Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Our homeschool group was having a discussion yesterday about organization and feeling out of control. We offered one another support. We will be discussing organization at our next homeschool meeting. I'm excited to share some tools and learn something new.

It led me to this quote and a focus on peace:

"Lord, I'm overwhelmed...I often lose sight of You. Please rejuvenate my soul and help me look to You for stength and comfort when I need it most. Remind me that I can't control everything and that it's okay I'm not perfect. Amen."
From In the Kitchen with Mary and Martha: One Dish Wonders
(found in my 365 Moments of Peace for Moms)

Peace. Aren't we all looking for peace? I am. I am looking for peace in my heart and in my life. I usually relate peace with balance. When I have a balance in my life things seem to go smoothly, peacefully. I am someone that requires downtime. I do not always like to be on the go.

Seems so funny to me...when I look back, I think I was always busy as a teenager and as a young adult. It's really been since I've entered the motherhood stage, that I took a big pause...looked at my schedule, prioritized it and have been searching for peace, balance and mindful activities.

My sister is quite different, not only does she have a few more kids than I do, she is also still on the go. This comes to light when we take trips together. Our family likes some down time. We don't want to be on the go with a planned activity every day. Some days we want to spend in the pool or exploring...something simple.

As a child, I recall many moments of down time. I have always loved to read and write. I had plenty of time to do those activities as well as play with my siblings, neighborhood kids, take walks and explore. Just play...I remember having a lot of time to use our imaginations. I think I've come full circle. I am trying to teach my own children now to find peace, balance and mindfulness.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Visit to the Dentist

Our visit to the dentist was a success! I am so excited and relieved. For those of you reading my blog for the first time, my son had developed a fear of the dentist's office. Our last 6 month appointment was physically and emotionally draining, very stressful. Something upset him during that visit. I was with him at the time and did not know what it was. He informed me a few weeks ago, in preparing for our upcoming appointment, it was the tooth counter that he feared.
On Thursday, we had his appointment. My son looked nervous when he went back. He held onto his sister and his comfort item. We tried something different - I sat in the lobby and waited...and prayed. I prayed for courage and peace for him.
The staff was great. I shared with them his fear of the tooth counter. The dental hygienist actually came back twice with updates!
Not only was it a success, he completed all the parts of the dental visit - polishing of his teeth, counting of his teeth, xrays, meeting with the dentist and the flouride treatment. He shared with me that they used the tooth counter in his mouth three times!
Afterwards we met with the dentist and reviewed the xrays - no cavities! Everything looks good. If you need assistance with your child going to the dentist, please check out my tips.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Clutter Buster Project: Getting Rid of the Bunk Bed

We took down my son's bunk bed. Clutter was multiplying on the top bunk! I felt a little sad. He loved that bunk bed. However, he had not been sleeping in it. That combined with the breeding of clutter on the top bunk, I was inspired to let it go. I found I would place some laundry up there to put away and he would throw all types of randon toys and clothes up there. I constantly had to stay on top of it. I was tired and realized we rarely use the top bunk for anyone to ever sleep in it anymore! We freecycled it yesterday. Finally I was okay with it. My son wasn't so sure.
This project was initially paint my son's room. My hubby and son went shopping for paint supplies. My son picked primary color blue for his walls. They painted. We had talked about the possibility of letting the bunk bed go. It wasn't until after I saw the room painted that we moved forward on it.
When the room was dry, we took down the bunk bed and removed everything from the room. Then we dusted and vacuumed. We brought the furniture back in and rearranged it. I love it! My son is very happy with his "new" room too. I'm not sure what our next step is with the bed. We are going to try a twin for now and see how that works. He also has the option of going to a full size bed. It feels clean, fresh and new in his room. Our next project: decorating it.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Parents: Need Help Handling Your Child's Fear of the Dentist?

Lately we've been talking about the dentist in our home. My son has his semiannual dentist visit in 2 weeks. He is nervous - he does not like going to the dentist. He last visit was awful - emotionally draining for both of us. I am prepping him several weeks in advance for this visit.

Tips for Reducing Fear of the Dentist in Children:

1. Set expectations. Talk to your child and explain what will happen. For example, you have a dentist appointment today at 2 pm. We will go and sit in the waiting room until they call your name. You may play with the toys in the office until your name is called. Once your name is called, you will go back to see the dentist and I will go with you (or it may be that the child is going alone).

2. Knowledge. There are four key components to the dental office visit - cleaning, counting teeth, taking xrays or pictures of your teeth and meeting with the dentist and letting him check your teeth. A flouride treatment may or may not be included in the visit. My son's fear - the tooth counter. He finally shared this with me last week. The tooth counter is a small metal tool with a hook on the end. He tells me it scares him. It looks sharp.

3. Practice at home with pretend play. My sister found this dentist play set she purchased for my son to help him conquer his fear. He plays with it, sometimes we play together. I've asked him, what if you were the dentist and the dentist was the patient. He laughs at me...he thinks it's silly for me to say such a thing.

4. Real life application. I bring my son with me when I go to the dentist, so he can watch my experience and become familiar with the process. Read books about the dentist experience. I purchased Just Going to the Denist for my son - we are big Mercer Mayer fans. We read the book together. I would suggest previewing the books at a bookstore or a library first unless highly recommended by a friend.

5. Take a tour. My son has been to the dental office several times in the past. He only goes every 6 months, easy to forget what it looks like in 6 months. We scheduled a tour for review. It only took a few minutes and the dental office was very receptive. After the tour, while we were talking, was when he shared with me his fear of the tooth counter.

6. Answer any questions or address any fears the child may have. I am going to address the tooth counter with the staff, maybe they will let him hold it and get comfortable with it. If not, maybe they can use another object until he's more comfortable. I suggested a Q-tip to my son. He laughed and said they were nice and soft.

7. Educate. Teach your child the names of the dentist and the staff members.

8. Talk positively. We talk about the dentist in our home. He shared with us last visit some similar likes to my son. Both of them are "critter catchers" - they like to catch frogs, toads and lizards. So they have that in common. My daughter loves going to the dentist. It is not difficult for us to talk positively.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Offer Birthday Cake or Fruit Cake?

In my challenge to stay on track with my lifestyle change of healthy eating, evitably I stumble on setbacks. Birthdays seem to attract setbacks. Most people prefer or expect cake to be served....sometimes even cake and ice cream. Double blow! Now, maybe I am just spending time with the wrong people. =)
I have dealt with these sugary treats in all different ways - sometimes declining, other times choosing a small portion of ice cream OR cake. Kids birthday parties are the worst! I have been guilty myself in the past. Welcome to a sugar festival - likely filled with pizza and sugary drinks, sometimes juice boxes, cake, ice cream and sometimes even pinatas filled with candy! Enough!!
Today I discovered a solution! A fruit cake! Now, I'm not talking about a cake with fruit baked in it, like you come across at the holidays. This fruit cake is layers of fresh fruit shaped to look like a cake, click here to check it out. It looks delicious and is simple to make. My friends who are also working toward a healthy lifestyle may embrace this new idea of a fruit cake. Wondering if the rest of my inner circle will accept it?