Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Chance's 11 month stats

11 months - is how old Chance is now! I know, he's small for his age, and maybe a little young to be walking, but what can you do?

20.5 - that's how many pounds he weighs. He's little but not too little!

9 - the max amount of hours he'll sleep at night...usually due to ear infections.

8 - the number of rounds of antibiotics he's been on since July due to ear infections.

6 - how many days until he sees an ENT about getting tubes in his ears.

3 - how many times a day he nurses. I think we'll officially wean in 2 weeks, when Chuck and I go away for our anniversary.

7, about to be 8 - the number of teeth he has.

335 - days that he has blessed this family with his presence. I could have never imagined what a great complement to us he would be. He is such a joy and delight to all of us!

Thanksgiving Concluded

Whew, what a trip! It was great. We're home now, and readjusting to life as normal. But here's a quick recap...

1. We took the kids (Charlie plus his three cousins) to a playground and also came across an old train car that the boys could explore.

Then as we were standing there, another train actually came through. Of course, Charlie's totally into trains. It was way cool.

2. We had a great time with family. It was awesome to have everyone together, especially since two of Chuck's sisters live outside of Texas. Here a couple of pictures of Mitsi, Chuck's sister who lives in Kentucky, and her sweet family.

3. We left Nashville Sunday and drove 8 hours to Hot Springs, Arkansas. We did a little sightseeing the next morning, and then drove 11 hours home.

This is from the top of a tower, overlooking Hot Springs:

Trips like this give me a true perspective on how big Texas really is. Charlie kept asking, "We in Texas yet?" Of course, Texas was about half the drive! Also, Charlie loved hanging out in Nashville at "Uncle Brandon's house." Since we left, he hasn't stopped asking if we could go to Uncle Brandon's again. Heh, I don't think he realizes what a long drive it would be! The boys did really well coming home, considering. But now Chance cries anytime he sees the carseat!

Here's how Charlie was sleeping at one point:

Oh, and a couple of Charlie stories:
1. Whenever Chance would cry in the car, Charlie would say, "It ok Baby Bruder, I make it better," and he'd reach out and hold Chance's hand.

2. Charlie has a real thing for picking his nose and now he thinks it's funny to tell me he's going to eat it! Then he eats it! Blah! Anyhow, today as I was again explaining why we should wipe it instead, he began nuzzling my face with his nose. I thought he was trying to give me eskimo kisses, but then he exclaimed: "I wipe my boogers on you!"

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

Well, a quick update so far. This trip has really gone so smoothly, for which I'm especially thankful today! And the Lord has blessed us with having this 2 room suite for the rest of our trip!! Yay!! I've been getting great sleep, thank you La Quinta!

Jason has been picking on me for how much I take pictures, so here are a few pics of him (haha!)...

He is so entertaining for the kids...he's gonna be a great dad, come May 2007!

He and Chuck are bonding well...

Ethan, who is about 6 months older than Charlie, and Charlie have been bonding, too.

Chance has been stuck inside, wanting out:

And that's all I have so far...I'll do a part 2 later...

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Thankful To Be In Nashville

Well, as a follow up to my last blog about this Thanksgiving roadtrip, we are here in Nashville. And things have gone better than I expected!

1. The kids really handled the car ride very well. Between the dvd player, toys, and snacks, they were fairly content for about 5 hours at a time. I was impressed! We even stopped at half a dozen McDonalds in Arkansas and Tennesse and had to keep going because they either didn't have playgrounds or the playgrounds were outdoors in the cold. I guess I've been spoiled in San Antonio. Even here in Franklin, I've yet to find an indoor playscape...

But this is what the boys looked like on the trip. They were so cute!

2. We stayed the first night with some dear friends near Tyler, Tx. They even gave us their master bedroom. It was so sweet!

Skylar gave us a sample of his great electric guitar skills:

So you know Chuck had to jam with him...

Keith & Sweet Macey:

Bailey and Skylar, sweet brothers, and a glimpse of what I hope Charlie and Chance will be someday:

3. Our second night we stayed in a hotel, and realized that sleeping in one room was not going to be easy for Chance, who is a very light sleeper.

