Thursday, September 15, 2011

Home Days

I really love the days when I don't have to be anywhere. Mornings can be as slow as Leilani will allow, I can clean and tidy to my heart's content (as much as Leilani will let me) and we can pause as often as we like for movies, books, visits to the porch, or snacking. Days like these need to happen more. I need to slow down and realize that it is the little things, like waffles, and board books and blocks, that really make up a happy day.

Lord, please teach me to be fully present, especially in these little home days. Let these moments not pass me by. Help me to savor, and not get caught up in the whirlwind of the everyday. Thank you for these home days.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Today Matters.

I was once again reminded that I am not recording enough of our "todays," mostly because I feel there is nothing special enough to record. Days frequently roll by, several at a time, without anything exciting or memorable in them. I find that I am not praying enough. I don't take enough pictures. I don't pay attention enough. I waste too much time. I let my moments slip by and I am not fully present. Yet these are the days that I will look back on for the rest of my life. Lately, I feel like I just maintain and tumble along, with no rhyme or reason.

I want my days to have a reason. I need to wake up every morning and remember that I have a goal. My goal is to do Everything to the glory of God my Father. I need to live with purpose and intention. I need to be present, not distracted and unfocused. Every diaper I change, every dish I wash, every story I tell and smoothie I make, all of them matter. IF I am doing them to the glory of God. If I am not, those diaper changes are annoying battles with a squirming toddler. Those dishes become never ending piles of things I just have to deal with. I won't have time for stories because the laundry needs to be folded so that I can make the bed and get dinner started. That smoothie becomes a frustrating last resort in a long afternoon of picky eating. Everything starts to smoosh together in one long stream of mundane, seemingly similar days.

Unless, everything I put my hand to is done as a service unto the Lord. It is not just a "regular old day." It is one more day that I have to serve my heavenly Father, one more day that I have been given with my family. One more day to make a difference.

Today Matters. And I spent much of my afternoon impatiently fighting with my toddler.

Father, please forgive me for my lack of presence. Forgive me for just completing tasks, instead of serving You. Please fill my heart with gratitude and my heart and mind with purpose please give me the strength and discipline that I need to be the woman, mother and wife that you have called me to be.

Friday, September 9, 2011

My Goodness. Sleep training, Still?

Nighttime parenting has gotta be one of the hardest things ever. Remember when I used to be a crazy lady who never slept, with an infant who cried through naptime and sought to make my life a living torment of exhaustion and near misery? Well, those days are behind us. Mostly.

Now, Leilani usually sleeps through the night. After we get her to sleep that is. She has this ability to drag out bedtime for what feels like hours. Our goal is to have Dada put her to bed and for him to go in on the semi rare occasion that she needs someone in the middle of the night. Lately, however, it has returned to that crying and screaming for Mama, for at least part of the time. Granted, we have come a HUGE way, and I really can't complain because in so many ways, Leilani is an easy baby toddler. But take these past few hours. It took over an hour to get her to sleep last night. She at last went down with Dada, so that was a win. But then she woke up at 4:30. Like she did on Tuesday. I think she must have a timer that she operates on because she seems to have a pretty consistent 2-3 hour stretch that she likes to wake up for. We had a month or so where she woke up, and went back to sleep on her own and it was bliss, let me tell you. But now, she knows that we will come in if she cries hard enough, and that we will stay with her till she is so unconscious, she doesn't know that we are putting her in bed.

So we return to the age old dilemma of, "Ok, so should she cry about it? How long should she cry for? Do we go in initially or just let her cry herself back to sleep? How long should we hold her for when we do go in?" And all those lovely questions that groggy minds have pondered for years.

Thankfully, these nights do not usually cause near panic attacks/ tears in Mama anymore. I can go to sleep in under 30 minutes once we get her down, instead of sitting there for a tense, anxious 3 hours begging sleep to come. I can sit with her far more patiently and give her much more grace than I could in my green months of early nighttime parenting.

But where does love stop picking up at every whimper for as long as she feels like waking up and start teaching her that night time is for sleeping? One day, I know I will miss having a baby/ toddler to visit with in the middle of the night, and I am so thankful that I have her now. But gosh, sleep training? Still?