Monthly Archives: July 2009

The Dreadful Silence

You know how it is when you are just trying to relax and enjoy your day off and suddenly you realize that everything is way too quiet? Well that is when you know that you are in real trouble. What could that adorable little brown eyed darling possibly do in less than five minutes? you ask. Ha! A lot you know. Five minutes is plenty of time to raise havoc.

How dost thou destroy my house? Let me count the ways:

Thou doest spread butter across the depth and breadth and height
of the table and every chair,
and into the roots and shafts of thine every little hair.
Thou doest spill orange juice on the stairs at night,
which dries and leaves a sticky sight.
Thou doest finely shred the mail,
and drop the eggs upon the floor,
and then thou doest use the broom to distribute
the mess to every corner of the room.
Thou doest drive me to the very brink, where I seem to lose
my sanity anew, — and yet, I love thee with every breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! — and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

The Misunderstood ‘Ferber’ Method

Ok, for all you moms who are thinking about “Ferberizing” your child because your mother-in-law, husband, grandmother, etc., insists that you need to let your child cry himself to sleep or that you are spoiling your child . . . what ever happened to your maternal instinct? Who knows best for your child? Someone who isn’t even the parent? I am sure that these people are all well meaning and everything, but what would you say if you knew that Dr. Ferber himself even said that what he wrote in his book was largly misunderstood?

“Dr. Ferber, 61, says that he has been largely misunderstood. When he first published his book in 1985, “there weren’t any others,” he says. The book, which has been reprinted 45 times, contains advice on a range of sleep issues, from bed-wetting to teens who can’t get up for school on time. But he is most known for his signature controlled-crying method, which involves leaving a baby alone in the crib to cry for progressively longer intervals until he or she falls asleep. Parents are instructed to go into the room at the end of each interval to console — but not touch or pick up — the child.

Dr. Ferber, who is also director of the Center for Pediatric Sleep Disorders at Children’s Hospital in Boston, says that now, “we’ve had a lot more experience. There really are a lot of different ways” for children to learn good sleep habits.

Dr. Ferber says that he will be revising his book because some parts need to be updated. For instance, he says new research suggests that babies don’t need as much sleep as he originally advised. And he wants to clarify that his crying technique was targeted at a specific problem: the child who can fall asleep only while being rocked or held. While he still presents this approach in his new edition, he says he tells parents they can use gradual steps to wean a child off of rocking and soothing behaviors. And he clarifies that some children such as those suffering from anxiety will not be helped by the crying method.”

Also, about the statement he made in his book which reads “Sleeping alone is an important part of [your child’s] learning to be able to separate from you without anxiety and to see himself [or herself] as an independent individual,” Dr. Ferber said in an interview he did for an article in Newsweek,  “That’s the one sentence I wish I never wrote. It was describing the general thinking of the time, but it was not describing my own experience or philosophy”

From personal experience, I find that my oldest, now 15, who I used the “Ferber” method on before I knew better, is actually the least confident and the least independent of my four children. I used attachment parenting with the other three. I wish that I had had more of a backbone to resist well meaning but un-neccessary criticism and advice from those who did not know my child the way I did. It would have saved me several nights of sitting outside my baby’s bedroom door on the floor wringing my hands with tears in my eyes while she cried, while I told myself over and over that I was doing what was best for my child, until she finally fell asleep with tear stains on her cheecks.

This “Ferber” method is not even what Dr. Ferber intended, but it is what so many parents have misconstrued his words to mean.

Shout out to all moms! Study up on things before you inflict them on your kids instead of just taking some well-meaning relative’s word for it. Actually read the book they are supposedly ‘quoting’ for yourself, and then read about several methods for the same thing, but most of all, trust your God-given maternal instinct and do what you feel in your heart that your baby needs no matter what so-and -so tells you! After all, YOU are the expert on YOUR child, not Dr. Ferber.

The Truth about Motherhood

Here is an excerpt from a letter my sister sent several years ago, which I found just now as I was going through my files . . . such a gem of truth!

“See this sweet, innocent blonde haired, blue eyed, rosy cheeked two-year old boy child?  See these two innocuous looking one-gallon ziplock bags full of California brown rice in my hall closet?  Leave the room for a few minutes and the two will somehow spontaneously combine.  We will be vacuuming rice out of the hall carpet for months.

There is no use in taking a ten-minute sabbatical from Motherhood- someone will be tugging at you, saying “Momma, Momma, Momma, MOMMA!” the whole time.  When you return from your sabbatical, you will spend an hour and a half cleaning up the calamities that happened while you were gone!  Then the whole time you are cleaning up, another mess will be developing in the next room. “

Heart Stopping Moments for Parents

I think that one of the most heart stopping moments that a parent can experience is being called at work and being told that something has happened to one of their children. The second is having a child go missing. Put the two together, and well there is a recipe for some real anxiety.

As many times as you may feel angry or frustrated with your children, there is nothing like the fear of having a child go missing, especially if you have to come home from work and fight traffic before you can do a thing about it. My littlest one went missing today while I was at work and my almost-fifteen-year-old daughter was tending her. I was glad that she called me as soon as she realized that B was missing, so while I was on my way home I called all of the neighbors to see if she had stopped by for a visit. When we fist moved in to our neighborhood, B had a sly way of sneaking off as soon as my back was turned, and so we installed latches at the top of the doors, but she has recently figured out how to use the broom or other long handled tool to un-hook the latch.

My daughter was near a panic, and soon we had two neighbors out looking for her along with my two older children, but I still had the feeling that she was safe somewhere at home and they just needed to give the house another once-over, so I called Alex again and asked her to go through one more time and check every room in the house. Apparently my husband had the same feeling and so when Alex went through and still couldn’t find her, he asked her to check B’s room. When she said she wasn’t there, he told her to tell him what she saw in the room, and when she said there was a pile of blankets on the bed, he told her to move them, and sure enough, there she was, fast asleep right there in her own bed! Of course I got this news that she had been found just moments before I pulled into the driveway.

Since I have had the lovely experience of having children who like to sneak off, I have learned a few things:

  • Always check the inside of the house first — including closets, and under furniture, and especially under mounds of piled up blankets.
  • The second place to look is at neighbor’s houses, especially if your child has a little friend living next door or across the street.
  • Look for your child’s tricycle, bicycle, scooter, or anything else that they might have gone off with. If their tricycle is in front of a friend’s house, that is a really good place to check.
  • If you live two blocks or less away from a fast food restaurant with an indoor play structure, or if you have a neighbor with a trampoline, a swing set, or a play house, or if you live near a park check those places third.
  • If you spend even one minute looking in the wrong places, that is a one minute head start for your kid, so no matter where you look, it is always best if you have other people helping, even if it means getting the police involved.

Molasses Cookies 

Last night I was really craving molasses cookies . . .These are soooo good!

1 ½  c Butter
1 c Sugar
½  c Molasses
1 c Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
1 tsp Cinnamon
½  tsp Cloves
½ tsp Sea Salt
½ tsp Ginger
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp Baking Soda
4¼ c Whole Wheat Pastry Flour

Cream together butter, sugar, molasses, and eggs.  Mix flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, cloves, and ginger.  For high altitudes, add another ¼ cup of flour. Combine all ingredients until well mixed.  Refrigerate 1 – 2 hours.  Roll into 1” balls, and place on a greased baking sheet.  Bake at 400° for 8 – 10 minutes until edges are set.  Remove to wire racks to cool.  Optional: Dip half of each cookie in melted white chocolate and set to dry on waxed paper.

Vacation Recuperation

It has taken this long to recover from my 4th of July vacation.

Sure I had fun.

Chasing the torrid trio.

And the daring duo.

No running water.


Mice under the tent.

Picking stacks of wipes out of the port-a-potty.

Crabby campers.



Hail the size of marbles.

Stomach flu.

27 kids, half of them under 10.

Sisters, cousins, brothers in law.

Old, dusty childhood memories.




Campfire and dutch oven rolls.

How could it not be fun?