Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Toddler v. Sleep

Mini is one of those kids who doesn't want to miss ANYTHING! She tries to keep herself awake to take it all in, but she is also one of those kids who NEEDS sleep, especially that crucial midday nap. She has been trying to phase them out for some time, but the poor thing is zombi-fied if she doesn't nap and bedtime routine has been wrecked on days she does nap. It's almost as though her body so desperately needs the sleep, so if she naps, she goes into some state of uber napping that zonks her out and recharges. 

This has bee our lives that revolve around the naps of a toddler who doesn't want to sleep, but is in dire need of doing so. Since daddy is the one who is in charge of many of her routines, mainly at her request, because she is such a daddy's girl, I encouraged him to get any of the No-Cry books by Elizabeth Pantley, which he found one at a local used bookstore. It is helping him understand sleep a little more and offering some guidance with concrete facts. No matter what I tell him, sometimes he has to read it, or experience it, for humself before it is true. He is a little burned out, but I remind him that this will pass, but I surely don't blame him with the steady innundation of toddlerdom constantly at the ready.

I have been fighting off a cold for days now and yesterday it got worse, when I thought it was getting better (today is the best so far, go figure, strange virus). Regardless of how I felt, I stepped up to help with naptime, because Papa has been so ragged and I can't handle the girl crying. Call me a push over, but I cannot tolerate my kids crying if there is anything I can possibly do to comfort them. Papa is not as sympathic to this plight and I appreciate his resolve, just maybe moreso in the other aspects of parenting. 

I told Mini a couple of times we'd be going in to rest soon, when snack was all done, and read a book. We got all ready and I crawled into the tiny toddler bed with her and a book. Papa put on the nuns she always listens to for nap and I read aloud. When the book was finished, I climbed back out and sat next to her on the bed. Since she is a fidget of a kid, it dawned on me that, if I can keep her busy while she winds down, she may fall asleep without realizing, but also without too much fussing. Jay had been tasked with finding a prayer rope, but to no avail. A lightbulb went off and I remembered where I might have one, which I found promptly and brought it n to her. It is a bracelet-sized one, with red beads and black nylon knots. Anyway, I gave it to her and told her she can hold it, rub it in her hands/fingers, wear it, pull on it, etc. while she says, Lord have mercy. She seemed a bit giddy and had called to me once, so I reminded her of what she should do, then that was it. That was the last I heard out of her, she fell asleep!!! She slept for 2 hours!

Lord have mercy, we were all so grateful, because her lack of sleep and sleep routine has been wearing everyone down so terribly much. The overtired crying, fussing, anger tantrums that would get her into trouble. She went to bed last night with a similar routine, but Papa read to her, and it was not nearly as quick, however, she did sleep. Peaceful, restful, and necessary sleep! Everybody needs it, not everybody gets it.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

A Few Thoughts

It was a very silly girlish fancy I entertained about life and love when I married. So young and without hindrance, I walked easily into his arms, more truly into his eyes and that smile. I will never forget when he winked at me during the service, I think he thought me beautiful, and also to be wildly insane to be marrying him, but also believed himself to be the fortunate one. He would tell you he is, to this very day, that he is the one who got the prize. That is how I know I married for all the right reasons, through all things in every day, he still thinks I deserve the best of everything, no matter cost or attainability, and he would go to great lengths to be sure I have it, if he is able. As I recently told a store clerk, "I think I am a hard person to buy gifts for because I am a well-kept woman; my husband makes sure I want for nothing."

After nearly 13 years of knowing one another, 11+ being married, it never ceases to amaze me how much we still learn about one another, both on small and grand scales. It can be simple things, but it all adds up, making the picture of life, love, and time together that much more vibrant and rich. For instance, I may be imagining this and he is welcome to correct me if I am wrong, though he is rather gentle in that area, as well. I do believe that he married me because I challenge him, but not in a usual sense of the term. I challenge his intellect, his thoughts, his basic fiber of being. I challenge him to come out of himself, to show the world what I get to see, because it is worth sharing. I challenge his heart to love fuller and more completely, without thought for himself. I challenge him and require many of his senses in order to engage in this adventure.

It is not my intent to paint myself the victor here, but to illustrate my newest understanding and, personally, I honestly know that I would not be where I am without his ardent love and affection, no matter how subdued or disguised.  All of what I said above can be said of him for me, as well. He challenges me in all those very same ways, though likely to a greater degree as necessary, since I am a fickle, stubborn, and oblivious mess of a girl. His lifes lesson of patience is to simply be married to me, though we are matched quite well. If he is a rock, I am water flowing over it. If he is a tree, I am the wind and the rain blowing through his branches, the birds lit upon his branches.

We have been through ever so much together in these seemingly short years, I do hope to enjoy more lessons and adventures on this crazy journey, in whatever form they come, because I know that he will be at my side, no matter what, through it all. Yep, that's my man; he thinks he hit the jackpot and I doubt I will ever convince him that I think the real winner is me. 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Winter Wonderland and Beyond

We have had a veritable winter wonderland in these parts for more than a week. It is so unusual in these parts, the city isn't even prepared and nothing gets ploughed, since it rarely snows IN TOWN and STAYS! It has been lots of fun for the kids, though the roads have been a mess. We have 4wd, so it has been a lot more manageable for us, than some. I hadn't yet driven Leia, the truck/SUV, in snowy or icy weather, so was hesitant to just hop in and go for it until Jay said it was very much like driving our subaru's in the same kind of weather. I am grateful for all the experience driving in Colorado, sometimes in more extreme circumstances than this, though there are many more hills much closer to together, which makes driving more interesting. I do tend to say, 'If it's going to be this cold, it may as well snow!' So I am glad it did and I am even grateful for the lack of ploughing and simple throwing of gravel, since it makes it more natural and prettier as it subsides.

Let see, we are getting along well enough. We had a visit from Jay's parents, which was nice, since we hadn't seen them since our move out here. The girls had a blast and it was Mini Mae's first meeting of her paternal grandparents. By last week's end, they were on their way to the next stop on their adventure in the RV and we were settling in to St. Nicholas, aka-most hectic day of the year besides Holy Saturday. Thankfully, when Sissy woke up in the middle of the night on St. Nicholas Eve with a fever, we already had most everything taken care of. Liturgy was cancelled due to weather and illness, so was not so sad to have made the choice to stay at home. The fever was gone by morning, but the poor kid didn't eat or do almost anything for 2.5 days! All is well now, for the time being, though I seem to be fighting off something that resembles laryngitis, but it is somewhat elusive in its manifestation.

What else...oh, Sissy is taking piano lessons and is quite good. It appears to challenge her whole brain and she needs that sort of engagement. Mini is rather into singing and has a fantastic ear for music, too. We got her a drum for St. Nicholas day, so she would have something that is OK to hit, since being 2 can be frustrating sometimes. The girls also have a penny whistle, harmonic, pear-shaped maraca, and kazoo, so every day we have some music 'jam' time, where everyone just digs in. 

We are all looking forward to Nativity, of course, for various reasons. Papa and the girls are anticipating large amounts of meat, I am sure, while I look forward to the ambiance of church with all the kids and families so joyfully participating in the feast. We put up some lights in the front window and a lighted blue and white angel, plus icicle lights on the porch; it surely gives a cheerful feel and glow. Our kitties are too young to appreciate why we might want to have a tree in the house, so we have a small fake tree my mom gave us a number of years ago set up. 

I think that is all for now. Glory to God for all things!