Finger Paint Time

Though I am lacking sleep and tired, I am exerting extra effort to do something fun and educational for my toddler, Joshua. I have seen myself concentrate more on my infant, Anna, and I do feel bad that I am not spending enough quality time with my son.

I went online to research how to make home made paint. I found a wonderful recipe from http://www.familyeducation.com. It’s a flour based home made paint that Joshua and I can use for a finger painting project.

Preparing the paint must be done one day before. It requires a bit of cooking, and color mixing and refrigeration.

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The next day after Joshua’s breakfast, we got the floor ready and the cartolina paper for our finger paint project. He was pretty excited to start experimenting on mommy’s home made paint!

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We used different colors and swirled the paint on the cartolina with our fingers and with our hands. Joshua made circles and we stamped our hands on the paper. It was not long and our painting project was taking shape as an abstract piece of art!

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We capped our activity by washing off the paint off our hands in the inflatable swimming pool and went swimming. The paint was easy to remove from our hands. It was a great bonding and educational activity. And I am mighty proud of Joshua’s first finger painting.

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Steady My Heart

Having a second child is like going back to scratch. The only difference is having the knowledge and the experience of child care from the first child. Even then, every child is different– I have heard that line before, and I have to agree with all the other moms about that.

My first born, Joshua did not want to be put down, he always wanted to be held. As a boy he ate almost every hour and at times every 30 minutes. I was dead tired breast feeding him. However, he was a happy baby. He did not cry so much. Meanwhile my second child, Anna, is different. She likes to sleep. She eats alot and takes a lot of milk so she can go and sleep for 2-3 hours. However, when she is awake she has a straight face and seldoms smiles. She easily cries. Her voice is so loud and full that it can be quite stressful for anyone who is handling her.

I am back to sleepless nights. I have taken the night shift and I let Anna’s nanny get her early in the morning so I catch about 3 -4 hours sleep. To keep me awake, I need my smartphone. I get to browse on Facebook, I get to read my bible online, I also get to listen to music especially praise & worship songs. These night shifts have become my quiet times… my time of conversing with God.

Anna for sometime was colicky and that made her cry alot. But God sent a friend who gave me some advise to try gripe water. After some online research, I asked my sister-in-law to buy us gripe water from Healthy Options. That did help in releaving her gas, and gave her better sleep. But that did not stop her crying blues when she is awake.

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I asked God to help me understand how He made our daughter… To give me wisdom and instincts to know how to care for her so she would be a happier baby. It is during the night shifts that I start thinking of all the events that are happening around me. I wish I could have been present on those events but caring for Anna has made me stay home. Many times, I keep thinking I am missing out. But a friend in the Lord, reassured me that this is what God wants me to do at this time. To focus most of my attention on my family. After all family is my primary ministry.

Its very hard to do, but I have declined many invitations. I am such a go, go, go person. Resting is often a struggle for me. Deep inside I do feel that this is what God wants me to do and I shall trust Him in this season of my life.

As a mom, I really enjoy my time with my children… In recent days, the Lord has been answering my prayers because Anna is responding more to me and is crying less. The Lord has also shown me, what seems to me a missing out on events is not a loss on my part. The Lord has been getting me involved on the things I am passionate about on a different way. I am able to do some work online and connections are made via emails. I don’t really leave the house, but God is still making me significant on the things that matters to me. Truly God is amazing!

God is teaching me that He knows me intimately. He knows my children and their needs. He is giving me wisdom on how to be a better mother. He is teaching me that if I am dependent on HIM, all things will just settle in their proper place and in the right time. Even the things that I love outside my home, He is working them out in my favor. All I need to do is TRUST that God knows what is good.

And with all my heart, I know it to be true. Our God is good! Oh God, you steady my heart… ūüėĆ

Here is one of the songs that have blessed me. Its during my night shift quiet times that I have come across this.

