What Co-Sleeping Looks like

Co-sleeping is not really our family’s style, but when my children need it, they get it. This is what it looks like in our family.

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This was just one of ten different poses my daughter slept in. She’s an active sleeper! I wish it would have been possible to get a picture of when the lights went out a few days ago. We had the two older kids and my husband and I on an air mattress for four sleepy hours. I got a little rest, but there was a lot of wiggling going on.
Do you co-sleep? How do you get rest? Or is it worth the sleeplessness? I find the times they sneak in bed to be extra sweet, but I’m okay for it to not be everyday.

First Impression – Lasting Impression

Face - smiling woman with great bangs

(Photo credit: GregPC)

I am not going to lie, there is a LOT or pressure in this world to be a perfect wife and mother. I am not a perfectionist, but as much as I would like to be perfect, I would certainly hope a perfectionist would be a little closer than I! One issue in marriage that I often see brought up is about how presentable we make ourselves to our husbands. i.e, what we look like when he comes home.

Now, I’m not discrediting all that great advice about being clean, beautiful and happy for your husband, we really SHOULD try to be presentable. But…..let me tell you about what I looked, smelled like, and how I behaved when my husband first spoke to me.

Here is the whole story of when we met, but I will just briefly share our introduction with you now:

It was Wednesday of Junior church camp. I had not had a shower since Tues morning. Wednesday is the day of camp I wear my ‘ugly’ outfit. Don’t ask me why, but I always wear my most horrible outfit in the middle of camp.

It was 4 pm, and I had been swimming in a chlorinated pool so my (then) curly hair was a tangled, horrible mess thrown up in some form of messy bun.

I was yelling, not angry, just loud as I coached elementary girls how to play volleyball. It’s not easy you know!

So to sum it up, when I first met my husband the best smell I could possibly have had was chlorine, my hair was a mess, I was sunburnt without a hint of makeup on, I was wearing my least attractive outfit and I was not behaving in any lady like manner. And my future husband still approached me.

My conclusion?

My husband thinks I am beautiful all the time. It may be a personal flaw of his, but when he is honest he tells me that I look the same no matter what I wear or the state of my makeup. Putting effort into my appearance is important, but maybe some days I should give myself less grief about the spills on my dress, the frizz level of my hair or my unlevel finger nails.

Maybe approaching him with a smile is enough sometimes.

A World of Firsts

Last night was date night for me and Jeff. We have been married for 5.5 years and wanted a special night before the birth of our third child. We have done a ‘baby-moon’ for each of our children, and though last night was the simplest one we have had, it was still great. We went out to a steak dinner and cuddled while we watched a storm approach above the river. After our time at the park we picked up The Confession and some snacks.

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I would have liked a picture of both of us…

 

Naturally, one of our indulgences were Dove Chocolates and inside one of the wrappers it said, “Remember your first everything.” And that is what I shall attempt to do.

My first best friend: Katie, we were friends before we were school age and our backyards shared the same fence. Our favorite activity was playing house outside in the mud, and digging for treasure.

My first crush: Morgan, he was very funny for a first grader.

My first chapter book: Bunnicula. I am not sure why, but this was what my first grade teacher let me borrow, so that is what I read. I didn’t enjoy it a ton, but love reading anyway.

My first academic heartbreak: When writing down the first letters of objects pictured, I put an ‘F’ under refrigerator. In my house we always just called it a fridge, and so I got it wrong. It still bothers me now that I got a question wrong, and it was the first red X I remember and I avoided them the rest of my academic career. Ridiculous? I know, tell me about it ;)

My first sibling: I have 6 siblings, but my first one is named Stephan, and he came 22 months after I did. We competed for everything. Absolutely everything.

My first airplane ride: After driving from Central FL to TX, my first airplane ride was from Dallas to LA to Hong Kong. I love flying! Landing makes me a bit nervous, but being above the clouds is amazing, especially when you can see the sun rise.

My first paying job: Domino’s pizza.

My first car: 1991 Toyota Corolla. It sounded and felt like a go cart, but only cost $900 and had amazing AC.

My first large purchase: A violin. I worked all summer to pay for one and LOVED playing and could play for hours. Sadly, I did not take any classes in high school because JROTC filled my schedule instead. I miss playing my violin, but hit a wall in my ability so it was not as much fun after a while.

The first time I left home: I went away for a month at 16, but away to college at 17 and got married a month after turning 20.

My first time feeling like an adult: At 18 I was a camp counselor and I had a girl get an amazing gash on her scalp. The qualified adult life guards did not know how to handle the situation so I did. Having 4 crazy little brothers gives you plenty of experience with blood, and yes, even ERs.

My first mini novel: It was 50-70 typed pages (back when you still got to tear the dotted edges off :) about a Native American girl named Sunshine who had to move across the nation. I love history, and I love writing, so I turned my small 8th grade history project (supposed to be 4 ish pages) into a book. I let lots of people read it and amazingly other people enjoyed it too.

My first culture shock: When my mom and a friend dropped me off at Clearwater Christian College I stood on the balcony and watched all the people walk and drive by. They were almost all white and I did not expect that. They all dressed nicely and many of them had nice cars and I remember thinking that most of them had probably never had to ask God for food or had to miss out on anything because of money and I felt so very alone.

My first home after marriage:

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We got married just before Christmas and rented a home about 600 square feet with a yard over a 1/4 acre of land. This is back when I still wore pants, I have not worn pants in years, this picture feels ancient to me.

My first child and parenting experience: Yikes! I love my first child with all my heart, but with a very rough labor and a very colicky baby I wondered for 6 months if I could survive parenting. It got much better, and there are rough patches, but it has been amazing.

My first I love you: I am horrible with admitting my feelings to myself and especially to others. I remember just weeks after dating my husband just KNOWING that I loved him. The feeling did not come with words, but the suddenness of it terrified me. He told me he loved me after a long Saturday on campus together and a very romantic conversation over a picnic lunch accompanied by three yellow roses. It took me a month or more to say it back, even though I knew it was true, even then I wrote it down in a sweet card first.

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Mommy!!

When my daughter was about 15 months old, my husband was holding her while we attended a church meeting. Jeff was about to go up the platform for a quick word so, naturally, he was just going to take her with him, and moved up two pews to stand in the very front while he was being introduced. I was very pregnant, and Jeff was only going to speak for a second so he thought it was polite to just carry the baby himself.

This is not how Adelle felt about the situation! As she noticed I stayed behind and was two rows back, her eyes grew wide with fear. She looked terrified and confused, “why would her mommy stay behind? Why would daddy leave her mommy?” She reached her arms out while the pastor spoke and her voice shook the first time she cried, “mommy.” Subsequent cries were louder and with more force. “Mommy! Mooooommmmmmyyyyy!”

Had she been angry, or a spoiled one year old playing favorites, my response may have differed, but she looked scared and very, very worried, and so it broke my heart.

My one year old couldn’t handle a separation between her parents of only two rows at church. Oh, how heartbroken would she be if ever one of her parents would move out of the house!

I thought about all the children of all ages that I’ve ever known to go through a parent’s divorce. I never understood their pain, I never really considered the depth of it. But just then, my heart understood a tiny bit of their pain and it broke for them.

How confusing it must be for them, how unexpected and painful of a transition. Parents belong together; children never consider otherwise.

This is not to condemn those who have been or are going through a divorce, I didn’t think about parents while contemplating the effects on children. I understand that they happen, but my thoughts here are only on the children. And I do understand that sometimes that is what is best for the children, but what a heartbreak for them regardless.

I believe in the sanctity of marriage, and I believe it should be preserved if at all possible. Divorcing my husband has never crossed my mind, especially not after only three years of marriage, but at at moment when I saw a terrified little girl, I knew it was never an option for me.

As a mother, I never wanted to see that pain in her again and if I wanted to preserve the relationship between her mommy and daddy, the journey starts now. I have to have a marriage worth keeping right now. The seeds of separation start much earlier than the final decision, and suddenly my marriage was even more important to me than before.

KidVersations ~ My Daddy

I was holding Jeff’s hand and Adelle ripped it out, and I (joking) replied, “He’s my husband and you cannot have him!”

Adelle (giggling) touches his cheek and says, “He’s MY daddy and you can’t have him!” And proceeded to cuddle with him.

KidVersations ~ My Daddy

The children with whom I share my husband’s love :)

I might be THE woman of the house, but far from the ONLY woman ;)

Family Update March 2013

My family is changing fast! In the last 6-8 weeks my 20 month old son has started TALKING!! My daughter has celebrated her third birthday, we have enjoyed Disney World and been in 13 states! Here is a quick picture update of our adventures.

This is a dress I made Adelle that has already been ruined :(

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How we practice our table manners:

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JJ’s Easter suit fitting, it is difficult to fit a wiggly one year old!

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We got a van and this is Adelle’s first ride in it! She approves!

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Someone turned three!!

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What my husband and I do for now

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I took her to get her nails done for the first time, she felt SO special! And it only cost $3 :)

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Adelle’s favorite food! Asian anything!

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The place where three states meet. Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma

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Route 66 rest stop

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The cart on our way up the St. Louis Arch

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Jjs first ever “bicey Lollie pop”

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Snow adventures

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