However, one good thing was that every once in awhile I get a reminder of what Charlie was like as a when he sleeps in this position:

4. The third day of driving we made really good time. Other than Austin and Waco on I 35, traffic was always moving. Yet, outside of Little Rock, I had my cruise set on 80 (in a 70) and got my first speeding ticket ever! Bad Angie! He says I was going 81, which means the ticket is more expensive for being in the 11 and over bracket. Fun times... :P

The drive was beautiful, though. Texas and Arkansas had trees with leaves changing color:

Tennessee, you could tell, was a little colder, so most of the scenery looked more like this:

And near Franklin is this really cool bridge:

5. So we got to Nashville, and found out that our suite that I was so excited about, was only one room. So last night was a little tough, as well. But this morning I found out how to get upgraded to the two room suite, and have it for at least the next 2 nights. Hopefully someone will cancel and we can have it the entire time... But for now, we're happy, and praising God for the heated pool!

Thanks to Feminism

What do you think of when you hear the word, "Feminism"? I usually think of extremist ideas, that oppose families, and hate men. You may have heard of the feminist agenda, which seeks to get girls more attention in the classroom in the name of equality, and want tv shows to portray men as idiots, while the women tend to save the day. It all boils down to anything men can do, women can do better, and aren't inferior to men in any way. Usually I haven't given much thought to feminism. I always figured it had probably risen out of times when men dominated their wives and women were treated as less than equal, often abused or overlooked. Times when women weren't allowed to vote, etc. I just thought that the same movement that brought about equality is now seeking to keep going and swing things the other way.

But lately I've come to realize how feminism has affected me personally. There's a milder version of it that isn't debunked, but generally accepted among us non-extremists. It's what is leading to the prominence of 2-income families. And it has caused me to rethink my life's goals.

I recently had an "Ah ha!" moment, where I saw how God has been working in my life for the last 10 years. Since at least 8th grade, I had had a "plan" for my life. I expected to go to college, earn a degree in business, build my own company, be completely financially self-sufficient/ independent, buy my own home, then get married, and have kids. I figured I'd stay home with them until they started elementary school, then back to my career. Basically it would just be a hiccup in my work, a pit stop along the road of life. However, in the middle of my freshman year of college, God suddenly turned my plan upside down when He showed me that these were not His plans. And He wasn't going to give me the full view, as I had already planned. He wanted me to surrender my life and future to Him completely, being willing to give up all my dreams. I actually came back home and just started a community college because I didn't know what my degree was any more. I thought surrendering my plan meant becoming a missionary. Eventually God led me to date/marry Chuck, and to get a seminary degree. That kinda deflated any plans of being self-sufficient and running my own business. So my thought was that we'd have our family, they'd start elementary school, then back to work. But lately God's been showing me that my desire for a career is not righteous.

Let me explain first what I don't mean by that. I don't mean that it's wrong for women to work. I know there are societies even today where women aren't allowed to work, and are oppressed because of it. I'm grateful to know that if Chuck was disabled or died (cringe), that I could work to provide for myself and my kids. And I know there are other situations where women have felt God call them to work, even with little kids. Sometimes it is just necessary, and may God bless those women who have to work!

But for me, it's a matter of worth. I've never felt right not working. Like I'm not pulling my own weight, like I'm just mooching off my husband. This guilt has nagged me for quite some time. And now I've talked to other women who feel the same way. I once knew a woman with twin babies who went to work, at a loss, where they were actually having to pay more than she made. She even took every opportunity for overtime, also because it was a break from her kids. And now with two little ones of my own, I can completely understand that temptation.

I know in my head how important it is to be home with my kids. I can see how it improves our lives and our relationships. And honestly, it's cheaper than paying a daycare and working. Between being in a higher tax bracket from Chuck's income, to paying for daycare and gas, I'd have nothing left! Just not worth it at this point.

But that doesn't stop the little tug of guilt, of "You're not worth anything because you're not making a salary." On the opposite side, I know a family who made great sacrifices, giving up their largest income for the wife to stay home when they had kids, and while it has hurt greatly financially, you should see how loving and healthy this family is! She supports her husband, and her kids are just beautiful kids, living a great childhood.

