Friday, November 16, 2012

I have so many thoughts running around in my head right now, I just had to sit down and write.

We had an eventful day today, the morning was fortunately fairly slow, just the basic routine of a shower, juicing, breakfast, getting everyone dressed and teeth brushed, which all takes until about 10am anyway! Then I was trying to get a few little homeschooling things in, mainly helping Samuel with his image writing for letters, a whole new adventure we are embarking on of helping him overcome his struggle with symbol imagery to help reading become a reality for him. In the midst of this I am trying to do things like get dressed, brush my hair, make a few dishes to bring to our potluck, get the house picked up, have the kids practice their skit they wanted to perform at the Thanksgiving Feast, and have them all get fully ready to go. So we finally managed to escape the house at about 11:50, only a few minutes before the feast began!

Off we went to our annual Santa Barbara Christian Homesteaders Thanksgiving Feast, a potluck dream, complete with a special time for any children who want to perform able to get up in front of everyone and do anything from recite a memory verse to sing a song or in our family's case, perform a little skit.

So I somehow managed to get all of the children, jackets (it had been raining that morning), food and skit paraphanalia out of the parking lot, up the stairs, down the long path, and into the building. Fortunately Samuel has been becoming an amazing helper and Joanna is old enough now to not have to be handled so carefully, so he was able to carry her all that way.

We grab some seats at a table and I pull out our dishes to add to the buffet, but not before I first grab 5 plates and fill them with one of our dishes I brought (the line was way too long at that point to do the kosher thing). I staved off Hope's incessant "I want this, I want that... Can I have some of this?" for a little while, and got most of the children successfully fed lunch, with Joanna sitting on my lap. Then it was time for the performances to begin.

The Lomelino children were towards the end (fortunately they were all pretty captivated watching everyone else perform, even Joanna was at least most of the time). Hope said Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." Then they performed their skit. They did a really great job and it was pretty hilarious. The boys had a bunch of cute cowboy gear on and Hope was the announcer for their rodeo. She said, "Next up, Jeremiah Lomelino in the cow roping contest." Then Jeremiah rode out on our stick horse and Samuel ran out on all fours as the cow. Jeremiah swung the rope around and around trying to laso Samuel, and all of a sudden ended up lasoing himself accidently! Everyone laughed so hard! Then they switched, Hope announced, "Next up, Samuel Lomelino in the cow roping contest," and Samuel rode out on the horse while Jeremiah crawled around as a cow. It was awesome and super funny and cute.

And I learned something watching my little brood up on stage today. Especially watching Hope say her verse and then speak during the skit. When she was up there I realized that she is still so little and so young. I saw her as the tiny little girl she is, still in need of so much help and guidance. But when I am with her, especially in her home, I so easily forget this. Of course, she does try to act like a teenager or even sometimes a forty year old, stuck in a little 5 year old's body. But the truth is, sometimes it is just that I forget. And in my forgetting, I expect things of her that are so beyond her capacity, thinking she is 10 or 15 years old, instead of the little girl she still is.

I really want to try to start remembering this. I think it will help me so much in how easily I get frustrated with her. Its not to say she isn't difficult, because she really is a very difficult child to mother. She tests me a 1,000 times a day in a 100 different ways, and it is no small task to try to manage her. But I think it will help me so much if I start to realize that so much of it is that she really is just still so young. I think in some ways, I need to realize that just as it is so hard for me to handle her sometimes, it is that much harder for her to handle herself. It is so hard for her to have self-control in situations. She always needs to be moving, touching things, asking things, trying to get into things and somehow accomplish what she wants. She doesn't know how to handle not getting what she wants. She struggles to manage her emotions, and to know what to do with herself when she gets upset.

