All posts in parenting lessons

3 Tough Questions Adopted Children Ask

Last week, we celebrated four years home with our son, Judson. Four years of joy, bonding, growth, but also pain and a lot of hard days. While we have overcome a great deal of our initial struggles, like language and boundaries, we have seen new ones develop.  These days we are watching Judson begin to sift through his history and we often have no idea where his processing will land! Some of his questions, we have easy answers for, but others, leave us with no easy response. In adopted kids, we often see that with developmental milestones and increased cognition, a new round of processing their history and integrating this deeper understanding into their current reality.  We have seen this to be true when Kindergarten started and anticipate harder and harder questions at the age of 10, 12, 16 and 18.  Our job as parents is to simply listen, answer truthfully and appropriately and create the environment where kids feel free to ask.

Here are a few tough questions adopted kids will ask:

Why did my birth Mom give me up? 

I wish there was an easy, pat answer for this, but there is no way to fully understand all the reasoning that goes into the decision a birth mom makes to choose adoption. This answer will be specific to your situation, but the main thing to remember is to frame it in a way that speaks life and freedom to your child.  No matter why a birth mom chose adoption, she chose to love and value her child’s life. As adoptive parents, we get to speak that same value into our child in a way that builds a foundation for future conversations. Obviously, answering this in an age appropriate manner is crucial. We have a phrase called, “the burden of information” which we often use in determining how much to share. Too often information carries a heavy burden and part of parenting and leading is learning to discern if the person is able to carry the load that certain information brings. This is crucial when dealing with the hard questions you adopted child will ask. Using a phrase like, “She loved you so much and she wanted you to have a family that would adore you and give you the kind of life she wasn’t able to give,” frames the conversation in love and honors your child’s birth mom.

Why don’t I look like you?

This question is tough, especially if the child has siblings who are the spitting image of their parents. Our son will never look like us but we use these type of questions to lay the foundation for a secure identity in who he was created to be. When he makes statements where he wishes his skin looked like ours, we are quick to say, how much we love his skin and how beautiful he is. We will also say that everyone is created uniquely and perfectly and we want to affirm that even though our appearances are different, they are not less than. As adoptive parents we are able to frame these questions in a way that help our kids find value in what makes them unique while also giving them a sense of security that comes from unconditional acceptance.  Creating a strong family identity also creates a strong bond for all your children, especially your adopted child. We have a name we use when we talk about our kids as a whole. He has no doubt he is a StewKid!

Are you going to kick me out of this family?

I was recently talking with another adoptive mom and she said that on her son’s five year gotcha day, he actually packed his bags and thought it was time for him to leave. For five years he had in his mind that this was a temporary situation that he would one day have to leave. My friend was absolutely wrecked that her beloved son had carried this false belief for five years. There is no adoption that is not the result of loss. There is no adopted child that on some level grieves for this unexplainable void, even if they were adopted from birth or age 12. Loss is a part of their story so feeling secure is not as simple as providing lots of love, a healthy meal and a warm bed.  Building a foundation of security and trust is a lifetime commitment we give to our adopted kids the minute we said  yes to this journey.  When you see your adopted child’s fear of losing your family coming to the surface, simply love and speak strong of your commitment to them. Give hugs. Throw in some candy and then go to your bathroom, lock the door and weep.

Parenting is messy and there are no easy answers to the questions that matter. We are four years in and the processing Judson is already doing to understand his history is mind boggling, yet beautifully innocent. At the age of six, he has no reason to question the sincerity of what we say and we have numerous opportunities to simply reflect back to him who God created him to be. Our prayer is that he is rooted in God’s amazing love and grace for him and he sees his past as a source of strength.

What kind of questions do you get as a parent?

 

BackToSchool

Establishing Back To School Rhythms and Routines

Whoop Whoop! It’s a new school year! For the first time in 14 years, we have all of the StewKids in school.

Can you hear the angels singing or is that just me?

