Monday, June 27, 2011

On Being Challenged...

The thing is, when you say something like I said last week about children being a blessing, and being content on where you are, something will inevitably happen that challenges your stance on these things and causes you to question -- Is this really how I feel?

Who knew this little girl would be up to so much ??

The challenge was today - Mia absolutely wholeheartedly refused her nap.  We've had our nap struggles like everyone does, but usually I finally get her to nap whereas today it was truly a lost cause.  After going into her room the 4th time, and realizing all my efforts were mostly in vain, I remembered my own words from last week: This doesn't last forever.  So she doesn't nap one day, so what?  Life will go on.  I could be a crabapple about it, but that wouldn't do either of us any good, so I gathered all our almost-overdue library books, schlepped them to the library to trade for another lot of books while she picked out her own books, and called it a day.  We cancelled any "let's eat at home" dinner plans and went to Five Guys.  By the time we got home from dinner (just after 7), Mia was tired & dirty and totally ready for a bath & bed.  So Greg got her ready and by 8:15, he walked out of her bedroom and said in his classic fashion, "She is OUT."  Usually by 8:15, we're still in the middle of the bath & bedtime process, which she likes to belabor.  I will definitely take advantage of this early bedtime tonight!

Can a girl put her feet up??

PS: Thank you Greg, for taking the reins after you got home, giving Mia her first, "Let's have a talk ... I hear you acted poorly today," spiel and letting Mia know who's the boss. And for not making me twist your arm for Five Guys. Okay, let's be honest, how hard do I ever have to twist your arm for Five Guys Burgers & Fries??  Seriously? Seriously.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Children are a blessing...

Well, regardless of your take on that last post, if you're a believer then you know these words are true:


3 Children are a heritage from the LORD, 
   offspring a reward from him.
4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
   are children born in one’s youth.
5 Blessed is the man
   whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame
   when they contend with their opponents in court.

At the end of the day when I doubt myself, I can always remember that no matter where I am, there is a blessing in this.  And there was no denying it yesterday...

Mia, June 2011
captured by Laura Hinely
We drove over to Orlando, braving wind & storm & lightning to try to snap a few shots with Laura Hinely before she takes her 5 week hiatus to do grad school in LA.  I have to say if I could live vicariously through someone sometime, it might be Laura.  She works for a magazine (I just imagine she's on the set of Devil Wears Prada everyday), has a cute little 1-bedroom apartment, snaps amazing photos, and goes to California every summer for a month.  Doesn't that sound kinda fun??

The weather wasn't really on our side, but Laura is a connoisseur of good lighting and managed to find a few slivers of light in between the lightning bolts to capture our little girl as she is at 2 years old.  Which, for last night, was a bit hyper, talky, and energetic.  Her hands & face were covered in dirt by the end and her hair was ultra-wispy.  

I know as her friend Laura always want to be at the top of her craft and felt the challenges of weather slightly disabled her ability to capture tons of good photos, but I know she's already captured some gems (she showed me). And the fact that she got some good ones of me & Greg in front of an orange wall -- well, you should know how I feel about that.  (Orange & green are my favorite colors, even if I wear blue & grey all the time.)

She has about 54,923,128 things to do before she heads to LA, so I don't expect to see the rest of her work for a while, but I'm satisfied with the sneak peak!  I'm not trying to put pressure on you Laura--you do yo' thang!!



And okay, if you're having questions still after the last post, let me point you to these posts:

Just gives you some perspective after a [tough, hard, excruciating, etc] day.  You're not alone.  And I want you in this journey with me. We talk about the hard times because we need to, not because we're trying to scare you.  Trust me, it's worth it.

/Peace.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Why do people have kids?

pregnant with Mia
totally frightened, still totally clueless, but happy
This post is dedicated to the four friends I had the chance/time/opportunity to speak with after bible study tonight: AC, LH, SL & LA, in no particular order.


