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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Not a normal post, during not a normal week.

Oh man, what a week!  We joined up with two other families and had a much needed, and very successful yard sale.  We all got rid of a lot of things; some very random, some very nice.  It was stressful leading up to it and at times even more stressful during.  It wouldn’t have been so bad if I didn’t have to keep Molli happy, fed and safe. (Maybe in the opposite order).  She was really a trooper though!  A three year old, two one year olds and a 9 month old were part of this yard sale experience, and I think it’s more than safe to say that there are three mommas who are extremely tired and excited to get back into a normal routine. 

With no intention of putting down any of our friends here, I have to say, I think it’s time that Myles and I expanded our circle of friends.  I hoped for a babysitter for the weekend, but we have no family around and I couldn’t think of anyone to call, so I made a facebook shout out.  While eight people responded with “I would if I lived closer,” zero people in Lincoln were able/wanted to.  No wonder Myles and I have only been on one date since Molli has been born!  There are some wonderful couples we know through our small group, but really don’t know many other people here.  After three and a half years, you think we’d be more settled into the community.  I’m sure a lot of this is due to us being involved in primary root-planting scenes out of town, and probably the fact of knowing that we wont be here forever. We’ve both spent a good amount of time working in other towns and Myles has been preaching at a church an hour away.  We don’t have the relationships we so desire here. How else do people meet people? 

We’d love to have a couple older than us as mentors to pour into our lives and share in our trials and joys, and likewise a younger couple to love and pour into.  I think this affects me a lot.  I so heavily value discipleship and crave relationships of that nature.  Sharing wisdom, experience, advice and love.  Modeling after a respected person/couple is the simplest and most powerful way to deepen myself, and my relationships.  I’ve been hoping and praying for such people to come into our (Myles and my) lives for a long time now.  (I have to mention that there is a college student whom I have had the honor of knowing and beginning a mentoring relationship with.  I love our talks and hope for more time soon!)

This has not been about Molli, for the most part, but I think my thoughts tonight are spurred by knowing the importance of relationships.  How her dad and I interact with people, directly affects Molli.  We want to model a solid relationship that is guided primarily by God and I truly believe in learning from a couple who has been where we are.  We want to be good parents and  glean wisdom from other, seasoned, parents.

I will do a Molli update soon, but for now, you get to read what’s on my heart. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Greats are in town!

What a wonderful day it has been! I was all kinds of productive this morning and Molli was actually cooperative for me while I got my stuff done.  That's probably a first, seriously. She was amazing!  We ran our errands, paid a bill, made an important phone call, went to the post office and had lunch with my main squeeze.  All in all, a really good morning.

And the day only got better!

My grandma and grandpa came to town from Arkansas to love on Molli for a couple days.  Molli spent a little time eyeballing her GREAT grandparents for a while, then warmed up and played very nicely!  It was so sweet watching my daughter interact with my grandparents.  It made me wonder how my grandparents interacted with me when I was a baby girl.  I have fond memories of going to my grandparent's house as a kid.

I remember the pool in the back yard and the red swing.  There was a tree with a white painted trunk in the front yard that my brothers and I asked about every time we arrived. (It didn't make sense that a tree trunk would be white!)  I remember the sitting in a sesame street booster seat, a yellow stool and flowered trash can in the kitchen (which they still use).  I remember a trampoline near the living room, pushing on my grandma's hand veins, the sliding door to the bathroom and riding bikes up and down the street (and never, EVER being allowed to turn the corner of the street).  Vienna Sausages and Frosted Flakes.  Stuffed black cat in the car, tennis ball hanging in the garage, hot sidewalks, the dog that always reminded me of Barkley from Sesame Street. Day bed, giant pencils, ice cream truck. The time we forgot Zach's Lambie Lou...

These memories of grandparents place are from the days when we still lived in Arizona, early and pre 1992- when we moved to Alaska.  After that, visits were fewer and farther between...but still sweet.  I bet my parents never knew to appreciate living in such close proximity to them.   It makes me want so badly to live closer to my parents so Molli can have these kinds of memories of her Grammy and Papa's. As of now, we really don't know where we'll end up, but we are certainly praying and seeking direction for the next steps for our family.  I just really hope that wherever we end up is perfect for everyone (is that possible?).

Anyhow, my grandparents are in town and I'm feeling nostalgic remembering sweet the details of times past. It warms my heart that they have been willing to come all the way here to play with my little girl.  What a special experience.

*I would share some pictures of this special visit, however, the pictures are on my phone, which is in Molli's room. Molli is sleeping and the phone is acting as sound machine in efforts to enhance sleep. Stay tuned*

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Cherish each moment, live in the present and appreciate your sweet child for who he/she is on this day.

A post without pictures is a poor post, indeed.  But that is what I have tonight.  Just words, no pictures.

It seems that each day, I reminisce a little bit about times past.  Sometimes about times long since past, and some more recent.  Today I was remembering Molli's birthday and how phenomenal it was.  It was by far the most powerfully emotional experience of my life!  I have several friends who have just recently had babies, and one who will very soon.  Each glance at a face of a newborn baby brings me right back to when Molli was so teeny tiny.  I so wish I could get her back like that, just for a little while.  I want to see her dreamy smiles and silly "O" face again.  I want her to lay on me just because that's all she knows to do.  I want to feel her little baby squirms in a swaddled bundle again.  I miss the days where she would stay put.