And not only to I forget these things so much of the time, I also forget that she is still only 5. These last 3 (almost 4) years of dealing with so much with her (I'm estimating it started getting really hard when she was about 2) have felt like a lifetime already. Almost every day is so long with Hope in my life. I am exhausted at the end of the day, even if I barely did anything (not that that really ever happens, but theoretically speaking), simply because of the mental and emotional toll Hope takes on me. It is hard to really explain what it is like and why it is so hard, it is kind of something you just have to experience. But the point isn't really about how hard it is to be Hope's mom. The point is that I still need a lot of new perspectives on things. And I think God wanted to show me an important one today. It doesn't matter if these 3, almost 4 years have felt long and like a lifetime. The truth is, she is still only 5 (though I should be saying 6 since she is one week away from turning 6). And I need to stop expecting her to have the maturity of an adult. I need to learn to be okay with the fact that she is young, and needs to be given time and space and a lot of encouragement to be able to grow into who God desires her to be. And I really, really need to exercise A LOT of patience as I bear with her in this process.

So, there is my lesson for the day. I want to also quickly finish recording the events of the day as well. I have realized lately that these days and seasons really are going by quickly, and I want to have some records of what it was like. I already have forgotten so much of what my life was like a few years ago, much less five or six years ago. I know a few years from now these days will be faint memories. I would like to have a few days written down just so I can look back and see how far we've come.

So, we got home eventually from the Thanksgiving Feast (both arriving somewhere and departing both seem to take an excrutiating amount of time these days!). Everyone was tired but it really was too late to take naps, so I opted for an early dinner and early bedtime. We had some food left over from the potluck items I had taken, so I figured I would use that and just add a few simple ingredients to it to spruce it up a bit, and dinner would be easy to throw together. So I sat on the couch and read a book to the kids for a little bit (in the midst of wiping someone's bottom, dealing with the baby that I HAD put down for a nap but that she wasn't agreeing to, and trying to get Hope to sit down and stay sitting with us). People were also coming in and out, some to hang out, some to ask questions, and some to help me out around the house.

Eventually it was very obviously time for me to get up and focus on dinner, of course about 30 minutes later than I should have. So instead of eating at 5 like I had planned, it was finally ready by 5:30, though the baby had already been fussing for food for about 10 minutes. We ate, got up, and I wanted to do a quick getting ready for bed routine for the night. And I forget that when I have an agenda, it is already a recipe for disaster, because I will inevitably end up frustrated and angry when my plan is thwarted by life (which is almost always is).

So I take Joanna up to put her to bed, and she is so tired that she falls asleep while I am nursing her and it takes about twice as long as it normally does. I FINALLY come back downstairs and target Jeremiah to get him ready for bed, but not after glancing at the living room and bedroom and seeing they are in complete disarray. After asking Hope and Samuel to start cleaning up, I notice an Advil on the ground in our bedroom, where the kids have been playing throughout the evening. I ask Hope is she had eaten any, and though I am not sure if I can trust her answer because she has been lying so much lately, she denies it and seems fairly sincere. But I am not sure about Jeremiah. So I ask him, and he answers, "Yes" (which right now sounds more like "Wes!"). I can't tell if he is telling the truth or not, and I ask him how many and he holds up his hand and several fingers in a totally noncommital way. I am scared now, wondering if he really did, and continue to question him. He begins vacillating back and forth between yes and no, and I have no idea what the truth is. I know he is definitely lying on one of these answers, and I am getting so frustrated that I have no way of knowing the truth, that I am about to loose it. Plus, the bottle reads to keep away from children and to seek medical help immediately if they ingest them. Great! For all I know he has eaten 5 or 10 Advils and needs his stomach pumped, but I can't even get a straight answer as to if he ate any at all. I give him the childproof bottle and see if he can open it (he can't), and get frustrated yet again thinking about why we even have these in our house, and why they would ever be in a place any child could reach them, and perhaps he really didn't get into them but my husband left two out somewhere and they got knocked on the ground. Basically, I am just scared and upset and feel out of control of the situation and unsure of what to do. After calling Jason (who wasn't home, another reason I was frustrated about the whole thing), and ask if he left some Advil out and had him talk to Jeremiah on the phone to try to get him to tell him the truth or at least discern if he was lying (Jason is much more discerning on this than me), we conclude that he didn't eat any afterall. This was half a relief but also half more angering, because I could not understand why in the world my child would lie to me like that. Maybe I should understand this more, but being born with the gene that always made lying feel like the worst thing ever, I have never been able to lie or had a desire to, nor been able to understand how anyone ever could lie, especially so outright like that.

In order to keep this already really long post from turning into an entire book, I will try to sum up the rest of the evening a little more quickly. I forgot to add that before I even found the Advil and we embarked on that whole crazy episode, I had had to give Hope spankings for not listening when I was upstairs feeding Joanna and I had pointed for her to go downstairs and not talk while I was feeding her (it is a rule that they cannot come up there when I am nursing Joanna because she always gets distracted and stops nursing). Hope of course didn't pay any attention to my pointing finger and instead kept coming up closer to me and started whispering to me whatever question or comment she had. So I told her that she had to get spankings when I got downstairs. She of course was totally hysterical when I gave them to her (partially just because she is so emotional and almost always gets that way and partially because she was so tired from skipping her nap). And it was in the midst of her hysterical crying that I found the Advil on the ground and had to start dealing with that mess. Somewhere in the midst of this Samuel opened up a box of jam that I specifically told him not too, so he had to have some consequences as well (which was just no more play time and having to clean the rest of the time before bed). Also there was a ton of stuff all over that mostly Hope had gotten out, which I had to micromanage getting put away.

And I also had to have some reconciliation with Jeremiah before I took him to bed, because I was so hurt about his lying, and I knew I also had gotten too upset with him. I knew there were hurt feelings on both of our ends. I brought him over to me and just let him know that it hurt me when he lied and that I didn't really understand it either. I was still upset, and knew I just needed to forgive him and let it go. I know it is unrealistic to expect a 4-yr-old to be able to explain why he lied to me. So, I had him say he was sorry for lying and I told him I forgave him. I told him I was sorry for getting upset with him, and he said he forgave me. We hugged for quite awhile, and then I finally took him to bed.

SOOO, so much for that early bedtime. By the time they each were in bed, it was just as late as normal. Another source of great frustration for me.

And then I came down and decided I better write down some things while they were all fresh in my memory. A day in the life of the Lomelinos in 2012, with a 7 1/2 year old, almost 6 year old, just turned 4 year old, and 18 month old. It is crazy, it is hectic, it has moments of sanity, only to be followed by crazy hysterics. And somehow in the midst of it all, God is here. And He is wanting to teach me and grow me... 1,000 lessons in 100 different ways.

I think every day there are many lessons for me to learn. That was one of the reasons I wanted to write tonight. Not only did I somehow realize in the midst of this crazy day that these seasons really ARE going to pass so quickly, I also realized that I need to capture the lessons and not let them pass me by.

So just to recap, here are the lessons from the day:

-My children are still so young and I need to be patient with them and not expect too much from them.
-I need to not procrastinate on getting dinner ready, ever really if possible.
-I need to always allow about 45 minutes to get in the car and to a destination, as well to leave and get home.
-I need to stay calm and trust Jesus when things that feel scary happen (like a child eating medicine).
-I need to be careful about the plans I make and the expectations I put into a situation, especially when it includes the amount of time something should happen in (it usually just leads to frustration)
-I really need to learn how to forgive my children and not hold things against them, even when they do things I can't understand or that I feel are so bad

Thank You Jesus, that in the midst of

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Children as Gifts

I personally love getting gifts. It is probably my primary way of receiving love from people. After I got passed the guilt of feeling shallow about this, I began to embrace this aspect of myself as the great asset it is in the Kingdom. Being able to receive God's gifts in our lives is essential to being a child of God in His Kingdom. The first gifts we need to know how to receive are His love and the free gift of righteousness in Christ Jesus. This is the gift of righteousness imparted to us by God because of the cross - Jesus lived the perfect righteous life we couldn't ever live and then died the death we deserved to die to take the penalty of our sins and then give to us the gift of His righteousness! Wow! What a gift! I am now righteous by faith and not by what I do because of what He did! I can come before my Heavenly Father cleansed and pure and righteous because I have received this gift from Him by faith! I also can freely now receive His love nd the fullness of His salvation! Gifts He wants to give me so freely!

Then from there, the list of gifts He wants to give me are endless, provided I am willing to receive them!

Romans 8:32 "He who did not spare His own son but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things."

So about 2 1/2 years ago now the Lord began to challenge me with the issue of having children, with things like how many we would have, when they would come, how we would take care of them and provide for them, etc. There is a whole long story to it that I would love to write out later, but for now I will sum it up by saying that the crux of the issue came down to Him asking me "Can you trust me? WILL you trust me in this area of your life?". I was struck with the reality that as much as I thought I was trusting Him with so many areas of my life, I was learning there always seemed to be other areas He would later reveal to me that I needed to surrender and walk by faith in. And at that point, here was my next area.

One of the bigger things I learned through this process of coming to surrender and trust this area of our lives to Jesus was the issue of the gifts. I realized that if I truly believe children are a gift from the Lord, and I love getting good gifts from my Father, why would I want to limit the number of gifts He gave me if I believed Him to be all-wise and all-knowing and very capable of choosing the best number of children for us and the best timing of thier arrival in our lives. He began to show me that he has many gifts he wants to give to his people that we so often are not wanting and willing to receive, not the least of which is our children.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Authority & Submission - Part 2

There is great freedom & blessing that comes from being under authority. We don't have to have the stress of trying to be in charge and make life work when we don't really have the capacity and ability to do so.

I look at my daughter Hope, a three year old who in many ways wishes she was 30 and tries to act like it too. She longs to be the one in charge, the mommy and the authority. One day, with the proper training, she will make an amazing mommy and grown woman of faith. However, she is not equipped yet to carry that weight. And every time she tries to be the one in charge of her own life and other's, she strives and stresses herself out. She lacks peace and joy, and she gets easily frustrated and conflicted.

Well, God somehow saw fit that I would have this child who would take awhile and some serious consistency to bring under submission to authority, so Hope has spent much of her life so far striving and trying to be her own boss. Dozens of times each day I have to remind her to ask permission to do things before she does them, and to speak to me in a way that is honoring and asking, not demanding. She still hasn't quite gotten it, but there are those moments when she gets it, and I see such a peace and joy within her as I have been able to take the weight off her shoulders of having to be the one in charge.

Part of her realizes she is too little and too naive to be the one in charge. Her spirit knows that she is much safer letting me be in charge. Yet her flesh rages and fights her all the time wanting to be the one calling all the shots.

There is great freedom in not needing to always have our own way.

We don't know what to do so much of the time.

We don't know how to keep from sinning. But as we submit to God's authority in our lives, we find what we need.

Authority & Submission - Part 1

I could write pages and pages on this, though in many ways I still struggle to have the right words for it all. But one of the things that I have radically had my eyes opened to in both marriage and parenting has been God's establishment of authority and submission on the earth and the blessing meant to be found here.

I have had my eyes opened to how much our society lacks an understanding of this truth, even in such a profound way that most people, including myself a year or two ago, have no grid for what these words are even talking about. And yet it is such a significant concept in the Kingdom. This passage has always particularly intrigued me, yet it has only been recently that I have understood what this meant.

The centurion replied, "Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, 'Go,' and he goes; and that one, 'Come,' and he comes. I say to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it." When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, "I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. Matthew 8:8-10

Well, this passage had struck me because I didn't really understand two things about these verses...first of all, why did Jesus say this man had such great faith? And secondly, why did the man say that HE was under authority but then gave the explanation of how he had people UNDER his authority?

Then as God began revealing to me what authority and submission means, my questions began to get answered. Authority is an understanding of God designed order and

Authority in God's Kingdom is much different than man's perverted understanding of authority.
It has to do with delegated authority to
God has delegated us as the authority in our children's lives for their own blessing and protection. We are not to use this authority to control or manipulate, but to guide and protect our children. It is essential that they learn a healthy respect for authority as young children. Otherwise they will become teenagers and then adults who think they are their own authority, not subject to anyone else. They will kick and fight and rebel against anyone who tries to prevent them from having their own way if they never learned how to submit to their parents' God-given benevolent and protective authority in their lives.

