Saturday, April 20, 2013

Boston

Wow.  It's hard to find any words to say regarding the whole Boston marathon bombing.  Boston will always have a special place in my heart as I spent seven years living there... I really grew in my relationship with my Lord and Savior there... I met my husband there... in fact, he ran the Boston marathon as a "bandit" the year I met him (it was a college thing to do).

It's been surreal reading all the updates on all the happenings up there.  Instead of google or cnn I've just been reading friends' updates on facebook.  I am glad for the safety of my friends up there.  However, my heart does break for the those who lost their lives and those seriously injured.

Hats off to the MIT cop.  Crazy... he was shot at my old college campus near building 32! (All MIT buildings are numbered... we never called them by names)

As a mom, the story of the eight year old boy especially tugged at my heart.  It reminded me of all those other children who lost their lives not too long ago... also due to violence.  Life is fragile and unpredictable.  I would be a very nervous and anxious mom if it weren't for the hope and faith I have in my Savior.

One of my favorite verses that reminds me of what's to come is from Revelations 21, promising no more crying or pain.
 Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,”[a] for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’[b] or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

I also really like this Keith Green quote:
“You know, I look around at the world and I see all the beauty that God made. I see the forest and the trees and all the things. And it says in the Bible that He made them in six days, and I don’t know if they’re a literal six days or not. Scientists would say no; some theologians would say yes; it doesn’t matter to me. But I know that Jesus Christ has been preparing a home for me, and for some of you, for two thousand years. And if this world took six days, and that home took two thousand years, … this is living in a garbage can compared to what’s going up there.” 

And I truly believe... as Stephen Curtis Chapman's song says, there's "More to this Life"

Monday, April 15, 2013

Work/Home Balance for Mom

Today's post is actually a guest post from Summer Blackhurst.  It is that time of year again where we are looking for a new match with another au pair for the next year.  So far we've had two chinese au pairs and have had two years of overall very positive experiences.  I'll share more about this in a later post.
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Some days I am up until 1 a.m. tying up loose ends in the home and with my job. Often by the time I lay my head down to sleep, I am promptly visited with my baby’s first cry to be nursed or my toddler’s call for comforting

Finding the right work/home balance has brought me to the brink at times (and as much as a 36-hour day would be just the right fit - extending out the solar system to make this possible just isn’t in the cards). With all the demands on moms in the 21st century, kids are getting caught in the middle of the madness. They don’t have to suffer though. With a little ingenuity moms can have kids, and if they choose to, pursue career dreams.

In these cases get creative and look for more flexibility at work, telecommuting or working less than 40 hours if possible.  Talk to your hubby about stepping it up as much as possible. Train him to give you a night off from the little ones whenever he sees that “crazed” look in your eyes.


What about childcare? Have you ever thought about bringing in an Au Pair for a little extra help at home? I know with live in childcare it’s scary trying the find the right fit for the family. Finding childcare that doesn’t break the bank is also nerve racking. Au Pair childcare might not fit your needs, but it might. The State department set up this program for “foreign nannies” to come here and receive an invaluable cultural experience. Their job will create opportunities back in their own country for them, and US families leverage the live-in help and culture exchange to restore stability at home. Au Pair care is real time - live in help. An Au Pair keeps the family from being tied down to specific day care schedules and is typically a lot more affordable than using a local nanny.


In the swaying winds of home and family culture, our children need a steady hand more than ever. The more time I spend as a working mom the more I’m convinced too much is on my plate, it isn’t possible to do it all without help. So while we can have it all, we don’t necessarily have to do it all! Finally, I’ve found no matter what I might be going through at the time, I’ve never regretted pushing my little peoples needs the front of the line.




Summer Blackhurst writes content for Go Au Pair. She is the mother of two beautiful boys under three-years-old. She’s been writing for more than 15 years and worked in the childcare field for 20 years.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Toddlers in the Throwing Things Stage

Our little E is now nearing two years old.  Just like his older two sisters, he has reached a stage where he likes to throw food on the floor.  It is a frustrating stage to go through since things can get messy.  However, it is a normal part of development and he will eventually grow out of it.

Why do they like to throw things so much?
Simple answer is because they can.  This is a rich stage of new discoveries and growth both with motor skills as well cognitive skills.  In a simple sense, they have discovered gravity.  Things always fall down and never up!  They also realize they have power to do certain things.  Perhaps it is interesting and fun to see all the reactions they get from doing certain actions.

How best to respond as caregivers?
Tough but it is always advised to stay calm.  In fact if your response is calm, collected and consistent every time they may get over the novelty of throwing food faster.  You can try to convey to them what is ok to throw and what is not ok to throw.  During play time, they can throw balls or soft objects as long as it is not towards anybody.  During mealtimes, praise them when they do not throw food on the floor and put it in their mouths instead.  Depending on the age and maturity of the child you can try giving consequences... like having them pick up the food or giving them a short time out.  Patience is required and at the end of the day, the phase has to run its course.  There is an end.



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