But not as much as I love what's happening these days.

These days I have a baby girl who is a mover!  She is stubborn as all get out and she has a personality all of her own.  She has an opinion already and she makes it known.  She is never still on purpose and her face has a million different expressions every minute.  She goes, goes, goes and when she stops to catch her breath, I grab hold of her really tight and snuggle the heck out of her.  She makes me laugh everyday.  These days are so fun!  My girl has six teeth, lots of hair and a sense of humor.  My girl likes attention and knows how to get it.  My girl makes me crazy sometimes, but more often she really melts my heart.

Sometimes I just have to pause and stare at her in amazement.  No one else will ever look at me quite the way she does.  When she is dancing and full of smiles, she looks at me as though she is dancing just to please me.  She claps her hands and looks up at me for approval.  She is my little buddy and I am honored.

I'm also terrified.

There is a lot of scary stuff in the world and somehow I'm supposed to be the one who guides her into and through it all?  I'm not sure I'm ready to think about her being exposed to all the bad things out there.  People can be mean, and I'm sure she will experience that one day.  Can't I keep her in my arms all the time? Our world is cruel and guides girls to feel badly about themselves.  How do I instill in her a Godly sense of beauty and ensure that she will never slight herself?  Someday, someone will make her cry.  Someday she will feel hurt.  Someday she will feel embarrassed.  My heart breaks to think about these things.

I know that I won't always be able to rescue her from the negativities of this world, but I know for sure that right now, she is my baby.  I love her in each stage of her life and will strive to live a life of gratitude and be an example for her.  Knowing that once time is gone, it's gone.  I will cherish each moment, live in the present and appreciate my sweet child for who she is on this day.  I hope anyone reading this will do the same.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

To sleep or not to sleep... WHY is this even a question?!

This particular post is one that I think about writing on a daily basis.  The long awaited sleep update...

I distinctly remember thinking, when Molli was about two weeks old, a thought that likely jinxed everything.  I am so lucky to have such an easy baby!
Are you kidding me?!
Fast forward six weeks to when little missy was eight weeks old.  I had another thought that jinxed another important are of my life.   I am so lucky to have such a fantastic sleeper!  This thought crossed my mind after Molli's first full night of sleep.  And by "full night" I mean about 6 or 7 hours without waking up to eat or needing me.  It was glorious!

Sleep was not an issue for us until Molli was about 5 months old.  At this time she was working hard on popping some teeth though her sweet, smooth gums and was growing more and more demanding about seeing me at night.  Back to getting up once or twice a night...I could handle that.  Once or twice a night quickly flowed into eight to ten times a night.  THAT, I could not handle.  My sanity was slipping through my fingers with each passing minute of desired sleep.

*side note*  I have reason to believe that males have an uncanny ability to sleep through anything, or fake it disturbingly well.

Anyway, I wasn't sleeping, Molli wasn't sleeping and we were both crabby on a regular basis.  I consulted friends, I consulted the internet, I consulted books.  We tried crying it out, a miserable failure for us this time around.  She will literally cry for 2,3,4, even 5 hours before even considering slowing down. (I have never met such a stubborn child!)  We tried putting her down very drowsy, to no avail. We tried putting her to bed asleep and trying to sneak out.  We tried co-sleeping.  We've tried everything that has been suggested and we've learned that *gasp* babies aren't all the same!

We are finally seeing light in this tunnel and we're really hoping it's the end of the tunnel, not just a crack in the wall.  The general idea: At first hint of sleepiness, I grab a pacifier, and snuggle her tight.  We rock or sit in a dim room until she is drowsy.  When I see her eyes roll around, I tell her it's time to go to sleep and she goes in her crib.  Typically if she is still awake at all, she cries and we start over.  Then I put my hands on her until she gives up and goes to sleep. However, more often than not, I have been waiting until she is truly sleeping before putting her down.  Then the tricky part is sneaking out without ruining everything.
Mother may I Turn around
Mother may I Step right

The blasted floors moan and groan as I quietly sneak head out of the room.  I may as well be an elephant tromping about.  I have a pathway mapped out in the nursery that allows me to exit in the precise footing of least disturbance.  Unfortunately, my daughter has taken after her mother and is an extremely light sleeper.

*side note #2* I will never, ever, ever live in a house with loud floors again.  Especially if a baby is involved.

More recently in our sleep saga, we have implemented a strange little trick.  This trick came in the mail from a good friend in Florida who has many a story to tell of her sweet little one and the trouble he had sleeping in his earlier days.  This trick is a brilliant one!  Fake weighted bean-bag arms!  (Recall with me the cozy lead vest at the dentist during X-rays).  I place the crazy arms on her body to trick her into thinking that I am still there, holding onto her shoulder and legs.  It's not totally foolproof, but it does seem to be helping.

She is sleeping in her crib most of the night, most of the time, these days.  I go to bed anxious every night, dreading the hour when I will hear the monitor by my bed calling out for "mahmah."  I love to sleep, and highly doubt I have gotten really good, solid, peaceful sleep even once since she's been born.  In the days when she was actually sleeping well through the night, that mommy part of me was still up, listening and waiting for her cries.

Things aren't perfect, but I don't think it would be motherhood if they were!  Everybody has their struggles and this is ours in this season.