Tuesday, December 1, 2009

sleep, the treadmill and wild things

Here is what's going on in my brain lately (mixed in with some pics of our nutty life)


November was a difficult month for our family. Watts got a bad cold and stopped sleeping well at night. At first i was able to manage getting up 2-3 times a night, but after 3 weeks of severe sleep deprivation it started to show. In addition Bruce was working a lot. He worked until midnight, or even 3:30 am some nights.

During this time I was a wreck...i couldn't hold a conversation with people. I was constantly frustrated with the boys. I don't think i smiled much during that time. I was feeling overwhelmed and hectic. I wanted to drop all commitments and just stay home for the next few years. Bruce and close friends told me that maybe i just needed to get more sleep. Which i think was mostly true...i still felt like i was going, going, going and for no reason (more on this in a second).

The week after Thanksgiving I decided to do a little crying it out with watts. I got 7 hours straight of sleep one night and i woke up feeling like an entirely new woman. I texted friends to apologize for anything i might have done or said in the last few weeks. My brain was suddenly inspired. Sadly it didn't totally "stick" and he is still waking up at least once at night, but i am now very aware of the importance of sleep. =)

bathtime kisses
After being in Indiana with my parents and seeing old friends i was struck by how nice it was to not be busy all the time. The pace of life was so much more relaxed than our days here in Dallas. I talked with one friend who made choices for her family so they could spend more time together. I was inpired by her example.

This past Sunday our pastor (neil tomba, northwest bible church) spoke about "The Treadmill". The point of his sermon was that we make a job out of everything. We complicate the holidays, doing more and more. The reasons we do this, he suggested, was our competitiveness and envy. For me i think it is also my desire to make everyone happy. I say "yes" to too many activities. He also said that by staying on the treadmill we rob ourselves of rest and relationship.

Hearing this sermon helped me solidify my thoughts and recognize what changes i needed to make (realistic ones, not drastic, sleep-deprived decisions). I decided that before i say 'yes' to something or before i spend my time doing something i need to ask myself "Is this necessary?" "Does this help or hurt my family relationships?". We are an outgoing, extroverted bunch, so staying home all day, every day would make us all crazy. BUT i do think i need to choose to stay home more and do less.

by staying home things like this happen...a little people parade

During Thanksgiving I became frustrated with our boys and our parenting of them. I felt that every couple minutes one of my family members was telling me about something one of my boys had done. The boys seemed like out-of-control crazy men and it was exhausting!

Bruce and I had recently sat down and decided that we were going to focus on 3 main rules for our family: 1) respect authority (obey) 2) respect others (be kind to others) 3) take care of the things God gave us.
It helped me focus my attention on these three things. However, I feel like every day i am repeating these 3 rules a billion times. I discipline all day long and, again, it's exhausting.

I feel like when we are with others at a social gathering or at a friend's house to play that my boys completely forget how to behave, despite being told a thousand times...

Then i found a book on my bookshelf "Wild Things: the art of nurturing boys". Whew did i feel better after this. Boys are just WILD! They make crazy choices that make you scratch your head and say "what were you thinking?". This book has a chapter for each stage of development for boys. The stage my boys (2-4 yrs old) are in is the explorer stage. If you have boys check out this book and feel encouraged that you are not alone!!
my rudolph the red-nosed reindeer
my diaper head
Posted by Picasa
All in all i've recognized that sleep makes everything better. That i do myself and my family a favor by stepping off the "treadmill" of life. And lastly that it's good to provide rules/boundaries of behavior but ultimately boys need to be boys and i need to set realistic expectations to allow them to be the wild things God created them to be!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Price's turn

There was a lot of "discussion" about who was going to be Buzz Lightyear for Halloween and who would be Woody. Obviously the more "fun" costume is Buzz. Of course, poor price's opinion had to come 2nd to his big brothers (last year price was the robin to quade's batman).
BUT once halloween was over Price found the costumes and decided it was his turn to be Buzz.
So here is Price's turn as Buzz (note the attitude)

(quade was not thrilled when price asked him to put on the woody costume).
Posted by Picasa

Monday, November 16, 2009

Laugh out loud

one of my favorite milestones...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

10 yr college reunion

The last saturday we were in Indiana we drove up to Upland, IN for my 10 yr college reunion. We had to stop on the side of the road to get this picture to prove that this school really is in the middle of the cornfields (it is also always windy!)
We had a great time being together without the older boys revisiting old haunts and talking with college friends and professors.

This is the bell tower in the middle of campus where Bruce proposed to me on my 21st birthday! We feel so blessed with all God has done in our lives since that day.
Here i am with my favorite Bio professor and my great friend Jen Dake who i studied, laughed and lived life with while at Taylor. Going to a small school was so nice. This professor and his wife invited us over to their house every monday night to watch "Seventh heaven". He would make us special treats (homemade ice cream, popcorn...) and they just showed us wonderful hospitality. It was a home away from home. They even hosted a wedding shower for me.

That night after a dinner with people from our class Jen and I went over to Dr. Moore's to hang out, talk and eat breadsticks from TOPPIT pizza! yummy! The perfect end to a perfect day!
Posted by Picasa

Walk in the woods

I spent a lot of my childhood exploring in the 1/2 acre of woods behind our house. My parents moved to a new house when i was a senior in high school. That house has a wooded park nearby. The park also has a public water well that my dad gets his water from.
So one day while we were in indy we took the boys to the park to get water and to explore. It made bruce and i really want to have a home someday with some land for the boys to be boys!

skipping rocks...

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

it will make you wish you were a kid again

(okay this happened almost 2 months ago, but wanted to document the experience!)

While in indy we visited the Indianapolis Children's Museum. I used to come here as a kid and have vivid memories of time spent there. So i was excited to have the boys visit. I didn't realize how much they had added. The best thing they added was the amazing dinosaur exhibit, with real palentologists working that you could talk with and ask questions! We had a great day and made some of our own wonderful memories.

Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 26, 2009

chilly zoo

we checked out the indy zoo. it was great!
we went to a dolphin show, explored the safari, rode the train and wen to the petting zoo.

Posted by Picasa

good times with old friends

This trip to Indy i was a little more organized and contacted some of my old friends (who were also bridesmaids of mine) to get together.
It was so nice to catch up to meet their kiddos and just talk!
I had lunch one day with Jeni, a friend of mine who is the assistant director of special education at an indy school district. we talked about her work and her life in indy. it was great to be able to catch up after all these years and have so much in common in our career interests.

this is my friend michelle...i've known her since before she was born!
my parents are her godparents. we were babies together and now it's fun to have babies the same year.

This is my friend susan. We met in high school, where we laughed all the time!

Susan has 3 little ones as well. although hers are 8,6 &4.
It was so amazing to see a glimpse into my future. I was so impressed with how she is rearing her kiddos. They were so sweet, fun and respectful. Quade loved meeting the "older boys" and Price loved meeting Lily the "older girl". =) It was a great day!

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, October 22, 2009

first day in indy

quite an impressive way to start the day...fancy breakfast on a tablecloth in the formal dining room.
(quickly learned that a 2 yr old and 4 yr old probably do better in the kitchen)
Off to a local fall festival...

all in all a great first day

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

up, up and away

Yes we are a little crazy.
When i am out and about with my 3 boys i draw a lot of stares. When you fly with 3 young boys you draw even more attention. some people give you looks of pity, others are fearful that you may sit near them.
However, this flight to Indy the boys were great. those around us had to be satisfied with their flight experience.
(we won't talk about the flight home...celebrate the victories, forget the defeats).
We worked as a team. Bruce sat with Price, I sat with Quade and we passed Watts back and forth.
We had just enough toys, just enough snacks and just enough video entertainment...

These were the happy grandparents that greeted us...with dinosaur puppets and everything!
Posted by Picasa