Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Conquering Fears

Rufflebum is learning to conquer her fears.

She went from absolutely-no-way-will-i-get-near-that-moving-ride at the park...

To... Not only am I cool, calm and collected in my airplane, but I'm feeling at home enough in this train to go ahead and take off my shoes.

She went from, "rain?!".....

To... I'm going to go ahead and do a little dance in this wet stuff to show how brave I am. Then I'm going to show off my new hair-do.

She went from, don't-you-dare-take-me-near-that-giant-red-fire-truck...

To... Ok I'll tolerate sitting on here so you can take my picture.

She went from wanting me to help her do everything at the park...

To... climbing on things all by herself.

She went from, I'm just going to sit on my little ladybug with wheels...

To... I'm going to stand on my ladybug with wheels.

She went from, don't take me near that bounce house...

To dominating the bounce house.

And it was this process of watching her grow and be brave over the last several weeks (even if it was doing things I didn't approve of - like standing on her ladybug with wheels....), that lead me to be brave myself.

Mr. San Antonio was out of town for work and I was stuck in a house with a lizard.

And I will not pretend to be one of those moms who gladly scoops up lizards so they can show their kids and give their children a wonderful memory of holding a lizard...

The lizard gave me goosebumps. And made me insides squirm.

But I knew I needed to calmly help the lizard back into the wild. And I knew it would be good for Rufflebum to see her mommy be brave.

So I held my breath and scooped up the lizard (using junk mail mind you - not my bare hands!), and "calmly" escorted him outside.

Then I ran to the bathroom because the lizard left me feeling rather queasy.

The deep profound truth that I learned from my lizard experience, is that I really don't like wild animals of any sort unless they are a safe distance away from me. Preferably behind a wall/cage/enclosure from which they cannot escape.

Here's to conquering your fears, and being brave,
The Pampered Bird

Monday, October 28, 2013

Your Thoughts on Journaling

Have you ever journaled?

In a couple weeks I'm going to be talking with a group of women about the process of journaling - the "how-to" side, as well as the blessings that come from actually doing it regularly.

I've been journaling since High School, and have done a lot of different types of journaling over the years. But I realize that I have a particular personality and style that has influenced my process and I want to make sure to provide a well rounded perspective to these women who will be coming from a wide variety of life stages (from college students, to young moms, to retired women).

If you have ever journaled, I'd love to hear from you as I prepare what I'm going to share!

  • What did you like about journaling? What didn't you like?
  • Is there a process that has worked best for you?
  • Have you ever used a book to guide you through journaling or teach you journaling "skills"?
  • Is there a tip you'd love to share with women who are just starting to journal?
  • If you haven't ever really journaled, why not? Does it seem too overwhelming? Do you not know where to start? Does it feel weird (like you're keeping a teenage diary)?
I would love to hear from you (either leave a comment here on the blog, or on Facebook, or send me an email at Your feedback will help me as I prepare what I'm going to share with this group of women. And I promise to write a post or two about journaling after I talk with these women in a couple weeks!

Have a great week!

The Pampered Bird

Thankful List

Things I'm thankful for today in no particular order:

1. The pumpkin Rufflebum painted that is sitting on our mantle.

 2. The extra long hours Mr. San Antonio has been working lately in order to provide for us.

3. The hot drink in my mug. (Ok, the hot drink that was in my mug until I threw out self-control and gulped it down. It had caffeine. I needed to gulp it.)

4. Tylenol, and how well it brings down little people's fevers in the middle of the night.

5. Animals that Rufflebum can pet to her heart's desire (our deer head doesn't count).

6. Friends that share what's on their hearts and listen to what's on mine.

7. People who send notes in the mail just to say they were praying for me that week.

8. The pile of clean newborn baby clothes sitting on my bed waiting to be put away.

9. How every day when I dress Rufflebum she looks at herself and says, "Ooooooh sooooo cuuuuute."

10. My watercolor class and the gift of having 3 hours every week to be creative.

11. My stove that doesn't set off the fire alarm when I boil water.

12. End of the day foot rubs from Mr. San Antonio.

13. This Bible verse: Isaiah 40:11 "He tends his flock like a shepherd:He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young."

14. Family - and all the mess and craziness and beauty that "family" means.

15. A car that works.

16. Naps.

17. Snuggles. (And snuggles on a boat in San Diego are even better!)

What are you thankful for today?
The Pampered Bird

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Potty Chair

We have reached the stage where we have a "potty chair" sitting in our bathroom.

I'm not officially "potty training" for several reasons, but I figured having a "potty chair" around could be a good discussion starter (for me and Rufflebum... not me and guests - did I really need to clarify that?), and allow her to move forward when ready.

(Flashback: naked baby picture)

The other night I was getting her ready for her bath and she escaped from me naked (she was naked, not me - did I really need to clarify that?) while yelling "POTTY CHAIR POTTY CHAIR!!"

And sure enough I found her sitting on her potty chair.

So I sat down on the edge of the bathtub and started chatting with her.

A couple minutes later she requested a song.

So I started singing.

