Monday, November 29

letters to Santa

About a week ago I helped the kids write letters to Santa. I think this is the first time we've done this before Christmas Eve. What's the point of writing a letter to Santa on Christmas Eve?? Probably just to say we did it, and Alexis and Tyler never questioned the logic or made the connection that mom is lazy and that's why it never got done sooner. The problem with writing it on Christmas Eve is that the gifts are already bought and Alexis changes her mind daily, so what she asks for on Christmas Eve is most definitely not what will be waiting for her under the tree the next morning. Last year in her note she wrote to Santa that she wanted a Barbie Jeep. She asks for one of those every year--Santa is a bit of a disappointment in that respect.

But this year I realized that if we write our letters early I can tell them that they can't change their minds because they already mailed their letters to Santa. Genius! Why didn't I think of this sooner?
Alexis wrote her letter herself. I kept trying to encourage her to include things about how she's been good this year instead of just asking for stuff, but I think only one little sentence along those lines made it in. There are plenty of exclamation points though!!!
I love Tyler's face when he's concentrating. I wrote his letter for him but he's working hard here to sign his name. Notice he's a lefty--though sometimes he'll write part of the "Y" and then switch hands to write the other part of it.
These letters perfectly capture their different personalities. Tyler is fairly simple and doesn't need a lot of stuff so he only has two things on his list. Alexis is absolutely FULL of ideas. Life with her is a constant snowball effect. She thinks of one thing which spurs 10 more ideas which each spur 10 more ideas and on it goes. Her letter definitely reflects that--I'm just glad she ran out of page.

This year the thing they both want the most is a Pillow Pet. Someone please please please explain to me why this is such a popular item? Jeremy and I originally decided not to get them Pillow Pets, but then we realized that it's the thing they would be most excited to see so we caved. (Which is the main reason I don't want them changing their minds and why we wrote the letters to Santa.) Also on the list: silly bandz and an Easy Bake Oven. All of which I can manage to do!

***Thanks for all the stories and encouragement on the last post. It helped! I intended for that post to be funnier than it seems to have come across as, but oh well. That's what I get for writing on no sleep. I'll probably jinx myself for saying this, but I think things are improving as far as sleep goes. If it really does continue to improve I'll write more about it later.***

Tuesday, November 23

tales of the sleepless

Well, it took nearly 6 months but Ryan finally broke me. Last night and early this morning I had my first real sleep deprived sob-fest of his life. Prior to this a tear has been shed here or there over my loss of sleep, but nothing like the snot dripping, body racking, cry as though I've lost everything dear to me kind of sobbing of last night. Please tell me I'm not the only one who does that when they've been pushed past the point of exhaustion.

The good news is that I'm definitely maturing as a mother. With Tyler I used to cry like that weekly! (Now you know why there is a gap of almost 4 years between the two boys.)

I wonder if Ryan remembers the time just a few short months ago when he would consistently sleep from 9 pm to 5 am. That was a glorious time! I've pondered and speculated on what could have caused the serious sleep regression that he has undergone, and these are my top four theories. Feel free to cast your vote for the one you think most likely.

1. His considerate nature is keeping him up at night. His good looks, mellow personality, charming smile, kissable cheeks, and fat fat thighs make him too near perfection. Therefore, so as not to shame the other babies of the world, he has elected to be a crappy nighttime sleeper. After all, he can't do anything about all that other stuff.

2. It's my fault. I got cocky a few months ago when I boldly declared to a room full of women the morning after he slept from 9 pm to 7 am, "My baby SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT!" And now I am being humbled.

3. I am such an awesome mother that he can't bear to go a long time without seeing me or hearing my voice. Perhaps I'm learning that being too awesome is a curse.

4. He's a baby. It's what babies do. I can't take credit or blame for this, just like a mother of a baby who sleeps through the night at 5 days old can't take credit for that. (Though some of them definitely try to!)

My lack of sleep is definitely a problem, but even more than that are the side effects that come from getting no sleep. Nothing gets done. Dinner never gets made. Dishes pile up. The carpet hasn't been vacuumed since who knows when. I just spilled rice krispies on the counter, they'll probably be there until next week. I lay on the ground all the day long letting my body be used as a trampoline or jungle gym. I'm not shedding the baby weight like I should/could. And my brain feels as though it's been shut off. My thought processes are sluggish and connections are missed. The synapses of my brain used to fire off at a rapidity rate similar to a machine gun in the midst of a battlefield. Now it feels more akin to a lone man in a firing range with a single shot rifle.

Last night, during the 20 minutes that I was asleep, I had a dream that I had a page full of subtraction problems that I needed to solve. It was hard stuff like,
But in my dream I could not figure out how to solve it. I knew I had to line up the decimal points, but I wasn't sure if I was supposed to start solving it from the right or the left. Even now I'm only 68% certain that I start at the right. But the other 42% just isn't sure.

This all may seem contradictory to the post before this one, but it's not. It's all part of the motherhood gig and I still wouldn't trade it. But someday, I would like to sleep again.

I'm not sharing this in hopes of receiving sympathy, advice, or even words of encouragement. I know all too well how quickly this stage passes and I remind myself of that nightly. What I need from you is company. Misery loves it, after all. Most of you reading this are mothers, so share with me your tales of sleep deprivation. Make me laugh--tell me something stupid you did when you were tired. If you can't do that, make me feel sorry for you--I'm tired of feeling sorry for myself. And if you can't do that then I suppose a word of encouragement wouldn't hurt. And if you can't do that, then I hope you've at least been able to find something amusing in my situation, as I have tried to do.

