09-20-16 Nearly Every Night

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Nearly every night Baby E wakes up between 10:30 and 11:15. In fact, I would say this happens at least 5 nights a week. Sometimes I hear him calling me as I lay in bed, other times I hear hysterical screaming coming from his room. There are times when I can sneak in, give him his paci and sneak out. Other nights he is inconsolable.

Last night Tim heard him first and came to get me. Baby E was in hysterics, sobbing and screaming. Big tears were running down his face and he struggled to breathe because of his wailing. He seemed to be able to focus on us, so I don’t think it was a night terror, though all the other symptoms were there.

Finally we brought him downstairs. He screamed and kicked. I got him some cold almond milk and he tried to toss it to the floor. When I put it to his lips, he seemed to wake up. He stopped crying and started gulping the milk. He would pause, bring the cup down a little, stare at me and smile. Then he would start drinking again. I took him upstairs and held him for awhile, rocking him in his room. He was in a great mood and talked quietly to me. Finally I laid him in his bed. He smiled again, asked for his paci and said night night. And just like that the episode was over.

I’m not sure why this happens so often, or why it always happens at the same time. I’ve tried various things like going into his room around 9:30 and adjusting his blankets or turning off his fan in order to help him stir a little and hopefully preemptively interrupt his sleep schedule (this is recommended for night terrors), but it still seems to happen. Hopefully it is a phase that he will soon outgrow!!

09-19-16 A Sweet Moment

Hey C, come in here! I called to her as I stood at the stovetop stirring the pasta. She came running in as I waved a small bottle of nail polish in her direction. Her eyes got big as she pulled over a chair and made herself comfortable. As I loosened the bottle, she begged to do it herself. She has often asked, and I have always said no, but tonight I decided to let her do it. I reminded her to only do nine of them. The toenail she dropped the brick on at the beginning of August is black as night, but hasn’t fallen off yet, even though it is beginning to get loose. Ugh.

I smiled as she contorted herself into a position better for painting. She took her time and with extreme care painted each toenail. When she was done she looked up at me and smiled.

It was a sweet moment.

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C’s party invitation

Have you noticed that birthday parties have gotten pretty serious?!? With the invention of Pinterest and Etsy, there is no end to the creativity that can go into a party. I did a Pinterest-worthy party once, it was the year that C turned two. That was the last time I really ever attempted it. It took weeks of prep and hours of crafting to pull it all together. It felt like a right of passage to accomplish it, to be able to say we did it. It looked absolutely awesome, but guess what?!? My kid really didn’t care. So now when we throw a party we opt for something simple… the park… pizza… cake… playground. The kids have a blast, clean up is a breeze and they can invite as many people as they want (C invited her entire class, and a handful of them showed up!)

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I went through all the photos from C’s party and there were a ton, but most of them included pictures of kids I don’t really know, and I don’t feel comfortable posting them without parents’ permission. So here are the photos that didn’t contain C’s classmates or that I could easily crop them out of.

Thankfully the party was a hit for the birthday girl!!

(PS- I totally just Doctor Googled how long it takes toenails to fall off… The answers I found ranged from 3 months to about a year!!! Goodness, I thought it was a much faster process!!)

09-17-16 The Block Party

Our church had a block party this evening. It was a chance to invite the community for a picnic, games, etc. There was a moon bounce, so my kids couldn’t wait to go. We invited two of the kids’ friends that live in our neighborhood to come with us, and we all packed in the van and showed up. It was definitely more challenging to keep track of five kids instead of 3, but we all had a good time and the kids had fun bouncing in the bounce house, sliding down the giant slide, getting their faces painted, and playing tug of war. The kids ran hard and played hard. It was great to see them have so much fun!

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She wanted her face to be painted like a fox. The girl that did it did a fantastic job!

The bounce house was a huge hit!

The giant slide was a favorite for Big E. He must have done it 50 times!

They also got to hang out with some cousins, so that’s aways fun!

The kids were certainly ready for bed this evening, in fact, Baby E begged to go to sleep. So they got a bath (gotta wash off all that paint!) and they went straight to bed, exhausted from their evening adventure!

09-16-16 Samwise, The Quiet Hero

There’s a book I have been trying to read for well over a year now. I had a late coffee, so I am going to try to sneak in a chapter or two. It’s a thriller by two of my favorite authors.

I love to read. I love nearly everything about reading, except coming to the end of a book. My favorite type of books are classic British literature, but my all time favorite book is Lord of the Rings. The first time I read that book it took me an eternity to get through it (ok, how about three months.) I found a mistake (or perhaps omission) in it that always drove me crazy. (When Samwise is in Shelob’s cave, he puts on the ring. Tolkien never says when he takes it off.)

Samwise Gamgee has always been one of my favorite characters in literature. He is both complex and simple. He is loyal, strong, and selfless. He’s the kind of brave that moves forward even when everything tells him he shouldn’t. He loves fiercely. He sees goodness when others no longer can. And of all the characters to have worn the ring, he was the only one that walked away relatively unscathed. You see, he didn’t have any desire to use the ring, to control its power. He saw it for what it was, a corruptible influence as he witnessed its consequences on a daily basis.

While it was Frodo who carried the ring to Mordor, Sam is the real hero of the story- the quiet hero, the unsung hero. Frodo would never have made it there without him. But I doubt Samwise would call himself a hero, he’d probably say he was just doing his job.

