Tag Archives: babies

When your littles share a bedroom…

There are so many upsides to having the boys share a room. They play with all the same toys anyway. It feels like they are practically in the same size clothes. “Kid stuff” is mostly contained in one room of the house, rather than stashed in every nook and cranny. I believe it helps promote learning to share and respect and play and work together. Bonding. Yup, lots of reasons.

But there are also a couple of downsides.

Today at lunch Judah was yawning and ready for bed. Soon after he finished I changed him, read the boys stories, and put them in bed.

Several minutes later I heard giggling and slapping. I peeked in the door to see Judah on his knees, rocking side to side, slapping his thighs, grinning and “singing” loudly. (My kiwi friends will be pleased to know that I’m almost positive he was doing the “haka”.)

He was happy as a clam and hyper as a… a… I don’t know. A kid who ate fruit loops for lunch? (He didn’t, by the way.)

Of course Levi finds this hilarious so he is in his bed copying and laughing, until I open the door when he dives for cover and pretends to be sleeping.

Most days I’d work really hard to get the boys both sleeping at the same time (they really do need it, and so do I) but every once-and-a-while I just don’t bother. I figure – they’re happy and they will have days where they wind each other up too much. As long as they stay in there and give me some space, I can deal with a few shrieks of laughter and harmless “naughtiness” during nap time. They’ll go to bed early tonight and I’ll cross my fingers that there won’t be too many melt-downs in between.

And I must admit, it’s kind of fun to snoop through a cracked door and watch the boys bonding and having so much fun… even if it is during nap time.

 

Q for you: Did you share a room growing up? If so, do you have fond memories of it? If you have kids, do they share?

 

Love,
A

 

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Groaning in the cold, dark

I lay in bed and the world around me is silent except for the sounds of life, resting.

A few feet away I hear tiny baby breaths and sighs. Next to me I hear heavy and rythmic husband breaths and sighs. And through the open internal door to the next room I hear toddler breaths and sighs.

We share rooms and a heater between the four of us.

Everyone sleeps but me.

Moments later baby stirs. I lay still, barely breathing, hoping he will not wake.

He rolls over. Back asleep.

I sigh with relief just as he stirs again, this time waking with an abrupt cry.

It sounds angry.

After eight months I wonder when he will ever sleep through the night. Except for a few nights he regularly wakes up all throughout the night. Sometimes every two hours, leaving me with four or five or sometimes six hours of sleep, usually broken into several chunks.

I groan and move, not wanting to face the cold night air.

No one said parenting would be easy.

I pull him into bed with me and nurse, nurse, nurse. Wondering how long I can continue on interrupted sleep (and insomnia in between).

I remember that mothers all over the world and all throughout time have done as I’m doing.

Strength.

The days are long but the years are short so I don’t want to waste this time being anxious about the dark hours.

And yet I’m so tired. So, so tired.

I remind myself that this time last year I was about to find out that his life might not be what we thought or expected. And now him being here with us, just like he is – healthy, perfect – is a miracle. Surely I can find the grace for one more night.

And perhaps tomorrow night too.

But my goodness, I’m so tired.

STOP.

 

Q for you: How do you cope with less-than-ideal seasons of sleep?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


Would you pay someone to potty train your kid?

A friend of mine posted on her facebook about services she heard of where they will potty train your kid for you. The cost ranges from $400 for a week to $700 an hour. (What??!)

I think this is tragic.

Potty training is such a personal process and achievement for our littles.

They trust us to help them learn. They need our encouragement. They look to us for affirmation. They deserve our respect.

As parents it’s our role to guide them through this personal transition.

I don’t have a problem with other close adults helping (grandma, etc.), but to hire a service to come in and do it for us like we’d hire out our lawn maintenance or housecleaning? (I’d totally pay for a cleaner if I could afford it!)

But contracting out potty training?

Wrong. I just think it’s seriously wrong.

I understand that many parents are daunted by the task (I was one of them), but that doesn’t justify delegating it out to a stranger.

Imagine how the child must feel to have a stranger come in and direct this personal of rite of passage. (So disrespectful.)

We hire trainers for our dogs perhaps, but not for our small children.

Potty training, manners, character, life skills – all of this should be taught first, and foremost in the home by the parents. (And reinforced elsewhere like church, day care, school, therapy, or whatever.)

Let’s not abdicate our role as parents, even when it’s inconvenient or hard.

Geeze.

 

STOP.

 

Q for you: Come on parents, tell me you’re with me on this one. Would you ever hire someone to potty train your kids if money weren’t an issue?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


*Poof* Out of nowhere

The kids are both in a phase right now where they’re literally amazing us every single day.

It’s like they wake up and think… what new thing can I get up to today?