Out with Mia at 5 weeks,
feeling like champs for having survived
Why do people have kids? I have asked myself this before, once on a trip with my family in my early 20s when I was contemplating a lot of serious things.  I really wanted to know why so I asked my mom. I probably scared her half to death with that question, but she took it in stride and answered in her own way.  I also asked myself this question a few weeks after Mia was born.  At that point in time, I was having trouble finding the joy in childrearing and was seriously disillusioned as to why someone would ever want to repeat this experience.

And then, as a friend and I were discussing some of the challenges that can accompany a teething baby (sleepless nights, irritability--both for baby & mom, lack of personal time, etc.), another friend asked, "So why do you have kids?"  Her point being that this current discussion about all these unpleasant things really makes parenting look like no walk in the park and why anybody would want to proceed with it after hearing all this seems insane.

I can relate to that question, I really can.  I mean, why would you want to do something like that? Why would you want to give up your free time, your sleep, your sanity, your late nights with your friends, or spouse, maybe even a piece of your independence or your career, for little children who cannot reason or think quite as well as you can and sometimes drive you to the breaking point??

All I could tell her, was that I knew what she was thinking and I'd been there, but what I have been learning in my grand 2 years of experience is that none of this lasts forever.  I used to think after I had Mia that I was trapped. I could never leave the house again, and if I did, I would not be enjoying myself because I'd be worried that she'd need me or something horrible would happen.  I used to think I'd never be able to hang out with friends or go out, because the timing of things interrupted the baby's current sleep schedule and I needed to honor that.  Or because she needed milk from me and I had to be physically present to provide it.  All that too, did pass. I also was afraid she'd never sleep through the night, or never go to sleep without bouncing.  While her sleeping is not 100% consistent, the bouncing actually did pass.  It now honestly seems like a distant memory but it took up sooooo much of our time in her first several months.


So why am I doing this again--having a child, that is?  There are a lot of reasons, and of course it's different for everybody.  Even though parenthood is not what I had put on my schedule for the calendar year 2009, it's what God put on my schedule and it was His time.  So, fight it as we might, we rolled with it.  Some of our reasons are practical -- this would be, in our minds, good spacing/timing for another baby now that Mia is here.  Some of our reasons are emotional -- we'd love to have another baby to love.  Some of our reasons are hard to describe or adequately put into words.  Being a parent, while totally more trying than any other thing I've ever had to do in my life, has given me more a sense of purpose and direction than anything ever has in my life.  So being in this place, while I occasionally wish to be somewhere else (alone, by myself, with my own thoughts and a bathroom door that I can close), this place is where I am.

I have quoted Ecclesiastes 3 before, and right now it is my mantra.  When I struggle with Mia's behavior, or I struggle with disappointment or discontent over various things, or worry about this/that, I have to remind myself, this is only for a time.  God did not designate me to be here in this place forever.  I was only a college student for a time.  I only worked at varying places for a time.  Greg & I were only just the two of us for a (very short) time.  And now we are here and trying, sometimes failing, but nonetheless trying, to make the most of it.  Why am I doing this? Because that's where I am.

I am so nostalgic at times, and I know in the future I will actually be nostalgic for these times, even though we have our bumps in the road.  I will be nostalgic for a little girl with fluffy blonde hair who sings her own songs and tries to convince us of things we know aren't exactly true (not that she's lying, she's just trying to exert her own independence).  I will be nostalgic for a baby in my belly who I can feel flutter and move around, even when that baby is Lord Willing pulling out my hair, teething, or not eating well.  I will be nostalgic for the times when I had less wrinkles in my face and smothered coconut oil into my dry pregnant skin when I've never been able to do that before in my entire life.  I will be nostalgic, so right now, I choose to remember, and to know that this is all for a time.



Why do I have kids?  Because it's where I am.  I didn't know that it could, but it makes me a better person.  So this is what we do...and it will only be for a time.

How do you answer this question?  When you think about where you are as a parent, how do you keep pushing forward?



