10 April, 2015

Nightly Routine

Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, I have church meetings. Thursday evenings, Steven has a church meeting. Monday and Friday are hit or miss when it comes to Steven's work schedule, as he often has appointments with clients who can only meet when the official workday is over.

So on the occasional Monday/Friday when he is home at bedtime, and of course on the weekends, this is our routine:

Finish up dinner (on Mondays we have dinner early so that we can have FHE before bed) around 6:00.  We have family prayers, scripture study, and usually sing a hymn. That's one thing we rock at.

I clear the table and play with Will while Steven takes the two big kids upstairs to brush teeth, say personal prayers, get jammies on, go pee, etc.

Steven plays wildly with the kids for a few minutes, then tucks them in their bunk bed and tells them a story and sings a song. They come downstairs an average of  4.7 times per night. ;)

I start getting Will ready for bed (put on jammies, change diaper, give him a small snack) and bring him upstairs to nurse in his room. I usually forget to fill up the big water jug that attaches to his humidifier so part-way through our nursing session, Steven quietly comes in, brings it downstairs, then brings it back up.

While I'm putting Will down, Steven comes downstairs. He does the dinner dishes, sweeps the floor, and keeps taking the kids back upstairs.

When Will seems sleepy, I lay him down and sneak out of the room. I come downstairs and turn on the monitor. If he cries for very long, Steven or I go back up and put him down again.

We take turns bringing the kids back upstairs and tucking them in, and by now it's around 7:30.

It's magical.

I know it sounds monotonous and probably terrifying to you childless folk, to condemn yourself to an evening of putting grumpy babies back to bed, but. It is magical.

I fall more deeply in love with Steven every evening. It's a fact.

I think he falls more in love with me.

I fall more in love with our kids.

I brush Will's sweaty curls out of his eyes while he nurses and whimpers, and I fish around in the dark for KJ's "pappy" (yes, I know we need to wean her from it, dang it) that she's dropped and refuses to sleep until it's been found. I help Gage adjust his blankets to the exact length they all need to be, and then tuck his toy minion in with him for the hundredth time (because it's usually minions fault when he hasn't fallen asleep). I remind Gage to think HAPPY (not SCARY) thoughts, I sing a few quick songs and close the door quietly, and it's all magical. It's so magical.

09 April, 2015

Ocean City

We just got back from a  quick trip to Ocean City during Gage's spring break. 

It was actually pretty chilly and windy/rainy most of the time that we were there, but the truth is, we just wanted some time together in the salty air. And it was wonderful. 

We rode bikes on the boardwalk, went to the beach and played "chase the waves", built a small sandcastle, ate lots of ice cream, and played at the playground. So much fun. 

I had lots and lots of favorite moments from this trip, but the top of the charts is the drive home with Steven. We've always loved road trips together, but since having Will (who HATES the car) we haven't gone on as many as we used to. It was so precious to me to have that time for long uninterrupted conversation when the kids finally fell asleep watching Tangled in the back of the car. He's my best friend. 

Here are some photos: 

08 April, 2015

Being Kind (To Myself)

A few nights ago I couldn't sleep. My legs were so tired, they felt like lead. My brain was just slop. My entire body was shaking with exhaustion. I was fatigued! Up since five and the whole day had been go-go-go. And yet I couldn't sleep. I wanted to scream.

I tried counting my blessings (try counting your blessings instead of sheeeeeeep, and you will fall asleeeeeep counting your bleeeesssings). Did not work. I tried moving out to the couch and creating the world's comfiest bed of pillows. I tried a lot of things and couldn't sleep.

So I moved on to my next activity when I can't sleep and it's past the point of no return (three AM. after 3 all of the kids start waking up and needing me. I swear. so going back to bed is pointless). I started berating my body. Stupid body! Why won't you just sleep when you need sleep! You are so dumb and worthless! And then I moved on to other things. Bladder, you are garbage! Literally! Nerves and muscles that are out of whack, oh heavens, I HATE YOU!

Really violent stuff here. Really hateful and full of spite.

And then back to the original, "Oh body. Why won't you just sleep?!"

And then, like a blanket, I started feeling peaceful again. I started praying just kind of idly, talking and imagining and day (except it was three AM) dreaming. And then the Spirit said, "Brooke, be kind to yourself."

I understood something I'd never understood before.

When my body won't sleep, be kind to it. It's tired. It doesn't know why it won't sleep.

When my face is wrinkly and old looking, be kind to it. It's had to express all of my emotions for my whole life.

When my pelvic floor is causing horrible pain, be kind to it. It's trying to heal.

When my heart is aching, be kind to it. Especially my heart. Poor dear.

When my back, my legs, my neck, my trunk, my fingers, my ears, my brain, my head, my cheeks, my jaw (dang TMJ)… when any of it isn't doing what it should, be kind to it. It's doing its best.

And then I thought, wait a second.

My body is ME.

When I'm not where I should be, where I wish I could be, where I want to someday be…

I need to be kind to myself. I'm doing my best.

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