If you’ve never read the books, I highly recommend them.

(sorry, this post was an absolute tangent!)

Big E made a volcano in school today. 

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09-15-16 An easy evening!

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If you’ve been around for awhile you know that many of my blog postings include comments about how difficult our evenings can be. By the time we get home everyone is tired, hungry, and altogether incredibly cranky. Everything becomes a battle of wills, and I am all too aware that I am outnumbered!  This week we had four late nights in a row and to be honest, I was kind of dreading this evening. But I decided on my way home that tonight would be different. I wasn’t really sure how that was going to work, or what I would do differently, but I prayed a quiet prayer that tonight would be better.

I let the kids play for a little while outside this evening. When it was time to come in I made a very simple dinner of PBJs and scrambled eggs. With dinner out of the way so quickly, we got ready for bed and had a little extra time to read and work on our memory verses for Awanas. Instead of slogging through our evening, it ended up being a great chance to connect with each other. The kids loved the extra attention and when it was time for lights out they obeyed immediately!

Is there any way we can bottle this evening and reproduce it tomorrow?!?

09-13-16 Open House Night

This evening was Open House Night at C’s school. It was a great chance to get to visit C’s classroom, see her teacher, and learn some of the protocol and curriculum that is going to be dominating my girl’s life for the next year. Wow, has first grade gotten intense! I liked going over the types of curricula and topics they will be discussing this year and I even got to write a note for C to leave on her desk for her to find in the morning!

The one thing I learned about C this evening is that apparently she likes to stand at her desk instead of sit for most of her class day. (Her teacher says she doesn’t mind, so she lets her do it, but this is not something we ran into when she was in kindergarten.) When I asked C this evening why she chooses to stand when all the other kids are sitting, she replied that she gets too bored when she is sitting. Standing helps her to concentrate and get her boring work done.

Any teachers out there with any thoughts about that? 🙂

I also took the opportunity to apologize to her teacher for the musical shoe incident of 2016 and promised to never send her back to school with singing shoes ever again. (apparently C’s shoes were creating quite the stir in her class. Oops!)

I also got to rifle through her desk and page through her notebooks. I love seeing her art and stories! I really enjoyed getting to spend some time in the place my daughter spends most of her week. Feeling blessed that she goes to such a great school!

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09-12-16 MOPS- We are the starry eyed…

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I was introduced to MOPS years ago. I had heard about it before C was born and saw it as a special, secret club that only moms could attend. In the blurry, messy, exhausting time of new motherhood, I went to my first meeting. And it was at that meeting that I met so many other moms that were on the same journey I had just begun. Some of them had walked that path for years before I started, while others were just like me, sleep deprived and barely functioning, but eager for connection and filled with fears and anxieties about being a mother. I found friends and encouragement, and through the years I have seen it provide that for so many others as well.

This year’s MOPS theme is “We Are The Starry Eyed.” It is a call to embrace wonder, hope, and kindness. It’s making the choice to see the good in all the darkness, to make a difference, to fight the cynicism, and to make an impact. It’s leaning on a God of infinite power and wisdom and expecting Him to work amazing things in our lives… Great and unsearchable things!

Thus says the Lord who made the Earth, the Lord who formed it to establish it… call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know. Jeremiah 33:2-3

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09-11-16 Fifteen Years (part 2)

Fifteen Years. 

Her head peaked over the table this morning, staring at the snow globe. I had forgotten to put it away last night and she peered at it as she nibbled at her blueberry waffle.

What is that? She asked as she chewed.

It’s a snow globe. I answered. I let her hold it and turn it upside down. She watched it, smiling as the snow swirled around and began drifting down.

What’s inside it?

Buildings. That one is the Statue of Liberty. 

And that one is the Eiffel Tower? She asked, pointing to the globe.

No, that’s the Empire State Building. 

What are those other ones? 

Those are the World Trade Center. I steadied myself as I answered.

Can I have another waffle? She glanced away, losing interest.

The moment had passed. I breathed a sigh of relief. I guess I’m not quite ready to have that talk with her. They will be discussing it at school tomorrow, a history lesson, a moment of reflection… I’m not really sure. Maybe we’ll talk tomorrow night, after she has had some context. Or perhaps I will leave it for another year. I can’t decide. I don’t need to right now.

 

Fifteen Years. 

When I left the grocery store this evening, the sky was painted vibrant blues, oranges, and pinks as far as I could see. Through blurry eyes I packed my groceries into my car, thankful for such beauty. Sunsets make me sentimental. I grew up near a river, and the front of our home faced due west. From my bedroom window I could see the sunset reflecting off the calm water, casting its hues across the surface. Now I live near a bay, facing east. I don’t see as many sunsets.

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Fifteen Years. 

It was nearly dark by the time I got home, so I drove to the bay and parked my car. I walked to the pier and found a quiet cubby to watch the waves. They crashed lazily onto the sand, the sound pierced only by people talking on the beach. A breeze played with the hair around my face. I needed that moment of solitude. I let the tears fall.

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Fifteen Years. 

Fifteen years of walking the line between wanting to forget and needing to remember…

I went home. I engaged with my kids. I tickled them. I loved on them. I nuzzled my nose into their necks. I played with their hair. I snuggled with them. I lingered in their smiles and I smiled back.

Fifteen Years. 

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For those of you that checked in on me today, thank you.