And now, if you want your heartstrings tugged at country-style, listen to this Darius Rucker (Hootie and the Blowfish, anyone?) song called, "It won't be like this for long":

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

On Being Thoughtful

When I was a little person (let's say 10 years old), I used to spend a lot of time by myself thinking.  This was right around when our family moved into a new house in a new neighborhood and I didn't have any friends yet.  Cue lots of self-reflective time for an already slightly analytical girl.  This was also around the time I decided to perm my hair like my best friend from elementary school (JH), which proved to be a mistake going into the 5th grade.  Thankfully, a new friend emerged (EM) and helped me muster through the beginning of the Awkward Years.
From Me & Jackson, my little brother buddy



From displaying awkwardness in its finest


Anyhoo, the whole point of this is about being thoughtful.  At the ripe young age of 10 years old, I remember taking a walk and thinking that I was a pretty thoughtful human being. I thought about how I thought about other people's feelings and how I tried to take that into consideration when dealing with someone else (metacognition, already?!) and how people have preferences and how to honor those, etc.  I was reflecting on myself and thought I did a pretty good job.  Apparently I had a lot of self-confidence at that time too...

These days, I don't have quite as much mental free time as I did when I was ten years old and subsequently, sometimes I don't find myself being as thoughtful.  Being thoughtful takes preparation and it means more than just a last minute text message that says, "Sorry I forgot, but happy birthday!!"  They say it's the thought that counts but sometimes it's also the medium.  Or the timing.  Or the wording.  Sometimes my thoughts are too late, poorly executed, or miscommunicated.

I could blame it on being pregnant, but whenever I do remember something important, or plan in advance and have a bag of cookies to give a friend when she helps me out, I register it in my mind as an act of thoughtfulness, and it spurs me on to the next one, and I feel good about being less involved in myself.  Some people are just really thoughtful, and it seems like they always have it together.  I would venture to say that they are perhaps less self-centered and more aware of the greater picture and their purpose and organized enough so they can be more prepared for unexpected events (or last minute reminders).  I want to be like that!!

How do you find yourself being thoughtful?  What aids you in this? What is the most thoughtful thing someone has done for you lately??

Friday, June 17, 2011

"Mommy wears pants too"


Mia likes to note if other people do the same thing she does, so if Mia puts on pants, and I'm wearing pants (okay, usually I am, if not shorts or a skirt!), she'll say, "Mommy wears pants too."
"Yes, mommy wears pants."  Even if these particular pants don't fit very well anymore.

This is where I am in the stage of pregnancy.  I've worn an overabundance of dresses this week because that's what fits and for a while felt like I was moonlighting as the Duggars (I do love 'em), but I've finally caved and asked a few friends if I could borrow their summer maternity clothes. I never got to the point with Mia where I needed a lot of warm-weather maternity clothes as her due date was at the end of April and I could still comfortably wear jeans or yoga pants.

So, here's to a summer of trying to figure out what to wear and trying not to bust a lust over the catalogs DownEast Basics sends me.  In time, in time.  This is of course all for a good cause!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A little bit of this, a little bit of that...

Yesterday was my 18 week appointment.  We were to have the full anatomy scan (typically done around this point or at 20 weeks, halfway through the pregnancy) and an appointment with the doctor.  At this ultrasound, the ultrasound technician scans the baby's full body from head to toe, takes measurements, and checks out all the internal organs, the placenta and blood flow.  If the baby is cooperative, by this point the sex can be determined.  If there is only one ultrasound a woman has during her pregnancy, this is usually it.

Greg had shared with me previously that he didn't want them to share the sex with us at the appointment.  WHAT???  You don't want to know the sex?  I got a little ahead of myself.  Actually what he meant was that he wanted them to check the sex, but not share it at the time, and write it down on a piece of paper and put it in an envelope so we could open it up later on our terms, in his mind, preferably on a nice date. :P

He asked the technician if she could do that and she obliged, and at the point when she was checking down there, she had us close our eyes, printed off a picture, and wrote it down and put it in a sealed envelope for us to open later at our own discretion.

The rest of the ultrasound went well and it was quick!  She said the measurements were right on track and the baby was about 8 ounces.  Our appointment with the doctor was not for about 45 more minutes, so the technician suggested we walk across the street to the hospital (where we'll be birthing) and grab something at a cafe.  I had never been inside TGH so I really wanted to see what it looked like and get a feel for it.   (Let me add that Mia was with a friend and her kids at a vacation bible school while this was happening!)

Greg & I walked across the street and found they have a Starbucks inside (what?!) and even though it was in a hospital with totally artificial lighting and none of the scenery that usually accompanies a Starbucks (not your idyllic setting), it was a Starbucks nonetheless, we were by ourselves, and we could enjoy a cup of coffee (or in my case, chai tea).  We hypothesized as to what we thought the baby was.

Before we got pregnant, we sort of envisioned ourselves with another little girl.  When that's what you start with, sometimes that's what you think you'll continue getting.  After we got pregnant, I did what some might call silly calculations and tried to figure out the sex myself -- but I was still very up in the air about my "calculations".  My acupuncturist even gave it a guess based on pulses and ancient Chinese medicine.  In the back of my mind though, I was telling myself to be prepared if it was a boy, because it very well could be, and even though it wouldn't be a sister for Mia, it'd still be something very cool.
As the pregnancy progressed, I noticed I did feel a little different, and the baby's heartrate was usually in the 140s where Mia's was usually in the 150/160s.  There's a myth that a higher fetal heartrate indicates girl, and lower indicates boy.  All of this, and a little "bud" we saw on the 12 week ultrasound (which is still not indicative at that point) had me guessing boy. My gut was just telling me boy.

So while we realized the hospital Starbucks was not the most romantic setting to open this sealed envelope, we also realized this might be the only time we have together with just the "two of us" for quite a while, so we might as well take advantage of it.

We opened up the envelope, and it said...
IT'S A BOY!
It's a boy!  We knew it.  Even though pre-pregnancy, we thought girl, I think if it had said girl we would've been more surprised than we were yesterday, because this baby just felt "boy" to me.
Dwell Studio Circles Crib Bedding
Greg's pumped and I'm excited.  Mia thinks that mommy, daddy and Mia all have babies in her tummy and is still figuring out this whole baby thing.  My mom has already bought this baby boy some clothes.  And I've started thinking about how we'll need to de-girlify the nursery (which started off with a gender-neutral palette) to make it more masculine for a boy.

The doctor's appointment went very well.  We met with an ARNP, who was super peppy, fast-talking, and very informative.  She was actually really reassuring as well.  She had looked over the ultrasound report and confirmed everything looked good, she said my weight gain was on track, my fundal measurement was appropriate, and that my blood pressure was fine too.  So basically, she reassured me that everything I'd been worried about was just fine.  I had asked her about some questions I had about labor & delivery, and she told me to write up a birth plan (which I had already started doing!) and to put all my preferences on there.  She told me to ask for the rooms with the labor tubs and then gave us some helpful information about baby boys.
When Greg & I left the appointment, we felt even more at ease and kind of wondered even if she weren't able to deliver the baby, it'd be great to have her for the rest of my prenatal appointments.  So, I wonder if we'll be able to see her more.  She was just good.
She did her own hair.  And switched our drinks.

It was a busy but blessed day.  I finally picked up Mia from VBS, stopped in at friend's house, and then Mia & I grabbed a quick lunch at Jimmy John's.  Maybe it's because she grabbed some of my tea, but Mia didn't settle super easily for her nap, so this is where she finally ended up...

Sleeping on Mommy & Daddy's bed
and she slept there for about 2 hours.  

We've had such a busy week with VBS & running here and there that now we're a little behind on groceries & meal-planning.  It's time to go to the store and perhaps call on some businesses that we're hoping might donate to the Scout Benefit Concert.  If you don't know what I'm talking about, check out the link!  The concert is this Saturday night, doors open at 7 and the show starts at 7:30!
PEACE.


