April 26, 2013

Do the math...

Are you in need of a good math problem?
And P.S. this is way better than, train A leaves X station at Y time going north. Will it hit a bear standing on the tracks at point Z before train B gets there?

Let's say, on average, my husband and I were getting about 3 hours of sleep per night for, oh I don't know... a standard "current normal" two week period of time.

So, 3 hours/night x 14 nights is 42.
42 hours of sleep in 2 weeks.

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday night of this week we got a combined total of a whopping 25 hours of sleep.

42 hours over 14 nights


25 hours over 3 nights

(Don't worry, I'm not going to calculate some kind of crazy ratio here. I'm sure there is a good one somewhere in this data but, well, I don't have the energy to figure it right now).

In just 3 nights our average has moved from 3 hours of sleep each night to just over 8 hours of sleep. Wow, that is almost like, um, what a normal person might get.

Can you imagine how different our lives will be if this continues?
We might actually have...
Less stress!
Dare I say it...
An opportunity to leave BOTH kids with the grandparents for the night so Jake and I can get away for a few days.

How heavenly!


So, to all of those math teachers who hear, "When am I ever going to use this?"

You can tell them, averages, some day you will need to find an average and will be overjoyed when you see it go from 3 to 8.

What a beautiful thing.

April 23, 2013

It is a miracle...


I prayed last night, as I do almost every night, for a miracle.
I prayed for rest;
I prayed for peace;
I prayed for joy.

I prayed for sleep.

For our entire family.

I know that we often question whether or not miracles happen in our world today.

I also know that our family is proof that they do.

Lord, I prayed that Ryan would sleep for at least 2-3 hours at a time last night.

You helped him sleep for almost 10 hours.

Thank you Lord, for yet another miracle.


We took some fairly drastic measures at our house last night. We sent Rachel to her grandparents' house to sleep, took Ryan's pacifier away, and took him outside to play for almost two hours so he could get some fresh air.

And we prayed.

April 22, 2013

An afternoon in the park...

A few weeks ago we witnessed a miracle.

There was no snow. The wind wasn't blowing.
The rains had stopped.
It was sunny and warm and perfect for an afternoon at the park.

Rachel: Look mom! I'm going down the slide all by myself!

Rachel: Never mind. Daddy, can you get me down?

Meanwhile, in the grass...
sat a happy little boy with his stuffed elephant and ball.

No, our park does not have hay bales.
But, grandpa's house does!

To my son's doctors...

I finally broke and wrote a strongly worded letter to all of the doctors that saw Ryan last fall.

I just need someone to blame my utter exhaustion on.


I don’t usually feel the need to write a “strongly worded letter” concerning an issue that occurred almost nine months ago and I certainly don’t like to write them in regards to people that I highly respect, greatly appreciate, and have a personal relationship with.

However, after yet another sleepless night with my infant son I can no longer contain my frustration, general disappointment with, and anger for those who cared for my son, Ryan, during the eight weeks following his discharge from the hospital. Ryan was born almost six weeks early and was in the NICU for two weeks. While in the hospital, Ryan was fed donor milk but I was not able to breast feed and had to switch him to formula when he came home. Within days after the switch, he became extremely agitated every single time I tried to feed him. He screamed while he ate and would then grunt and cry afterwards, sleeping very little before he was hungry again. As Ryan grew he obviously wanted to eat more, but instead of eating more at each feeding (it was apparent that drinking from a bottle was very uncomfortable) he would just eat more often. Soon, he was eating every 45-90 minutes  (around the clock), crying while he ate, and unable to sleep. I had never experienced this kind of behavior before and was completely at a loss as to how to help him. So, I made several phone calls to the doctor, asking for help.

I understand that postpartum depression is a very serious illness. And, I understand that as someone who has been treated for depression I am a likely candidate to also suffer from postpartum depression. However, I also know that the symptoms that my son was experiencing were real, they were not merely a figment of a tired new mother’s imagination or a story blown out of proportion by the baby blues or, worse, postpartum depression. But, each time I called or emailed or brought Ryan in I was told time and time and time again that Ryan did not need medication for acid reflux but was instead questioned for symptoms of my own health.

