Monday, August 23, 2010

Missions

I had every intention of becoming a missionary. Preferably international. I really felt like I had a call. And then I had several tweaks to my life.

Now more than 12 years later, I found myself wondering how I could have mis-read my "calling" so completely. And I feel like I now have some answers...

I still am called to be a missionary.

I am called to tell my kids about God's Love and the salvation He offers.

If you could look back over your life and put your finger on your input that God used to save someone...even if you weren't The One Who Prayed The Prayer with them, wouldn't you look at that thread that got woven into the master plan, and say wow...God used me to help save them...WOW!

Yet, as parents, especially as stay-at-home-mothers, we apologize that we don't witness to strangers at the Kroger or Tanzania...while we probably ought to do that as well, the impact that we can have on our own kids should be embraced! What a mission field!!

I am called to support new Christians!

As missionaries, part of their job is to support and connect new converts...what do you think you ought to be doing in church?? Shouldn't we be talking to new members and visitors? Why do we think they've come to church? Shouldn't it be a place of family? Another mission field!!

I am called to reach out to those hurting/struggling/searching!

Missionaries often use their jobs or their unique experiences to reach out to those hurting, searching, struggling...look at your family, your church, your co-workers, or in my own experience, new parents with babies/kids with special needs or diagnosed with cancer!

I am called to challenge/pray for/reach out to good people that we live with day-to-day!

I have a very dear friend who attended a Christian school daily, a strong church weekly, and had many Christian friends...many of which, including myself, assumed that she was a Christian...but, no, she wasn't...I have had the pleasure of talking to her again, and she shared with me her good news...and I wasn't really surprised. It hit me really hard, that it DIDN'T surprise me and I have no recollection of asking her.... what if she had slipped through the cracks due to assumptions!?!?! Thankfully, she never slipped through God's cracks, He knew, loved her, and saved her...but we do a disservice to her? Did we forget to love her/ask her in a search to find the blatantly "unsaved"?

We should take advantage of any mission opportunity...we should not miss those mission fields in our own paths...we should not look for the grand opportunities at the expense of the the daily opportunities with those we know and love.

We are on the mission field. 24/7. I didn't miss my calling due to choices in my life. I just misunderstood where the Mission Field is... It doesn't have to be Downtown, Across the Country, or Outside of Our Home Country...It has to be in our own homes, with our friends, with the opportunities that our days afford us...we simply never leave it...The circle is never too small or too large...

So. This time I'm listening, Lord...I get it...show me again...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I need input..new blog?

Okay. God's been elbowing me again.

So I am thinking about a new project. A Down Syndrome/Special Needs Blog.

Elise's Blog as it were:

There are a lot of websites out there with all kinds of technical information out there...I can find it fairly easily and so can most parents...But after the initial blitz of information, I find that I, and most parents that I talk to, LOVE to hear about what other kids are up to...those who are older, and "been there, done that" and those who are "peers", fighting the same fights. It makes it not so lonely.

At first I contemplated just a stream of consciousness type of blog...day to day struggles/triumphs, reflections and useful links...maybe even thematic...

After today...(Long Story) I am considering that maybe a weekly question/answer type of thing for "outside" parents...those with typical kids, but who want to know what "we" are going through, how THEY should interact, what they should tell their kids, what they ought to ask but don't know how to...

What do you think? Good idea? Bad Idea?

If you are a Typical Parent, and you would like to see something like this, what would YOU want answered? If you don't feel comfortable asking "out loud", please email me: underwater9800@yahoo.com I promise not to get offended. I REALLY want to know what goes through your heads.

If you are a Special Parent, what do you wish you could tell people when they look at your kids cross-eyed? What do you wish they knew? What could they do to make things easier for you? What could they do to make things easier for your kids? Please email me, too!! I know what is in MY head, but I am not the only one fighting here...we need to support each other...and we need those around us to know more.

Please help me work through this!! Thanks!!

And regardless where you fall on this subject, please pray with me, that I "get it right"!

Mother-ease and their AIO Review!

At the very end of June, I was approached by Mother-ease Cloth Diapers, about doing a review on one of their products. They'd seen me on the boards at Diaperswappers.com and saw that I had a blog, would I be interested?

