Christina Myers ~ The Blog

Thoughts on crafting, family, and sewing.

Why it matters. April 23, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — christinamyers @ 4:28 am

These thoughts have been on my mind for some time as I watched my friends who are becoming mothers like I did almost two years ago.  It’s been weighing so heavily on me, that I thought I would share.

Imagine for a moment your partner has forgotten to put the trash at the curb on trash day for the 100th time.  Better still, they left their laundry beside the hamper instead of in it.  They put dirty dishes on the counter instead of in the sink or dishwasher….again.  Now, picture all of this occurring on the same day.  You’re irritated and frustrated.  Haven’t you mentioned how much these things bother you at least a dozen times?  Are they not listening to me or do they not care?  I feel like they don’t respect me.  Later, you decide you can no longer remain silent, something has to give.  The decision is made to confront them about their actions.  Here is where you get to pick your own story! (Remember those old Goosebumps books where you could choose your own path?)

A) The two of you calmly sit down where you tell them that when they do these things you don’t feel heard.  You feel as though your partner doesn’t respect you very much as you have asked them to do/not do these things many times with no results.  How can I help you to remember to do/not do these things in the future?

B) You finally see your partner after a long day, scream, “You never listen to me!  Maybe this will help you to remember the trash!” You smack them across the face.

As this relationship continues, which one do you think will work out in the end?  Which situation will breed hatred, fear, and resentment?  I’m sure you can figure that out.

This brings me to our society’s views on children.  Many parents believe that the appropriate and only result-yielding course of action would be option B.  They “spank,” “swat,” etc. their children for misbehavior….they hit.  What happens to their child?  The child will learn one of two survival skills – get better at hiding misdeeds or not do anything at all out of fear.  

Now, I’m sure some of you will say, “I don’t spank at all.  This isn’t meant for me.”  Well, do you shame your children into “good” behavior?  Do you punish them with timeouts and withdrawal of your love for mistakes made out of curiosity? If you do,  you’re just as guilty as the spankers.  All of these actions breed mistrust, resentment, and fear in children.  And to what end?  Perfectly well behaved little robots.  

Does this mean I’m advocating indulgent parenting with no limits or boundaries? NO!  Children need boundaries to keep them safe and help them to function well in the world, but it’s the way we teach these boundaries that can cause damage.

Google defines discipline as, “the practice or methods of teaching and enforcing acceptable patterns of behavior.”  The key words in this definition are teaching and enforcing.  Teaching anyone anything takes time and patience.  Sometimes you have to try a few different methods before someone really understands what you are trying to show them.  Picture a child who understands even less than an adult – would it not make sense that it can (and likely will) take longer to teach them to do or not to do something?  As parents, we’ve been brainwashed by people who write books into thinking that children should not ever be an inconvenience – only sunshine, rainbows, and puppies 24/7.  Guess what?  Children are inconvenient.  They will do the most amazingly crazy things at the worst possible times – and it will drive you bananas.  In this situation, the only thing you really can control is YOU.  You can control your reactions, your words, your behavior – you are an adult with years and years of practice under your belt.  They are children who are learning what you already know.  David Bly is famously quoted as saying, “Children will be what you are; so be who you want them to be.”  Do we want our children to be impatient jerks who bully other people with physical violence or hurtful words until they bend to our will?  I don’t think so.  I think deep down, all parents want happy, compassionate, and empathetic children.  WE have to model that!

There are many people who would say those little things you do or don’t do when they are babies simply do not matter.  The problem is, it does start from the day we bring our children home with our attitudes towards their presence.  In the beginning, it is wickedly hard.  Many times you will wonder what you were thinking and why you ever thought this was a good idea!  However, as they grow, you will learn more about them and it’s important to remember this:  children deserve more than our selfishness.  Follow your heart.  If you are tired, but that baby is crying and needs you, go to them.  I assure you, from the depths of my knowledge and soul, it will not last forever!  It’s tough, but as long as we remember our babies, toddlers, and children are people who need us because they cannot help themselves and we respond to those needs in a loving way, they will be all right!  They will grow to be independent little ones much faster than you would prefer and you will wonder why you were in such a hurry.  

