Monday, July 16, 2012

What's Keeping Me Up

(chamomile at 4 am to help me go back to sleep - so far not working)

Thoughts of inadequacies and failings often hit me late at night or in the middle of the night.  The time of night where I'm supposed to be in a solid slumber, resting up for the day ahead.  Something wakes me up, right now it's usually pregnancy hormones, and then I start thinking.  Sure I think about what I have to do and get accomplished, but I often turn to what I'm not doing and could be doing better.  Often in the middle of the night these thoughts of fear and failings seem much more scary and far reaching than they do in the light of the day.

So to give some light to these fears and make them seem less big, I thought I'd write them out here and share what currently has me up at 3 am, sipping a cup of chamomile until I can fall back asleep.

Bibles - the kids own Bibles that is.  For some reason it dawned on me right now that I should have already bought the kids their own Bible to take to church with them.  They each have their own story Bible, but neither of them have an actual Bible.  Any suggestions or thoughts?  Am I worrying too much about this too soon?

Prayer - Speaking of religion and kids, we don't pray nightly with the kids.  We say prayers together all the time and we pray for them, but we don't make it nightly ritual for some reason.  This really bothers me and we need to change that.  And I'm embarrassed by it.  I think it would help to get us on track if we had a specific prayer to say every night.  Is there a children's prayer you say with your child each night?

Thumb & Finger Sucking - Taylor has reverted back to sucking her fingers and Syd hasn't stopped sucking his thumb.  I told them both that we would get back to (and start with Syd) the yucky nail polish wearing in the summer, but summer for us is now officially half way over.  The kids start back in 3 weeks and do I really want to start now and potentially ruin the rest of our already short summer?  Advice?

Sight Words - I also told myself that I'd start sight words with Syd in preparation for Kindergarten.  I am not of the belief that kids have to be or should be reading when they start Kinder, but thought a little preparatory practice wouldn't hurt, on top of what we've already been doing with writing and math.  And again, 3 weeks away and no sight word practice.  Do I just let it go now or give it a casual go for the next couple of weeks?

Outdoor cushions - they really need to be cleaned but it seems to big of a job right now and so I refuse to add it to my to-do list, but it really should be, especially since they're nice and we invested in them and I hate not taking care of our nice things.  Makes me feel wasteful.  Is there someone I can pay to clean my outdoor cushions?

So this is what I'm mulling over when I should be sleeping and giving it up to God.  See, now that I write it out I look at this list and think "My goodness Andrea, you silly, silly woman!  There are much bigger problems and things you can be worrying about than these.  Count your blessings!  You all have your health and can feed your family and you have nice outdoor cushions to worry about cleaning!"  It's really a lesson in perspective too I guess.  What about you?  Maybe if you say what's on your mind and what's troubling you it won't seem so big and bad?


  1. My brain doesn't stop sometimes worrying about things too. ;)
    I'm sure there's a bunch more Bibles on the market now, but a few years ago I looked through them all to pick out what we'd provide in our kids ministry. I really liked the Kid's Quest Study Bible and the Adventure Bible.

    Eliana has been biting her nails. I'm at my whit's end with this. Let me know what you figure out for thumb sucking. Maybe it'll work for her too.

    Have you tried a camper/rv shop that may sell that awning wash? Maybe that'll clean up the cushions.

    On the prayer thing - I felt awful for so long that my friends' kids would pray at dinner and my daughter would not. They would have these sweet prayers memorized. I felt awful. I tried to tell her that praying is talking to God so we took a more relaxed approach. I was nervous that I wasn't doing the right thing as a parent with this. Then just this week I've found her praying in the bathtub, playing and at the table. Just talking to Jesus all through the day.

    1. I didn't mean to have an answer to all of your questions. They've actually all been on my mind lately (even the outdoor furniture - it's my awning that needs cleaning ;)

  2. I sucked my thumb until I was 8. My Mom tried everything in the book to get me to kick the habit, but in the end, I did it on my own time. I wouldn't worry too much--they will tire of it on their own. Great question about the prayer...we are still in search too. Currently we start off the same way, "God we are so thankful for your grace and gifts, for today, for each other, for ..." And then I let them insert their own thoughts. Sometimes they have many things to add, other days not so much. But it still feels right to pray together, even if we are still finding our way. I'm in the same boat as you with Kindergarten...need to get on top of it quickly. One thing my son loves is the activity book "The Summer Before Kindergarten: English". It's pretty great! Hope you get some rest and relaxation before baby #3 arrives...don't be too hard on yourself!

  3. From a teacher perspective...let the sight words go. Enjoy summer. He will have enough school work and homework in a few weeks. : )

  4. If I let you into what runs through my mind late at night you'd have to make a bigger comment box. Right now the biggest worry is how I am going to paint an apartment that is full of boxes that I am unable to have moved at the moment. I know, silly right, but without moving each box into another room and then moving back, I cannot think of another solution -- ugh!

    PS -- Wanted to thank you so much for the beautiful jewelry that I won -- I have worn it a few times already and really love how versatile each piece is. XO!


  5. My brain doesn't stop, my husband can fall right to sleep and I sit there thinking all night.

    Xo Megan

  6. Have you checked out the kids' version of "Jesus Calling"? Hudson just got it for his birthday yesterday, and I'm excited to start reading it with him (plus it just looks really cute!). Maybe that would be a good way to do a devotion & prayer time each day.

  7. Oh you poor thing! That is just the worst. Making a list is a good idea!

    When my daughter entered kindergarten, we bought her this Backpack Bible: http://www.amazon.com/Backpack-Bible-International-Readers-Duo-Tone/dp/0310714796/ref=pd_bxgy_b_img_b

    It was above her reading level, but she loved the smaller size and pink leather. We took it into our local Bible book store and had it engraved with her name. I like it because I think it's one she'll use for a really long time.

