and liked it, btw.)

Me - "Repeat after me.  I'm sorry I said the noodles were yucky mommy."
Em - "Sorry said noodles yucky."

Me - "Thank you for making yummy food for me."
Em - "Thank you making...watermelon for me."

Stinker!  (I'm a little proud of her brilliance on manipulating that sentence to mostly obey while staying true to her convictions.  Just sayin'...)

We prayed, and thanked God for YUMMY food and for helping us eat it happily.  I let her eat watermelon first, and then made her try a noodle.  She liked it.  She ate three more.  (There were a total of ten on her plate to begin with.)

Then she remembered that she hadn't planned to like it.  So, after eating some watermelon, she ate another noodle and gagged.  And spit it out.  And some fell on the floor.  


I very gently explained that she was not allowed to spit it out.  If she did, she would be disciplined, and then she would still have to eat it.  We tried again.  She spit it out again.  She was disciplined.  We switched to watermelon for a bit.

After resetting our taste-buds, I explained that if she had to eat something and didn't like the taste, she could take a drink while eating to help wash it down.  I figure this is a life skill she'll have to figure out at some point, so we may as well start now. 

She valiantly ate the last three out of four bites, and then the poor thing just couldn't help gagging on the last one.  I reminded her that she wasn't to spit it out, but that she could take a drink of juice if she needed to.  She did.  She made it through.  When she had swallowed, she thumped her sippy cup down, pumped her fist in the air, and shouted, "I DID IT!"  "Eat chocolate bunny?"

Yep.  We still have the tail end (literally) of a chocolate Easter bunny.  And yes, she absolutely got to eat the chocolate bunny as a reward.  So did I.  We earned it. 

And now we know that if there is ever a food that is actually yucky, we can always wash it down with juice instead of spitting it on the floor.  Life Skill #128.  Check.

Saturday, April 20, 2013


I am coming back to the blog following a VERY interesting season of expectations.  Allow me to play catch-up:

 - We are now expecting baby #2.  His name is Alexander Daniel, and he will arrive sometime around July 2nd-ish. 

 - Alex was quite planned.  In fact, I knew I was pregnant within a week, because I had SUPER-HUMAN smell-abilities.  Expectations met.

 - Beginning about week 4.5ish, I experienced some light bleeding.  Daily.  For the entire first trimester.  Not expected.

 - Two ultrasounds at the beginning (along with a dream I had) made me fairly sure I was miscarrying.  Not expected.

 - My hormone levels were increasing despite all the signs.  Not expected. (I had adjusted to the probable loss by this point, so I was shocked.)

 - Third ultrasound revealed that all was well with the lil guy, but my placenta had begun growing in the wrong spot (placenta previa), hence the bleeding.  Just a grumpy placenta.  Not a baby issue.  Unless the placenta got REALLY grumpy, then it could affect the baby.  Ordered to take it easy for around 9 weeks.  Stopped going to gym, too, since that seemed to be grumpifying the placenta issues.  Not expected.  *btw, placenta moved!  Praise God!

 - The EMOTIONS.  Oh my word.  Got pregnant.  Super tired.  Thought I was losing the baby for 2.5ish weeks.  Found out I had not lost the baby, and in fact, he was just fine (as big of a shock for me, after having adjusted to the idea of losing him).  Stopped exercising (one of the best ways to handle mood swings for me...).  My life was a roller-coaster of emotions.  Still having bleeding every single day at that point.  Not expected.

 - Last pregnancy, I was the nicest possible version of myself.  It was amazing!  We were really happy when I got pregnant again, because we knew the red-headed side of me was going to tone down a bit.  And it did...  Expected. 

 - ...Then the second trimester began on Christmas Eve.  Bleeding stopped that day.  Hoped for, but not expected.  Woohoo!!!

 - ...Then the hormone swings started.  Our guess is that it was the testosterone.  Not sure, but I was super-difficult to live with for a while.  Not expected.

 - Turns out that we are having a boy!  Yep.  Figured that out from the mood swings.  Expected.

 - With baby #1, I spent all of my nesting energy on my classroom.  None went into my home.  For the last two years, I've struggled to catch up with the feeling that I have a massive To Do List I just can't wade through.  I didn't feel like the house was ready for her when she was born, and I still feel that way sometimes.  Too.  Much.  Stuff.  Not Expected.

 - Now nesting has kicked in.  I want to rearrange the entire house.  Right now!  Unfortunately, I have to take it in baby steps for a myriad of reasons.  Glad nesting phase has finally arrived.  Expectations met.   
( Irritated that I can't do everything at once.  Not expected. )

 - There has been a slew of super-fun-unexpected financial stuff, too, that I won't go into now.  It has felt quite epic.  Not expected.

All of that to say, the vast amounts of "unexpected" have kind of caused a rolling series of emotional crises for me from October through March.  I thrive on information.  

Last pregnancy, I read six (or seven?) books on childbirth and labor.  We also attended a childbirth prep class.  By the time I got there, it was quite unnecessary for me.  I wasn't super-stressed about having E, because I felt informed.  Yes, thousands of factors negotiate the birth process, but knowing what they all were, and that one of them could come into play at any time gave me a deep sense of calm.

This time around, I knew miscarriage was an option, of course.  However, I was not prepared to be fully confident I had lost the baby, and then discover that I hadn't.  I was also not prepared to still live in constant doubt until my 20 week appointment.  It did me in.  I was a mess for a good bit.  Emotions mixed with first trimester hormones resulted in 3 hour naps (matching my toddler's) every day.  Also, partly due to the financial uncertainty, I reacted by binging on fast food.  I was crazy out-of-control for a bit there.

I am finally coming out of my slump.  I do things like cleaning, and cooking, and laundry again.  I find that I can pray again.  For a while, I just couldn't figure out how to talk to God.  I was so worried about so many things, that I couldn't really get anything else out, other than, "um, God, can you please fix _____ soon?" 

I'm not sure exactly what caused the change, but I will say that worry caused a large portion of the problems I had.  As an information person, I got all the information on every possibility, and then, instead of relaxing until I knew the outcome and dealing with it at that point, I worried till I knew the result.  I'm not sure exactly what the difference was between my last VERY informed pregnancy and this one, other than the element of worry.  Any of the things could have gone wrong either time, but this time, they had actually started to, so I began worrying.

During my first two trimesters, the thing that I have missed most is my walk with God.  I have been a mess for so long, that I couldn't see past a lot of my issues to really lean into Him, His promises, His provision, and His protection.  I missed out on a whole lot of peace.  We are just now getting back into sync, and I am re-learning some old truths.

In February, I got the chance to hear an awesome message about this exact topic (and boy was it timely).  I encourage you to look it up.  You can download the MP3 from this site to listen to in the car, or you can watch the video.


Jesus commands us not to worry about the basic necessities of life.  It's because he knows it will totally rip you up inside if you do.  Ulcers anyone?  I had been doing exactly that.  It was awful.  The solution?

Matthew 6
33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

 Anyway, I've begun to try to let Jesus do the worrying and providing, and I'll do the living.  It's working a lot better.