Thursday, November 18


Yesterday I was picturing my kids 6 years from now, when they'll be 12, 10, and 6. I'm sure it will be fun and I'm sure I'll appreciate not having to buckle everyone into a car seat all the time, and I'm sure I'll love that Alexis can babysit, but I don't want to be at that stage yet. Amazingly enough, I am happy where I'm at.

I love that Alexis is old enough to dabble in big kid things, like school, but young enough that she still wants me to lay with her at night and talk about her day. I love watching her spend her afternoon jump roping, and improving each day.

I love that Tyler is just learning about letters. I love the disjointed way he writes his name, and the proud smile he has whenever he shows it to me. I love that he's old enough to do most things himself, but still wants me around to watch him do them.

And I love that Ryan is still a squishy little baby. I love that he's discovering his voice and screams happily while playing with his toys. I love that when you hold him he looks around the room with his mouth wide open and his eyes darting here and there, trying to take it all in, and you can just see his brain working behind those eyes. And of course, I love his chubby chubby legs that I squeeze all day long. Everyday I look at him, and then I look at the older two, and I'm reminded how quickly they grow up. How quickly I'll forget just what they were like as a baby--the way they felt in my arms, they way they smelled, even the way they drooled all over me. And when I think of that I almost want to cry (no, I'm not sleeping much, why do you ask?) at the thought of him growing up. If I could pause time, I would do it right now.

The thing about this that I find most remarkable is that I still feel this way after a few of the worst weeks of sleep I've ever gotten. I'm up several (read: 5 or more) times a night with Ryan lately, and Tyler was sick last week and getting up a few times a night as well. But despite all that I still would not trade this for anything. Motherhood is not easy. You give and give and give of yourself until you've got nothing left to give. And even then your kids will keep taking. But what we sometimes forget is that they give back a hundred fold. If you aren't watching for it, you might miss it, but it's there. It's in their hugs and kisses. It's in their curious questions. It's hidden in their pants pockets, among rocks and candy wrappers. It's even in their smudgy finger prints on your wall. And it's definitely in the middle of the night wakings, when the first name they think to call out is "mom". I feel sorry for people who choose to not experience this because they don't want to give up their life luxuries. I pray for people who want this experience but have yet been given that blessing. And I hope that people who are experiencing this but don't recognize it as the blessing it is, will figure it out before they've missed their chance.

Now, I have a little man sitting on my lap that is giving back to me in the cute way he's chewing his Nerds and wondering if he liked milk and rice cereal when he was a baby. He can't understand why he did, but because he's only four he believes anything I tell him. So since I can't pause time I'll do my best to commit his perfect face to memory and not let these moments just pass me by.

Monday, November 8

I have a lot of problems...

And they all begin with this guy:

(this is his current favorite face to make...he sucks in his bottom lip...
makes him look like a cute goofball)

Problem A
I cannot stop kissing his cheeks. I physically cannot. Whenever I lay him down for a nap I must kiss them at least 5 times each before I leave the room, or I will die. I'm sure of it.

Problem B
I need to tickle these fat chunky thighs and watch the laughing ensue. It's a need at the base of Maslow's hierarchy of needs triangle. I'm sure of it.
Problem C
His smile melts my heart. It is a problem when your heart is a puddle on the ground.

Problem D
His snuggles are too perfect. At night, after he's eaten, I should lay him down. But he snuggles up on my shoulder and falls asleep. His head is just the perfect round shape for me to run my hand over and over and over. And then I imagine all the little babies in the world that don't have mommies to do that to their heads, or to snuggle them late in the night, and it makes me sad--so I snuggle him for another 10 minutes. Then I imagine all the mommies in the world who don't have a babies head to fit perfectly in their palm and it makes me sad, so I snuggle him for another 20 minutes. All this is making me very sleepy, but I can't stop. If I do, I will die. I'm sure of it.

Problem E
This is the worst problem of them all. He is 5 months old and it feels as though I had him yesterday. He's growing up too fast and there's nothing I can do about it. Just this weekend he started rolling from back to front (on purpose), and pretty soon he'll be moving all over the house. Then he'll be running. Then off to school. Then off to college and a mission. And I will die--I'm sure of it.

In conclusion, I am in major love with this little dude. I am left defenseless against his persuasive baby ways, and he gets whatever he wants. Fortunately he isn't too demanding (part of his charm??) so there is part of me left to share with everyone else.

p.s. I'm beginning to think he looks more like my side of the family than Jeremy's, unlike the other two. Any thoughts?

Wednesday, November 3

I'm no Dr. Seuss...

Two little pirates and their mother
went pillaging for candy with each other.

Upon many doors did they knock,
around the whole neighborhood did they walk,

Gathering candy from everyone
while having lots of fun!

Then the younger pirate tripped on a curb,
which made his mother quite disturbed.

He fell in a puddle and cut his lip
And was carried home on his mothers hip.

His lip swelled large,
But he was in charge

And insisted on going back out.
To get more candy, no doubt.

The littlest pirate stayed in and was just dandy.
{He prefers milk over candy.}

He watched football with his dad,
and smiled and talked, and never once was bad.

Finally to home did the big pirates scoot,
And dumped out their buckets to examine their loot.

They wanted to eat and eat and eat,
But their parents said, "just a few treats".

Because they didn't want to be up all night with the Comet
cleaning up little kiddie vomit.

Our Halloween really had blood and gore,
What about you? How was yours?