Not Naughty…I knew it (or did I?)

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I love reading about the development of my children because it makes me feel SO MUCH MORE LESS INSANE!

Plus, I simply just love learning.  Therefore, when I saw this post, I knew that it was researched, written, and put into the cyber world just for me.

But then I thought—well, that’s selfish.  You may like this read, too!

And, so, without further ado, I give to you a brilliant post by Dr. Erin Leyba the post shared on Psychology Today that is categorized under “Joyful Parenting” and Titled “Not Naughty:  Ten Ways Kids Appear to Be Acting Bad But Aren’t” with the note underneath reading: Many of kids so-called “naughty” behaviors are developmental and human!

I mean—WOW, right?  Just from the title and note—I just KNEW this article was for me as I continue to guide and love and discipline and raise three:  Adelyne, Maxwell, and Josephine.

It already requires (takes/steals, whatever === smile and wink) all of my good looks and sanity and so many prayers—so I love when I can get a little perspective from professionals that don’t know me, my kids, or my messy kitchen and they write posts that remind me that I am doing a-okay because my kids ARE as awesome as they appear EVEN IF they are currently on the floor in a melt-down fit.  THEY ARE OKAY!

It’s time I let you get back to reading the article while I run outside to my balcony and shout out loud for all my village neighbors to hear that my kids AREN’T NAUGHTY!  They’re HUMAN!  And I’m doing an a-okay, bang-up job…

May these 10 perspectives really help shape your understanding, like it did mine.

And feel free to SHARE!  I know there are plenty out there that need this, just like you.  Just like me!

xo from here to there,

B

“Not Naughty:  Ten Ways Kids Appear to Be Acting Bad But Aren’t”

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Forgiveness simply takes time


A story in our home…

Daddy to 3-year-old Josephine, “Josephine, I’m sorry I broke your toy.  Will you forgive me?”

Josephine, “No.  But tomorrow I will forgive you.”

Daddy, “Tomorrow you will forgive me?  Thanks, Josephine.”

Friends, this is an innocent and cute conversation about forgiveness involving something important to a three year old—her toys.  But life and forgiveness usually run so much deeper than broken toys.

Hurts exist from words and wounds.  Actions that caused someone great pain.

Yesterday my husband preached, “Trusting God and His design for us is better than our designs for self…”

Forgiveness is part of that design.  Forgiveness does not mean you acknowledge the other person was right or his/her actions okay.  But forgiveness allows you to be free to go in peace. 

You do not have to approach the person to forgive him or her—but you do not have to remain locked away in bitterness and pain because of your hurt.  

Freedom comes through flight.  And flight comes when you are out in the world, the vast expanse of the sky above you.  It comes when the world becomes limitless.  

Forgiveness will help take you to the sky.

I pray for you.  If you are locked into a world of bitterness because of great hurt, let that world no longer rule your life.  The hurt, the bitterness, it’s already robbed you of YOU.  

Choose forgiveness, freedom, and flight. 

And, if you need help getting there, find a support group or counselor near you to help you place the pieces of your life back together, making the complexity of who you are from fragments or pieces into a completed puzzle.  A masterpiece.

Then go forward and live.  Free.

Boy and girl share a bedroom…How?

When we returned to Poland after having our 3rd baby in the US, we returned to a boy room and a girl room and a parent room.  Problem:  girl room belonged to girl 8 years older than infant.  Therefore, the adorable boy room had to go and become combo room.  He was only 2, and didn’t know any better—so it made my job easier.  

Over the time we’ve since been returned to Poland, I have slowly begun the transition into cute yet manly all at the same time.  

Most of the time, the combination of frills and macho overlap, but, in the end, the identities of both stand out.  

The key was going with a main theme.  I love Paris.  Hence:  Theme Paris.  I also love vintage.  So we went with the theme of vintage bikes and Paris.  Red bike for Maxwell.  Green bike for Josephine.  

When they were smaller—both in cribs, they each had a half of the room.  The half of the room that was decorated for them.  Now that they are bigger, however, they share a bunk bed —- and, although their halves are divided, life meshes everything together into one adorable whole.  As it should.  

Here are some fun photos showing how to make a bedroom for your boy and girl work as parts of a whole.  Enjoy!


First up…their names and bikes.  I should add, for their beds I went with a black (mainly) theme since there wasn’t a lot of red and green comforters I liked.  Obviously this is Josephine’s name, bike, and bed.

Here are photos of Max’s name and bike—but now that he and Josephine are out of cribs, his bed is the bottom bunk (or is it?):



Next, I chose one more decoration per room side.  Max, however, also ended up with the photo board on his side.  I’m sure you’ll be able to see which is Josephine’s and then the others are Max’s:




The door was fun, too.  When Max was born, our then 6-year-old made him a humongous poster that we have never taken down.  So front-side of door belongs to Max.  Back to Josephine.  Hers is an Elsa Anna poster (I didn’t take a photo because we all know Frozen—smile and wink).  Here is Max’s side of the door:

In the end, however, their two lives mesh into one.

Barbie and Robot stand united:


Mrs. Potato head becomes Star Wars warrior…defender of pink kitchenette:


Masked Minion and Princess Kitty guard the window:


And my favorite photo of them all…

Two hearts that still beat as one.  Even as they sleep!  

And while I know they won’t share a bed or a room forever, these precious moments and years that they do, I pray connect them as best friends for a lifetime!  

Mombie Apocalypse 

You’ve all seen them.

You know they’re coming.

It’s not if.  It’s when.

There’s no stopping them. 

Ahhhhhhh!

It’s the Mombies!!!!

#mombiesgonnagetyou

But wait.  

You have time.  

First, they must: “Insert Coffee To Begin”

Next:  finish taking horrible Mombie selfies

In the end, these two things will give you a chance to flee. 

But not really.  

At your next recital or game or award ceremony or concert — or just even when you walk in the door from school with friends, these Mombies will be there.  Yes, perhaps, slightly better dressed and maybe even hair and makeup done — but plain ol’ embarrassing Mombies they will always be.

Well, basically it’s the #truth until you become a Mombie yourself.  And then we Mombies will buy you your very own T (shirt, that is).Welcome to the club!  

DISCLAIMER:  My children did not approve this picture or message.  Both mortify them (smile and wink).  Just doing my job, folks.  Doing my job. #mombievictory

My husband does not hear my voice. Proof!

  
My husband came in the door around midnight last night after an extremely long day of work.  I was so glad he was home to have a small spot of adult conversation before we went to bed.  You know that kind of conversation, it doesn’t revolve around, “Mom!  Watch me pee!  Mom!!!!  You’re not watching me!”  And since my littles are 3 and 5, this takes place approximately 1,234 times a day.  So, needless to say, even though it was midnight, I was sooooo happy he was home for a brief moment of adult conversation.

Well, that is—-until he started to speak.

You see, the thing is, I had always known my hubs didn’t listen to the words coming out of my mouth.  I just knew it—but his denial or reasoning always made me wonder if I actually said what I could have sworn I said.   

But last night changed everything for my husband.  He got caught.

Rich, the hubs, had to travel an hour home last night, and, so, during his hour, he called his parents.   We’re so thankful for this modern world of Internet and phone calls—you should have seen us in a foreign country during the days of phone cards and telephone booths.  Way different calling home.

Anyway, apparently he had a very enlightened conversation with his dad about something…

You see, we own a rather large plot of land in Poland that we are building into a ministry and retreat camping center.  It has a lot of grass/fields that need to be mowed.  We are thankful the former owner left us his old riding mower—but this thing is put together with tape it’s falling apart so badly.  Therefore, I have mentioned a million and one other ways for my husband to go about finding a good mower.  Including going to Germany to find a sturdy and proper one. 

In one ear and out the other.

Then my husband has one conversation with his dad, walks in at midnight, and declares, “My dad has a great idea!  I should look in Germany for a riding mower!”  

Poof and proof!

I knew he didn’t listen to the words coming out of my mouth.

But at least he still listens to somebody, eh?!  

Now, thanks to Grandpa George our Retreat center may actually be on its way to manageable one day.

No thanks, obviously, to me (smile and wink).

But, really, I’ll end with this—Ladies, just when you think they aren’t listening (yet again), be encouraged, “They aren’t.”  So if you really want to be heard, just get a man to say it.

The proof is in the mower.

Jet lag is like a fly

fly

Do you know that pesky fly?  The one that swirls around you?  It actually, even though an insect, begins to cause you self-doubt.  About hygiene.  Do you really smell that bad?  I mean, you know that you traveled for basically two days—but you thought you showered.

Or did you?

Or did you dream you showered?

Or were you DREAMING about a shower?

Or did you shower the kids but forget about yourself?

The fly won’t leave you alone and now you wonder if you need a shower!!!!!

#jetlag

It’s killing my sanity.

This is what my last 5 days have looked like:

Day 1:  Airplane (3 to be exact).  I slept approximately 1 hour on all 3.  At the airport, in Munich, I laid down on the benches after having my husband SWEAR on his very life and beard that he would WATCH our children with his 41 eyes and make sure no one stole my purse in the meantime, then I crashed.  For approximately 2 hours.

He has snoring video in public to prove it.

I don’t even care.

Night 1 in Poland:  The 3 and 5 year olds did not sleep.  Nearly at all.  The 5 year old eventually waned off as the sun was rising.  The 3 year old is more stubborn than a mule and beat the sun.  She finally seceded around noon.

The decade plus one daughter was already OUTTA the house and OFF to friends.  Goodbye, my firstborn.  WE LOVE YOU…REMEMBER US!

Yeah, right.  We haven’t hardly seen her since.  One night at Wiktoria’s house (Victoria in English), Oliwia’s a second night, and now Nikola’s.  Yep.  The decade plus 1 missed her little Polska wies (Polish village).

Nights 2 and 3 and 4 also lost to JOJO the GIANT!  She won hands down each and every time.  The sun has NOTHING on the spirit of our 3-year-old.

Night 5.  Ah, lovely Night 5.  My hopes were in you.

You were my precious.  I held you in my hand.  I cuddled you.  I made you feel important.  I knew you had a big job ahead of you.  And I knew you, Night 5, were the one to do it.

And, alas, you won.  At 1am, the 3-year-old fell asleep with me stroking and singing to her.  Yes, I sing in private.  Heck, I sing in public—you people just don’t appreciate it as much as my spawn (smile and wink)…

And with the delicate balance of tiptoeing and delicately stepping over EVERY TOY in Max and Josephine’s room which is currently out so that every single marble and doll will know it is loved even though there was a 6-week-absence, I made it out of the room without any crash.

Voile!

I crawled into bed.  THE FIRST NIGHT I would sleep in bed.  If one in the morning is still considered night—and I closed my eyes.

My respite was sweet.  And short.

Oh so short.

The 3 year old came and told me that she DID NOT WET THE BED but her PANTS were all wet.

Yes.  That is called “Not wetting the bed—it magically wet me” syndrome.  It occurs often with our third.  The other two have bladders that could win Olympic Golds.

So I took the daughter that was victim of the vicious bed to the toilet—hastily cleaned her off and threw her in bed with me.

That’s when my victory became my defeat.

She was NO LONGER TIRED.  She was wide awake.  She jumped, and crawled, and laid, and sprawled all over me.

Could she see my phone?

Could she watch a movie?

Could she hold my phone?

Could she see the lullabies playing?

Could she listen to my ear—after all, my ear was making the SAME noise as a volcano.

No, my dear…That’s MY HEAD!  And you are the cause of that.  (I thought to express this to her—but, come on, she’s three…She wouldn’t even care if I did).

To TOP IT OFF…My husband is on the other side of my daughter shouting in his sleep, “I’m going to get you!” Followed with actual karate chopping motion and sounds, “Katcha-katcha!”

I kid you not.

Somehow, miraculously in the midst of the karate chopping albeit sleeping husband and the “NOT TIRED” toddler, I managed to coax her to sleep—legs on top of my head and all.

By this time, it is now after 3am and DARN HER…Guess who is not tired now?

Me.

And so I sit.  With this pesky night fly swirling around my very head.  Touching my hand and invading all sorts of personal space (I LITERALLY CANNOT STAND FLIES—I have a bubble, flies, respect it!).  Typing. To you.  Because you care, don’t you?

And if you don’t, don’t worry.

I’m still here with my fly.

He doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.

Just like Josephine’s jet lag.

Sigh.

I wish I could be like Richard, my sleeping husband, and “Get you, Jet Lag, katcha-katcha!” (insert super karate chopping action here)

Good thing today is Sunday—I need the glorious grace of Jesus to get me through the day and his ultimate gift of forgiveness because I ALREADY know MY FAMILY IS ALL GOING TO NEED IT as this Momma is going on 0 hours of sleep.

Thanks to jet lag…my least friend.

Don’t force Sunday school on the three year old…

Look.  Let’s get real.  The title should actually read:  don’t subject your screaming 3-year-old on the Sunday school teacher.

I’m right, right?  Can I get a holy Amen in here (Whoa, now…that was a little too loud. Smile wink smile).

But, in all honesty, my three year old fled and panicked today and did not want to be left in the huge Sunday school room alone.  So I did what I needed, I scooped her up, plopped her on my lap, and sat through church with her while I got to give her a million unappreciated kisses (as she loudly proclaimed in the service to Stop Kissing Her), cuddle her in my arms, hold and dance with her in worship, and take communion with her on my hip.  

And she was happy.  And I was happy.  And the Sunday school teachers were most likely ecstatic.  

Best of all????

These lovely selfies she took during the sermon time (insert scary laughter from evil selfie).

Praise Jesus???