Having four kids in school, with four different pick up times, four different homework assignments, four different reading logs and four different agendas to be signed means I have to have my ducks in a row.  Over the next few days, I am going to share some tips that help our family stay on track.

First, we have to know what our goals are for our family and then look at if our life is actually living those goals out! How are we actually spending our time???

Creating Margin

For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.” 1 Corinthians 14:33

While this verse is referring to worship, I think the principle is the same for life, especially in our homes. As Moms, we have the incredible opportunity to create an atmosphere of peace or one of confusion. Our goal is not to create systems that are not maintainable, but rather to establish rhythms and predictable patters that will help us accomplish the vision and values we have for our family.

Why do we want to create predictable patterns in our home?

  1. Significance: This establishes what is important in our family
  2. Security: creates a sense of security in our children and gives us the space to speak identity into them. Space for family breakfasts, to read to them before bedtime, and to have time that they can rely upon.
  3. Success: for our families and for your children.

To do this, we first have to start by

  1. Looking at how we currently spend our time and energy.
  2. Determine what is a good use of our time and what is not.
  3. Then by faith, declare what rhythms and patterns we want to establish.

Your home will not be magically organized overnight, but there are some simple, 15 minute tasks that you can do to make Back to School easier!

I would not consider myself an organization expert, but I do know that we have spent many hours in our home, determining our family goals, setting values and vision and then looking at how to best accomplish those things that we were seeking to live out. I learned that for many of those things to happen, we had to streamline some tasks in our home. As we added children, we had to reassess what works. I have made too lofty of goals, only to be left in frustration for myself and my family and I have tweaked a few routines to fit each child.

I am praying that your home will be a well-oiled machine that will leave time for more important things in life. I learned that our schedule was not something I was a slave to, but rather was something that serves us.

God gave us time to protect us. We have the joy of choosing to live for him each day, with an attitude of service to our families and those in our community.

When we adopted Judson three and a half years ago, I realized how I had been so focused on controlling our schedule, our routine, our label maker, that I had forgotten the basics of what our life was to be about. Over the last three years, we have spent a lot of hours refocusing our life around the commands that Jesus gave to go and make disciples of all nations. We looked at how Jesus lived and decided we wanted to imitate Him. In all areas. Jesus spent time with His Father, time with his boys, the Disciples and time with those in the World.

When we looked at how He lived and measured our life against those standards, we saw some areas in need of improvement! So we started creating these rhythms, these predictable patterns by looking at our calendar.

So for two weeks, I tracked all of my activities and determined that I was spending time doing some things well and was watching too much HGTV.

Next, we looked at what could be and became intentional with each day. We made sure we had the predictable rhythm of time with the Father in place. Times of prayer, bible study, worship. We also put predictable patterns of  time as a family on the calendar with family breakfasts, dates with each other, and family dinners. Lastly we put predicable patterns of living out in the world on our calendar that involved having people in our home every week, play dates and sports teams. We also put in time for rest and for play! We have watched our children become used to these rhythms, which have created security in them, that has allowed us to speak into their identity and help us aim at our target which is to live like Jesus and do what HE did.

Our end goal is not Pinterest or a Facebook post that points to how organized we are. Our target is to live out the values and vision we have for our families, which for our family is to live like Jesus did and do what He did. So before we move forward discuss at your table:

  1. What is your goal for gaining time through being a bit more organized?
  2. What are some predictable rhythms you have in your home?

The fact of the matter is that we all have to get our children dressed, pack lunches, get homework done, and teach them proper hygiene. I want to encourage you to look at the time it takes to do all those things in a fresh way so you can then create margin in your home that leads to less stress and more peace!

 

How to Guard Your Heart

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

Proverbs 4:23

We are in a battle. 

From birth we are taught through words, actions, sights, and sounds what to believe and to value. We are given mixed messages, false securities and are bombarded with images of what a woman should look like, sound like, and live like.  Our identity is up for grabs everyday and we are in a battle to determine where we will root our worth.

I for one am rooting into Christ.

