Friday, August 17, 2007

Garbage In, Garbage Out

Wow! It's been awhile again! We got through VBS and now we are frantically trying to finish up the construction in our basement. We are getting there - extra bedroom and bathroom space will be a great blessing to our family!

Our little baby Maren has been an unhappy baby. She cries a lot and it generally unsettled. Someone mentioned to me at conference that I should try cutting things out of my diet to see if certain foods were bothering her. Why didn't I think of that? I've had five kids but I always ate anything while I was nursing and it didn't seem to affect them at all. So I started with chocolate (this is a huge sacrifice for me - I actually used to eat MnM's and Diet Coke for breakfast - My college roomies can vouch for that!), caffeine (bye-bye diet coke), onions or anything spicy and tomatoey stuff. That seemed to help a lot. Mike suggested I try knocking out dairy for a few days to see if that helped. And it did! She is like a different kid. But I am kind of sad that there isn't much I can eat. I actually have to have Soy Milk on my cereal!

But it is all worth it to not have a screaming baby all the time - I just wish I would have figured it out earlier. Two other side benefits I've noticed is that my face has totally cleared up - no break outs for a long time. I thought zits were supposed to end with the teenage years but maybe eating 25 chocolate chip cookies a day contributed to the problem! Also, I think this might help me shed some of the baby weight I've gained over the last 8 years. I do really miss my MnM's though.

So I was thinking about the old phrase "Garbage In, Garbage Out". It seems to be true of what we put in our bodies, I know it is true with what we put in our minds in the way of TV and movies. I think as parents we try to guard our kids by limiting the things they can see on TV or the hours they can play video games or the people they can be around, but I've realized that I can be a big contributor to the "garbage" in our lives.

We had to run to Wal-Mart and a few other places after VBS one day. I was tired and didn't want to do errands. It was HOT and I was crabby. I was annoyed with the slow pace we were on and I was short with the kids. It was miserable for all of us! I realized half way through the store that I was the one contributing the bad vibes for the day. If I am calm and patient and happy, everyone else seems to be too (ok - not always) but it increases the likelihood of a good afternoon - especially if we are able to avoid the Toy section!

I also have realized that I need to react and respond to my kids much more with grace and love. That seems obvious but it is easy when things happen throughout the day from fights to injuries, to spills to react with anger and annoyance rather than love and grace. In a lot of those situations our kids are hurting and need comfort and encouragement from us. But it is hard to stop and think of that when someone is bleeding, someone is yelling and someone is crying while you are trying to get supper on the table.

I guess I need to make it a priority in my morning to put my day and attitude before the Lord and ask for help, calm, joy and maybe a babysitter so I can do errands alone!

1 Peter 3:8
"Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble."


SingerMamaMelody said...

Hey Michelle! GREAT thoughts on the "garbage in, garbage out" and being calm and kind to kiddos. Thank you for sharing! And also, a good reminder to put the day in God's hands...something I all too often forget to do in my haste to take care of my daughter and eat my breakfast. M & M's and Diet Coke for breakfast, huh? That sounds good! :) Actually, I've been known to eat cookies or leftover pie for breakfast...crazy, but sometimes it just hits the spot. Nonetheless, good 'ol cereal, yogurt and fruit is probably a better option. I will pray for you and Maren as you go through this time of change with the diet. I'm so glad that she's doing better!

Michelle said...

OK - Apparently the "clear face" reference was just a cruel joke because we're back to normal now! I guess I can continue to gorge myself in chocolate!