Eight long agonizing sleep-less weeks passed before I was finally able to convince someone that Ryan did, in fact, have acid reflux and was in need of medication. Eight weeks. During that period of time most babies are learning how to sleep through the lighter period of their sleep cycle; not my son. He was just trying to survive. Just two weeks after we finally got him on medication for acid reflux Ryan developed a horrible case of eczema. It was so bad that we had to put socks on his hands at all times to control his scratching while we waited for him to see a dermatologist. He also contracted RSV and had to be hospitalized and, in general, had a pretty rough time.

A few months ago we finally got everything under control; the eczema is now gone and he is still on medication for acid reflux. However, the sleepless nights have yet to cease. For over 8 months my husband and I have been up almost every hour, trying to get our baby to learn how to sleep. And, even though he has been through a lot I have no choice but to blame this problem squarely on the period of time when I was crying and begging for help; for someone to please listen to me and give my baby medication for acid reflux.

I am not asking for advice or pity or even an apology. All I’m asking is that every single nurse, resident and doctor who saw my son know what life is like for us; what life is like for someone who was incorrectly pegged as having postpartum depression when in fact, it was the baby who was ill. We have been in survival mode for months, waiting until the day when we can finally get some rest. The level of exhaustion that we have found ourselves at cannot be remedied with a quick weekend get-away or a single night of uninterrupted rest.

I have always respected and liked our family doctors and will continue to do so. I even plan to continue care with everyone because I like them all so much. But, I’m also angry. And frustrated. And tired. And, I just need to get this anger and frustration off my chest in hopes that perhaps, it will make our load just a bit lighter.


April 12, 2013

The anchor holds...

A few weeks ago I posted these lyrics. And now, another song is stuck in my head.

I can't believe how perfect these words are.
So, to all of my struggling friends...

The Anchor Holds
-Ray Boltz

I have journeyed
Through the long, dark night
Out on the open sea
By faith alone
Sight unknown
And yet His eyes were watching me

The anchor holds
Though the ship is battered
The anchor holds
Though the sails are torn
I have fallen on my knees
As I faced the raging seas
The anchor holds
In spite of the storm

I've had visions
I've had dreams
I've even held them in my hand
But I never knew
They would slip right through
Like they were only grains of sand

The anchor holds
Though the ship is battered
The anchor holds
Though the sails are torn
I have fallen on my knees
As I faced the raging seas
The anchor holds
In spite of the storm

I have been young
But I am older now
And there has been beauty
That these eyes have seen
But it was in the night
Through the storms of my life
Oh, that's where God proved
His love to me

The anchor holds
Though the ship is battered
The anchor holds
Though the sails are torn
I have fallen on my knees
As I faced the raging seas
The anchor holds
In spite of the storm

Songwriter(s): Ray Boltz, Lawrence Chewning
Copyright: Word Music Llc, Shepherd Boy Music

April 8, 2013

Lunch with Rachel...

Sometimes when people share stories about their kids I roll my eyes and wait patiently for it to be over. What seems funny to a mom or dad is sometimes just not funny to the rest of the world.


At the risk of being "one of those parents" I'm going to share this story because, well, it really is funny.

Over the weekend I took Rachel to get her hair cut and told her that if she sat still and listened to their directions she could eat at McDonald's afterwards. She followed through on her end of the deal so I had to follow through with mine (I had even promised her that we could actually go inside the restaurant to eat instead of getting our food at the drive through, which was also a pretty big deal).

But, as we pulled into the parking lot I noticed that it was apparently the hip hop happenin' place to be and there was pretty much nowhere to park. So, I had to bend my promise a bit and told her that we would, instead, have to get our food and go back to her grandparents' house to eat. That was disappointing to her but she kept it together and agreed that it would be okay...this time.

As we pulled away from the restaurant Rachel asked if she could please have her bag of food to hold. I really didn't want to hold up the traffic behind me, and this is the conversation that followed:

Mommy: No, Rachel. I can't give you your food right now. I'm driving and have to pay attention to the road.
Rachel: Well, maybe you should stop driving.
Mommy: Rach, you don't want me to stop driving. If I do that you'll never get to grandma and grandpa's house to eat your chicken nuggets.
Rachel: *sigh* Mommy, you are giving me a headache. *SIGH*
Mommy: (trying really hard to hold in my laughter): Are you kidding me? I'm giving you a headache? (and then I lost it and started laughing so hard I was almost crying).
Rachel: *SIGH... SIGH* Mommy, it isn't funny. Stop laughing. You are really giving me a headache.

I swear, I have no idea where she heard that. I'm pretty sure that I have never said that before but maybe I have. I don't know. Either way...pretty funny stuff.

At least I thought it was funny.

April 2, 2013

The church bells are ringing...

I was walking to work yesterday morning when it hit me... I forgot to take pictures of my kids on Easter! How could this have happened?! How sad.

But that isn't even the worst part.

We also forgot to have an Easter egg hunt. Are you kidding?! HOW did that happen?

While everyone else was busy hiding eggs and snapping photos we must have been doing who knows what. If I had to guess, I would venture to say that we were probably just trying to get from one activity to the next and just. missed. out.

I always love Easter but this year, despite our busy schedules, it was extra special for me. Maybe it was because we had extended family in town. Maybe it was because it was Ryan's first Easter. Maybe it was because I attended an uplifting Good Friday service.

Or, maybe it was because Rachel got her first opportunity to ring bells during the Easter service.

She has been looking forward to playing bells since forever and when the Primary Sunday School department practiced a few weeks ago she was over the moon with excitement. Each child gets a colored bell, is given instructions on how to properly hold it, and then told to watch for their color to show up on the director's cards as they pass.

All of Rachel's grandparents were present in church on Easter Sunday (super special, by the way) so they could watch her big performance. It was really sweet of them to all come but I tried to keep their expectations low since I wasn't convinced that she was actually going to make it to the front of the church, let alone follow her teachers' directions.

I am trying to not play the part of the "helicopter parent" but I really didn't want Rachel to miss out on this opportunity so I escorted her to the stage and promised to sit in the front row while she performed.

Not surprisingly, the first two songs, which the children sang, were a bit of a disaster for her. She made it through the opening of the first song before she ended up on my lap. But then, as soon as she saw the other kids head for the bell table to get their bells for the last two songs she was ready to get back on stage.

And, I had the best seat in the house.

She had two green bells and a big smile and I could tell whenever her color came up because she would grin from ear to ear as she did a full body bell ring. It was such a blessing to see her up there, having so much fun and enjoying the music.

When it was over she was super excited and quite proud of herself. And as we headed back to our seats, she shouted (in a full church), "Mommy, I did it! Did you see me mommy? I did it! Aren't you proud of me?!" I couldn't help but smile because yes, I was very proud of her. And when we turned into our row to sit down she shouted down to grandpa (who was on the other end of the row), "Grandpa, did you see me! I did it!"

I LOVE that little girl.

I just wish I had a picture of her and her handsome brother in their Easter outfits.

April 1, 2013

Think of me...

Today I'm asking for a few extra prayers because, well, I'm tired.

When you haven't gotten a decent night's sleep in almost eight months you start to feel run down and tired. I'm not just talking about the "I need to go to bed because I keep falling asleep on the couch" kind of tired. I'm referring to the "I can feel it in my bones that I am on my last leg of sanity and every part of my being is sore and in need of rest" tired.

Actually, tired no longer describes what we are feeling at our house. We crossed that line a long time ago.

We are weary.

At some point Ryan will have to start sleeping past midnight without waking up every 45 minutes. And when he does, and keeps doing it...we will finally breathe a sigh of relief.

And no longer feel this tired. I hope.

And to those "people who mean well" with their advice. Please, no thanks. We've done it all. We've heard it all. We've tried it all.

Really, we just need your prayers and support right now.