So everytime I've prayed for God to give me a job, He's given Chuck a raise. I'm starting to realize His point here. And now He's shown me how feminism has skewd my understanding of my role in my family. In general, God designed man and woman as equal...but different. They're complements to one another. It's easier and better for the man to provide and protect, and easier and better for the woman to nurture and support. That is a woman's place. Not to be dominated or abused, but both sides are to be serving one another. It's my job to support my husband, as well as my kids. There's a little bit of a new idea to me. I knew I'd support him, but this was not my top priority, over my career. When I worked outside our home, I saw how the two can sometimes clash. Times when Chuck was sick and needing my care, but I couldn't get off work. Now I know I should've been home.

So while I'd planned on returning to work someday, now I'm not so sure. Of course if circumstances change, I'll work. But staying home is my place at this point. It's taken me a long time to realize this. And let me temper this with, staying home isn't the end of it. There are plenty of distractions at home, too, just like work, where I have to keep my focus on the needs of my kids (and not blogging all the time--ha!). I know I'm speaking generally, so please don't think I'm judging someone else's situation. But if you're working because you think you have to in order to be worth something to your family, maybe you, like me, need permission to do what God's called you to do, without false guilt, but with confidence, knowing that this calling of being a wife and mother is greater than any career success.

Take that, feminism! I'm done with you.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Preparing for Thanksgiving

I'm not doing a very good job of blogging often, am I?

Charlie was with my parents in Austin for part of this week, so there are less stories to tell, really. Chance is walking everywhere, and has learned to really ROAR. We went to the zoo today, and he roared at the toy lion in the lil kid center. I got it on video, it's great! On the way to the zoo Charlie asked if we could ride the train there, which I said yes, then he asked if he could get a train toy. I explained that he already had a train toy at home, to which he so cleverly replied, "I no (don't) have 2 of them!"

We met my cousins Jenna and Julie and their boys at the zoo. It was a great day!

We tried to get a good pic, but the boys wouldn't stop being silly long enough:

Such sweet cousins!

Ryan thought he was riding a bull! It was so funny!!

Oh, and Chance has cut more teeth. He now has 4 on bottom, 2 on top, and 2 more coming on top...See?

One other thing: yesterday someone asked Charlie what his favorite color was, and he replied "Orange and White." Wow! We didn't even teach him that! Although, now we've got to teach him to say burnt orange! Ha!

If you haven't seen or bought the movie should. Young or old, it's worth owning! Charlie has watched it many times since we got it, and his favorite part is when Mater and McQueen go tractor tipping... If you've seen it, what's your favorite part? I looked up stuff on Route 66 after seeing the movie, and it's so well done to incorporate so much history and facts into the movie. It's great! On the level of Monsters, Inc, in my opinion.

Here's Charlie, acting out the scene where Lightning McQueen flew thru the air:

See Sarah, you're not the only one letting your kid jump on the furniture! Heheh!

So, this week as we come into thanksgiving, be thankful if you don't have 2 lil kids strapped in a minivan, driving a thousand miles cross country. ;) We are leaving tomorrow and will return a week from Monday. We'll be in Franklin TN with Chuck's family, which will be so fun! 17 people in one little house, but still, so fun! Charlie and Chance will get to play with their 3 cousins, and two more are on the way!

Anyhow, we're outta here. Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Reflections of love

Ok, well, I'm about due for another deep one...

Have you ever been saddened by watching one of those court shows, like Judge Judy or The People's Court? I mean, sure, they can be entertaining, and it's always exciting to see some arrogant person get served with the justice due to them. But have you ever been grieved to see the severed relationships? Parents and children, boyfriends and girlfriends, roommates, friends, all of them have been represented in the court. And while the court can resolve the issue, they can't repair the hurt and reconcile the people. The Law can't bring about love.

