It's been a month since I've done any real update. It's been a month since I've really written at all. Amazing. I guess sometimes, life just gets busy and finally, maybe I'm learning to live *in* my life completely. Not that I don't often envision moments with my children being blogged about, but those rarely make it here anyway. I'm too much of a scatterbrain at this point in my life.
Anyway, I've had several messages through various forms asking about different things that I haven't shared. I'll do my best to cover those tonight. :)
Starting with our holidays in Texas
We spent, I can't remember, about a week and a half, I think, in South Texas near Corpus Christi with Justin's mom and step dad. Justin's brother, his wife and their three kids spent the time with us as well. It was in the 70s throughout much of trip, with a few cold days. We spent Christmas day beach combing. It was a nice time. I know Justin's mom enjoyed having the boys and their families together for Christmas. We were spoiled, terribly and enjoyed good coffee every morning. I fell in love with South Texas and can't wait to return when we can spend more time with Justin's mom.
Moving on to the kids spending Christmas in Chicago
I solicited lots of prayers and others solicited prayers for us. At the last minute, we found out that the kids, in spite of the things that happened the summer before, had to go to Chicago. There was legally nothing I could do to stop it. We very reluctantly decided to leave early for Texas and fly the kids out of San Antonio on December 23rd. On the morning of the 23rd, we drove 2 1/2 hours to the airport in San Antonio, only to find that Chicago was under a weather advisory and the airline was, therefore, not allowing unaccompanied minors travel to Chicago - for the remainder of that day. They booked them the next morning. We got a hotel. Justin, Jaden and I had no clothes, deodorant, toothbrushes or even enough cloth diapers for an overnight trip, but we made due. I was overwhelmed with joy that I got even a few more hours with them. We returned the next morning to find the same thing, so they booked us for later that day. Within 30 minutes, we were notified that it would be in effect for the rest of the day. I decided that I would not have the children traveling on Christmas Day, so we headed back 2 1/2 hours to Bayside to spent Christmas with my children.
I'm sure that some were looking forward to having a few less people in the house. I'm sure that some were not up for the back-and-forth challenge of booking and canceling flights, but neither was the case for me. Nothing, and I mean nothing, could have made me happier than getting more and more moments with them and the time that God continued to give. On Friday and Saturday, the kids were on very single flight available and then had those flights canceled. Thankfully, we were calling in and not having to make the drive. We finally decided it was time to head home and ended up getting the kids a flight out of Oklahoma City Sunday morning the 28th. I got 5 more days than originally planned! And it was 5 more days that they didn't have to endure in Chicago.
Their time there was crazy. He was the same as he always is - manipulative and selfish. I sent a phone with them and he would only allow them to talk to me twice a day, no matter how much they wanted to. He did and said so many horrible things while they were there, but somehow managed to redeem himself on their last day there. The first 4 days, they called wanting to come home, then suddenly on the last day, he was fine. Ugh! They flew home early on Friday, January 2nd. They spent about 5 days total there. Much better than 10!
Since then, there hasn't been a ton of fall out from their trip. There has been a few things, but nothing as major as it was during the summer. I'm thankful for all of the prayers and I can tell you that they were answered. I got to spend Christmas with my kids! And they didn't endure nearly as much as they did during the summer.
Now Jaden has learned to sleep
For the past 4 months, Jaden hasn't slept. We thought getting him well from the dog allergy would make him better. Well, him getting better happened during vacation and tons of other stuff, and it didn't seem to help much except that now he didn't have a sinus infection. By the time we got home, he had been carried nonstop while he slept, except at night, when he slept very poorly with Justin and I. I would be up with him at night, literally 8 times. He would sleep for 2 hours then be up every hour. He would wake up at 11:30pm, it would take me 15-20 minutes to get back to sleep and he would be back up at 12:30am. Then by 4am, he'd be up 5 minutes after I laid him down. I was at my wits end. As my last post says, I was losing my mind.
I took him to the doctor last week and she found nothing wrong with him, but told me about a method to putting babies to sleep. I'm anti-cry-it-out, but this is a form of it that is more acceptable to me. I put him down and go in to him every 5 minutes, then lengthen the time between visits to his room. When I visit, I rub his back, pat his back, just let him know that I'm still here, I didn't leave him and that I love him. I don't have any horror stories of it taking 2 hours. In fact, it has worked beautifully and he is now so happy! He takes naps, regular two-hour long naps too, during the day. The change it has made for him is unbelievable! Last night, he slept from 8:30pm to 5:30am, nursed and went back to sleep for 3 more hours! Praise God!!!
Finally, moving is in our future
As I've mentioned, I think, we're planning to move back to Ark City. We have been house hunting (it's about to overwhelm me) nonstop. We've found some houses that we *love* and then some that we don't love but would really like to see ourselves in for the rest of our lives. Right now, our focus is getting our house on the market. That should happen within the next couple of weeks and we're eager for that moment...and for moment when we get to go home.
Oh and back to work
Justin has officially returned to 5-day work weeks and for that, we are thankful!
So, that was a lot of stuff and there are tons and tons of stuff that I'm leaving out, but that is basically it. I'm thankful for your prayers and your support and your encouraging words and for just thinking about us. God has been unreal! You know, my pastor started preaching on revival 2 Sundays ago, and it's done something big in my heart. I need(ed) revival! I see the way He has moved and is continuing to move and I'm amazed that at times, I've grown cold to seeing Him. Lord, I thank You for the works of Your mighty hands, which are able to do exceedingly abundantly more than I could ever ask or think! He is good!