Wise Council

On Friday, our doctor continued her stance that Naomi, at 18lbs, 13oz, is still very skinny for nearly 10 months.  She gave me some advice and recommendations regarding her diet and advised me to return in two weeks.

One of her recommendations did not sit well with me and as such, I called friend who went through the same experience with the first of her three children.  My friend also subscribes to the attachment parenting philosophy and had experienced similar difficulties as I in many different situations.

When you receive information from a professional, especially when it contradicts what you have been taught, researched or seen work, it makes you doubt and question your choices and methods. My friend reiterated to me the same thoughts that I had, and gave me the same advice that I would have given her had she called me asking for the same information.

In the end, our physicians give us wise council, but ultimately the choice is ours whether to heed that council or not. I will input the majority of what my doctor advised, but the one suggestion I was not comfortable with is something that we will skip.  It is nothing dire or dramatic, it simply goes against our beliefs and choices as parents.

I am thankful I have wise council from both my friend and my physician.  Their beliefs and support have helped me raise a bright, beautiful, healthy child who is the sunlight on my soul. I will continue to go to them both with my concerns and questions.  Their suggestions and thoughts give me answers and peace of mind.

This post is part of Finer Things Friday at Amy’s Finer Things and Five Minute Fridays at The Gypsy Mama.

Choosing Nursery Rhymes

Consumerism is like mould.  It creeps up on you in places you’d never have suspected.

On our way home from an appointment this afternoon, Naomi was fussing a bit about being in the car seat, and I started singing to her.  As I sang, however, I was very surprised to hear the words I sang as a mindful adult.

Hush, little baby, don’t say a word,
Mama’s gonna buy you a mockingbird.
If that mockingbird don’t sing,
Mama’s gonna buy you a diamond ring.
If that diamond ring turns brass,
Mama’s gonna buy you a looking glass.
If that looking glass gets broke,
Mama’s gonna buy you a billy goat.
If that billy goat won’t pull,
Mama’s gonna buy you a cart and bull.
If that cart and bull turn over,
Mama’s gonna buy you a dog named Rover.
If that dog named Rover won’t bark.
Mama’s gonna buy you a horse and cart.
If that horse and cart fall down,
You’ll still be the sweetest little baby in town.
So hush little baby don’t you cry,
‘Cause Daddy loves you and so do I.

The premise of the song is that in order to get your child to be quiet, you must repeatedly buy the child gifts.  And as each gift fails, you repeatedly must buy them something better.

The song doesn’t teach us to cuddle our kids.  Or spend time with them.  Or play with them.  Buy them something. Then they will be quiet  and leave you alone.

It really is quite surprising to find a ballad encouraging consumerism in the middle of a child’s lullaby.

As mindful parents, it is our responsibility to teach our children the values we believe in.  Even something harmless as a lullaby can teach them something about our values. How surprising that a song about consumerism snuck it’s way into our score.

When you consider this impact and this line of thinking, you become more cautious of the rhymes and stories you choose to teach your children.  Much has been written about the hidden meanings in nursery rhymes and songs, so I will not delve too deeply in that pool. However, I believe fact is far more interesting than fiction and being a bit of a true story buff, love to share stories of people, places, things, and ideals to teach what I believe are the important values to my daughter.

For now, there are many simple songs that teach sharing, community, hard work, and determination.  As she gets older, I look forward to telling her wonderful stories to illustrate the many character traits and values I hope to instill on her heart.  To teach her about   compassion, I will share with them the story of St. Francis of Assisi.  How about the importance of determination?  I will tell them the story of Terry Fox.  The value of wisdom?  Confucius comes to mind.  The benefits of patience?  Who better than Simeon the Righteous!

In the end, a few silly songs about buying toys isn’t likely to hurt your children any more than it has hurt all the children who’ve sung it since it was penned over 45 years ago.  But it is important to recognize the alternatives and be able to both teach and answer to your children’s ever-growing minds and imagination.

Think i am being too serious?  Think I am right on track?  Have you considered the many lessons and values that are taught children in many of the common nursery rhymes and children’s stories?  I would love to hear your thoughts!

Tactics for Teething


Photo Credit: Reese Derrenburger

Naomi has started the process of the one baby-related thing I was most afraid of: teething.  There are two adorable little white spots on her lower gums right now and they are slowly, painfully, emerging.

I hate hearing my baby cry. I wish God had designed them to all pop out at once but I don’t think that is about to happen anytime soon.  As such, we are trying to deal with them naturally, without resorting to uncomfortable crying for hours or medication.  Here are our tricks:

1. Teething necklaces. We purchased a pretty rubber teething ring that I wear as a necklace.  Naomi loves to chew on it, especially if I take it off and give it to her.  She crawls around with it ib her mouth, then smiles at me (and dropping the teething ring).

2. Amber necklaces. I had hear good things about them, and when Naomi started awakening at all hours of the night to nurse to ease the discomfort, I went out and picked up an amber necklace.  What a remarkable difference!  She immediately went back to her normal night-time nursing routine.  Another friend had a baby that was getting physically I’ll from the pain and the necklaces helped her sooth her discomfort and return to normal!

3.  Raw carrots and frozen green beans.  I was surprised that she would like this, but Naomi loved the raw carrots.  What a delicious way to sooth sore gums.  I haven’t had much success with the green beans yet, but another friend’s son did quite well gnawing on them when he went through teething issues.

4.  Cold face cloths. Sometimes something as simple as the face cloth we wiped her face with after dinner will calm a crying baby.  We rinse it clean after dinner and then give it back to her.  (Note:  Babies like to suck the water out of the facecloths when they chew on them, so be sure to use safe laundry soap!)

5.  Nursing on demand! We have always done this, but sometimes just having a yummy nurse while Mommy makes faces and noises to get her laughing is a big help.  For one thing, this allows her to get some nutrients to help her replace the ones she didn’t get because eating was uncomfortable.  For another, this helps her to sleep.  Third, the smiles and giggles help to release endorphins (the feel-good hormones), which help to reduce pain and discomfort!

How do you help your teething baby deal with their pain?  Leave a comment and let us know!

This post is a part of Works For Me Wednesday at We Are THAT Family.


I think back to my years growing up. and I can only remember a handful of material possessions.  A pink teddy bear, a wooden rocking chair, an old pot.  And in truth, I have two of those items still.  The material items are not what I recall.

But the legacies?  That is what lingers in my mind.  The quiet, clean country home my father built from scratch around us.  The dusty driveway my brother and I rode our bikes up and down throughout the spring.  I remember when that little blue box of macaroni and cheese only came out as a treat.  I remember homemade curtains, a kitty cuddled by the front door, a garden in the back yard that always yielded plenty of tomatoes and green beans.  

Christmases around a real tree.  Toads in the font yard.  Deer in the driveway early in the mornings.  The radio playing in my father’s workshed.  An old kite that was stuck in a tree for years.  Ghost stories late at night.  The smell of woodsmoke.  Homemade cotton sundresses.  Bare feet.  My dad and brother playing the guitar.  Fresh fish and potatoes.  Sunlight streaming in the many windows of our bright yellow kitchen.  Reading by the light of the hallway (until I got caught).  

A grove of trees that we spent hours and hours exploring.  A playhouse with an upstairs.  Jumping in puddles in the rain.  My mother’s delicious homemade lasagna and chocolate chip cookies.  Rushing past the windows in the dark, always afraid of what might be outside.  Fresh air from the cracked windows in the spring.  

These are the things I remember.  These are the legacies my childhood has left me with.  So many joyous, pleasant memories.  I strive every day to provide my daughter with the same experiences in our quiet home. 

Someday, when she looks back, I pray she recalls fresh bedsheets, homemade bread, warm quilts and hot chocolate, bedtime stories, prayers at the foot of the bed, a pot of soup always simmering, hours spent at the library, bible reading around the dinner table, playing Lego with Daddy, garden fresh veggies, grass between her toes.  

I hope she remembers journals and diaries, late night talks with Mommy, warm mugs of tea, cheerful songs on the radio, weekends with grandparents, fun Daddy dates, lazy Sunday afternoons, homework around the kitchen table.  

So many aspirations and so many joyous memories to leave.  Raising children is not about buying toys and clothes, it’s not about obsessing over schools and playgroups.  It’s not about proper manners and being the all-star mommy.  It’s about so much opportunity to create legacies.  Today is a wonderful time to start.  

What will you do today to leave a legacy?