Which brings me to my next thought. I've been studying the 10 commandments lately. I get it now, how Romans says that the purpose of the Law is to make us realize that we can't be perfect, and need a savior. Someone who can make up for our inadequacy. Someone who can make us able to love. Did you know the 10 Commandments can be completely fulfilled in your life, as long as you can love perfectly? Why? Because if you love someone, you won't cheat them out of something. You won't covet their possessions (or spouse!) but will rejoice that they are blessed. You won't have an affair on your spouse because you love them, and you love the person you would have an affair with enough that you wouldn't bring them dishonor. You wouldn't lie because it results in hurting people that you love. And most of all, you wouldn't worship any other God because you love Him.

And this is why Jesus said the Law can be summed up in this: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself. (Mark 12:30-31)

But we're always looking for a way around a rule. Yesterday Charlie called me up to his room, where he was supposed to be going to sleep, because he was hanging head down off his bed, and was afraid to get all the way down, because then he'd be in trouble for getting out of his bed. The rule kept him from getting off his bed, but the purpose was for him to get to sleep. And he considered hanging off his bed to not be breaking the rule, because his feet were still on it. We're sinners by nature, and submitting to what's best for us, directed by our authority, is not what we want to do. Even if we know that the authority loves us to the point of being willing to die for us. I'd die for my kids, I'd do anything I could for them. But that doesn't make Charlie any more compliant. The same goes for us with the Lord...

And with my boys, I have rules. They're not to hurt each other. But can I force them to love each other? Not exactly. Yet this is the purpose of the rules.

And this is where legalism fails us. While I could have a check list everyday, where each evening I check off the Laws I haven't broken: I haven't covetted today. I haven't commited adultery. I haven't taken God's Name in vain. Etc. But have I loved -- perfectly? I'm much more likely to be able to fool myself about a bunch of rules, but this one is undeniable. Like with the rich young ruler (Matthew 19:16-22), who comes to Jesus and says "What good things must I do to inherit eternal life?" Jesus asks him if he has kept all the commandments, which the guy says "Yes I have" (yeah, right!!). So Jesus tells him, "Sell everything you have and follow me." The guy goes away sad because he was rich. What'd Jesus just do here? He pointed out that the guy loved his possessions more than God. I think this is why Jesus, in Matthew 5-7, raised the bar on the 10 Commandments. He said things like,"the Law says "Do not murder", but I tell you, Don't yell at your brother, calling him a fool." Or, "The Law says 'Do not commit adultery,' but I say to you, don't even look lustfully at a woman." He even said things like, "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." (This is all my paraphrase, please feel free to read the real thing to compare.) I think that was His point: The purpose in all these rules are that you love. The Law,and Jesus are saying: here's what love looks like. It doesn't bring harm, but good to the beloved.

Here's another verse that states this point, it's in I Corinthians 13: 1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

So the Law falls short. And on top of that, I can't even keep the Law! So, I definitely don't love like I should, like I want to. I don't always place the needs of others above my own. Motherhood has given me many tests in this area, and shed a lot of light on my selfishness. So what answer is there? Praise God, because in Jesus, we have the ability to love. Which means I'm really out of excuses ;)

Here's the good news: God IS love. So that means the 10 Commandments describe His character. He won't cheat me, won't lie to me, won't be unfaithful to His covenant with me, won't covet or resent the things I have. And even more, I Corinthians 13 is awesome when seen in this perspective:

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails.

Here is a description of God. How can you not love/accept/surrender your life to Him when you know this is what He is like? You may wonder, but how could a loving God allow suffering? I won't pretend to know every reason why God allows pain, but know this: It's not because He wasn't loving. He doesn't allow pain in our lives because He hates us. In fact, I Peter 3:9 says, "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." Does that sound like He hates us, to you? He's waiting on all of us to turn to Him before He returns. Why? Because He loves us! No other reason, no ulterior motive. He proved it by stepping out of Heaven, becoming one of us, and then dying so we wouldn't have to! He doesn't delight in the death of the wicked (Exekiel 18:23). Why? Because He loves them. Who are the wicked? The child molestor, the homosexual, the thief, the serial killer, and anyone who breaks a commandment...that's us! He loves us!