Levi spouts out new words as if he’s always said them.

“Oh, it’s windy!” he said the other day when we got out of the car.

All I could do is look at him and say, “yes, yes it is windy.”

We didn’t teach him that word – at least not in the repeat-after-me-I’ll-name-it-for-you kind of teaching.

He just learned it by picking it up.

A small example, but every day now he says many, many things along these same lines.

Seeing that little brain just explode with information and vocabulary is seriously awesome to me.

Not to mention potty training. By two hours into it he was already telling us when he had to go. And after the first two days he was waking dry from naps. And this morning (day five) he woke dry from overnight.

Hello, we aren’t even training him for overnight yet. We’ve kept him in diapers at night! Obviously he’s training himself. Smart cookie.

And Judah’s the same.

All of a sudden today he just stood up on his own and stayed there for seconds before falling. He didn’t pull himself up on anything, didn’t have assistance, he just stood.

At eight months old (yesterday) he’s seriously freaking me out the way he’s determined to move along. No doubt he’ll be an early walker.

And I guess that’s the thing with milestones. There’s all this developmental work in the background that’s going on that you can’t see… and then one day *poof* – it’s as if their skill emerges out of nowhere.

I wonder how much of that we lose as adults, obsessed with finding the quickest solutions and shortest routes to success. We want to skip straight to the results and rarely give time to work hard and build behind the scenes where no one can see us or where there’s nothing to show for our hard work and investment.

Or maybe that’s just me?

In any case, I’m completely astounded with my ambitious little boys at the moment.

They are so entertaining. And so fun to watch and learn from.

STOP.

 

Q for you: When’s the last time you witnessed a skill emerging from what seemed like thin air? (In an adult or a child.)

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


Gush gush

It’s far too late to be writing anything coherent tonight, but I’ve just now finished a few hours worth of editing my last two months of photos. (Otherwise known as deleting about five thousand similar shots of blurred little people.)

Oh, it feels good to finally be caught up on that little area of my life. (Prepare for an onslaught of Booker boys on facebook over the next week.)

I actually don’t intend to write tonight except to say this:

Lately my heart is bursting for my little boys.

Obviously I always love them (and would probably always say something similar), but at the moment they are just killing me with the cute. And the new skills. And the personality.

Everything.

Gush, gush, gush, I could write a massive old gush. (But I won’t. I’ll save that for their personal blogs that I write without succumbing the world to.)

And since it’s approaching the coach-turning-into-a-pumpkin hour, I will just finish by saying this:

My eyes are heavy but my heart is full.

Thankful, I am.

STOP. (early)

 

Q for you: Are you an out-loud gusher? Or do you prefer to just reflect internally on your emotions?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


The one about falling asleep fully clothed

It was a fall-asleep-in-your-clothes sort of day.

One moment I was feeding Judah before putting him down for the night, the next moment I was waking up fully clothed (with my contacts still in – yuck) sometime in the middle of the night.

For every good intention I had of squeezing in some work after the kids went down, my body had another idea.

Seems lately I can barely keep my eyes open.

Lists sit untouched. Laundry sits unfolded. Emails sit waiting for replies. Blogs sit ignored. Projects sit half-done.

I’m behind on every single thing I’m working on, full of new ideas I’m unable to implement, lagging on some of my day-to-day responsibilities, and wondering how to live this season well.

I still have so much to learn.

I probably need to get into the habit of taking an afternoon nap again, like I did for the first few months after Judah was born.

(For the record, Judah is not a fan of sleep. And that? That pretty much just makes me tired. All the time.)

I will say this: for all the things I’m failing at, one thing I’m doing right – I’m playing with my boys and helping them to grow and learn.

(Levi knows his left and right. Seriously? Can I just brag about that a tiny bit? I think it’s amazing considering I still sometimes have to stop and think about which one is which. So yes, my children are genius. *snicker* At least I can be proud of them. *grin*)

I’m multi-tasking less. Trying to listen more. Focusing on enjoying life more.

I know I’ll never regret that.

But still? Dang, I’m tired.

And dang, I’m half-drowning in the not-yet-done.

STOP.

 

Q for you: I didn’t write last night because I fell asleep at 7:30pm fully clothed. When’s the last time you were that tired?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited

 


Breastfeeding: God-ordained “coffee breaks”

I always joke that since moms don’t get “time off” or to clock out or take coffee breaks, time spent breastfeeding is God’s way of giving us an excuse to slow down.

My problem is that I tend not to slow down; I only sit down.

If it’s during the day I’m feeding Judah while playing with Levi with my free hand.

If Levi is entertaining himself then I’m on my phone, reading emails, making lists, or scrolling through facebook or twitter.

Always multi-tasking.

We moms like to brag about how good we are at this. (Or complain when we aren’t doing so well at it.)

But lately I’ve been craving more margin, more room to breathe.

I’m tired of multi-tasking.

Yes, I know I will never completely escape the vortext of the multi-tasking compulsions that I have as a woman and mom. (And that’s probably a good thing – we really do need them.) But I am looking for little ways I can cut back and be in teh moment.

One of those ways is taking my God-ordained “coffee breaks”.

Instead of grabbing my phone or a piece of paper to write the grocery list while I breastfeed Judah, I’m leaving my hands free to hold my baby. I’m leaving my eyes free to watch him or even close them for a few moments. I’m leaving my mind free to think and pray and wander.

Even though I’m not succeeding at doing this every time I feed Judah, I’m doing it more and more.

Such a small thing. But a big thing in that it really is helping me to pause, breathe, and be.

 

Q for you: What’s one simple way that you build margin into your life?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


The making of a backstory

I learn so much from my kids.

Both of the boys are at ages where they’re rapidly changing at the moment – Judah in all his babyness (one milestone after another) and Levi in the midst of his toddler vocabulary explosion.

Although he’s been sitting up for a good six weeks now, just today Judah got himself up into the seated position (from laying down) all on his own. It was fun to watch, and looked completely effortless and natural.

And every day Levi says new things as if he’s been saying them all along. (Love the seemingly easy flow of words that pour out in every day conversation.)

So I’ve been thinking about these developments that seem to apprear out of nowhere.

Of course we know that there’s been lots going on behind the scenes to get them to the point of being able to sit up or articulate or whatever other development it is, but it’s easy to forget the backstory and just get swept away in the it-happened-just-like-that front end of the story.

It’s caused me to think about my own growth as an adult.

How many tiems to I get frustrated with myself when the results don’t come immediately? When the improvement isn’t overnight? When it seems like nothing visible is happening?

And yet, there’s always a back story.

There’s always a strengthening, a preparation, a foundation-laying that needs to happen first.

Pouring concrete into giant holes isn’t sexy, skyscrapers with shiny windows are.

And as cliche and over-used as the analogy is, the tallest buildings have the deepest, most grueling-to-lay foundations.

There’s a whole lot of backstory to be developed before the world sees those 78 flashy stories.

And so it goes with our lives.

STOP.

Q for you: Do you ever feel frustrated when you’re in the foundation-laying stages and just want to get on with the building of skyscrapers? Or are you grateful to be living the “backstory”?

Love,
A

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


Little baby

He pulls my face and grabs it close. With slobbery lips he leans in, open-mouthed, face-planting.

Pulling back he squeals, pleased with himself, sure of my approval.

Tiny fingers grip my hair, the easiest thing to grasp.

I wince, knowing why so many women cut their hair once the babies come.

His eyes still blue, they sparkle and smile.

Once toothless grin is replaced by little bunny teeth, a sign of growth, of newborn no more.

Happy flailing of arms and kicking of feet tell me that life is good.

Captured by my every move, he thinks I’m the most beautiful person he’s ever known. Also the funniest.

And I love that.

Little baby, so sweet, so small. So strong.

How will you ever be a curious 8-year-old?

How will you ever be a gawky 13-year-old?

How will you ever be an adventurous 17-year-old?

How will you ever be an ambitious 29-year-old?

Little baby, I like you just the way you are.

You’re more mine now than you ever will be. I like it that way.

I’m in no hurry to change things.

STOP.

 

Q for you: Do you have children? How do you see their current age?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited.


Homesick, and the ache of More

It happens to me every. single. time.

A visit to my childhood home approaches and I grow homesick.

Home. Sick.

The closer the trip becomes, the more my heart aches.

It’s been twelve years since I lived in America.

You’d think that the longer I am away, the easier it would become.

But hardships and revelations and babies and friendships make that impossible.

Instead, the ache grows.

I know what it’s like to be a foreigner. To live as an alien in a land not my own.

I know what it means to put roots down and be home, and yet not really home.

As much as the ache aches, it’s also my gift.

Reminding me that I’m not Home. Reminding me that there is More.

My home is in Him.

Homesick for heaven… Homesick for a place I don’t know, and yet know so well.

Sometimes I think it’s the lack of belonging, that hard-to-pinpoint knowing of yes, here I fit.

But I will never really fit.

I realize it’s more than a circumstance, a feeling, an address, a season.

It’s heaven. It’s Him.

I’m homesick for Him.

My home is in Him.

STOP.

 

Q for you: Are you homesick? A foreigner living in a “strange” land? Is this you, too? What do you do with the ache?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited