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by Lori Ann

sick day stuffed animals

Ever wish you were a little kid again?

Last week, Tigger didn’t feel very good (diarrhea throughout the day and keeping us all up at night) and developed a cute after-nap habit to replace her usual one, which is standing up and walking over to her stuffed animals to play the moment she awakens. For three days while was sick though, she woke, called for me, pointed to her shelf of stuffed animals, and requested, “ng” (it means “want”). I handed her a stuffed animal.

She played with it for a few seconds, pointed back at the shelf, and another “ng”. Then repeated until she had all the stuffed animals. I thought it was so funny I had Baba take a picture the second day she did it (above). I even had a few meditations on the way she depended completely on me to provide for her that which she wanted, which helped me notice in my reading in John the next day that Jesus fed the five thousand “as much as they wanted” (not just “needed”; from chapter 6).

I often wish I were — or at least acted more like — a little kid again. With a child’s trust, problem solutions, and complete dependence on Mama and Baba to make everything better. And to bury all yucky feelings in a pile of soft cuddly animal friends!

by Lori Ann


Listening to Tigger’s favorite new musician, Frances England, playing via Pandora radio. Seeing perfect skies, feeling a pleasant breeze, from the open living room window. Smelling apple salsa boiling in the rice cooker. Tasting sticky-with-fruit fingers as I kiss Tigger’s hands.

Thankful to be a Mama today.

What Mama moments did you hear, see, feel, smell, and taste this week?

by Saruskabeth, of

Feb 10, 2007

At midnight, on a cold february day in 2007,  I held in my hands a tiny, wrinkled, screaming infant. And I fell in love. Every day, all day long, I would kiss his little fingers and belly and toes and  nose and tell him “I love you.” When he gazed up at me in awe, I told him, “I love you.” When he cooed and smiled and (finally!) laughed, I told him, “I love you!” When he cried and screamed, I told him, “I love you!” He learned to roll over, crawl, walk, talk…and everyday he heard, “I love you! I love you!”

I love my children with everything I am. They are my world, my priority above all else. But as they get older, as the “novelty” wears off, so to speak, there are moments, sometimes days, when I don’t express my love as easily as I once did. When Dewy spills his juice for the fourth time, or when Paby looks me in the face and screams, “YOU’RE NOT MY FRIEND ANYMORE!” When Mazzen throws a fit because I won’t leave my boobie hanging out all day, and when the boys destroy their room moments after I finish putting everything away.

And to be completely honest, in those moments I don’t feel very loving. I feel angry. Taken advantage of. Disrespected. At the very least frustrated. And, rather than speak out of love, I sometimes speak out of anger. I say, “you’re driving me crazy!” And “why are you trying to make me mad?” In those moments, I put the boys in time out and say, “you’re being very naughty,” and “I don’t want to hear it.”

One particularly rough day I became more agitated than I can ever remember being at a child. I was so angry I couldn’t speak. I clenched my fists at my sides, felt my jaw grow stiff, when to my surprise, I heard a voice in my head say “I love you.” I looked at my child’s tearful face and realized that he was fully aware of how angry I was; he didn’t need to hear me say it. What he did need was reassurance. So I knelt down, took him by the hands and said, “I love you.” And oh, the relief that flooded my body and my son’s face!  To know that, despite his misbehavior and disobedience, he was still loved!!!

It struck me then how important it is to express your love; not just when the warmth of it overwhelms your senses to the point you can’t help but say it, but when you are so angry you don’t want to.  Kids are strong, yet fragile. They aren’t fully in control of their actions, and can become frustrated at themselves when they feel they have disappointed a parent. Just to know that, despite their outburst, their behavioral faux pas, they are still loved…it can change everything.

Now, when one of my children does something that makes me angry, I remind myself of a few things.

1.) I’m not going to actually go insane because the kids are acting up.

2.) No, they really don’t try to infuriate me.

3.) This is the child I carried in my womb for nine months, in my arms for many more, and will carry in my heart for eternity.

Paby, Dewy, Mazzen, Baby#4: I love you. I always will.

Easter, 2011 photo by Jessica Johnson

by Lori Ann

happy baby, shattered lens filter

This year has been especially full. I don’t want to say “busy,” which conveys hurrying from activity to activity. It hasn’t been that way at all; simply, full. Each day, each moment, mattering: maturing into the mother, wife, and neighbor I believe God has called me to be. Knowing I’m far from having “arrived.” But thoroughly enjoying the journey.

I also don’t want to apologize for writing so infrequently. I’ve noticed so many bloggers who write about parenting and family write a “I’m so sorry” post after neglecting their blog for awhile, even though they were taking care of the needs of that family! (I’ve done this myself) I know the intention is to be kind to readers, but it comes across to me as prioritizing the blog about family over the family itself… and I don’t want to be like that. I do want to check in, say hello, and promise I’m still pursuing God and mothering. To the fullest!

