Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Turning a Sleepy Corner

Once upon a time our sweet little Davis was a stellar sleeper. And just as things seem to go with us and our babies and their sleep. It started its downward plummet into endless nights of wakings, crying, and middle of the night parties that never seemed to end.

And I was all, "Please No, I'll give anything, do anything...No, No, No!"

And then I learned how to make the most perfectly amazing iced coffee. Because let's be honest, when all else fails and the sleeping goes to pot...at least there is coffee, and lots of it. Yeah?

(Follow this RECIPE to make the best cold brewed coffee. Wanna take it up one more notch, make THIS homemade vanilla syrup. Mmmmm-mmmm. I'm addicted)

However, despite the nightly disruptions his demeanor stayed just as sweet, just as easy going and just his incredibly loveable, squishy self.

And just like the good little boy that he is, he seems to have heard the pleading terror in my voice (Thanks to Bennett, I began envisioning the up every 45 minutes to eat for the rest of his life....) but leave it to Davis to recover hope during the night time hours. To allow my heart to rest it's worrisome ways.

I read (yes, third child and I still feel the need to pour over sleep help sites...you would think we would have it figured out by now....)  I read that with the 4 month regression it's important to start helping them fall asleep on their own. (not to be mistaken with cry it out)

So I began putting him down for his naps awake. Would you believe that he basically just rolled over and fell right to sleep? Seriously, just like that... and he earned back his dream baby status.

Either he is about as easy going as they come or is one big overachiever. 

Last night, he still woke up about 3 times but there were a few times he started scruffing around and wining a bit, then suddenly he was out like a light. I carefully peeked over at him, and he had his thumb dangling from his mouth.

Awe. I'm in love with that thumb.

And maybe those toes.... (he has the most photographed feet, I just can't get enough of them....and he just might think that "this little piggy went wee wee wee all the way home" is the funniest ever!)

I watched him put himself to sleep again with that thumb tonight. I just stood there gawking at the cuteness. Him, sucking that thumb like his life depended on it. So precious.

Perhaps I am talking too soon, as I usually do. However, I feel like the past couple nights we have made progress in the right direction. I hope so at least. Because let's face it, sleep makes everything better. Especially when dealing with two other toddlers day in and day out. And Bennett, who is still really loving his freedom that his big boys bed gives him....and cocoa....he got into it, AGAIN. He also found some scissors, snuck off with them and cut some lovely holes all the way up both pant legs. He's quick and sneaky.....not an ideal combo. I've actually LOST sleep worrying about him and his mischievous ways.

Sleep or no sleep. Cocoa in my mug or on Bennett's mug....one thing will always ring true. I love them. So so so much. And daily I'm reminded why God gave them to me.

I remember shortly before Davis was born having a freak out moment about all the neediness, all of the responsibility, all of the work it would take to throw a newborn into the mix. I doubted whether I could do it, that I would get too weary. That all the tedious newborn tasks would eat away at the existing dynamics that were already formed.

All I can say is, God knew. He knew how much we needed another baby. He knew that I needed him for this season in life. I needed his late night snuggles, his morning feedings, his giggles, his rolls, his slobbery kisses, and his patient little ways. I needed him to help calm me through some of the storms that comes with toddlers.

Because for some reason when my blood starts to boil for a whole host of reasons, one glance at him, and his smile softens whatever blow I may be encountering.

God gave us the most perfect baby to fit right into our family. To balance the crazy out. To bring a softness to the edges that needed a bit more refining.

And he's sleeping...well, better than he was at least. So for that reason a lone I'm going to toast and go make some cold brew for my wake up call. He may not be sleeping through the night like he was...but shoot, somebody needs to keep up with them rolls. :)

Thanks little buddy for being so good. For figuring out that thumb of yours, please keep using it. For now at least.

We will address it again, if you are still using it in 5 years.....

Monday, June 22, 2015

And the Angels Rejoice!

Today I get to type a blessed story that my fingers and heart have ached to type. Before I ever even met my boy's face to face I prayed for them. I prayed that they would make their own decision that would change their entire course in life. That God would prepare their hearts for truth and when the time was right they would grasp that truth and run with it. Oh how my heart begged for their eternity, that they would experience the sweet, not perfect, but the redeeming life that can only be found with Christ. It is absolutely the most important decision one can make, the one that changes the entirety of life's course and where one resides when swept from this earth.

It's the life altering decision that creates a whole heavenly host of rejoicing.

And today. My mama's heart get to rejoice alongside the angels. Today my heart gets to burst with joy and my happy tears will fall because two of my boys decided that they wanted to give their lives to Christ and ask Him to come into theirs. They made the decision. They prayed.

And then Bennett hopped off the bed said, "OK, let's go!" when asked "where to?" he said, "to heppin (heaven)." Apparently he thought he had just earned the golden ticket to go to heaven whenever he wanted too.

It was Cole's decision and then Bennett piped up and quickly decided that he wanted to do exactly what big brother was doing.  I know they are young, but I believe sometimes the youngest of hearts are the freshest, purest and the ones that are more ready than some of the oldest.

 I was four when I made the decision to follow Christ. I wasn't persuaded by my parents, but decided all on my own. And I remember it vividly. I remember knowing that I had made the most important decision, and I never turned back. Yes, there have been times of questioning, of searching, of making sure that I wasn't believing in vain. And I always, always came out being rooted even further in my faith, in my belief that Jesus was real, that He is the one and true way to everlasting life.

So yes, Cole is young....he may not fully understand everything yet. But that is the joy of living in Christ. Your journey never ends, the further you seek, the more you grasp, and the deeper you fall in love with Jesus. My prayer now is that he will never stop seeking and that he will live for Christ boldly.

And Bennett, well, I think God planted a seed that has been rooted in his heart. Judging from the deep disappointment of not being able to waltz into Heaven on command...he still has more understanding to gain. But he has an eagerness in his heart. And who am I or anyone else to decide whether his little heart was truly ready or not, in my eyes, God knows. And that is all the matters.

What a joyful day, as Kyle put it "Best Father's Day gift ever!"

It's the kind of gift that with an eternal impact, and one that I am forever grateful for. Praise Jesus for such big boy decisions, oh how I pray they hold onto that decision and allow it to navigate them through all of life's ups and downs.

Tonight we will celebrate, it won't be anything like the celebration going on in heaven right now, but we will try to do it justice. And if the boys have it their way it will most likely involve mac n cheese and ice cream. We go big or go home around here.

John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave His one and only son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life".

Friday, June 19, 2015


Oh how I love the days of summer. The days of no longer having to search for matching socks (or just grabbing any two and calling it good), the days of no layers, no coats.....boys running around in just shorts, or brothers old way-too-small-more-like-capri-sweatpants (if I'm lucky).

It's getting fresh air, endless picnics (thanks to Cole's latest obsession) and being able to say, "just go outside and run around". Or filling up the pool, turning on the sprinkler and letting them go at it.

Bennett takes the "go at it" to heart.

It's about packing up all the boys, heading to Hood River (praying they sleep in the car) and picking berries.

One little boy who didn't take to napping in the car too well, who plops himself down by himself to play in the dirt instead of pick berries.

It's paying for half of picked berries that are green and inedible. But paying anyways because you can't put a price on fun and new experiences.

It's spoiling them with ice cream from the famous Mike's, and then quickly remembering why we save it for rare occasions, as we had to drag two very unhappy boys back to the car.

Short naps + berry picking + sun + playing a the park + sugar overload isn't exactly a recipe for success. However, we will probably do it all over again, because the tantrums were short and probably a result of us trying to cram too much into one day.

Summer also means more sugar in the form of roasted marshmallows, graham crackers, and melty chocolate. Plus a daddy who is brave and attempts to "camp" with the oldest boys in the backyard. Take a wild guess who didn't last the whole night as he tried to make escape after escape.....

Mmmmm... s'mores. My favorite, theirs too.

It's spending sunny afternoons at Grandma and Grandpa's, playing on the slip n slide and having so much fun.

Squirt gun wars and plumbers crack.

And this little one, enjoying his first summer.

Always chilling and anticipating the next person who will smile at him.

And rocking the baby rolls with such ease.

Summer. It's the best. There are more play dates with friends, meeting new chickens, making mud pies, and playing endless games of soccer (in which I was informed that I am not very good at--thanks Cole).

And there are 3 adorable boys that I get to hang with all day long as we soak up every ounce of that glistening summer sun. I'm one lucky mama.

Monday, June 15, 2015

My spitfire

How can one little boy,

Be so full of mischievous.

So accident prone.

So messy. So charming. So independent. So shy. So silly and so serious and so in need of his mama all in one.

He is his own little being. One that makes me laugh, makes me cry, makes me want to run my head into a wall.

He is sneaky and smart and knows exactly where he should not be and what he should not be doing. And yet, he goes there and does it anyways. Usually with a smirk and a twinkle in his eye.

He has single handedly destroyed the most between all three boys put together. Last week he tore off the ink pad part from ALL of my ink pads and I found him "scrubbing" my walls, floor, couch, pillow, and coffee table with them. All in a matter of a few minutes. I'm still finding spots that I missed.

The other night I walked up stairs about 45 minutes after putting him in his crib for the night. He nonchalantly sauntered around the corner, looked at me and casually tossed a smile in my direction. You could feel him beaming as he knew that he had just turned the pages into new territory.


I may have secretly screamed in my head.

Because Bennett and freedom always seems to end in some destructive mess.

Freedom opens up a whole can of worms involving a little scrapper, who thinks he is always right, who will stop at nothing to prove to you his mission...regardless of how cohesive his mission may really be.

Lately his mission has been to see how long he can prolong going to sleep. (oh yes, we are going back to that place again....why.....oh,why must this little boy be bound and determined to never ever sleep?!?)

Since he figured out how to scale his crib (even with the mattress completely dropped to the ground and him barely on the charts for height) we brought in the big guns--his own big boy bed. We thought it would be cool, we thought it would help, we thought it would give him a fun new place to lay his tired noggin. Only he refuses to sleep on it. He would rather sleep on an old blanket right next to his bed, or when we ask him to sleep on his blanket, he refuses and will tell us he wants to sleep on the floor...straight up.

I use the word "sleep" loosely. Usually it means we are telling him to get back in his room, we are marching him and all his big boyness back to his bed...blanket....floor, whatever. 

We have found him in his "Tole's" room. In his playroom tinkering. In our bathroom, where he pulled down my makeup bag....put on some lovely eyeliner....and emptied some sparkly mineral eyeshadow all over our carpet. he rumages and rips pages out of books.

While staying at Kyle's parents house (during our lovey busted water line escapade), we found him in the garage, in the laundry room, up the stairs, in our room, up on chairs taking things down from shelves and basically doing everything but this.

But he will cave....eventually.....usually after pulling ever last toy out of his basket. After losing toys, getting timeouts, spanks, deleting his favorite shows (he actually corrected me, when I told him one time that I would be deleting an umi zumi...and he said, "No, no mom my favorite 'toe' is 'mittey mouse'")

Buh-bye "Mittey Mouse".

And then he crashes amongst a sea of toys. And I sneak in to cover him up and stare at his fair little features.

And I smile.

Because even though he tests every fiber of my being, he draws me into his world. And I always, always love what I see and find. His charming little smile, his constant need of being close to me. The way he shrinks into himself when someone he doesn't know looks at him. For such a spunky spitfire, he is shamefully shy. For such a sassafras he is completely and utterly my most affectionate one.

I love that about him. His polar opposite personalities.

And even though we are going on weeks of these escapades of dancing around his bed time. (for all you moms who say it only took your child a few days.....pretty sure Bennett will make it last that and raise it a few weeks....months even--years?....very possibly). I'm pretty positive when he makes up his mind that he will actually go to bed when we tell him too, he will. And he will probably do it very well.

Here's to you growing up Mr B. Here's to making it through your new found freedom (God help me--please?!?) Here's to seeing how strong these walls can hold up against your desctructo derby ways. Without you, my world would not be painted so brightly (literally), it would be a bit boring and mundane. But you, YOU add an amazing dimension that was needed.

So thank you. And Folex would like to thank you personally for our business and our undoubtedlty never ending supply that WILL be needed until the day you decide paint actually does in fact belong on paper. So maybe the day you graduate from high school? Move on to college?

Bennett, we love you and the spice you bring to our lives. :)