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Another week in the life of Mia

Although I might've feigned myself as one when I was in the third grade, I'm no meteorologist.  But if I may say so myself, let me just declare that summer is here!  I think it has arrived all over the country. I saw Facebook posts from my MN peeps that they were having a heat wave last week, and it was actually hotter than Tampa.  Can you believe it!?!?  I'm being facetious.

Summer is supposed to be lazy, but with a kid sometimes it is anything but.  As I am learning this, I have a new appreciation for my parents who probably rarely got much down-time with us as kids, schlepping us to practices, going to our games, dropping us off at friends' houses, trying (but not pushing) to keep us entertained during those "long, summer months."  How did you do it??  I'm not even at school-age with Mia yet, so don't worry, I'm not freaking out, but I can see how school's being out for summer could seem daunting at times!  But then if you homeschool, it might be a relief for you.  No more papers, no more books, no more teacher's dirty looks?  Why do I remember that silly rhyme/hand clap?

Regardless, this past week, Mia's gone to the pool, gone to the park twice, gone with me around town...she's pretty much had an awesome week.  She slept really well too!  Maybe all this busy-ness is what's cooling her jets.  She's not so bored so she's not acting up.  Who knows.  
We live in Florida so we might as well take advantage of the palm trees, the sun, our community center's pool, and the blessed number of christian friends we have around town.  There is almost always something to do, that you could easily be overwhelmed.  Sometimes you have to retreat from it all just to calm down.  But I'm not ready to calm down yet, so here's another onslaught of pictures from Mia's past week, inspired by Greg's post:

Mia making "pawpy" (coffee)

Mia counting eggs (and subsequently launching one, not pictured)
at our food coop pickup

cruising around Publix

chilling on Mommy after a nap
(that straight line by our necks is a colored pencil)
Mia "conga" (colors)

Stealing the last few bites of my yummy lentil soup 
checking out the pool
getting more comfortable at the pool
(that was about the farthest from me I'd let her get!)

an instagram photo of me & Mia

a Mommy/Mia date at Wiregrass, watching the train go by

riding that same train

peering out our cabin


ice cream date with Daddy, a candid picture

modeling one of Mommy's dresses, made by my Mamaw
with detailing provided by an old family friend!




17+ weeks

"Is this our new picture pose??"


Saturday, June 11, 2011

A Picture Post

It has been a while since I contributed anything directly to this blog. But there is a backlog of pictures on my phone that I've been meaning to share. Apologies for any duplicates (If Mia is in the picture then it's probably worth a second look anyway right?). Enjoy!


Baseball at Mommo & Papa Jack's house


Everyone in their places for Jackson's graduation (And Megan taking the lead on Words with Friends).


Piano Lessons


Really hard to say whether Mia is celebrating here or if she's about to slam the keys. Either way, she liked the piano!


Cruising in for a new 'do


The payoff


Showing off the haircut to other kiddos at the mall


Poooooool!


Proud to be an American


Niece/cousin Abby


We say Mia has a "helper heart" as demonstrated here. No children were harmed in the making of this meal.


Cheesin' it up for ice cream ("i choon").

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

And more eating...

Here's what I have and will be making over the coming weeks:
  • Spring & Summer Simple Soup - Even though it's already VERY hot in Florida, this looks really refreshing
  • Cheeseslave's Lentil Soup - just made this last week and it was fabulous! I was skeptical of lentils, but it's a really yummy soup when you add the optional pork sausage!
  • Fermented Pickles (you know, to live up to the "pickles & ice cream" stereotype of pregnancy)
  • Egg Salad (I already love eggs and now know how to make the homemade mayo to do it)
  • Jessica's gluten-free pizza!!  
The other thing I've been into lately (besides Mexican food, which I also craved with Mia) are black and green olives.  I don't know why, but I love them as a little snack or appetizer!  Maybe it's all the healthy fat :O

And for Lil' Mia, I really want to try making some more homemade condiments.  She loves to dip her foods in creams and sauces, and anything I can do to make them a bit more nourishing with simple ingredients sounds good to me.  I usually try to get the organic versions of ketchup & mustard, but I've found some pretty-easy looking recipes for ketchup & mustard that I hope to tackle this summer!