Where are your journeys taking you this year?

by Lori Ann

Our family does not “do” Santa.

Holiday decorations

That’s kind of a strange phrase, and I know it means different things to different people, but here’s my take on the truth about Santa: he was (probably) a real person, and he followed Jesus (we think), but he is no longer alive on earth, and so he does not pass out gifts today.

Read the rest of this entry »

by Lori Ann

Welcome to the December Carnival of Natural Parenting: Let’s Talk Traditions

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

Christmas Sheep

I was challenged by the Carnival of Natural Parenting Question this month: “From holidays to birthdays, long weekends to family vacations, what has your family done to make special occasions memorable?” As Mama to a young new family, I’m very conscious of the habits, routines, and traditions we’re establishing every day as well as each holiday.

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Kat from KatManDew Designs is giving away a Turquoise Mama Nursing Necklace to one lucky MamaWit reader at the end of September!
Find out how to enter all throughout the month.

by Lori Ann

Bookshelves Filled


full shelves

after (now)

I’ve been thinking about the word “full” a lot lately. It can mean so much:

  • “Ugh, my schedule’s really full… mind if I take a raincheck tonight? I really need to catch up in work…”
  • “My life is so full… I have a dear husband, a precious child, and rewarding experiences to fill my days.”

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^_^  saruskabeth ^_^

I feel like its been a month since my last post. In fact, it feels like its been a month since I woke up this morning. I gotta tell you, parenthood may be rewarding in the end, but it s so darn tiring on the way there!

Today I:

1.)confronted countless tantrums by one very determined almost two year old (one of which lasted 45 minutes before I determined the cause was his desire to wear a different pair of shorts than the pair I picked out. And they totally did not match his shirt, let me tell you!)

2.) once again faced the challange of new-baby jealousy induced regression of a potty trained three year old (every day for a month, now! Augh!)

3.) listened to a wailing 5 month old who has decided that she absolutely must be standing, eating, and be actively entertained at all times, (If she could do those things without assistance, I’d be much less annoyed.)

4.) realized that this pile of laundry is never going to wash itself, so I might as well, you know, burn it or something, and

5.) discovered a colony of ants have made themselves at home in her diaper pail!

Oh, did I mention the gang of 12 year olds I found drawing phalic images and interestingly spelled obscenities in my driveway with my sons’ own sidewalk chalk? Ah, yes. It was a good day. At least I can go to bed now that all my kids are asleep and the husband is finally home from work. Well, as soon as I wash the dishes. And start a load of ant-infested diapers. And I should really make out the grocery list. I never get it done with the kids awake. Oh, and I never did get around to vacuuming the mess from that glitter fiasco. Gah, I’m going to need an energy shot. And a therapist.



^_^  Saruskabeth ^_^
Dylan, who is 22 months old, is in the process of potty training. So far, he’s following in his brother’s footsteps as far as his willingness vs. ability goes. He knows he’s supposed to go in the toilet, but can’t seem to figure out HOW to do it. I started him standing because Payten pees in the upright position, and I thought Dylan could learn easier from him than me, since they share an anatomical instrument I lack. Unfortunately (I’m sorry boys, but its true…) Dylan is not as….well endowed in certain areas as his older brother. Due to age, of course. So instead of mimicing Payten and becoming a pottying pro on day one (or week one, or month one) as I’d hoped, he has become obsessed with LOOKING like Payten, not ACTING like him. So he takes that thing and stretches it beyond comprehension which, of course, makes it difficult for his business to be conducted. (TMI, yet?) Now that I’ve weirded everyone out, this post isn’t even about that, I just wanted to immortalize that so I won’t forget when Prom night rolls around.

So what IS this post about? Poop. Today, Dylan proved that he is capable of making the connection between having to “go” and actually doing it. Unprompted, he felt the urge, removed his diaper, and go, go, go he did. Yay, right?! Yeah, I guess. My joy was tempered by the little detail that we were, in fact, in my backyard. And that it was a poop to be reckoned with. There’s no way I could pretend a stray dog took a dump in the yard. I couldn’t even blame that one on a horse, I don’t think. That’s what I get, I guess, from bragging about his size… But hey, its still progress, right? And I had planned on taking the boys to the park, but the rain kept us away, thank heavens. I know there’s a fine for not cleaning up doggie doo, is there a law against Dylan doo?

Anyway, Payten once tried to eat corn in his poo, Dylan does the deed outside…you know what? I’m not potty-training Madison. Not doing it! I don’t want to THINK about what she’s going to do with poo…


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