Essentially authority is imposed by superiors upon inferiors either by force of arms (structural authority) or by force of argument (sapiential authority). Usually authority has components of both compulsion and persuasion

Much of child raising today fosters independent, strong-willed children who are being trained in developing the best manipulative techniques to get what they want. Many of our children in today's society are unrestrained and have very little respect for authority. They have been taught that they are the ones in charge and they are their own boss.

One of the reasons this is such a huge matter in my heart and life is because I have come to understand how this type of child raising directly affects one's understanding of God and how one relates to Him. God is the ultimate authority in our lives, and He is meant to be honored and obeyed. However, if we are not taught how to honor and obey the authorities in our lives, we will struggle in serious ways to live under God's authority and to honor and obey Him.

The beauty of submission to authority is that it is a place of safety. This can be seen more obviously in the sphere of government and law. When people disregard the authority of the law, many times their lives are in danger. For example, if someone is driving along the freeway and decides they do not want to have to submit themselves to the authority of the law that has put in place the speed limit, and they begin driving recklessly and too fast, there is a good chance they will get in a wreck and get hurt, as well as endangering other drivers on the road. The same is true with the authority God should have in our lives, and the earthly authorities He has given us.

Children are put under their parent's authorities because they are young and innocent and ignorant of so many things in the world. They need so much care and teaching and leading, especially as very young children. If they did not have parents to be authorities in their lives, they would die. Think about it, if my children were left to themselves, they would run out into the street and get run over, they would not know how to feed themselves or get food, and even if they managed to figure that out, they would probably eat such poor food that they would get sick, they wouldn't just go put themselves to bed so they would get exhausted and out of control and sick.

Have you read "Lord of the Flies?" This is such a good picture of what happens in a society that has lost an understanding of proper authority and submission and Godly rule.

God has established authority in the world so that people would be protected. I believe He has also given a specific picture and gift of authority in the family structure and with children so that they may learn how to properly view God and how to honor and obey Him as they learn to honor and obey their parents.

Ephesians 6:1-3
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise) so that it may go well with you and that you may live long on the earth.

What parent doesn't want their child to be blessed, to have life go well with them and for them to live a long life?

God has given us one of the keys to seeing this realized in our children's lives:


It is not a power trip thing. It is a God thing. It doesn't look like the way the world views authority. We are called as parents to be authorities that represent the authority of the Heavenly Father. He a good, benevolent authority, operating out of a place of lovingkindness, justice, and gentleness. He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. He is also righteous and doesn't excuse sin. He has standards and executes consequences for disobedience. He is a good Father who disciplines His children for their own good. He always does what is best for us and is never lazy in our training unto righteousness and godliness. He is committed to us and always acts out of love, even to the point that He is willing to seriously discipline us to see righteousness come forth in our lives.

4In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons:
"My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline,
and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
6because the Lord disciplines those he loves,
and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son."[a]

7Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? 8If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. 9Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! 10Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. 11No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Hebews 12:7-11

As children, and even often as adults, we rarely know what is truly best for us. So often we just want what feels good or what is easy. Anything that seems unpleasant we try to avoid. Yet this is not how we grow and mature, and our Heavenly Father knows that. So He puts us in many situations in life where He can teach us and grow us and stretch us, and so much of the method for growth is to submit ourselves to Him and to His ways. This truth is the same in our children's lives. If we are going to be able to really help them grow and become mature, we must teach them to submit and obey us. Otherwise they will just continue to choose the easy way, the pleasant and enjoyable choices, that often lead to destruction rather than life. When they can learn to submit to our authority as parents, with God's help we can lead them into rest, joy and protection.

New Focus

I have very obviously stopped putting up new posts on this blog, for various reasons, mostly having to do with a lack of time. But another reason is that my focus in parenting has dramatically shifted as I have come into a new season and a new understanding of what it means for me to be a mom.

I have left the realm of figuring out the practicalities and products of motherhood and entered into a new place of understanding the heart of motherhood and disciplines of motherhood. When I first began this blog, I wanted to stay kind of clear of this type of thing because I wanted to blog to be useful to all different types of mothers with all different backgrounds and beliefs and whatnot. But I have now realized that if I am going to be able to put anything else up on this blog, it will have to be dealing with the things really near and dear to my heart when it comes to being a mother.