I am believing the Gospel that He died to declare to a world that has for too long built its worth on shifting sands. I am sinking down deep into the soil of GOD’s Truth and CHOOSING to grow in that space. I am going to face the battle for my heart and mind, not as a victim, a complainer, or a martyr anymore, but instead with weapons that have already won the war of our souls.

Because every moment I decide that my identity is found in the horizontal world is every moment where the enemy wins.  We all have triggers, scars that can be ripped open at a moment’s notice, so putting safeguards into place is a wise, strategic move to keeping your heart safe.

We will be tempted to look in the mirror and base our worth on what you see.

We will be tempted to look at the behavior of our kids and base our worth on what others think.

We will be tempted to control circumstances and base our identity in our accomplishments and the praise of man.

So what does it mean to Guard Your Heart? What does that look like when I am scrolling through Instagram? How does that play out when I hear criticism for a decision I have made? What does it look like when my toddler is throwing a tantrum in Target and all eyes are on me? How does it play out when “everyone else” is doing it?

Here is what Guarding Your Heart has looked like for me over the years. I fight for these everyday because I want to walk out my journey reflecting the GLORY of the LORD. I want to call out the LIES that the world tries to sell me and DECLARE that HE is GOOD and because of the SHED blood of JESUS, I am REDEEMED, MADE NEW.  I want that for my man, my children, my friends and for you.

  • Guarding my heart means memorizing Truth and when I feel my emotions leading me to believe that my identity was found in the approval of others, I preach the gospel to myself.  It means recognizing that I am more concerned about their opinion of ME than I am about their opinion of CHRIST. Guarding my heart has meant loosing the fight for the approval of man.

 

  • Guarding my heart and choosing to walk In All the freedom God died for me to have meant letting go of friendships.

 

  • Guarding my heart means having Truths that I say to myself like..

               Tomorrow’s freedom is today’s surrender. (thank you All Sons and Daughters)

              God is for me and He is with me.

              The battle is won. He does not need me to advance His Kingdom. The rocks will cry out if

              needed.

              My worth is not found in the obedience of my children.

             He is enough. You are a GOOD, GOOD Dad.

             That is a First World problem.

  •  Guarding my heart means saying NO to MYSELF. It means there are things I don’t watch, read, engage in or believe. It means there are places I don’t go, relationships I don’t pursue, comments I don’t leave, links I don’t click on and people I unfollow. It means planning out my calendar, living on a budget and creating a meal plan.
  • Guarding my heart means learning to give grace quickly and not be easily offended. It means seeking clarification instead of assuming the worst.
  • Guarding my heart means that I have accountability. I ask women I know and trust to speak Truth into my life and I begin to see the challenge they can bring as a gift to be unwrapped. Guarding my heart means REVEALING my heart to those who will be tender with it, encourage it and speak TRUTH to it.
  • Guarding my heart means letting go of the life I had planned so I can walk out faithfully the one God has for me.  It means recognizing that expectations are not reality.
  • Guarding my heart means learning to celebrate others instead of using my insecurities as an opportunity to criticize and discredit their abilities.  It is understanding that someone else’s AWESOME does not make me LESS THAN. Nor does someone else’s CHILD’S AWESOME make my child less AWESOME.
  •  Guarding my heart means that when I hear criticism, hurtful words, or differing opinions, I am not crushed under the burden of someone else’s view of me, but rather, I actively choose resting in the Truth of God. Then I can hear the criticism, the hurtful words, the differing opinions and receive them with an attitude of learning and grace instead of defensiveness and justification. (this is not easy!)
  • Guarding my heart means I let myself and others off the hook for my happiness and practice how to find Joy in Christ. Guarding my heart means having an eternal perspective, practicing gratefulness and contentment.
  • Guarding my heart means my heart is steady, unwavering, and focused on my Father. It means a calm and a peace in knowing that He is Sovereign and there is not one minute of my day that He did not ordain. I can rest that nothing is wasted and it is all for His glory.
  • Guarding my heart means I let my emotions be a gauge of for my heart instead of a guide for my actions. It means letting my feelings reveal what my heart is believing and not an excuse and a justification to respond in sin. (thanks John Piper blog)

Scripture says to guard our hearts ABOVE ALL ELSE. I think that shows this is a battle worth fighting…..