So, while the judges in our courts may not care that relationships are restored to love, the Supreme Judge does. He takes love very seriously. And while the Law of our government, and the Law of God can't enable people to love one another, the Supreme Law-giver can. How incredible would it be if Judge Judy came down from her judgment seat and said to the offender: "I'll pay your fines, and help you restore your relationship here"?! If Judge Judy didn't penalize the offender, we'd say justice wasn't done. But would we prevent her from helping the offender after she's sentenced him? God is our judge, and has every right to sentence us to Hell, but He offers a way out because He loves us. The Judge, in the form of Jesus, came down and took our place. Mercy triumphs over judgment in our case. And now we have God's help in this great task of loving everyone in our lives. Aren't you grateful that we have Jesus?!

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Pretty Penguin Teeth

A few memorable moments from the last 24 hours:

1. Yesterday afternoon, as Charlie napped, I decided to take a bath. So I brought Chance into the bathroom with some of his toys. I watched nervously as he happily snooped through all the bathroom drawers, threw his rubber ducky in the toilet, and brought the towel bowl brush over to me...and threw it in my bathwater! Thanks, Chance.

2. This afternoon, I finally decided we'd been cooped up in the house long enough. While both boys have diahrrea, and are therefore contagious, they are also bouncing off the walls with energy. So, I decided to take them to a nearby park that is usually deserted during the week. I packed a picnic lunch, and we had the place all to ourselves. It was so beautiful, peaceful, and perfect... until Charlie shows me his hand, covered in poop, which had gone out of his diaper and up his back. Then, as I'm carefully trying to clean Charlie, Chance does a face plant in the dirt, and begins vomitting all the dirt that he got in his mouth. Ah, the glamour of motherhood.

3. This morning as we were brushing our teeth, Charlie brings in one of his favorite stuffed companions, Penguin. I was unaware that penguin have teeth, but Charlie informed me that they do, and he proceeded to brush and floss Penguin's teeth. Once he was done, he told me, "Look at Penguin's teeth, Mommy. They pretty!"

Notice, Charlie brought Penguin to the park, too. Can you see his pretty teeth?

Chance, walking around the park before his face plant in the dirt.

This is what parenthood does to you: It drives you to drinkin'... apple cider, that is!

Monday, November 6, 2006

Charlie's New Day

Have you ever seen the movie Chicken Little? In the movie, as Chicken Little tries to get over his "the sky is falling" embarressment, he tells himself, "Today is a new day." Charlie has really picked up on that and says it from time to time.

So Sunday morning, after being sick the day before, he comes down the stairs from his room and says, "Today is Charlie's new day, Mommy!" Usually he just says, "Good morning, Mommy. The sun came up in my room." Then this morning, instead he said "My poopie dropping, I can't walk!" I ran upstairs to see he had diahrrea, and a leaky diaper. You're right, Charlie, every day is new.

Awhile back I made the mistake of being a voice for one of his stuffed animals. Now he wants me to make everything talk, all the time. Even as I type this, he keeps bringing me his fruit snacks, saying "Make this one talk". He loves hearing them beg for mercy as he stuffs them in his mouth. What am I teaching my child?!

Charlie has another game we play, now, too. At night, once we finish reading a book, we usually hug, kiss, pray, then I leave him to go to sleep. Lately he's gotten to where anytime I give him a kiss, he wipes it off. Now, he hides under the blanket to avoid the kiss. But I begin to leave the room, he cries for a kiss. Chuck kisses him in the middle of his back, where he can't easily reach to wipe it off. It's become quite a source of entertainment.

And Mr. Chance is more into exploring than being entertained at the moment. He spends his days snooping throughout the house. About a month ago Chuck had to install the gate by the stairs because I counted over 40 times in one day I had to pull Chance off of the staircase. And feeding him has become more challenging, because unless he can feed it to himself, he's not interested. I worry about his nutrition sometimes, since he eats cereal, cookies, marshmellows and peas all day. But he's still growing, so I guess he'll be ok.

Did I mention Chance is also a little flirt? He likes to get the attention of people, then lay his head against my chest as if to say, "You can't hold me!" It's hilarious, really. And he plays this game sometimes, where he'll reach out for Daddy, then turn back and reach out for Mommy. He goes back and forth. He's indecisive, just like Chuck, too! :P

Chance has also earned a couple of nicknames. 1. "Hoover," because he crawls around the house vacuuming up every crumb he can find. I have to clean the floors constantly on account of him! 2. "The little escape artist," because if he ever sees an open door, he goes for it. And he cries whenever a door is closed, whether he was heading for it or not!

Other random tidbits:

Has anyone else noticed the irony in that the Jehovah's Witnesses are passing out a pamphlet entitled, "The End of False Religion is Near"?

If you like oatmeal, I have discovered the ultimate: Kashi brand, Raisin Spice instant oatmeal. I wasn't a huge oatmeal eater until I found this, and now I eat it nearly everyday! I've started buying 2-3 boxes at a time!! The boys love it, too!

Saturday, November 4, 2006

Charlie's Sick Today

I know, I've been blogging a lot lately! I have some friends who've inspired me to journal all these little funny moments that you soon forget...

Although today is not so funny: Charlie's sick today. It's a relief that now that he can communicate; he woke up telling me his tummy hurt. When he didn't know how to tell us what was hurting, I would feel so helpless, not knowing what to do. So, here's one time when I'm grateful that my little chatterbox can speak. One other thing I'm grateful for, is how he likes to cuddle when he's sick. Isn't that terrible? To like when my kid is sick? From the time he could crawl, around 6 months old, he no longer wanted to be held but wanted to be down as much as possible, working on his mobility. Nursing him was such a challenge for the second half of his first year. I often felt like I was wrestling an alligator! So, the one time that I can really hold and love on him, even now, is when he's sick. So we've enjoyed our cool falll day curled up on the couch. It's bad timing for him though, because Chuck had planned on bringing him to an Airshow today at Kelly Airforce Base. And my heart just breaks when he tells me "I want my tummy not hurt anymore" with tears in his eyes. I'd trade him places in a second.

However, we have had a few funny moments lately. Yesterday, Charlie stripped off his shirt and strutted around the house, saying, "Charlie look cool." I don't know where he got that idea.

And Chance, oh let me tell you, he has been cracking me up lately. He's been very happy, as usual. We've noticed he's especially drawn to the computer. I wonder where he got that from (Chuck!!)? It's hard for me to turn the lap top on, because he'll come scurrying over to bang on the keyboard... And did I mention he drools all over it, too?! I won't be surprised if this laptop gives out soon because of all the moisture.

He's also been "roaring" a lot lately. He will walk (wobbly) from room to room, scaring any bears that might be lurking in the shadows. Speaking of the bears, Charlie tells me about them. He grabs his flashlight and points it around the room, saying, "Look at that bear, Mommy. He climbing. And there's his mommy bear. They nice bears." I guess the boys make a good team: Charlie sights'em and Chance scares'em away.

Also, Chance is a bear when it comes to food! My dad tells me it just tickles him to see how much Chance likes food. I wonder where he got that from, too (Chuck!!)? Anytime I have food or a drink, Chance comes running (well not running yet, but in a hurry), and makes happy toddler sounds, basically saying, "I'm so excited you're going to give me some, Mommy!". How could I refuse that?? At least he doesn't cry in protest until I fill his little salivating mouth.

And speaking of crying...there is only one thing in Chance's life that makes him cry in frustration: the sippy cup. I recently bought him his own cup, different from Charlie's, because he can't figure out how to drink from Charlie's. But this is not good enough. He wants to be like brother, more than he wants his own cup. And the competition has begun...

The boys do have certain communication skills now, which I find amusing. When Chance is tired now, instead of just fussing, he finds a pillow or blanket and lays his head on it for a moment. And Charlie is learning the concept of time, because everything that has happened in the past, he says happened "last night." "Last night I had a birthday party, last night I rode my harley davits (motorcycle), last night I put my motorcycle to the shop" (he knows a lot about Harley's, ha!!). Oh, and when he talks to my dad, who has a Harley, he tells him, "Charlie get bigger, (voice deepens) drive big motorcycle." I guess we all know where got that from. Thanks, Dad! ;) Maybe we were asking for it when we named him cHARLIE DAVID...Or cHARLIE, DAVID's grandSON. Way to go, us!

And he has big plans of buying everything when he gets bigger, he tells me. He told me yesterday he's going to buy an airplane fore each of us. He also tells me he wants everything he sees a commercial for! And sometimes I tell him, "that's for girls," to which he replies: "I want boy's one."

Thursday, November 2, 2006

I'm Smelling Coffee...

You know, being a mother of two really isn't so long as you can live without sleep! There's something about having kids that makes you realize how important sleep really is, because you're constantly testing the limits of how you can survive without it. As a friend and I were discussing the other day, all-nighters in college were nothing compared to the sleep deprivation of motherhood. At least back then you could crash when the project or finals were over, and sleep for days if needed. I remember sleeping 12-18 hours straight sometimes, after a demanding stretch. But when you have kids, there's no crashing. You have to keep moving on. And the deprivation begins to build.

On top of that, I've talked to a lot of mothers lately who live with insomnia. I never realized what a problem this could be, either, until my second pregnancy. I thought it was because I couldn't get comfortable since I was so big. But even after Chance was born, it reared its ugly head from time to time. It can be so frustrating, when you physically feel like you can't move another muscle and you lay down, close you eyes, and can't fall asleep. You watch the minutes roll by on the clock, and think, "What is wrong with me?!" Recently, I had Chuck take over for the evening and got into bed at 9 PM because I was exhausted and had so much to do the next day. By 2 AM, near tears, I decided I couldn't lay in bed anymore and decided to clean the house. By 5 am I was able to get to sleep...only to get up at 6 with Chance and then again at 7:30 to get ready for my day.

I've searched for possible causes, and cures, and realized that there are so many different reasons for insomnia. It could be emotional, spiritual, hormonal, or in my case, mental/physical. I think I've figured mine out. With my second pregnancy, when I would feel the fatigue, I couldn't go take a nap, as I had with my first pregnancy (I slept all the time with #1!), because Charlie needed my supervision. I had to sleep when I had opportunity, not when I felt sleepy. This continued once Chance was here, and even worsened, because I have to get up all through the night with him. Quality sleep was rarely achieved, because I rarely got to sleep more than 3 hours uninterrupted. About a month ago, Chance finally started sleeping through the night, or at least 7 hours at a time. Then during the day I would nap while the boys napped, figuring a few minutes here and there would have to be helpful. I think I've confused my body, where it doesn't know if there is a schedule, and what it's supposed to do. So, I've cut out the naps, and try to get to sleep at a decent hour at night, and that's worked well for the last 10 days. We'll see if it keeps up.

But cutting out the naps actually means I still get less sleep. Thus I've had the problem of being useless all day. I lack the energy needed to get everything done. I read an article recently about how mothers of young children are more likely to use speed than teenagers... Yeah, I could see why! While that's not a viable answer to my energy deficiency, I've decided that coffee is. As long as I only consume caffeine early in the day, it won't trigger insomnia, so why not?!

It all started with finding a really cool Starbucks coffeepot at Goodwill recently. It is the kind with the thermos-like pot, so your coffee stays warm for 5 hours. I brought it home, realized it was clogged, got it cleaned out, and it works like a charm! Not too bad for $4 versus $80 in the store! Ha! Anyhow, it sat on my counter, tempting me for awhile. This week I finally broke down and bought myself a can of coffee for the first time in my life. Now I see why my grandparents drank it all day! They would give me coffee from the time I was a toddler (well, actually it was a "latte" - half coffee, half milk). As an adult I've tried to steer clear of having coffee in the house, knowing I'd be an addict in a heartbeat. Well, now I've succumbed, willingly, knowing the consequences. My family will be happier for it, and hopefully someday I'll kick the habit. But for now, I'll be enjoying a cup each morning, starting my day off like so many other moms out there... ready to hit the ground running. Motherhood just got easier...