just gaze a few minutes into my eldest child's eyes.
isaiah, in all of his three years on this planet, is one person that i learn something new from every day.
have you ever considered the world from a toddler's perspective? you should. a lot of things start to make sense in your own life.
in the haze of sleepless nights and poopy diapers, it's easy to forget what a blessing parenting is. (don't look at me like that. you KNOW it's true!) there are days when i just want to lock myself in the bedroom and let the kids fend for themselves. but as much as they are so independent in their own ways, they are also totally dependent on michael and i. it's a huge and awesome responsibility that God has given us.
#1 sleep is essential. napping is essential.
i used to take sleep for granted. that was before i had kids. now i sleep whenever possible. if that means not doing the dishes or laundry while the kids are napping, so be it. before i got pregnant with mystery baby, i used to use the kid's naptimes as times to get housework done, and now i nap when the kids nap. good thing i do, becuase i'm sure michael would rather come home from work to a messy house, than a crabby sleep deprived wife. you know how toddlers act when they don't get a nap? that's how a pregnant lady acts when she doesn't get a nap. it's not a very beautiful thing.
one thing i love to watch my kids do is sleep. once they fell asleep together. don't they look so sweet? (and sweaty? my kids radiate their body heat like little space heaters. they take after their dad...)
naptime is a different story. eleanor is a stomach sleeper (like her mom) and she loves to sleep with her butt in the air. she won't go to sleep without her boppy pillow (good thing i'm getting use out of it now, cause it did not help at all when i was nursing!) she also snores. (she gets that from her dad too.)
isaiah in true matthew style, can fall asleep anywhere anytime. i don't know what it is about the men in this family being able to do that! most of the time he loves to sleep with all of his stuffed animals piled on top of him. (he thinks dad needs to too, that's why he took all of his stuffies out of his room for dad to sleep with)
(see that big brown bear by mike's outstretched leg? that is one of his stuffed animals from when he was young. when we got married, his mom gave us a black garbage bag full of mike's old stuffed animals that she had saved for him. that bear is as big as isaiah. and he loves "big bear")
eleanor is all about baby dolls. she got these babies (babs and boo boo) for christmas this year, and refuses to take naps or go to sleep at bedtime without them. she loves to push them around in her shopping cart and tell boo boo that she is being naughty when she won't stop crying. she is such a little mommy. i can't wait to see how she'll act around mystery.
#2 eating should be a celebration. everytime. and sometimes you just have to use your hands.
i used to freak out when my kids got really messy while they were learing to eat with silverware. they would start out trying to use it, but the next thing you know, they were eating with their hands, and they were covered in whatever was on their plates. i was complaining about this to my momma trish one day, and in her wisdom, she told me, "well, they're gonna get messy, they've got to learn somehow!" suddenly a light bulb went off in my head and i no longer cared if i had to toss them in the bathtub after every meal. and the more i thought about it, i eat with my hands an awful lot. (not whole wheat pasta and vodka sauce, obviously) but lots of other stuff. i'm just neater about it than my three and two year olds.
if there is one thing eleanor does consistantly every day it's this: she eats with gusto. mealtime is a celebration to her. with all the sound effects and faces she makes while she's eating, it's evident that there is little she loves more than food. i mean look at her, you can tell she really enjoyed that brownie she ate. and she enjoys peas. she enjoys everything but green beans. my love of feeding people stems from my love of watching her eat. i want that kind of reaction from people who eat what i cook and bake.
i challenge you to look at your life through the eyes of your children. God has some revelations for you, i'm sure. also, count the times that feel like burdens as your biggest blessings. they are.
learning new things everyday,