How do you guard your heart?

 

Adoption: A Raw Look into the First Year

November is National Adoption Month.

Stewart-1002

A month that helps raise awareness for children awaiting adoption in the foster care system. Our adoption journey began 4 years ago this month. Our journey to bring Judson home was fairly easy compared to most until the day it wasn’t.  After we brought him home the long days of waiting felt like a cake walk. I can say now that I needed the hard days because it was during those days that God began a much harder process of redeeming the broken that lingered in me. Toddler adoption became more than just helping our sweet boy adjust. His journey became the vehicle God would use to shift many areas of my heart and life that needed to be moved.  This was a letter I wrote myself one year in to help me process all that had happened. When I wrote it, I never knew if I would ever share it.  My prayer is that for anyone who is in the midst of struggle, this will bring hope. For anyone in the midst of waiting, that is will bring perpsective.  For anyone in the midst of contemplating adoption, that it will bring truth.  Please let me know what you think.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Dear Kelly

I wanted to write a letter to the you of one year ago.

I wanted to let you know that you were absolutely clueless. You had no idea of the depth of what would be required of you. You had read the books, knew all the lingo, counseled parents for three years about adoption, but you truly had no frame of reference with which to speak so casually. Sweet Kelly, hold on to these few moments of ease, because that is not anything you will experience over this next year.

I want you to know that the first time you bathe Judson, you will want to throw up. To physically see the life that he has endured in the sunken, infected flesh will give you your first glimpse of what is before you. When you enter a room, he will cry. When you leave a room, he will cry, too. More quickly than you can imagine, you will see your life look like a prison and you have no idea how quickly you will be released, or worse yet, will you ever have any freedom.

And then, naïve Kelly, you will feel tremendous guilt and uncertainty over the depth of fear and uncertainty you feel as a result of this precious child.

You will learn to live in two worlds.

The world inside your home of biting, kicking, hitting, screaming, disobedience, exhaustion, chaos and trauma and the world outside that you will walk, desiring to paint a picture that life is not as hard as it is, that adoption is all roses and sunshine and that with just a little time and love, all will be ok.  You will quickly learn that toddler adoption is a whole different issue that few have knowledge or expertise in.  You will see God begin to strip you of every thought but of getting through the next hour and today.

And Kelly, I know you don’t understand what I am about to say, fully, but you will grieve. You will grieve the loss of childhood that this precious child did not have. You will also mourn the loss of time with your other three children and feel on a daily basis like you have let them down. You have been quickly impatient and tried to negate the feelings of loss they have because, you know, GOD called us to this and this is HIS journey for us. The pep talk and reminders you are giving them, is the mantra you need to be reminded of over and over. You will feel anger on their behalf at the aggression inflicted on them, your precious children, at the hand of, your other precious child. These dual feelings of guilt and anger and intense commitment will rage a war in your mind and heart that you will not know how to process.

You are a trained counselor, an adoption case worker, have two Masters degrees, have written articles about building strong families and you have no clue what to do.

You will also be moved to tears when you look at your three biological children and see the depth of love and commitment they have for each other. You will weep and look in awe as they LOVE and ACCEPT and FORGIVE. They will RISE, Kelly, not because of anything you have done, but only because of what JESUS is doing through them. They are simply amazing.

Kelly, you will be slow to share the true depth of your emotion or lack there of. After all, this really isn’t what people want to hear and you really would never want to discourage anyone from adoption. But when you do share, you will have zero tolerance for anything that resembles a quick response to the depth of pain, anger and resentment that you are trying so hard to process and redeem. So Kelly, you will withdraw, keep the circle small, be quiet, and pray this is just a phase that you can quickly pass through.

You will also realize that some journeys are not meant to be shared casually, but are uniquely designed to be walked with your Savior.

You have a man who will prove, yet again, that he is the absolute biggest blessing, outside of Jesus, that you will ever receive. He will love you through the hardest of days, challenge you to rise above your emotion and focus on Truth, listen to you, encourage you, pray for you and just simply help you.

You are not in this alone.

Kelly, lest you think that there was no good seen, let me set you straight. You will also get to experience, life, personality, joy, language and love being reborn. You will be stunned at how far he will come.

He will go to sleep without screaming and thrashing around.

He will go into his preschool class with no hesitation after a hug and a kiss.

He will love routine and structure.

He will begin to obey and respect boundaries.

He will gain weight, be healthy and grow from the 20% to the 60%.

He will use words like “delicious” and “adorable” that will show how adorably delicious he is to behold.

He will make you smile and laugh and you will share funny stories about him with your Mom.

He will LOVE you.

He will NEED you….and Kelly….you will begin to surrender to this journey.

You will realize the depth of your need for JESUS, every moment of every day, as a result of this child’s great need for you.

You will fight that with every ounce of your being, but slowly begin to release yourself of any expectation, perception of reality that you have ever had and simply love him.

You will embrace the techniques that help bring order to what had been a wildly chaotic world for him.  You will begin to feel a peace and calm that is not determined by your circumstances or how well your children behave, but from choosing to live according to TRUTH, believing the identity that Christ has given you.

You will be shocked that the very thing that has brought you to the pit of your life came as a result of the most beautiful, amazing, survivor, you have the privilege of calling your own.

Kelly, I know this sounds scary, and hard, and ugly, and you want to run away.

Let me tell you the two things that will get you through this next year….Jesus and your man. There will be times when you will literally drop to your knees and call out to Jesus, because you are at the end of yourself….that is a good thing.

You are not walking this alone. You are more aware of your Savior, His plan to prune away all areas of your life that are not of Him, and use your family to restore and redeem the life of one of His precious children. You are unable to walk this in your own strength for your flesh is so very weak.

But God, HE is strong and mighty and HE will not abandon you.

As I close this letter to you, let me remind you of a few things. Just because you are walking a hard road does not mean you are not right where the Lord wants you. It simply means that the Lord needs to narrow, refine and prune away that which does not bring Him glory. That is the definition of a Christ follower.

Next, is that you need to be real about the reality of adoption. The fact is you need to share about how hard it is and break down the walls between adoptive parents.  There is space that exists between honoring the journey of your precious boy and offering hope and support for those in the trenches with you.

Kelly, this year will be a ride, twisty, long, exhilarating, joyful, scary, high and low, but it is your ride.

Enjoy it, learn from it and hang on. And never forget….it’s going to be worth it…

Your boy is worth it all.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Blessings on your journey,

Kelly

Momma said there’d be days like these…..

I think as parents, we all have days where we feel challenged, tired, irritated, frustrated and like a complete failure.  We react in a way we wish we could take back, do over or are pleased with!

A few weeks ago, we had parent classroom  nights at the girls’ school.  They were on separate nights and I went for Emery’s class and J stayed home with the kiddos since we are fairly familiar with Em’s teacher! (Parker had her last year- the blessing of having your kids back to back!)  I am so thankful I went because it was a great reminder of why our children are at their school.  I can only say that it is truly a GOD thing.  I needed this reminder.  I needed to hear the things I did to confirm in my heart why I drive 20 minutes one way to take my kids to school, why I pay for them to go to school and why God has chosen this place for them to be educated.  Again, this is a year to year decision for Jason and I.  We pray, we seek the Lord’s direction and we step out in faith.  HE has been faithful and has given us a vision for our children’s future.  And that it worth more than the dollars we spend.

I want to say that I don’t think there is one education solution for every family.  I think it is ridiculous to think that God has chosen a path that each family should take in regards to educating their children.  I think it is a matter of prayer and discerning for each family.  All I know is that each one of us will be held accountable for our faithfulness in teaching them the Word, teaching them His ways, His precepts, His commandments.  I don’t rely on my children’s teachers to do that, but I do know that they come alongside us to uphold the Word.  Their job is to teach them reading, writing and math, but their calling is to teach each student to be like Christ.  My job is to teach them reading, writing and math as well!

Back to my original post BEFORE i went on a little side trip.

Mrs. F began discussing how she handles discipline.  Her one rule is BE KIND TO EACH OTHER.  The kids had made a big list of offenses and rules and it all came back to being kind to each other,so that it her one major rule.  She told us her classroom rules are not for specific behaviors but address matters of the heart that need to be addressed as a Christian living in relationship to God.

They are Lying, Rebelliousness, and Open Defiance.  When they are caught in these behaviors, she applies the three R’s.  They are to Recognize, Repent and Restoration.

To me this makes so much since in handling discipline, defining what is punished and why, based on Scripture and then a plan for how to deal with it.  I thought this might be helpful to others, as it has been to Jason and I.

Lying:

Proverbs 12:22 “Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who deal faithfully are His delight.”

Rebelliousness: Having or displaying a rebellious attitude.

Psalm 78:8- “And not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation.  A generation that did not prepare its heart, and whose spirit was not faithful to God.”

Open Defiance: (Disobedience) This is addressed on 3 levels in Scripture.

Family- Epehesians 6:1 “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.”

Jesus’ Example- Philippians 2:8- “And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming OBEDIENT to the point of death, even death on the Cross.”

Christian Walk- 1 Peter 1:14-15 “As OBEDIENT children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you to be holy yourselves also in all your behavior.”

I know as a parent, an offense can have different consequences, but I am often all over the place in administering the consequence.  I love having a goal in moving them to understanding and hopefully, a change in behavior, not to please me, but to be obedient to Christ.

RECOGNIZE: Help the child recognize what it is specifically that they did wrong.

REPENT: or ask forgiveness for their behavior.

RESTORATION: Pray with them restoring them to fellowship with one another.

Sometimes, kids need to feel bad for their actions.  They need to feel the pain of hurting someone else.  They need to know the sting of what lying lips can bring.

YET

They need to understand that they have a Savior that will redeem them, forgive them and restore them to fellowship with the Father.  Or their brother…. sister….friend.

Of course, we needed this little discipline lesson very quickly after hearing it!  The JOYS of parenthood……

Because she will thank me one day..

Last week, I picked the girls up from school and was met with a very animated Parker.  Here is a glimpse of our conversations…

P: “Mom, a boy in Mrs. M’s class, a first grader has a crush on me.”

Me: “He does, well how do you know he has a crush on you?”

P: “Because we were standing outside of the bathrooms at break and his class came out and he kept looking at me.  Then, he wiggled his eyebrows up and down, winked at me and did this….” She proceeded to show me the move, which proved this boy, had a crush on her.  She did the double, fingers pointed like a gun move and winked… I about busted out laughing on the spot, but realized that this was not a good move, so I smiled and said…

Me: “Well, what do you think about that?”

P: “It is embarrassing, He is in first grade and he won’t stop looking at me….”  She proceeds to tell me he is a new kid in the 1st grade and we talk about being kind, being a friend….yada, yada.

Of course, I set her up to tell the story to her daddy and had to fight even harder not to laugh when I watched him trying not to laugh.

Then, the next day…. same scenario of her getting in the car.

P: “Mom, you know the boy who is in love with me?”

Me: Taking a moment to collect myself before I open my mouth, “Parker, love is for grown ups, but yes, I know the boy you are talking about.”

P: “He followed me around the whole time on the playground today, so Z and JW told me that they would take care of it for me. (these are 2 precious boys in her class, so I am awwing on the inside thinking how they are looking out for their friend…..) They were going to tell him to not bother me anymore and you know what they did? They brought him right up to me!  I should have known I can’t trust them!” (Laughing on the inside.)

Me: Thinking I wish I had a video camera at this moment… “Well what did you do?”

P: “I ran away and Y and I started playing on the monkey bars.”

Me: “Parker, remember he is new and to be kind to him.  You can talk to him, NICELY, and tell him you are playing with your friends.”

P: “I know mom, it is just so embarrassing.”

Of course, I set her up to share this bit of story with Jason.  SOOOO funny.

He goes straight to the he is not in love with you talk with her…..Such a dad.

We have had several more incidents with this younger boy.  She seems to be handling it well, but she is SO EMBARRASSED.  That is her new word.  I am quickly seeing how fast it really all does go. Never in my wildest dreams did I think my 7 year old would be dealing with “crush.”  Jason and I talk a lot about what characteristics and values we want to develop in our kids.  We dream big for them and pray that we are bringing forth the personalities and talents God has given them, helping them learn more about Him.  I was struck again, how if I dream big for my kids, desire for them to live out a passionate, bold, faithful walk with Christ, then that is exactly what they need to see their parents doing.  I fear I talk the talk A LOT, and sometimes, walk the walk a little more slowly.  My biggest fear as a mom is that they will look back and think, My mom loved God, but she didn’t put her feet behind all those lessons she was teaching us.

I am reminded that they are growing up… growing wiser…. growing stronger….. growing little minds….that think for themselves…..that make choices….

I pray I don’t fail them……..

I should have known

Yesterday was a wierd day. It was one of those days when I got way too arrogant as a parent, not just once, but twice.

Last month, Emery went to the dentist, as many of you recall, and I experienced one of the funniest hours of my life. Well, yesterday, she was scheduled to go back to get MORE CAVITIES filled. That’s how we Stews roll- Come big or don’t come at all! SO, needless to say, Emery came BIG with the cavities.

We went back to get her “sleepy juice,” aka the stuff that wigs her out! They take her oxygen levels and they are less than stellar. I am not surprised because she has had a rough couple of weeks with her chronic cough/we refuse to label it asthma. So, they call in the dentist and he listens to her chest and sure enough, she is wheezing, slightly. At this point, I am shocked, because as bad as her cough can get, she was doing amazingly better. We were on the upswing, not the wheezing phase, at least, that is what I thought. I was not surprised that they wanted to wait to sedate her until another day. I had thought that may happen, so I had brought her uniform for school. So, off to school we go!

I received several phone calls from the school that day. One for Emery to have her inhaler, which I had given to her before we left. The next, to ask if she could have it an hour later, which she could not. Third to let me know she is not feeling well. As the great mom I am, I think she is totally milking getting to walk to the office and get our of class. I talk to her and when I brought up dance class today, she informed me she was doing okay!

At this point, I am convinced Jason and I are going to have to have a conversation about when it is appropriate to go to the office for medication! I am convinced she is fine.

Yeah, she pretty much is home with a fever of 100 to 101 today.

Next, I failed miserably with the oldest child.

Parker’s birthday is next month and let me just say- do whatever it takes to not have a baby in the month of December. It is just crazy. Period.

So, I am trying to plan her birthday around several of the following things:
1. Our schedule- Jason has lots of work stuff in December.
2. Not on a weekend to spare everyone else’s schedule.
3. Accomadate most of her friends.
4. Not spend hundreds of dollars.

So, I came up with the idea of having it at the pottery studio close to school and painting ornaments. We would do it in the afternoon and it would be GREAT, SO FUN, SO CONVENIENT and would be economical. I am sold. So, I walk Parker through it last week and she wasn’t totally convinced but then decided she was cool with it. Score one for me for figuring it out.

I booked the party yesterday and she hears me over the phone. I let her know I have just scheduled her party and go on about how much fun we are going to have.

Yeah, she pretty much, burst into uncontrollable sobs because she did not want to have her party there. It would be awful and she did not choose to have it there, she proceeds to tell me.

Now, I have the joy of either forcing my daughter to have a party that she does not want to have,to make it easier on me and everyone else OR come up with another plan.

He chooses my children to humble me on an almost daily basis.
How have your kids humbled you lately?