I apologize to any of you who may read this and be offended by my words and my new focus and switch. But I can't seem to avoid this new direction any longer and I believe it is such an essential element to parenting that many mothers have not been able to receive much encouragement and teaching in.

This may all seem very vague right now, but as I begin to write more in this new direction, I think it will become more clear. Here is my best attempt to make some bullet points on it though. This heart and mission and discipline of motherhood has brought me some of the following truths that I will probably begin writing new posts on, provided there is time to do so!

-children are a blessing from the Lord
-motherhood is a blessing, a gift, and a place of honor
-parents must have a revelation of authority and submission and teach this to their children
-freedom in mothering comes from getting into it more, not trying to escape it and gain more "me" time
-our children are worth it!
-to be the mother God's wants us to be, it will take great sacrifice and we will be able to learn how to lay down our lives for our children, and in doing so, we will truly find what we have been created for

Thursday, November 27, 2008

My Favorite Sleeping Arrangement

As many of you know, there are more baby sleep theories and methods as there are colors in the rainbow. Everyone seems to have their idea of how to make it work -- what to do and not do to get your baby to sleep well, possibly even "through the night" (that blessed term every mom loves to dream about). What I have learned over the years and with my three children is A) that every baby is so different that there is definitely no one method that works for everyone, and B) we ought not idolize "sleeping through the night" the way many of us moms do. This second point is for a number of reasons. One is that as with most things in life, this season too will pass. Eventually you will be able to get your baby to sleep through the night if you are willing to do what it takes, but there is no reason to rush into this. I personally believe most babies, especially in the first six months, should NOT be sleeping through the night because they most likely need to get some nourishment at least one time in the middle of the night. Also, if we obsess over this ideal sleep pattern, we find ourselves quite miserable upon every waking and feeding time with our little one. If we realize this is all just part of the blessed journey of motherhood, we can relax a little and just embrace the opportunity to grow! I finally feel like I have figured this out this time around. With my two-year-old often waking up at least once in the middle of the night just needing to be reassured that things are okay and be directed to where her bear and paci are, and my two-month old still obviously needing to nurse once or twice in the middle of the night, I have been tempted to lose it and go into my "poor mommy me" syndrome. But fortunately I have managed to take a different stance and embrace the season of interrupted sleep.

All that being said, I actually wanted to write in this post about a sleeping arrangement/method that I have really enjoyed this time around and wish I had tried with the first two. As I said in the beginning, there are so many different ideas and theories and methods when it comes to baby sleep, that I know some of you will not be into this method at all. If you have found something that works for you, then bless you and keep at it! If you have a theory/method that sounds good and you want to try, then by all means, try it! But for what it is worth, here is what I am doing that has been working so well for me...

Of course, now I have built it up to be this big complicated thing, but really it is quite simple -- I use a co-sleeper beside the bed and put my baby (Jeremiah) down to bed anytime between 8-10pm in it. Fortunately he actually is pretty good at sleeping, unlike my first two (especially Samuel), and will sleep for awhile in his "bed". I go to bed when I am ready, and then eventually he wakes up and wants to eat. I just roll over, pull him into my bed, and nurse him. Of course the goal is to put him back in the co-sleeper to sleep more, but often we both fall asleep while he is nursing, and I don't beat myself up over not putting him back -- if we sleep until morning like that, it is fine. I learned with my first (the hard way) that in the first several months getting sleep is much more important than trying to follow what all the books say about what to do and not do. With Samuel I tried to follow all the rules, and it all backfired anyway, and left me completely exhausted and hopeless!

I am of the opinion that sometime between 2-4 months old, one should begin "sleep training" (again another very controversial subject). I won't get into all of that here. There is a post from the beginning of this blog where I tell my story and opinion on that. As I have had more children and learned more, I am even more convinced that eventually teaching your baby how to fall asleep on their own is quite important -- both for their sake and yours.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Morning (or All Day) Sickness Tips

Some of my newer tricks that have been helping me this time around:
1. drink sparkling water all day long
2. eat oranges & cheese
3. suck on calcium/magnesium chewable vitamins
4. take these complex sugar supplements 3x/day (you have to order them online -- go to: