This year has been one of probably the least amount of sleep I have ever encountered for many reasons...some of which I will divulge in this letter. Our lives have been full of activities, events and family time, and most end in the desperate need for a good nights sleep. I thought it would be great to let you all know what events have caused us to sleep more...or less this past year. We'll start from the youngest to the oldest...
David, our foster child, (almost 2) has been with us for a little over a year. He has enough energy to almost put a parent into a coma at the end of the day. David sleeps like a log for most of the night and enjoys waking up with the rooster crow before the sun has even fully come up. He loves to attempt to ride anything with wheels, skateboards, tricycles, bicycles, scooters and even barbie corvettes. From the very beginning of David coming into our home, it was evident that he had a tremendous ability to take apart anything that is technology or electronic. If there was a preschool that accepted child computer engineers, David would be Valedictorian. So if you leave your phone anywhere around this little guy, don't be surprised if you have five new alarms to wake you up in the middle of the night disrupting your sleep.
David's case has been one that we have prayerfully and anxiously lived through for the year and the possibility of him heading back home is quickly becoming a reality. We are so happy we got to have him if for only a year of his life. We know God has big plans for this boy with the captivating smile. If you have a moment where you are awake at night, perhaps God wants you to pray for this little boy.
Next up is Zeke (2.5 yrs) who has a small obsession with rubbing my arm when trying to go to sleep. Instead of saying, I just love you so much mommy, he says, 'I just love your arm so much mommy.' Zeke is of the mellow mentality, but learned to ride a 2 wheeler just a couple months ago. He takes after his dad with skateboarding and mountain biking. Zeke took a while to start talking, but now mentions things like ice cream and race cars in his sleep. Zeke loves to sing at the top of his lungs in the car and right before bed. He is turning into a true little boy as he approaches 3 years old. Just hoping that by his 3rd birthday, he will be sleeping the entire night in his own bed.
As for Claire, (5 yrs) she has begun Kindergarten this year with me homeschooling her. She is truly excelling at math and quite possibly falls asleep at the table when I mention handwriting or reading assignments. Claire lives and dreams about ballet and dance. If she could live in a leotard and tutus, she would. I love Claire's ability to live much of her life in her imagination. Claire has a sensitive spirit about her and would do anything for her family when it comes down to it. Her favorite subject is Latin and she loves to do crafts and art. Claire is one of our best sleepers...most of the time.
Lily (7 yrs) is my aspiring pre-teen and mother's helper. She has a heart of gold and is the best big sister any sibling could ask for. Lily enjoys starting her nights in her own bed, and then finishing them off on the living room couch so she is surrounded by family when she wakes up. I think she also likes sleeping on the couch because it has become a bit of her home gymnastics practice area. I spend more time looking at Lily upside down doing gymnastics poses than looking at her beautiful face upright. She has started gymnastics this year and has really come alive in her abilities and self esteem. She was also asked to help out in Claire's dance class as a teacher's assistant to corral the youngest in the class. She does an amazing job at this. Lily was born to teach and be a leader to others...just not in the sleep arena. We are hoping that by the time she heads to college she will be sleeping in one bed the whole night.
As for me, (age undisclosed) well...my big news is that we are expecting again! Yes, child number 4 is set to arrive May, 2014 and we are excited for his/her arrival. My sleepless nights have involved much of Zeke wanting to caress my arm, much nausea and vomiting and of course the hormonal insomnia. I have never been more prepared to have sleepless nights with an infant. Zeke's prayer for me every night is 'Dear Jesus, help mama not throw up the baby' Amen. That about sums it up for my nights of sleep... just trying to not throw up the baby. I am currently 18 weeks and finally feel like I can make it through the day without having to lay stationary on the couch for a given amount of time to regain energy and the ability to eat.
In other news, one of my dreams of photography is really coming true. My business has been steadily growing for the past year and I am coming up with ideas all the time for how to take it to the next level. Thank you for all of your support and encouragement in this endeavor.
Brian and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary this year and were able to see old friends at a destination wedding in Charleston, NC. It was our first vacation alone in 7 years... and much needed. We hope to not go as long till our next vacation as I am already dreaming about more time alone with my hubby.
Brian (needs more beauty sleep before disclosing his age) is still hoping to fully experience what a full nights sleep is. Ever since Brian swaddled an invisible baby in midair when I asked him to swaddle Lily in the middle of the night when she was a newborn, I have known that Brian functions less than top notch when tired.
Brian spends his nights 'sleepless-walking' around the house, catering to whichever child has decided to grace us with their midnight presence. We are convinced that the children draw straws not just to see who will get up first, but exactly what order they will each enter into the living room or our bedroom. They all have their individual and highly specific needs that must be met or the entire house will be awoken within minutes. Brian caters to these needs while 'sleep-less walking' with wonderful accuracy.
Brian is still trying to figure out a way to partake in the activities he enjoys so much like skateboarding, watching football and basketball, and hanging with his buddies while awake in the middle of the night. But for now, he will just have to be happy with
sitting on staring at the moon.
So from this sleep deprived young family to your 'hopefully better rested than us family', Merry Christmas!!! (Yawn, now time to go to bed:)
Matthew 2:10- 'When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.'