What's been your latest kitchen experiment??

Monday, June 6, 2011

What's been different

16+ weeks
Indeed, I am pregnant, right?  Occasionally we all forget and sometimes don't remember which week it is.  Wait, am I in the first or the second trimester?  Ahh, yes, the second.   Crazy as our child has been this past week, we are happy & looking forward to having another baby.  Perhaps because we're "addicted to birth," but that's a whole 'nother story!!

I wasn't sure if I could fathom feeling different the 2nd time around in pregnancy, as before I was even pregnant I wanted nearly everything to be the same so that it seemed like I was enjoying (or not enjoying) all the new aspects of  impending motherhood. But alas, things go by faster this time around as time is relative, I'm more distracted because there's a 2 year old on whom to keep tabs, and since "I've done this once before," my mind isn't so wholly focused on learning all the ins and outs of pregnancy, although I do like reviewing the vast prenatal/pregnancy/childbirth literature out there from time to time.  Mostly I like reading what's going on with the baby and my body this week, and reading really good birth stories.  I could get addicted to that.

I have already felt the baby move a bit over the last few days, which has been exciting, and a positive reminder that things are going as they should.  I'm not sure I'm showing tons more at this point in time as I was with Mia, but I definitely know I have some baby belly so there's no question why my waist is widening or why I can't wait certain pants anymore.  :-S

We get asked how we're feeling, or what we're thinking Mia will be like as a big sister, or if we want a boy or girl or if we have names picked out.  As for now, Greg & I are feeling good about this, and have been since the beginning.  We have observed Mia of late with wee little ones (5 months or younger), and she has tried to be quite the helper with the babes, so we're thinking/hoping she'll be interested in her baby sibling and want to help out.  I'm thinking she might want to help out too much sometimes and try to hold the baby on her own or feed it foods when I'm not looking!  We're planning on finding out the sex in a couple of weeks, and we'll probably share with the world at large once we've told all the VIPs first :P
If we can hold fast to our goal, we will not be sharing the name until he/she is born.  People always want to know 1) what you're having and 2) what you're naming the lil' bean.  I say if we give them 1 for 2 they can't complain.  What can I say, we just like at least some element of surprise!

The main thing that has been different this go-round is whom I see for my prenatal care.  As alluded to several times before on this blog, I delivered Mia at the Labor of Love Birth Center and had a fabulous experience.  I really enjoyed my prenatal visits, the midwives and my actual birth experience.  I'm seriously not lying!  I was definitely nervous about giving birth, in and of itself, but when it came down to it, my experience went well.  I had a great doula who worked alongside us as well and really helped us as first-timers figure out what was "big-deal" worthy.

However, as also alluded to before, I had a totally unexpected blood clot about 2.5 weeks after Mia was born.  I say totally unexpected because while pregnant women are at a higher risk for clotting, I have no known clotting disorders or anything that runs in my family that could explain this.  The best explanation one of several doctors could share with me was that it was an autoimmune response to something in my system, hence why I've made some radical diet changes within the last year or so to decrease the amount of inflammation and irritation to my system.

All of this led to me being forever labeled as "high-risk" for future pregnancies.  I learned this weeks after Mia was born and dealt with my grief at the time and then moved on. The birth center was a great option for me and still is for many others who are low-risk. But high-risk? Okay, let's figure that one out too!

I found a group highly recommended that delivers at Tampa General Hospital that has regular OB/GYNs, Certified Nurse Midwives, and high-risk OB/maternal fetal medicine specialists all in one.  It's the USF Health group and so far I hear they have a good track record.  I've already met with the high-risk doctor who confirmed a prophylactic dose of Lovenox is what I should be taking throughout this pregnancy and the 6 weeks following to prevent miscarriage, blood clotting, and allow the placenta to do its thing.  Lovenox is a subcutaneous injection I give myself nightly in my belly fat (not because that's where the baby is, but because of the love handle situation!) that I basically look at as a little extra insurance for this pregnancy.  Sometimes it hurts to give the shots, but as an old pro recently shared with me, eventually you build up enough scar tissue that it doesn't hurt anymore, and after 2 months of shots I think I've already gotten there!

Other than that, all my other visits have been pretty standard.  Things will start to speed up towards the end when I have more fetal monitorings and a few extra ultrasounds to check the growth.  Since Mia was low birth-weight, they'll be monitoring the growth on this one as well.  I have learned one low-birth weight baby does not equal all subsequent babies are low-birth weight, so beyond doing what I can on the outside of the womb, we're just praying all things are going as they should inside the womb.  Getting the extra monitoring is a mixed bag of blessings.  It will be nice to see how things are progressing, but I would be lying if I didn't say I am a wee bit nervous about finding all these "extra things" that really wouldn't make a big difference but nonetheless add stress right at the end of pregnancy, which wouldn't be fun.

My birth plan as of now is still the same as it was for Mia, which is that barring any unforeseen complications, to do it all naturally, meaning no epidural, no pain medication.  We're using the same great doula again, who has allayed many a fear about birthing in a hospital (mainly because I've just never done it before, not because I'm hospital-wary) and has me feeling empowered that natural birth is totally doable (again)!

It's all still a ways off, so for now we're just enjoying the ride.  If you made it this far, muchas gracias for reading all the updates on life & pregnancy the 2nd time around!
What was different with your second/subsequent pregnancies?  What did you learn?

Friday, June 3, 2011

In the land of the unknown

Sometimes, it seems like it always revolves around the nap.  I never knew sleep was so crucial until I had a kid. I could tell you myself I always feel much better the more rested I am, and the more regular my schedule is, but it seems to be even more paramount with a child.

Ever since our trip, which was totally well-worth it, well, things around here have been a little helter-skelter.  The days are getting longer with the sun rising earlier and setting later, and Mia's bedtimes have gotten later & later.  We had not intentioned to not honor a strict bedtime for her, but it just wasn't happening how it normally does.  Then this week, she had a really high fever two nights in a row, and woke up extremely warm and uncomfortable.  She ended up sleeping with us the rest of those nights and slept much more soundly.
Yesterday she even slept past 9am, which is a rarity for her, and took a good afternoon nap and after she woke up, fell asleep on me on the couch for about another hour.  That (her sleeping on me outside of her room) never happens either.

So on a day like today, when we had a birthday party playdate to attend and you'd think all the commotion and even the sugar high would send her crashing this afternoon, she is instead thrashing in her crib, rolling around shouting "Noooo!" from time to time.  Now, I sit here blogging so I'm able to piece some sentences together, but when she acts like this, I feel like I can't get anything done, or truly relax, until I know she's asleep.  Does anyone else feel like that?  Am I the only mom whose successes for the day sometimes hinge on the completion of a good solid nap?

I feel fickle being so focused on this nap-thing, and when I talk to other moms, especially those with more than one child, it just sounds like something of which they eventually have to let go.  Either their children have long since stopped napping, or they have too many to coordinate perfect nap schedules (baby sleeps in AM, toddler in PM), or once one goes to sleep, they have to wake them up to pick up an older sibling from school.  Knowing how crucial it seems for Mia now to get good sleep (especially after being so feverish earlier in the week), I don't know what I'd do if she didn't take a nap.  Probably acquiesce to her demands and let her watch Elmo while I try to get something done. For real. I hate to say it, but it's true.  TV is sometimes a crutch when it needn't be.



What is different about these pictures??



So my question to other moms out there is, what do you do when you've tried all your tricks (diaper changes, extra drinks, soothing, etc.) and your child doesn't nap? How do you handle it and how do you keep yourself from turning into a crazy-angry-zombie mom??  Is this just a bunch of much ado about nothing?

And now, while after I vent, and have said a quick prayer (yes, sometimes I pray about naps), she is asleep.  *Sigh* 
Children.  Don't know how to live with 'em sometimes, but can't live without 'em, it seems.  Always a blessing.