    If you are looking for a version that is a little more kid friendly, this is a good one. Our church gives these out to all the kids after 2nd grade: http://www.amazon.com/Adventure-Bible-Early-Readers-NIrV/dp/0310715474/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1342455117&sr=1-2&keywords=adventure+bible

    As a former Kinder teacher turned homeschooler, I wouldn't worry too much about site words (unless he loves it of course!). Just enjoy these sweet days of summer together!

  8. Don't you dare worry about site words with Syd...pushing him too early could do more harm than good. ;)

    As for praying, I actually think the free-flowing type, rather than the memorized is best. Let's teach them early to talk to our God as we would talk to each other because we are in relationship with our creator. I wouldn't force them to pray either...let it come on it's own out of a pure desire to seek and talk with Him. We read books as a family every night, 2 books ( or chapters) and a bible story ( http://www.amazon.com/Read-Learn-Bible-American-Society/dp/0439651263/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1342456236&sr=8-1&keywords=Read+and+Learn+Bible ) and then we pray together. We ask the kids if there's anything they are thankful for, want prayer for, or if there's someone they want to pray for...mom and dad answer the same question. Then we ask them if they want to pray...sometimes it's yes, most times it's no. No matter, when they do pray, it's sincere and to me, that's important. I just always think what the goal is and my goal for my children is to help grow them into responsible adults (not kids) and so I will be an example to them, guide them, teach them, and pray for them to grow in this area and let it happen naturally.

  9. first off - you look amazing for a sleep deprived worry wort mommy to be...
    I sucked my thumb on and off until I was 15 there was nothing that could be done because even when I was too embarrassed to do it infront of anyone I did it in my sleep - so delay braces until they are truly ALL done... (guess I should mention a slight thumb sucking in my sleep relapse after my divorce...) ay well...
    just wanted to let you know that I am blogging- again


  10. Yucky nail polish--worked for my nail biting--I would do: ) Sight words? Forget about it. Although kinder isn't what it used to be. . .there's plenty of time for that later (in my professional opinion: )

  11. Number 6:24 is the blessing we give the kids every night! Nice seeing you today. Have fun in June Lake!

  12. my mom always told me that to-do lists and burdens take up much less space on paper than they do in your heart and on your mind. it's so freeing to write it all out and let it go, isn't it?

    i feel the need to tell you that you're doing a great job, that you are enough, and that the more grace we have with ourselves, the more we can understand the depth of grace and the gospel. you don't always have to DO for God (making sure you're praying together, buying bibles, etc) but sometimes, He just needs us to BE with Him.


  13. I'd pray the Lord's prayer with them. I'm not a mom but I remember praying the "now I lay me down to sleep prayer . . ." every night and I sometimes wish I'd prayed something with more substance. Maybe you could talk about a different line in the prayer before you pray it each night (or each week).
    I always try to live life as I see Jesus living it, and doing the things He's called believers to do (emphasis on "try") - and since He said, "this is how you are to pray", I'd say that would be a great place to start.

    Jesus was constantly in prayer. He would look up to heaven before He did anything, He would withdraw to pray, He would pray all the time. I think the best way to show your kids that prayer is important and to make it a "ritual" is to make it a "ritual" in your own life. Model your love for Him because they'll notice. I still remember coming out of my room each day as a kid and seeing my Mom at the kitchen table reading her Bible. I knew reading the Bible was important because she did.

    My sister has 6 kids and homeschools, and before each day of school, they sit together and share what they're thankful for. They have a journal of gratitude that they fill in. They're not allowed to repeat things either. Each of them need to have at least one thing. It's pretty cool. When I look through scripture, there's so many calls to thanksgiving - that'd be a cool thing to teach your kids.

  14. Andrea,

    Just saw this post. First, let me say I totally relate to the worrying. Now, let me say...take a breath and relax! You are an awesome mom! Enjoy the things you are currently doing, work to improve in the areas you need to grow, and let the rest go (like the outdoor cushions! ;))Taylor, Syd, and Baby 3 are so blessed to have you!

    Now for my 2 cents...We just got the Kids Adventure Bible for Liv for her b-day: http://www.amazon.com/Adventure-Bible-NIV-Zondervan/dp/0310721989/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1343925334&sr=8-1&keywords=kids+adventure+bible

    It's the one our children's director at church recommends for readability. It has some great additional things, too, like the Kids 10 Commandments (basically the 10 commandments in kids' language). We found one a little more girly looking at a local Christian bookstore (pink leather binding). There's an early-reader version, too that might be more age-appropriate for Syd.

    As for prayers, we don't have a specific prayer we say each night. We try to have everyone say something they're thankful for and talk about anyone we know who needs our prayer (anything from a sick friend or family member to missionaries overseas). Then one of us will pray and try to remember to give thanks for the things we listed and pray for the needs we mentioned. That's the plan, anyway...most times it's Steve or me quickly rattling through the list to get them in bed. We need to work on that!

    As for sight words and outdoor cushions, I wouldn't worry too much...there's plenty of time for sight words during school, and the outdoor cushions might just have to wait until #3 is in school! :)

    Sorry for such a long comment...can't wait to "meet" Baby 3!!! Love you!

    Thumb/Finger sucking...Liv quick sucking her thumb on her own in the last year. I think going to school helped a lot (realizing it was a "baby" behavior). However, now I can't get Levi to stop biting/picking his nails, so I'm all ears on that one!


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