28 September 2006

A Little Perspective

Thank you to April, Katie, and Charity; and also to my friend Shea, who didn't comment on the blog but, as a mother of a 7 month old herself, offered a lot of support over the phone; and also to my sister-in-law, Beth, who, as a mother of a 17 month old and a 3 week old is also not sleeping, but who sympathized nonetheless: all of you have been so helpful and most importantly, encouraging.

April, I tried feeding Judah as per your instructions yesterday--I even sent along a jar of baby food with Judah to the church nursery. I also set up the pack n play in our room last night. I am very sad to say that it didn't go well. Believe you me, I wish it had. I had such high hopes when we climbed into bed last night, but Judah was up to his old tricks, and it was another bad night. I have spent the better portion of the day trying not to break into tears out of sheer exhaustion. I made a vow with myself this morning not to do a stitch of housework, and I have stuck to it! It was especially encouraging to have the reminder of how long this lasts--Ruby is such a little girl, in the blink of an eye. It is so good to have you on my side.

Katie, you haven't crossed the mother threshold yet, but you know more than you think. It was good and right and kind of you to offer the glass-half-full perspective; children are a blessing, even at 1, 3, and 6am. I really have no right to complain, given the alternative. If I have to get up and cuddle someone several times a night, it may as well be my beautiful little boy, right? If I could only view it as a God-given opportunity to hold my son, I'd be better off; I know that all too soon, he will be too cool to let me do that anymore, and I will long for him to awaken me at 3 am just to be held and fed.

Charity, I don't even really know you, and yet, from reading your blog and from reading your comments on mine, I feel instinctively that if I lived near you, we'd be friends. Thanks for being the voice of permission to do whatever it takes--I forget sometimes that when the kids change the rules on us, often we must choose to do whatever we can to survive. Even give them Benadryl--the real smile is that you weren't the only one to suggest that! I plan to give the cry-it-out approach another go. It worked well with my Charis (perhaps too well). The complicating factor is the rolling over. If I figure out how to clear that hurdle, I have no problem whatsoever letting Judah go for a while.

Shea, you are so sweet, and so good for telling my own advice back to me, including your own, and also giving me permission to use any means necessary. It is so good to have a sister in Christ alongside me who is fighting the same fight at the same time! I have come to feel very close with you through experiencing pregnancy, birth, and motherhood along the same timetable. Thanks for hashing it out with me so many times you probably think to yourself "ENOUGH ALREADY!" You are a very gracious friend. I look forward to our baby food making day!

And Beth, you are one of my most cherished people in life, and it is just a small bonus that we are also related, so even when you tire of me and my whining, you will still have to be my friend at family functions. As it becomes increasingly difficult to get together for lunch and not make a scene, I increase in joy at the thought of our phone chats. You are a treasure to me--and thank you also for your advice and encouragement.

Last night, after the 2 am feeding, I couldn't get back to sleep. We'd rehearsed and reahearsed one particular song in choir last night, and it in my head. Don't you hate when you've got something stuck there, and you just keep singing it over and over and can't seem to break free of its clutches? Well, last night, I purposed to use it for my advantage, figuring that God had put that song there for a reason, so I should figure out what that reason was. Here are the some of the lyrics to "Sing and Be Not Silent":

He comes with joy to greet the morning
He gives us hope for each new day
Give thanks, remembering His holiness
Give thanks to Him with songs of praise...

Quick: can anyone count how many things in that song are contrary to what I've been doing? Um...all of them. I have never greeted the morning with joy. Lately, I have lost hope for each new day. I grumble about my "hardships" instead of remembering His holiness, and I definitely don't sing songs of praise to Him when I have to wake up...again.

Yes, I am fantastically exhausted today, but I have been truly enjoying my children to my fullest capacity, and thanking God for His blessings. Perhaps today's efforts will result in a solid night of sleep and allow me joy to greet the morning...I certainly hope so.

26 September 2006

I Am Graying Prematurely

Well, I am about to my end. I hardly ever do this, but...I am asking for advice. How on earth can I persuade my precious son to sleep through the night? He HAS done it, at various times, so I know that he is capable. And yet he chooses to torture me. I am turning old before my very eyes. I feel exhausted and decrepit.

Seriously, I do not think he is sleeping enough--every night, he is up 3 or 4 times, and during the day, I am fortunate if he'll nap for longer than an hour, or take more than one nap. I am still hanging in, but by the barest thread.

I do not like to be angry with my infant son, but at 5 am, when he has already been awake twice, anger is the emotion closest at hand. It is hard, in fact, not to take it personally.

In light of these difficulties, I am proposing a contest. You give me your suggestions for better sleep for Judah and/or explain why he is not sleeping well. I will sort through these suggestions and explanations, and if yours ends up solving the problem, you will win a FABULOUS PRIZE! I am not sure what it will be. Maybe a weekend visit from Judah, maybe a few dozen cookies, maybe an '87 Buick. I don't know.

Let me mention some causes I have already considered:
  1. Perhaps it is a growth spurt. I know such things happen at 6 months, and that's where he is. But how long can he...spurt?
  2. Perhaps he is cutting teeth. Of course, he has popped four teeth through in the last month (another reason for the LOOOONNNGG stretch of sleeplessness), so that seems unlikely.
  3. Perhaps he is not eating well during the daytime hours. He eats every three hours or so, and we've also started giving him solid foods once a day, so that also seems unlikely.
  4. Perhaps he needs a crash course (no pun intended) on rolling over. More than once, he has woken himself up by rolling over and then getting stuck like a turtle on its back. He does not like being on his back. And believe me, I try to get him to like it--he just refuses.
  5. Perhaps he just misses my company. The other night, he slept in the Pack'n'Play in our room because Moriah was spending the night, and he slept like a rock until about 4:45 am, when he (of course) rolled over and woke up. I flipped him back over, and he was off to dreamland until about 7 am, when the alarm went off. Did sleeping in such close proximity to me fulfill some sort of need? The desperate part of me chooses to believe so.

