Friday, April 19, 2013

Toddler Prayers

Jake has always loved saying the blessing before meals and most nights we say it multiple times at his request. He always gives a spirited 'AMEN' that could put a smile on anyone's face but he has never cared for our bedtime prayer and rarely pays any attention to it. I guess it's kind of boring to a toddler so I spun off a bedtime prayer from our blessing. These prayers are sung to the tune of 'Frere Jacque' and the blessing goes like this:

God Our Father, God Our Father
Once Again, Once Again
Thank you for our blessings, Thank you for our blessings
Amen, Amen

Our new bedtime prayer goes like this:

God My Father, God My Father
Keep me safe, Keep me safe
All the night through, All the night through
I love you, I love you

Well, at naptime today he asked to say 'God Father Amen' so we altered it a bit to 'All my nap through, All my nap through...' and in the midst of me singing it a dozen or so times he said 'Mommy safe Amen'. And he said it over and over. My 20 month old prayed for me and I cried because it was one of the most incredible moments I've ever experienced. It's been a long, sleep deprived week and today has been hard and frustrating. That precious moment restored everything. God is good!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Tuesday Was Not A Friend of Jake's

I had two parenting fails on Tuesday. There were probably more but two really stood out. The first happened partly as a result of me trying to better myself. See, when Jake is busy doing something I sometimes take the opportunity to read stuff on my phone. Okay, not just sometimes- all the time. Even though I'm reading articles and other mind candy I do realize that it could be misconstrued by Jake and Nathan that I am not 'present'. So I am making an effort to not read so much on my phone when I'm with my family and it's not a big deal except that I am a multi-tasker at heart. I don't feel like multi-tasking is just a good use of my time- I have a compulsive need to be doing several things at once.
Bath time is a good example of when I should interact with Jake even though he is content playing by himself in the tub. But I can't just sit there doing nothing so I decided the best use of this time would be to spend it chatting and singing with Jake and working out with my free weights. Tuesday night during bath I did several sets of squats using 8 lb weights. Jake is very interested in my weights and I'm sure I'll be reporting about a broken baby toe before long. He is also fascinated by the arm and leg movements and loves to imitate me. During one of my sets Tuesday night Jake decided to stand up and squat with me. He was so cute hanging on to the side of the tub and bending his legs and popping back up. And then it happened...and at the most inopportune moment. I had two 8 lb weights over my head when Jake's hand slipped off the side of the tub. Ya'll- if there were ever a moment to catch on film this was it. When his hand slipped his whole body lurched forward and over the side of the tub. He literally fell all the way out of the bath tub like a slippery fish. The bathroom isn't large and I was standing right in front of the tub. I managed to put the weights down without injury and catch his face in my hands on the floor. He never checked up. I don't think it even scared him. He got back in the tub and played for a while longer.
Fast forward a few short hours...I was in my bathroom getting ready for bed, Nathan was laying in the bed watching TV and Jake was acting like a monkey. This is a classic case of one fell off and bumped his head. We have a platform bed with storage drawers at the foot and above those drawers is a ledge that is the perfect size for a toddler to practice his balance beam skills. He plays on it all the time, probably just enough for me to become desensitized. I was watching him and as I was opening my mouth to say 'get down!' he fell off, and not at all gracefully. His foot slipped and his body fell forward, towards the bed which caused him to hit his face on that ledge on his way down. **SHUDDER** I scooped him up and and hurried into the kitchen to see the damage under good light. He opened his mouth for me and there was blood which I fully expected to see. I laid him back to investigate further when I noticed blood trickling down his chin. Blood was not flowing over his lip down his chin, no, it was trickling out of the hole in his face! His bottom teeth punctured his bottom lip when he hit the ledge. Those teeth went all the through his lip and out the other side. Jake is a tough little guy and was ready to play again in a matter of minutes. After I regained my bearings I was able to thank the Lord that it wasn't worse. His teeth didn't get stuck and it didn't bleed too badly so there was no reason to seek medical attention. The next morning I expected a fat lip at least but it looked pretty normal and was already healing nicely. He hasn't mentioned it since and for that I am most grateful of all.
Nathan doesn't handle it very well when Jake gets hurt and he thinks I am too calm when something does happen. He doesn't see the things that I see. He doesn't spend his days in the toddler war zone. He doesn't realize how often we narrowly escape a trip to the ER.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Not So Sleeping Beauty

I've made it no secret that Jake is a terrible sleeper. The. Worst. He came out that way. Seriously, he didn't sleep the night he was born. Or the next night, he didn't really sleep at night for the first 8 weeks of his life. I chalked it up to the theory that he was born at night so he had his days and nights mixed up. He did eventually get his days and nights straight but that didn't make him a good sleeper, not by any stretch of the imagination.
When he was just months old and other mommies on the forums I follow told tales of their babies sleeping for 12 hour stretches without waking I thought 'he'll start growing into better sleep habits, he's just 3 month old'. Heck, I would have been ecstatic with a 6 hour stretch! From about 3-11 months he slept in 1 hr-1.5 hour stretches at night. I thought that any given night he would surprise me and sleep all the way through. Ha!
At around 12 months I was still clinging to the belief that any night now a switch would flip and he would sleep for hours and hours. That didn't happen. Instead he started sleeping in 45 minute increments for nap and at night. By now my patience were thin and I thought that at any moment I could lose my freaking mind. But I didn't. Instead I accepted our situation and adjusted. I certainly wasn't going to take any measures to force him to sleep- they would not have worked with him anyhow- so they best thing I could do is adjust my expectations and attitude. This went on until just a couple of weeks ago. He is 19 months old now and has transitioned back to sleeping in 1.5 hour stretches. I'm over the moon about it.
I'm betting that right now you are making a prediction that I am writing this post to say 'IT FINALLY HAPPENED, HE SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT'. But I'm not. And to be honest, I don't see that anywhere in the near future. I've mentioned before that he has mad language skills. He follows a pattern-he sleeps like crap for a week and the next week he has mastered a new skill (you can imagine that him sleeping like crap must be hideous since most would consider his normal sleep crap). Two nights last week we got up to play for a couple of hours during the night (which I hate with every fiber of my being) and this week he is talking in nice, full sentences.
We've always known that his poor sleep habits can be contributed to the fact that he never wants to stop doing whatever he is doing to sleep. My mom once commented that he never stops moving, even when he is asleep. And it's true. Since he has started talking it's obvious that his mind never shuts off either. He talks gibberish in his sleep quite often but he also says things very clearly. On a regular basis he says 'Oh toodles' and helicopter while he is sleeping.  Today when he was waking up from his nap he called me and when I went in his eyes weren't even open yet. I layed down to snuggle him, he cracked his eyes ever so slightly and said "rock, rock nurse. Helicopter. Blow up balloon!'.  Whoa! No wonder he can't stay asleep, not with those fantastic ideas floating in and out of his consciousness.

In case there are any cynics out there that think I am exaggerating Jake's sleep patterns I should address how I have managed to not turn into a zombie. 1) He sleeps with me. If he didn't I would have died of sleep deprivation 13 months ago. 2) If he wiggles his toe I nurse him back to sleep.

Some people may call our sleeping arrangement crazy- I call it our brand of sleeping through the night. And if it ain't broke....

Thursday, March 21, 2013

7 Things Nathan Does For Me Because I'm Too Lazy To Do Them For Myself

Here is a list of 7 things that Nathan always does for me because I'm too lazy to do them for myself.

7. He closes my things.
   
     I am a habitual offender of leaving things open. I never close my shampoo, body wash, the creamer, the sugar, sometimes I don't even screw the lid all the way on the gallon of tea. It bugs him, which is why he closes my things but I think there is no point in closing something that is frequently used. Why do all that opening and closing when you can just open once, use it up and trash it?

6. He turns out the lights.

     Not always do I leave the lights on but it must happen often enough that Nathan feels the need to complain about it and turn them off behind me. There are a few lights that I will admit to never turning off, my closet light and the shower light. I don't know what the deal is. I don't have a good excuse for it. I think it's just pure laziness.

5. He refills the sugar.

     I have a large canister that sits next to my coffee maker that I use daily for fixing my coffee. Nathan doesn't drink coffee and to my knowledge he doesn't use sugar for anything. I don't know how he always knows when I'm getting low but I haven't filled it up in months and I'm not complaining. He also lets me know when we are out of sugar in the pantry.

4. He refills the water reservoir on my Keurig.

     Again, Nathan doesn't drink coffee but I go to bed actually looking forward to getting up so I can drink a cup of coffee. I love my coffee and I am one of those people who needs it first thing and I don't like waiting on it. In fact, I get angry when I get up earlier than the automatic turn on time and I have to wait for it to boot up. And this is why it's so special to me that Nathan makes sure the reservoir is full. If you get the 'Add Water' notification you can bank on at least a 5 minute coffee delay.

3. He gets my oil changed.

      There are a few reasons why I don't like to get my oil changed, three to be exact.
  • I don't like being up sold services because I am a woman. What these people don't know is that they likely wouldn't be able to sell me a glass of water if I were on fire so there is no risk in my actually purchasing any recommended services or products. It just annoys me that I have to waste my breath saying "I see that my air filter is awful dirty but I didn't come here with the intention of spending any more than what an oil change costs. I will keep it in mind for next time. Thank you".
  • I don't like driving over the hole. Enough said?
  • I feel awkward just sitting there while they are working on my car. I very well could be alone in this feeling but I am socially awkward most of the time.
2. He handles the recalls on my car.

      Because 'ain't nobody got time for that', at least I don't. I believe I told the story here once about receiving a recall letter and getting upset about having to deal with that nonsense when Nathan said oh so nonchalantly 'it's not like you are going to have to do anything about it.' We both know me well enough to know that if that is going to be handled it will be by Nathan or it won't get handled. Either way is fine with me. I like to live on the edge.

1. He throws away my Kleenex and pee diapers (not mine, Jake's).

    I appear to be neat on the surface but underneath I'm fighting my lazy demons and my messy demons. They cause me to leave 'trails' as my family calls them. The trails can be made up of trash things like Kleenex and pee diapers or my things like clothes, shoes, jewelery, jackets and anything else that can be removed from my body outside of the privacy of my bedroom. Nathan doesn't touch my things except to remove them from his man cave (he piles them up on the stairs and I pick them up when the piles reach a certain height) but he will always throw away my trash. Jake also finds great pleasure in throwing away 'GABAGE!', he must get that from Nathan.

Monday, February 4, 2013

I wove you Mommy

Jake is growing up so fast and learning at what seems like warp speed. I can't believe how much he is talking. His language has been very good so far but in the last couple of weeks it has exploded. He talks all day, every day. He has over 100 words and uses 2-3 word sentences. Our new found communication has made life easier. His favorite thing to tell me is 'rock rock nurse'. Just as I suspected, he really would like for me to sit around and rock and nurse him all day long.

A few weeks ago we were hurrying out the door and as I was putting him in his carseat he said "I love you Mommy". Just like that. I didn't say it first, it was completely out of the blue. Needless to say, my heart melted on the spot. That precious moment is definitely one of the best moments of my life. I will hear those words from that tiny little person for as long as I live. Later that day after I finished changing his diaper he said "Thank you Mommy". Not quite as heart warming as hearing I love you from the tiny love of my life for the first time but hearing him express gratitude is a close second.

He says 'tank you' nearly every time I hand him something- it's so sweet and polite. It totally makes up for the times that he beams me in the face with his 'BALL!' at point blank range. It blows my mind how one minute he seems like a level-headed, polite child and the next minute he is full on toddler, testing my mommy-ness at every opportunity. We bought him a set of plastic golf clubs and made the mistake of keeping them inside. They were taken away from him twice in the first 24 hours. He uses the clubs as an extension of his little baby arms which enables him to reach all of the things he has only dreamed of accessing before. I walked into the kitchen to find him trying to rake everything off the island with the putter. And then he assaulted me with his driver. During my dramatization of how bad it hurt, he hit me again! That is when the clubs went to live outside.

Nothing is more humbling than a 17.5 month old reminding you to say the blessing. Often I get Jake started on his food first and if we don't say the blessing promptly upon sitting down he folds his hands and says "Amen!". He loves hearing the blessing song and he always says amen with us at the end. This morning he folded his hands and said "Amen!" when we finished our morning 'rock, rock, nurse'. I don't think he was giving thanks for the milk so much as telling me to feed him some breakfast.

It's a bit of a cliche, but my mommy love for Jake is the most intense emotion I have ever experienced. And it has really enhanced the number of irrational fears that float around in my head.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

God Answers Prayers

I have been a stay at home mom for 8 months now and it is so enjoyable. The precious time that I spend with Jake at this most fun age is so exciting and amazing. Watching him learn things is the most incredible experience; every new thing he learns is as amazing as the last. It truly is mind blowing.

To say we are attached at the hip is a bit of an understatement which is why I have been so dreading going back to work. Being at home was never supposed to be a permanent arrangement but the logistics of going back to work are over-whelming. Getting Jake to my mom's house in the morning, driving to Birmingham to work from 8-5 and then going back to Montevallo to pick Jake up and then driving back home to Pelham every day feels impossible. So I have been praying. Praying for a job that I enjoy that is close to home and flexible. Praying for guidance and direction in my life and career. Praying for Nathan who is carrying the weight of our whole family on his shoulders.

My prayers have been answered because when you hand everything over to God he will do amazing things in your life. I received a call yesterday, completely out of the blue and unsolicited, about a promising job prospect and it was confirmed today. I am officially employed- working from home, 30 very flexible hours a week that will allow me to keep Jake home with me. And the pay is decent too! I couldn't ask for a more ideal work situation. I am so thankful! Praise the Lord!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

All Done

I often joke that since I decided to stay home with Jake my days consist of trying to force that kid to eat and sleep. It's an endless cycle of 'please eat your breakfast', 'please don't throw all of your food on the floor', 'please take a little nap', 'please eat some lunch, you have to eat something today', 'it's time for a nap, you only slept for 10 minutes earlier', rinse and repeat and you get the idea.

This morning as Jake and I were laying in bed deciding whether or not to get up I asked him if he wanted to eat some breakfast. He said "all done" and his little hands were frantically signing the same thing. What do you say to that? Against his will I got up and made him breakfast which he promptly threw in the floor. He didn't eat one single bite. I guess he was serious about being 'all done' with breakfast before it even started. Sigh.

On Monday of this week our cousin Wyatt came to stay with us while his mommy and daddy were at work. What a glorious and stress free feeling that was, feeding a kid who actually wants to eat. He ate a whole jar of stage 3 baby food, some pears and then he had half of my lunch. This is more food than Jake has eaten in his entire life! When it comes to food, these two boys are nothing alike. Wyatt signs 'more, more' the whole time he is eating and Jake tells me 'all done' before his food even arrives. Being responsible for another little life that has a mind of his very own is so much fun! Seriously, it's the most incredible thing I've ever had the pleasure of experiencing. I love being Jake's mommy, now lets all say a prayer that he doesn't wither away. Amen.