Um, ya think??

As you may have noticed, Mother-ease Cloth Diapers is my very favorite fitted. They are almost indestructible. I call them prefolds on steroids. They are made of natural fibers (cotton using a polyester base to boost their staying power) and they can be washed in any detergent, and have a "hearty" factor that has yet to be rivalled by any other diaper I have used. They can be "boosted" to increase absorbency, but even alone, they hold quite a bit. As a matter of fact, they are the only diaper company that I have looked at that actually tell the absorbency amount of their diapers and doublers in ounces. When I've asked other companies about absorbency, I get vague "I don't know"s.

Mother-ease is a Canada-based company, that has very green standards they have placed on themselves and they don't farm their products at any stage to China. To me, that alone speaks to quality.

I will say, I was a slow convert to Mother-ease. I was initially convinced by another company's products to cloth diaper. They were "just like" disposables, they had velcro tabs and were put on the same. They came in bright colors, and were ever so cute! As I continued cloth diapering, I found myself reaching for the less violently colored diapers because they didn't show through the baby clothes as much. And I started questioning my "stash" because the velcro started pilling and rolling, and I knew that they would not last through Charlotte's diapering career...then I started having the dreaded micro-fiber stink. If you have ever used micro-fiber in cloth diapers, you know exactly what I mean. They smell pretty good out of the wash but once your child messes it, there is an un-holy and inappropriate stink to the mess. In the morning, it could just about knock you down! So I started lurking on trading boards and reading reviews...and I saw an advertisement in a natural parenting magazine for Mother-ease...and started considering what a friend had mentioned almost a year ago about the diapers that she used. She had said that she used them on 5 kids. FIVE!! Same ones!!!

Well, the dipes I was using were not going to make it through one! And then summer hit, and Charlotte, being the sensitive thing she was started having issues with heat and allergy rashes.

Between the stink and the heat, I jumped at some "bald" Mother-ease second hand. Bald means there are actually spots where the cotton has fallen out of the polyester netting...but the elastic was still great...as was the absorbency. The covers have slits in the sides that allow for airflow as the child moves. The name on one of their covers is AirFlow covers...and they live up to their name. And there was NO stink. NONE! So I got a few more...and a few more...and then traded and sold almost all my "starter" diapers.

I fell in love the retro fluffy butt look. I loved not having to worry about the bright colors coming through the fabric of whatever they wore. (Although, there are some super cute colors and prints!) The one size diaper and the size large Sandy's and AIO will still fit Amelia at age 4 and just over 36 pounds.

Now. I said I was reviewing the AIO. AIO stands for All-In-One, there is no need for a cover...you put on the whole thing and take the whole thing off as a unit. It just doesn't get any easier. (Even easier than disposables, because there are no midnight diaper runs or make-shift towel diapers...yeah, I'm talking to you, 'Sposie Users! ;) ) Mother-ease uses a side snap closure system which, at first glance may be more intimidating that velcro, but it is GREAT for toddlers who strip and is genuinely nice for "wigglers". (Those kids who squirm the entire diaper change!) This is because you know what snap is the perfect fit, and it doesn't matter whether you have the diaper lined up right, you just have to get the snaps in the right places! They can squirm themselves silly...no problem.

The large is supposed to fit 20-35 pounds. This claim is certainly true. Charlotte was 20.7lbs when I got the AIO...Amelia is 36lbs, and both can wear it. It's a little snug on Amelia, but in a pinch, it certainly can be used. I have found in comparison, that the AIO runs a tiny bit smaller than the Sandy's, which are cut very similarly. Amelia wears the large Sandy's very comfortably (and probably will be able to for several pounds longer).

I have used the AIO for 4 weeks now and have nothing to say that isn't good. They tend to take a little longer to dry, but that is the same for all AIO diapers. I'd have to say, I even think the elastic is even more forgiving to fat little legs than almost any cover or diaper I have used, I have not gotten ANY red marks, even when they were twisted and put more pressure on her than they should.

I got out without an extra diaper yesterday, and Charlotte wore her Mother-ease AIO with a bamboo liner for more than 7 hours...between being out and about (car-line for the older kids) and nap time. Now, I wouldn't recommend this, they need to be changed FAR more frequently, but it held up! NO LEAKS!!!! Wow! If I wasn't impressed before, that would make me buy more!!

My only criticism is that I have a friend that won't buy white...won't. And so refuses to try the Mother-ease AIO, I hope, that perhaps Mother-ease will decide to make them in some of their colors and prints for people like her! :)

I admit, I was so in love with the All-in-One diaper from Mother-ease that I probably would have done my own giveaway...However, Mother-ease Cloth Diapers will be providing a gift-certificate that you can use to purchase your own All-in-One or you can choose to use it on a cover, Sandy's, One Size, or you can put it toward a Wet Bag, Diaper Pail, or Swim Diaper. They have so many GREAT choices!!

If you want a chance to win a certificate with this great company, then here are your options for entry. Canadian friends you are absolutely welcome to enter! (Be sure to include your email address in each entry!) I will close the giveaway on September 30. I will alert the winner as soon as possible. This is my first one, so bear with me as I learn!

1) Go check out the Mother-ease Cloth Diapers website, come back here and comment with which of their products YOU would like to try!

2) Fan Mother-ease Cloth Diapers on Facebook. They often do sales, links to giveaways, and new product information! Come back here and comment that you did so!

3) Blog about this giveaway, and come back here and comment with a link to your blog entry.

4) Follow my blog! :) I am hoping to do more reviews and hopefully giveaways...but mostly, I'm just a mom in the trenches with you!

*These are my own thoughts, Mother-ease did give me an All in One diaper for review purposes, but I was in no way compensated for this review.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Amelia-isms

Apparently she used "air quotes" for the first time this week with my mother...it was used with "my mama said"...complete with a head tilt and hip cock...I would have paid money to see this...as it is, I can only giggle at the thought...and imagine it! :)

Overheard her singing: "I have a dream! It's my dream! GO GET YOUR OWN!" Disney and Barbie would be so proud.

Told me one morning: "Today, I am not Amelia. Today I will be Sass!"

When asked where we went: "We went to Nemo's place!" The aquarium was being referenced, I got all tickled with the idea that we were hanging at Nemo's apartment...

When asked how old she was: "I'm four. For NOW!" After all you don't want someone to get the wrong impression.

:)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Happy Breastfeeding Week

I like my kids. Really, REALLY like my kids.

I HATED being pregnant. I appreciated that it got me my heart's desire, but I really didn't enjoy it. I liked the small link that allowed me to guess at their personalities...but it generally annoyed me. My friend likes to say that having somebody INSIDE her causes her to despise being touched outside. She gets "touched out, from the inside". I'd say that's fairly accurate for me, too.

I really enjoyed breastfeeding. The uninterrupted snuggle time, the perfectly happy baby, the "rock-star-ness", the gift of the moment, a snapshot of babyhood. The opportunity to kiss them as much as I liked...

I am not in any hurry to wean Charlotte, because she enjoys it so much. Don't worry, she'll undoubtedly cut herself off before she goes off to Kindergarten. ;) But, the other kids self-weaned earlier than this. She is all "big kid" in almost every aspect of her life, she is hyper-self-sufficient...to the point I don't know that I like it, in all other areas of life, and has been for MONTHS...but she clings to her by-herself snuggle and "snack" time. It's her 1/2 hour of snatched babyhood. So we linger a bit longer.

It is Breastfeeding Awareness Week. And I just thought I'd take a moment to say how nice it is...and how sad I am that this is the last one.

Gabriel was all business and cut himself off around 6 months...there was too much going on to see...

Elise hung in there until right at 16 months...this the baby with Downs, who "wouldn't be able to be breastfed". Yeah, okay.

Amelia did her little all and nothing bipolar nursing until 11 months...one month on, one month off (all expressed in a bottle)...so wierd...

Charlotte is 17 months...and adores it...we'll see how long it takes to cut into her big girl plans...that get bigger by the day! :)

I'll leave you with this:
"A little child born yesterday
On mother's milk and kisses fed..."
Homer

Happy Breastfeeding Awareness Week!