Little chocolate lovers

This past week has been the week for chocolate.

Last week, I finished off an entire bag of Dove dark chocolate pieces during the few days I was at work. That doesn’t include the chocolate that I ate (read finished) at home. I have been living on chocolate!

And the fact that I eat a ton of chocolate is becoming evident in my breast-feeding daughter. Whenever she gets a chance to eat chocolate, she takes it. A couple of months ago, my son decided to give his sister an M&M. It was a obvious by her face that she loved it. (Mommy wasn’t so excited that her brother shared this particular piece of goodness with her.) That afternoon, she found another piece. She enjoyed that piece too! A week or two later, against my protests, her daddy shared a very small piece of dark chocolate with her. You guessed it, she loved it.

Every since, she has been attempting to put more chocolate into her little mouth. And Monday night, she just about succeeded. I spontaneously invited myself to a party at my brother’s house. (Okay, I was having car issues and was there to borrow his car. The fact that he was having people over was extra.) On each plate, a small piece of chocolate had been placed. My daughter saw that chocolate, grabbed it, and proceeded to eat it. This happened several times. Each time, I would firmly tell her “no!” But it didn’t deter her. While I couldn’t see her face, I was told that she had a very mischievous look. I think I may be in trouble.

My daughter isn’t the only small chocolate lover in the family. My son is also a chocolate lover. He hears the rattle of chocolate and comes running.

However, his love of chocolate got him in trouble this weekend. Saturday, he was being a rude, disobedient, disrespectful little boy. I sent him to my bed to lay down for a bit while I tended to laundry. When I returned to my room, I found the closed bar of chocolate that had been next to the bed open and laying on his chest.

Mommy was not happy.

My son now has a bar of chocolate that he has to earn and has to eat before he can have any other chocolate. I think I need to be careful where I leave chocolate laying around. If one child doesn’t try to eat it, the other will.

God vs. Chocolate

I love chocolate. But that may have been obvious by the name of this blog. On rough days, I eat chocolate to get by – to survive. Raising children is hard work. Small children are a lot of work. (Right now, I want to say that raising small children is harder than any other stage. But I suspect that in a few years, I will want to retract that. So I won’t officially say it.)

As I was first brainstorming this post, I was going to write a post all about how we need chocolate to survive children. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized how totally wrong that philosophy is. Sure, there are calming benefits to eating chocolate. (Sometimes I think I imagine more benefit than the chocolate actually gives.) But relying on chocolate for survival is not how it should be. We should be relying on God for our survival.

With small children constantly demanding our time and attention, spending time with God can be challenging (or impossible). I find that time to myself is a premium. Spending time reading my Bible without interruption is impossible. So, slowly over time, I have quit reading my Bible.

One year in junior high, my Christian school had a drama class. One of the plays was a skit with three demons attempting to distract a christian from reading his Bible. They tried phone calls, his girlfriend and his love of his hair. But he stayed on track. Finally, they resorted to Plan B. They told him, “You have plenty of time later to read your Bible.” And after a few minutes, he put his Bible away because he thought he could do it later.

I think that has been kind of been my story as a mom. I’ll read my Bible later when I have more time. But when I do have a few moments to myself while sitting on the toilet, I check Facebook, emails or something totally unrelated to my Bible. And as time goes on, Bible reading is totally forgotten and prayer becomes scarce. Until one day, I wake up and realize the reason I am so frustrated and emotionally exhausted is because I have totally forgotten my life source. I am depending on chocolate for something that I should be depending on God for. This is not metaphor or what could happen, this is where I am living right now. It is terrible to admit, I know. But this is a constant struggle for me. Some months, I’m on a spiritual mountain top. Then I speed headlong into the valley where I forget all about the mountains. Then I reach the bottom of the valley and head back up the mountain.

I guess my main question is this – what are you depending on? If it is chocolate or (enter applicable word here), then what are you doing to reshift your focus and make God the One you rely on to survive? When I ask myself the second question, I can’t give a good answer. I want to say I’ll trust God. I’ll stop worrying. I’ll…, I’ll…, I’ll… – I’m to emotionally worn out to even attempt a good answer. Maybe my first step is to commit to listen to Christian radio again and to read my Bible once a week. It feels like a half-hearted attempt. But right now, I think it will be better than relying on chocolate for my survival.

And I may need to change the tagline for this blog. Any suggestions?

A well-child exam

My daughter had a well-child exam today. You know the kind – weight, height, they look healthy, they’re developing on or ahead of schedule, how are they eating, how are they sleeping. I told my doctor how my daughter wakes me up two to three times a night to breast feed and that I wanted to start her on solids early. She told me to wait a little longer and to make sure I was eating healthy foods, such as lentils, vegetables, milk, peanut butter and chocolate.
I had started to suspect that maybe I wasn’t eating the right foods for making good milk. Today, my doctor basically confirmed that suspicion.
So, chocolate, here I come.

Is she teething?

It appears my daughter is teething. At least that is what the massive amount of drool and extra fussiness would seem to indicate.
This teething thing is all new to me. My son would randomly have teeth appear in his mouth without any warning. Even my daughter first tooth was a surprise. I had noticed that she suddenly changed her sleep patterns two weeks prior to the tooth appearing, but I attributed it to brain growth.
Now she is chewing on her fingers or a toy, anything, almost constantly. She is twice to three times as fussy before nap and bed times. She drools like crazy and has suddenly started taking a pacifier.
Had anyone else had this experience? If so, please share your advice.

The need for chocolate continues

This is shaping up to be a chocolate kind of week. I don’t know if I dare admit this – I downed almost an entire bar of chocolate before leaving work tonight. It hasn’t been a terrible day. The day has actually gone rather quickly. But I’m exhausted and chocolate is my pick-me-up of choice.
Exhaustion seems to be the theme of my life lately. It seems like that’s where I live most of the time. It comes from getting woken up two and three times a night to feed a baby.
It seems as if I have forgotten everything I did with son. Yet at the same time, I have chosen to do things differently this time around. So in all fairness to myself, things aren’t the same. I do remember being exhausted with my son. All I know is that I will be glad when my baby starts sleeping through the night.