Our culture conditions parents to expect certain things from their children by certain deadlines – hard as stone deadlines that should really be lines in sand.  Every single person on this planet started out life as a newborn and grew into such a wide variety of individuals.  If we want our children to grow up to be individuals – be the best version of them they can be – why do we treat all babies as if they are the same?  Some children need lots of hugs, snuggles, kisses, and constant reassurance.  Others, while they still need those things, are more content to explore on their own because they need more space.  Yet, we tell all parents that every single baby should sleep this way and by this number of weeks or months.  All babies need to be left alone in another room to sleep regardless of temperament or individual needs.  That these little people, who have no cognitive ability to do so, are in fact manipulating us by crying (which, in case you were unaware, is their only form of communication in the pre-verbal stage) to have their needs met.  Toddlers and small children must be controlled and act obediently at any cost.  That these little people are not people.  

I wonder where our instincts got thrown so off course.  Suddenly, we have to rely on others who have never met (and likely never will meet) our children to tell us what is best for them.  No one on this earth will ever know a child better than its primary caregiver.  This could be a grandparent, adoptive parent, birth parent, foster parent – anyone who provides most of the care for a child.  You will know their quirks, their cues, their temperament.  No author on any store shelf will know that child better.  Whenever I meet a first time mom, I always ask which parenting books they’ve read.  If they say, “none” I enthusiastically recommend it stay that way.  The best advice I have ever gotten is from other mothers whose parenting style I admire and respect.  Even then, what works best for their children may not work at all for mine.  That is okay!  Trust your instincts as a caregiver.  Pay attention.  Really, that’s all it takes to raise wonderful children and be a wonderful caregiver – pay attention.  Listen for understanding.  Watch them as they play.  Truly be interested in their interests because it may not seem like a big deal to you, but it is literally their world!  They have to trust you with those things when they are small or they likely won’t trust you with the big things when they are older.  

At the end of the day, it boils down to this.  Trust yourself and your children to determine their needs.  Quit reading those parenting books (remember, these people are out to make money).  And, most importantly, pay attention.  You can learn a lot about your children and issues you are having by simply paying close attention and loving them truly without condition.  Remember, you’re going to mess up – it’s cool – learn from it and move forward.  There is no such thing as a perfect parent!

 

An Open Letter to My Daughter. January 22, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — christinamyers @ 5:25 am

Dear Monkey,

I wanted to let you know that I am enjoying these tiny glimpses into the person you will become.  There are so many wonderful qualities in your personality that I adore.  Your father and I adore you.

First, let’s talk about your stubbornness.  At times, it can be super frustrating.  The nights it takes hours to get you to fall asleep because you are too busy exploring.  The days you just go and go and go like an Energizer bunny with no off switch.  What I love, though, is that I know in your future, this stubbornness and dogged determination will serve you well.  You will never give up until you accomplish your goals and that makes my heart glad.  I glory in your spirit and it inspires me to do the same.  Who knew an eight month old baby could hold such a huge personality and inspire such great things in her parents?

Secondly, your laugh…and smile.  These two things alone could bring about world peace.  I love the way you have your devious laugh…the one you get when you are about to do something I’ve told you not to do a million times.  The way your eyes get all squinty when you smile really big because you succeeded at something.  The squeal you give me when you are so tickled by something you can barely contain yourself….or the way seeing one of your dogs makes you kick your legs and slap your knees in delight. This joy will bring you great happiness in this life.  Never lose the delight you have in the small things.  If you can remember this, you will always be happy.

The way you crawl is so sweet.  Daddy calls you our little Comodo dragon.  You can be so sneaky when you are out to get your little fat doggie.  Slowly, you creep up on the corner of the sofa…then, as you round the corner by his pen, you pick up speed because you think I can’t see you.  When I find you with that huge grin on your face, I can’t help but laugh.  Mommy can tell it’s going to be hard to get on to you when you are being naughty when you look at me like that.  You are always in a hurry.  Sometimes, I worry you are in too much of a hurry to grow up and explore.  Always remember, you can take your time.  We’ll be here and we don’t want you to rush!  Although, you do take time to stop and smell…er…taste the roses.

I love you so much.  You are so strong, clever, resilient, stubborn, smart, and beautiful.  You are my daughter and my life.

Always remember, you can do anything you want.

Love,

Mommy

 

Better late than never… January 8, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — christinamyers @ 5:06 am

So, it’s a new year again and time for the year in review.

1. In February, I was 27 weeks pregnant and we got invited to travel to North Reddington Beach, FL (just outside Tampa) to play in the sand at a condo hubby’s grandparent’s rented.  It was so nice…kind of like a mini-babymoon before our beautiful daughter was to be born.

2.  In March, hubby and I celebrated six years of marriage and eight years together.  I have to say that after last year, this year’s anniversary was so lovely.  We stayed home and watched a movie and cuddled.

3.  April saw us turn 26 years old.  We celebrated with a trip to the Braves vs. Phillies.  I was hugely pregnant at this point, but it was way fun.

4. We finally welcomed our baby girl in May.   She arrived just one day shy of her due date and we are so thrilled she’s here and made it safe and sound!!

5. June and July were sort of a blur.  Baby girl went to her first parade and it was all just sort of jumbled together in the newness of parenthood.

6. My brother and his fiance took a trip to Destin, FL with us in August.  Baby girl was 3 months old exactly.  She seemed to enjoy the beach and did super well in the car on the drive down and back.  She’s always been such a little trooper about new adventures.  She got all worn out from lounging on the beach with her momma and dada.

7. My beautiful girl got to experience her first trick or treat.  She slept through most of it, but she was so adorable in her two costumes. I made the owl costume, but Great Gramma got her the adorable lady bug.

7. Sweet Monkey got to eat turkey and dressing on Thanksgiving.  She was so adorable and really seemed to enjoy everything.

8.  Christmas time with a little one is an entirely new experience.  By the time everything was said and done, little girl had 4 Christmas celebrations.  Her first was in OH with hubby’s extended family.  The drive was so long, but my darling little girl was a trooper!  She got so many wonderful gifts and got to meet her uncle, aunt, cousins, and see her great grandparents again.  When we got back, we celebrated our first Christmas with just the three of us and it was nice.  We got her some really awesome things that will grow with her.  That evening, we went to my in-laws where we had a great dinner and some lovely fellowship with our family.   Finally, the day after Christmas, was my family’s celebration.  Grandma spoiled. her. rotten.   Grandma spoils EVERYONE rotten.

Finally, we were wiped out.  2011 was a whirl wind and I’m sure I forgot a ton, but these are the highlights.

I cannot WAIT to see what 2012 has in store!

 

It’s been such a long time… September 18, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — christinamyers @ 2:04 am

Kudos to you if you can tell me what song that’s from.

It’s been a few months since I posted anything, but I do have loads of crafty goodness to share. However, before I can share that (need to dig out some pictures), I will share the biggest project of all. It took just one day shy of 40 weeks to complete and was finished back in May. The thing about this project is, it’s sort of been a time suck even after it was finished. I knew that going in, but was excited anyway.

World….meet my daughter: Sarah Elizabeth. She’s four months old now and we love her so much it hurts. She is such a total blessing from God and we are very thankful for her everyday. She has the sweetest laugh and loves to play and giggle. She has my heart forever and I adore her.

Baby Girl

We’re finally settling into a routine with her, so I’m able to find time to complete sewing projects and various other crafts – for her of course! Also, if you haven’t heard of Pinterest…go….join…follow me. I will follow you, too. We can share all of the wonderful craft project pins we find there. They also have an iPhone app you can download for free (sorry, my Android brethren, but we are left in the cold).

I will leave you with an adorable photo of my baby girl until I can get some pics of my myriad of projects together.

Baby Girl

 

Copyright… January 14, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — christinamyers @ 1:01 am

After reading about many people on the web who have had their intellectual property stolen (even with a clear copyright in place), I would like to place a reminder on THIS site.

All of the content on this site is the copyright of me, Christina Myers. Any reproduction of my content must be approved by ME in WRITING. Any use outside of those expressly granted by myself is a violation of copyright and will be pursued to the fullest extent of the law. I am happy to give permission to use my content; however, you must ask permission FIRST – do not seek forgiveness after the fact because it will NOT be granted.

I full respect the rights to other peoples’ property and expect the same consideration in return.

 

2010: A reflection. January 5, 2011

Filed under: Knitting,Personal and Family — christinamyers @ 11:22 pm

2010 was one hell of a year for me and my family. We experienced some major ups and downs, but overall I feel like it was a huge success. As is the tradition with these yearly wrap up posts, I will do it in my list fashion.

2009 ended on one of the saddest notes I could possibly ever imagine.

1. March of 2010 saw the loss of another little one to miscarriage. It was very sad and I didn’t recover for a while. It’s those kinds of things that make you wonder if your heart can ever be whole again.

2. In May, we found out that our “rotten luck” was not rotten luck at all – but something totally treatable. We were thrilled and couldn’t wait to try again.

3. In July, my newest little brother was born. Thomas Bob came into this world on July 19th – one day after his big brother’s birthday. He is the sweetest little boy and we all love him so much. He’s so chill, but loves to be in the middle of everything.
Thomas "Bob" Allen

4. I started school back that same summer and it was so fun and refreshing to be in a formal learning environment again. I have done really well and feel like I’m back to my old self.

5. August was very exciting as well. My best friend in the entire world gave birth to her second child. Madeline Anne was born in the afternoon and was certainly in a hurry to get here! She is so adorable and beautiful and a little dark haired angel.
Madeline Anne

6. The end of August and early September were a time of both great sadness and happiness. We lost my husband’s mother unexpectedly which was really rough. On the flip side, he got to reconnect with a part of his family he hadn’t seen in over ten years. I also got to meet this part of his family and let’s just say I fit in like a round peg. It’s wonderful.

7. September also brought some wonderful and scary news – we were expecting again. After waiting a while to try again, we got the first try and it was so exciting. At the same time, we knew what could happen and we were terrified.

8. October saw Shaun and Christian turn 4 and 3 respectively. When people say kids grow up too fast, they aren’t kidding. I just can’t believe how big they are and it amazes me what sweet and caring little boys they have become. Those two are really good friends and love Gabba. For their birthday, Holly gave them the opportunity to see Yo Gabba Gabba LIVE! at the Fabulous Fox Theatre. She is incredibly generous and has a huge heart. The boys both went as Gabbas for Halloween and were adorable.
Halloween 2010

9. November was a real treat for us. It marked the end of the scary first trimester and getting to tell Russell’s re-discovered family the good news. They were so thrilled – and we were thrilled to be able to share that with them.

10. December was really exciting. We got to travel to Ohio to visit Russell’s relatives and we also found out what our beautiful baby’s gender was! It’s a GIRL! To say we were a little surprised is an understatement. We didn’t care either way, but we fully expected a son.
Baby Girl Myers

While we were in Ohio, I managed to knit our daughter a really cute sweater. I forget the name of the pattern and I don’t have it in front of me, but here it is!
Baby Girl's First Handknit!

I think 2011 is going to rock. We get to meet our baby girl and there are so many other wonderful things in store.

 

Gorgeous girl. August 23, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — christinamyers @ 1:49 am

Today Holly and Nick welcomed their wonderful second child into the world – a daughter. Madeline Anne was born at 1:28 PM weighing in at 7lbs. 6oz. She. Is. Amazing. I adore her so much I can’t even put it into words. Her big brother was RIDICULOUSLY excited about meeting his “bebee”. They are such a joy to this world. Holly and Nick are so utterly blessed with the both of them. I love them all dearly and very much appreciate that they let me be part of such a special and wonderful day.

 

 
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