there are a some things i never get tired of doing....eating Blue Bell ice cream (homemade vanilla with hershey's chocolate syrup).....listening to random old favorite songs of mine, The Eagles, Steve Miller Band (i know, weird...but true) 80's classics....watching football, especially my red raiders (go tech!).....listening to the rain....waking up next to Ryan.....
but last night when i just couldn't sleep...i blogged until late and then just couldn't sleep still. and with my current illness, i NEED sleep. i crave it almost...my body generally shuts down at about 7pm and i have to fight through to put all the kids to bed and then kiss Ryan as i fall into our bed at the pathetic hour of 8:30 or so. but not last night. last night, i saw hours on the clock that i had honestly forgotten were there. i will pay the price for that today for sure.
but it reminded me. as i went around the the boys' room and to my sweet baby girl's room...i was soooo reminded of something i never, ever, ever tire of doing....watching them sleep. if you have kids, you must know what i mean. when they are little bitty, i think part of it is the sheer relief that they are quiet and still that you are simply thanking God that they are asleep. :) but now i just love to watch them....i looooove to stop and stare....
my kids sleep so differently. my eldest, sweet jacob (is now 5 and three-quarters :) sleeps like he is; consistent, traditional, predictable. he is precious. he finds a comfortable position, i think one of the three main positions that you are "supposed" to sleep in, flat on back, on his right side or on his left side. he will readjust his covers so that everything is straight and evenly covered and then he simply closes his eyes and goes to sleep. he is like his mama, in that he can literally be talking to you and then by OUT COLD in 30 seconds flat. interesting, but true. i have actually been known to fall asleep in the middle of conversations...MY part of the conversations, nonetheless. but, jacob will fall asleep and lie there sweet and secure in that same position, often for the entire night. he breathes so deeply, with his mouth open (yet another trait he so attractively inherited from yours truly).....i know he is always dreaming, because he is always thinking. analyzing. wondering. maybe worrying. (again, for the most part, he is my husband's twin, but he is his mother's son as well) trying to figure out this world and if he can't do it awake, by golly, he will do it asleep. even as a baby, you could just tell looking at him sleeping, that his little mind was going. in the morning when he wakes up he often needs a "little time" (like his daddy) before he wants to deal a whole lot with everyone. but his heart is so big and fine, tht he will welcome kisses from his baby sister immediately...so sweet.
then there's sweet benjamin (he is 3 1/2) who could not be more different than his older brother. but he could also not want to be more like him. oh i know what that younger sibling deal is like. anyway...benjamin gets into bed and if he can find his covers, will use them or not, doesn't matter. he will sleep however he wants, one leg up, on his belly, pillow under his belly at the foot of bed, perpendicular to the "right" way. he'll rustle around, until finally his body just gives in and out of sheer boredom, falls asleep. if i wanted to, i could check on him throughout the night and just for fun take a picture of him every 20 minutes or so...in each different position, and i think it would make for a very fun flip book. but my favorite, and i would say his most favorite position is on his belly with his sweet legs all tucked up under him and his hiney in the air. he looks so cozy and safe. i just want to "cuggle" (his version of the word cuddle, too cute) up next to him...but i dare not, because unlike his elder brother, he is a VERY light sleeper and the sweet cuggle time isn't often worth waking him up. in fact, it is that reason that i have far less sweet sleeping pictures of benjamin, because the simple sound of the digital camera clicking often stirs him from his semi-sound sleep. i am sure benjamin dreams, and i can't wait until he can express what it is, because he often wakes with a smile before he is really even awake. often ready to receive praise for not peeing in his bed or sleeping all night there. (and yes, that need for affirmation, he for sure inherited from me!)
lastly, is sweet sister friend....darling abigail (now almost 15 months) she is still in a crib, so her patterns are still a bit limited. there's no telling how she will be once she's turned loose in a big girl bed. but for now, she sleeps pretty sweet and secure. i like to say she sleeps "pretty". it is almost like she knows i want to come in there and take a picture of my only girl....in her purple and pink flowered jamis with her arms thrown up over her head, paci in mouth (don't judge), hair curls flipped evenly on each side.... i mean it..sometimes i peek my head in there and think, "oh sister friend, thank you for posing so sweet for mama!" she is a mix of her brothers really. her positions are more all over the place, like benjamin, but overall, once she decides, she sticks with it, like jacob. ryan and i like to think that she will be a good mix of the two of them, a bridge between the two. a lovely, sweet, pink little bridge, that they both happen to adore, to bring the two opposites together. (no pressure little girl...you just be you....we will all love you no matter what!) but, oh she really is so sweet when she sleeps. so delicate. but she's not. she is a tough cookie. by far the toughest of any of the three. but, like benjamin, she is a light sleeper (i must have just lucked out on that first one.....or maybe i am just unaware of how loud i am now.......nah.) sometimes she falls asleep with her leg through the crib rail. it doesn't bother her at all. it sure bothers me and i fix it every time. of course, me fixing it usually bothers her and rustles her sleep. (there's a lesson there mama) but seeing her in possible pain....i can't help but remember all the time i spent watching her sleep in the NICU bed. she had jaundice somethin fierce. the doctors threw the words "brain damage" around if she didn't get better. gee, thanks. she got better. but the two extra days in NICU and the three days in the "special bed" (which is basicially like a baby tanning bed---yes, don't you think i whispered in her sweet baby ear all about how this was the only tanning bed she'd ever have my permission to lie in!) at our house made me soooo happy to have her sleep in her regular crib. and now...all these months later. she sleeps so sound, so secure, so "pretty"...and she'll never remember those hours i watched her sleep and pray she'd be ok.
that reminds me. none of these babies will know all these hours i've watched them sleep. just like i don't know all the hours my mom peeked in on me. and even more so...i don't know all the hours God watches over me. hmmm. God never sleeps or slumbers. isn't that amazing that He is always watching over us. He knows when i sit down, when i get up. He knows my thoughts before i do. (see psalm 139) i wonder how often He watches us toss and turn over pointless worries. i wonder how He has enjoyed watching us grow up. the nights we have acknowledged Him before we slept. the nights we haven't. ugh. the mornings we have awakened with Him on our mind. the mornings we haven't. ugh. we are His kids. and like my pastor always says. our kids are His kids. God doesn't have grandkids. God knows more about them than i do. he loves to watch them sleep too. He never, ever, ever tires of it either. that brings me joy. not one day of my life, and not one day of my kiddos' lives has been unwatched by our great God. He cares and He knows and He watches. thank you God for that kind of love. thank you for never tiring. thank you.