That's all. Let the games begin.

20 September 2006

Cutie Charis

A couple of quick anecdotes.
1) The other day, Charis found a bottle of nail polish and brought it to Abe, who was sitting on the couch. "Toes, please?" Charis said. Abe shrugged. "What the heck?" So Abe painted her toenails. And while that's plenty cute, it gets better--Abe was blowing on her toes to speed along the process, and when he would stop, she would nod slightly, as if to say I'll take it from here, and blow on her own toes. It was darn cute.

2)On the same day, I took Charis upstairs to go to bed. Before we could start into our bedtime routine, Charis took the baby doll she was carrying and placed it in the baby cradle. "'Night, baby," she said, and proceeded to cover this tiny baby with a double-size thermal blanket. Then, after she had covered the baby, she cocked her head to the side, looked down at the doll, and said, as if responding to a request, "Book?" She walked over to the bookshelf and picked a small book out, carried it over tothe cradle, took the doll out, and sat it on her lap and proceeded to "read" the story to her. I just sat down on the floor behind her and watched. When she was done, she tucked the baby back in bed, and then Charis and I repeated the procedure all over again.

13 September 2006


Elise Adele
3/4 of the happy family

not elise, but still cute.

The Good Stuff

I have so much to blog, and no time to blog it--which is why you haven't heard from me in a while. But now, I'm so far behind, I have no hope for catching up. So this blog will not be poetic in any way, and probably not particularly well-written, but hopefully it will serve to chronicle for you--and for us--The Good Stuff.

1) Abe's brother got married on Labor Day weekend. Let's see--quiet wedding ceremony, three children under 3...not a good mix. I spent the better portion of the ceremony with the three munchkins, Charis, Gideon, and Judah, as far out of earshot as I could get. It was an outdoor ceremony--what a beautiful and perfect day to get married, and at a historic grain mill, to boot--so it was more than a matter of removing them from the sanctuary, it involved herding them as far away from the festivities as possible. Highlights of the day definitely included dancing with the kids and watching the kids boogie by themselves on the dance floor. If I can find a picture of Charis and Gideon dancing, I will post it--unfortunately, I think we were all laughing too hard to even think of grabbing a camera. But here's a cute picture of Charis and her Dad.

2) This past weekend, we had a potluck for the choir, orchestra, and their families. Not everyone attended, and still, we had over 200 people. It was the standard break down: A-H, bring a main dish;I-P, bring a salad; Q-z, bring a dessert, that sort of thing. Anywho. I brought a Greek Salad, with tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, peppers, and a lemon/garlic/olive oil dressing. Most of which Abe can't stand. On account of the fact that Abe won't touch the stuff, I rarely get a chance to make it, so this was my golden opportunity to enjoy it but not have to eat the whole thing by myself. Well, I got some bad potluck real estate. That is, my salad was at the very end of the salads, right before the desserts, so people had long run out of room on their tiny plates before they got to me. Mine, and the half-dozen salads around me, had more than half of its contents left. So I took it home, and popped it into the fridge. Later on, Charis had disappeared into the kitchen and was being a little bit too quiet, so I went in to investigate. She had the fridge open and had put the salad bowl on the floor in front of it and was gorging herself on Greek Salad. So I grabbed two forks, lay down on the floor next to her, and the two of us proceeded to polish off the rest of the salad. While laying on the floor. In front of the open refrigerator. I think that is one of my favorite Charis and Mommy memories so far.

3) I have a Good Stuff Judah memory to share, but I can't remember what it is right now, so when I do, I will edit this post and put it in place of this disclaimer. In the meantime, he is almost sitting up on his own, and very nearly rolling over from back to tummy, and is also cutting more teeth. AND he is in 6-9 month clothes already, 'cause he's TALL. And in moments of the Din of Toddlerhood, he is my refuge in the storm. Quiet, smiley, and an easy laugher. Great kid! What a blessing.

4) And the biggest news of all: we have a new niece! It was all so sudden! Tim and Beth were almost through all of the steps of the Adoption process. The last thing to do was to create a profile to present to possible birth families to aid them in selection of an adoptive family for their child. Well, crafting the first profile took us forever and a day (and a half) to complete, so were were not particularly looking forward to doing it again, but were ready to start this week. Only, Beth got a call on Friday afternoon that a baby had been born that morning and that they'd been selected to have her--so in the span of a phonecall, Tim and Beth went from parents to one, to parents of TWO. Just like that! Without so much as a profile! Yay! They drove out immediately to meet her, and brought her home the next afternoon. It took a while for them to select a name, as they hadn't even been considering one yet, but yesterday, they landed on Elise Adele. She is a beautiful, healthy baby. She still has that newborn scrawniness, but what she lacks in body fat, she makes up for in cheeks! And hair!

Okay, I've tried to post her picture five times now, and it won't attach, so I'll put some photos on another blog in a minute!

There's a smattering of good stuff for you. Tonight, we start Wednesday Night family stuff--Charis will be in a new class, and Abe will be herding 3rd and 4th graders in the Olympian program. And Judah will be receiveing lots of love from the baby-crazy nursery workers--hey, what's not to love?