Eventually we landed on "Old McDonald had a Farm" - one of her favorites. I always pause and let her yell out what animal is on the farm and 99% of the time she yells "COW!" And I reply with "Really? Another cow?" and she says, "YEAAAAAAH!!!!!" I explain the difference between a ranch and a farm and insist that she is creating a ranch with all her cows, and she ignores me because it makes no sense to her and she continues to call out "COW!"

But this time our interaction went like this:

Me: Old McDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O. And on that farm he had a.....
Me: A bat?
Me: I have no idea what sound a bat makes...
Me: Are you sure? What about a cow? Or a dog? Or a pig?
Me: Ok, ok... and on his farm he had a bat? E-I-E-I-O. With a.... (high pitched) eeeeeee here and an eeeeee there...

Me: Well what sound do you think a bat makes?
Me: Yeah... ok, I'm singing, I'm singing. Here an eeeeee, there an eeeeeee, everyone an eeeeeee. Old McDonald had a farm E-I-E-I-O.

Several renditions later, Old McDonald no longer has a farm he has a bat cave and my vocal chords will never be the same.

Thirty minutes later... she has done nothing on her potty chair except yell out animals (mainly bats) and laugh at my imitations, so I end the bat farm madness and firmly declare that it is finally bath time and she needs to get off the potty chair.

I turn around to turn on the water and she leaps up, but stops....

I look behind me and see her staring down at the floor.... and the puddle now gathering around her feet.

Inches away from the potty chair.

Somehow I refrain from saying, "EEEEEEE" and calmly place her in the tub while assuring her that it's okay.

There really isn't a moral to this story or a lesson to be learned. Unless you were always wondering what noise a bat makes. Then this story was probably very enlightening.

The Pampered Bird

Monday, October 7, 2013

De-stressing Before Bed

I didn't blog last week because we were on vacation in San Diego... and you know when you get on the airplane and they tell you to turn off all your electronic devices... well I chose to leave them off for the most of the week.

And it felt good.

So good.

We spent the week walking/hiking along cliffs overlooking the beach, visiting San Diego tourist spots, playing board games, eating way too much food, and only worrying about where/how/when to get the babies down for naps.

Usually when I return home from vacations I dread going back to my normal routine. Laundry, dishes, scrubbing toilets, and grocery shopping feel even more mundane than usual. And the view from my window (currently of the trash truck) just doesn't quite compare to the view of the ocean I had for a week.

But this time returning home has been a little easier because it's October, and the weather has finally started to cool down, and there is so much to look forward to in the next days, weeks and months.


The day after we got back we just took it slow. I didn't rush and do the laundry. I didn't buy out the grocery store to refill our fridge. We slept in. We went to church. We rested on the sofas. We walked to Starbucks. We let ourselves re-acclimate to our home and our schedule.

But as the afternoon went on I started to feel the stresses piling back up.

Mr. San Antonio had to leave town for a short business trip and this little voice in my head started saying things like, "you can't function without him here", and "do even remember how to care for your toddler without 10+ family members helping you"? "You'll never get back into your routine." "You probably can't remember how to boil an egg!"

And that pile of laundry no longer said, "I'm so laid back that I don't care if I have to wade through laundry to get to my bed". And it started to say, "If you don't do this laundry right now then your week will be ruined and you will be stressed and by the way you are lazy so get off your butt and get this laundry cleaned, folded and put away. Now."

As I let my mind wander, the feeling of stress piled up and up and up (kinda like my laundry pile).

But God is good and gracious and loving and kind and refused to let me stay in my self-induced stressed-out state of mind.

In His perfect timing, that evening our Community Group...

TANGENT: (if you go to church, then your church might call it a Life Group, a Small Group, etc.), (if you don't go to church, think of it as a group of 10-15 people who are committed to share their lives with each other, be vulnerable about things they struggle with, encourage each other, serve each other, learn from each other, etc.).

(back from tangent)... started a discussion/study on prayer. And we specifically looked at Psalm 4 and how at the end of the Psalm David is able to go to sleep at peace.

Psalm 4:8 "In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety."

We talked about how easy it is to spend our last wakeful moments going over all the things that feel stressful and are weighing on our hearts and minds and mulling them over and over and over until we are all worked up.

We talked about how we can sleep through the night but still not be fully rested the next day when our hearts are heavy with things that we haven't given back over to God.

We encouraged each other to spend a few minutes every night before going to bed, really relinquishing these stresses to God and trusting Him to care for us and help us work our way through whatever issues we are facing.

And actually go to sleep at peace and at rest in our hearts.

It was a very timely discussion for me.

And I tried it last night (the whole giving my stresses over to God and really believing that He would take care of me).

It was a good experience. I could feel my body relax as my heart and mind let go of things. I know this sounds like a "new-age" meditation type practice - feeling your body and mind tied together. But what I am talking about is completely different. In those types of practices it is YOU who is trying to control things/emotions/feelings. I'm talking about giving up control. Trusting in a God who is way bigger than yourself. Believing in a Savior who died for you so that you would never have to fear or stress again.

Believing in Jesus is the only way to truly get rid of stress and fear.

Try it with me tonight. Try talking to Jesus and giving Him your stresses at the end of the day.

And instead of letting that laundry pile overwhelm you, know that it will get done in due time.

And that you didn't forget how to boil and egg.

The de-stressing Pampered Bird


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