sleep

Good Night, Sleep Tight (Or Something Like It)

bedtime, toddler, sleep, issues, baby, sleeping, stories, books, reading

Sometimes I feel like my entire life is tied up in whether or not my children get enough sleep. Any mom out there will know what I'm talking about. Or maybe it's just me.

Kendall is generally easy enough to get to sleep. She's taking three naps a day and goes to sleep on her own at night. Her problem isn't going to sleep. It's staying asleep. She routinely wakes up 45 minutes into her nap, wide awake and ready to play. Then she's exhausted just 30 minutes later, but unable to settle down. She wakes in the middle of the night and early in the morning with no intention of going back to sleep without intense cajoling. One night last week it lasted for two and a half hours. Let that sink in. For two and a half hours, she was wide awake, either screaming or thinking about screaming. It was not fun. For the past week she's been stirring between 4 and 5 a.m. wide awake and raring to go. That's just a bit earlier than I'm willing to get up in the mornings.

Micah, on the other hand, sleeps like a rock. Her problem is going to sleep. I can feel the dread of naptime approaching when it's still hours away. I know what will happen. I'll give her a five-minute warning. I'll set the timer and tell her that when it goes off, it's time for a nap. Sometimes, she instantly complies, cleaning up her toys and docilely following me to her room, where we'll read a story, and I'll gently tuck her in. She'll give me a hug and kiss, I'll give her a pat and leave the room. Only to come back five minutes later to discover her surrounded by a pile of books on her bed, quietly resisting a nap. Other times, she flat out refuses to get ready for a nap and throws herself into a rage before we even head to the bedroom. I end up taking away all of her favorite baby dolls, her blankies, and her dream lite every single day before she finally gives it up and goes to sleep. The same thing usually happens at bedtime.

A few nights ago, Dennis and I were sitting in the den, preparing to go to bed ourselves. It was 10:03 when Micah came bebopping into the room. She was wearing a princess gown over her pajamas. She had a crown on her head, a string of Mardi Gras beads around her neck, and one cheap plastic clip-on earring dangling from her right ear. She stuck out her bottom lip as she handed me the other earring and said, "Mama, my eaw-wing bwoke. Can you fix it?"

I just looked at her in shock. Seriously, kid? She had been playing silently in her room for TWO ENTIRE HOURS, and she really expected me to fix the blasted earring? At that moment, I decided that her dress-up clothes probably shouldn't live in her closet anymore. You can imagine how well that went over.

I'm not really sure how I became this sleep-obsessed mom - I only know that if my kids don't get enough of it, then it's all over. I will fiercely protect naps and sequester my girls in the house if something threatens their rest. I'm sure that some people think I'm crazy, but I also know that my sweet little girls turn into raging little monsters if they don't get enough sleep. I suppose they get that from me.

At any rate, we've been going through a rough patch lately. Neither of my girls are sleeping particularly well, and it's starting to wear on me. As I mentioned before, sleep and I are really good friends. I don't respond well when our time together is interrupted.

Sigh. I know many of you can commiserate with me. I'm looking forward to the days when they're a bit older and I can stop worrying so much about the amount of time that their eyes are closed each day. Of course, I'm sure there will be something else to worry about then. It's just one of the many joys of motherhood. We've gotta have something to worry about. And right now, it's sleep.

Anyone else dealing with sleep issues with their kiddos? I'd love to hear about your experiences in the comments section.

Until next time, grace and peace.

Crickets Singing in the Background

Well hello, sweet friends. Have you forgotten what it feels like to see a new blog post from me? Several weeks ago, I decided to momentarily close the etsy shop and take a little break. I never intended to take such a break from the blog as well, but life spun out of control for a little while, and I simply had to tend to the chaos that had become our daily lives. It had gotten to be too much for me to handle.

time-for-a-nap

I'm still trying to find the perfect balance between work and life. I'm not there yet, but I'm working on it.

I've finished all of my major writing projects and I've gone to youth camp. I've washed about 511 loads of laundry and changed as many diapers. I've gone running and rocked with Micah and read countless books. I feel like life is finally back under control (for the moment, anyway), and I'm ready to slowly add a few things back.

mommy-and-micah

I quietly reopened the etsy shop at the end of last week, and a couple of orders have already rolled in. I've also got a smaller writing assignment to complete in the next couple of days. Life right now is good.

life-is-good-sunglasses

I know that there is much to share with you, and I've been promising you updates and backstories for a while now. I'm planning on handling some of that over the next few weeks. I promise I won't be gone for nearly as long next time. You'll be hearing from me soon!

Until next time, grace and peace.

Growing Pains & Sabbath Rest

alarm-clock

Saturday I had a nervous breakdown. As soon as I sat down on my chaise lounge with my journal and Bible, I felt my face crumpling and knew that I was about to have a full-on-uglyface cry. It was not pretty. Let me go ahead and confess that last week I didn't get up before 7 a.m. a single time. Well, maybe once. The rest of the week, I dragged myself out of bed around 7:15 or 7:30 because I was so. very. tired.

I'm talking the kind of tired where you just want to crawl into the bed and pull the covers over your head and stay that way all day long. Have you ever been there? I was there.

For the past 361 days, I have been solely responsible for Micah's nourishment, and for 361 days, I have been looking forward to the day when she was weaned so that I could just sleep in on a Saturday morning while someone else worried about what she would eat for breakfast. There we were, just one week away from her very first birthday, and it was my first opportunity for someone else to take complete responsibility of her in the morning.

Except I never communicated that to my wonderful husband.

So when he didn't magically read my mind and know that I wanted him to get up and take care of her just for a little while, I had a little breakdown.

OK, a big breakdown.

I felt the anger and bitterness rising up inside of me, and I counted down the minutes until it was time for Micah to nap. I laid her in the crib and went straight for the bedroom, where I secluded myself and bawled for almost 30 minutes.

Not that Dennis knew about any of this. He was busy working his tail off to get our deck finished up before Micah's birthday party this week.

It was not his fault. It was just easier to blame him for my morning not working out the way I wanted than it was to deal with the real issue.

The real issue is that I'm tired. Very, very tired. I've been working like crazy over the past several months, and I have taken absolutely no time to rest. When Micah naps, I work. When Micah goes to bed at night, I work. Sometimes I work while Micah plays on the floor at my feet. I work, work, work, juggling taking care of Micah and taking care of my business, never stopping to take care of myself.

I started this challenge because I recognized the need for a major change in my routine. My priorities had become ridiculously skewed off-center, and my obsession with being perfect in all areas of responsibility has kept me from taking some time just to enjoy the amazing life that God has blessed me with.

I had gotten into the habit of cramming Bible-reading and prayer into Micah's naptimes, and I honestly chose not to do it more often than I should have simply because there were so many other things screaming for my attention that I had to accomplish while she slept. Since I have begun this challenge, I have spent almost an hour of time alone with God every single morning. I may not have made it up at 6 a.m. yet, but I am very proud of the progress I have made so far.

Life is much better when I start the day with some time with my Savior. Much, much better. I've found that just a taste of peaceful time to myself every day has made me crave it. I look forward to that time, and I have a feeling that this challenge, no matter how difficult it is for me in these early stages, is the beginning of a new lifestyle for me. It's worth getting up for.

I'm pretty sure that Saturday's breakdown was a bout of growing pains. It was God prodding me, letting me know that something has to give if I really want Him to restore my parched soul.

Real rest, Sabbath rest, is absolutely crucial for spiritual growth. I think I need some Sabbath in my life.

So after I cried and prayed and cried some more, I wrote in my journal, read my Bible, and ditched the plans I had to complete work on an article that was in-progress. Instead, I soaked in the tub, talked with my sweet husband, told him how I was feeling, and took the afternoon off while he took care of our daughter.

I didn't do a single bit of work over the weekend, and it was so very nice to simply rest and enjoy the company of my little family. I feel much better now.

As for this morning, you'll be proud to know that I got up about 6:45. It's slow-going, but it is going, and that's what matters.

Until next time, grace and peace.