A new year.

I wish I started this last year.  Funny I decide to start journaling as a New Year’s resolution, and my reason for doing so – my oldest, Chloe, has been pretty calm.  Calm.  This word has not come to my mind in the past three years.  To say I have struggled alongside my husband when it comes to miss Chloe Lyvia would be an understatement.  From day one with her, it’s been a fight, struggle and anxiety filled journey with a huge dose of the unknown. Uncertainty.  How the heck have we made it?  God’s grace.  Without His grace, we wouldn’t have found patience on even the most sleepless days mixed with pregnancy hormones when I was carrying Chloe’s little sister, Ava.  Ava has been a Godsend for not only us and everyone around her with her huge personality but especially for Chloe, who has come so far this past year.

    She had early intervention in February of 2015 and I’m so glad we chose to do it.  It has helped her tremendously.  When you don’t know how to console your own child it is extremely disheartening.  When you see your own baby/toddler filled with so much anger that is triggered from anything in from the word “no”, to turning water off after she’s been washing her hands for a good 10-15 minutes (and you’ve given her plenty of warnings).  As I sit her and reflect on the fall/winter of 2012-2015, I find it best to have the recollection of events in an entirely different blog or even a book, which is in my future plans (stay tuned for the title).  As maddening/stressful/baffling as Chloe’s behavior can be, she is equally a beautiful/lovable/heart melting little girl which blows my mind.  I still, on a daily basis, ask God what He was thinking when He entrusted me, of all people (no patience) to be Chloe’s mother here on earth.

I am exhausted today from staying out late with my sister last night, but a mama has to take time for herself sometimes even when it’s not the most ideal.  I like being spontaneous anyway.  I didn’t get home until sometime after 3:30AM.  I figured it didn’t matter since Chloe wakes up all hours of the night anyway, so I might as well use some sleepless hours for myself.  Well – for the first time in months, Chloe slept from 10PM – 5:30AM.  We see this sleep success one every few months.  I told her that I liked her new year’s resolution.  Not only did she sleep through the night, but she was compliant today.  She was great getting ready for church.  Once we got to church – she was calm.  Ava wanted nothing to do with church because she is teething but we made it through for the first time, and by the end of mass we didn’t feel like we just got out of battle.  We didn’t even have reinforcements, either (snacks, toys, etc.), just a small ‘mass bag’ and letting her know what to expect which usually never does anything.  For some reason, either God gave us a break or this is a sign that we are seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.  I’m not sure what to make of it but I’ll take it and THANK YOU GOD.

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We ran into Fr. M. who had some food for us.  God bless that man  – he gave it all to us because he was not going to be able to finish it!  So, I thought I would invite my dad (Daddio) and also my friend D and her beautiful, four month old daughter (A).  We found out that A. loves butternut squash.  She was not happy when the spoon left her mouth – it was hilarious.  Chloe and Ava love that little girl.  Chloe lights right up around babies, I guess that means the time will come soon this year, if it’s in God’s will, to make an addition to the family.

During dinner, Chloe sat the entire time!  This is a record-breaking.  I’m telling you, I don’t know what’s going on  with her, but I’m okay with it!  We started a new bed time routine with her and I honestly think it’s helping.  Potty, pajamas, brush teeth while I do an Elsa braid in her hair, climb up into her top bunk, Daddy reads her a bedtime story (which has to be very monotone because she is insanely excitable), followed by a backrub and “sings” his prayers with her.  No TV/screen time, laying next to her or fighting about going to bed.  At a little over three years old,  I see my little girl beginning to slightly mature.  I know you don’t want your kids to ever grow up on you, but when it comes to Chloe – growing up means improved communication and sleep.  Lord knows that is a huge game changer for the Johnson household.  We were truly blessed when God gave us a great sleeper named Ava.  She can be put right to bed with her blanket and pacifier without any effort.  Of course, that’s not without stealing snuggles, hugs and kisses before I put her down for the night whether she likes it or not, but she’s just so cuddly I can’t help it.

My mom and her husband are coming for Christmas tomorrow.  I like belated Christmas gatherings, it extends the joy of the season.  My sister and brother-in-law, as well as two of my cousins are coming as well so with a total of 8 adults and 2 children it could be a recipe for disaster with Chloe being too overstimulated, but I can’t keep living like a hermit just because she’s so unpredictable.  I need to edit photos tonight, too, from a photography shoot I did the other day if I don’t fall asleep first.  Here’s to tomorrow . .

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