Time…a Family Investment

Last January, my sister and her entire family came to the province to help me out. ¬†Joshua needed distraction from my pregnancy and childbirth… and cousins are great sources of distraction! ¬†It was 10 days of bonding and 10 days of character building!

Monique, my twin sister has 4 children. ¬†Her eldest girl, Sabrina, is 12 years old. ¬†Next are 3 boys — Matthew, JD, and Ezra. The great thing with them was that they could stay long with us because they are all home schooled. ¬†School follows the student and not the other way around!

Joshua's "distraction" team!

Joshua’s “distraction” team!

The house was a riot. I really appreciated my husband because he allowed the kids to make a mess out of the house. ¬†Joshua had swimming mates in the pool. Usually he does not like having other people share his swimming pool. This was good for him. ¬†There were alot of laughing and alot of crying. ¬†There were lots of negotiation and also moments of time outs… For Joshua it was learning to SHARE, saying “can I borrow?” and learning to let go and move on to another toy.

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Joshua learned to lend all his toys. ¬†I saw him cope when his cousins invaded his space. He took his favorite toys in the baby’s room so he could have alone time with it. I also saw Joshua get into the mode of showing off everything he had. ¬†He would bring his play doh then after going through it all, he would excitedly bring out the next toy. His cousins also had taught him different styles of negotations. Like when one gets a toy and the other does not want to share and starts whining, one must find another toy in exchange for that favored toy. It was watching the very principle of barter trade — toddler style!

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I guess what I loved the most in bonding moments like these are the growing fondness to one another and the building of friendship. Relationships are built through time. We have to invest in new memories. I am so thankful that my dear sister and her husband make family time a priority.

I got time to bond with my sister which is precious because I live miles away from her. They did not fuss that they did not see any tourist sites when they were here. Spending time with me and my family were more important to them. I am so blessed by their generous and service oriented hearts because they made themselves available for us.

Sister Bonding!

Sister Bonding!

Family is a gift from the Lord! Time is a gift from God! We must intentionally invest in them.

A Hard Month!

And just like that 30 days had passed and my little princess turned a month old! I spoke too early when I described my little girl as an angel that just loves to sleep and is super easy. Well she was until 2 weeks old and then our nights became sleepless nights as Anna turned colic.

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I now have a better appreciation for my mom and those who cared for me as a baby. I learned from my mom that I was colicky as a baby too. Let me describe what a colicky baby is — she gets fussy and then cries uncontrollably with a red flushed face, fists clenched tight, and legs kicking in protest. This scene happens not for a few minutes but a few hours! It is not her diapers because they have been changed. It’s not hunger because she has been breastfed and has burped. But, she continues to cry and cry. It was not long that we noticed something not right with her tummy. Her abdomen gets warm, bloated, and hard. It gets relieved when the gas is passed or when she poops.

Our pediatrician advised us to not stress or get angry as she throws these fits because the baby can feel it. If she keeps crying the gas will build up and so will the pain and discomfort. These colic episodes usually happens late afternoons and most often in the early mornings (like 2-3 am). Caring for a colic baby is sooo tiring!

Initially my husband was upset because baby Anna was just inconsolable. But as the days went on, God sent him people who verified about the Colic syndrome. My husband became more sympathetic and understanding towards our situation.

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I have to thank God too, because I can really see that He is teaching me to stretch my patience. I recall how I had my bouts of impatience with my first-born when he would not sleep! I caught myself being frustrated with spells of anger spilling out because I was tired. This time, God has given me grace and self-control. When I see my baby girl in her colicky moments I stay calm. I know she is uncomfortable and likely in pain. Another blessing in this situation is talking to God more. Everytime Anna goes into her colicky mode, I begin to pray and sing songs of praise.

They say that most babies get over this state when they reach 3 months. I pray that God will relieve her of this earlier than that. Whether in blues or in bliss, in hardship or in ease, all of these are part of the joys of motherhood.

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