I never could have imagined the experiences, challenges and rewards that come along with the title and responsibility of being "Mom". Everyday my little ones present different needs to be met, new attitudes to understand, stages to conquer, and find new ways to unravel my patience. Despite the challenges, the rewards that come from a genuine I love you mom, a moment of 3 children happily playing together, and even a simple accomplishment bring feelings and emotions that words can't describe. I am ever so grateful for my Precious Little Ones; for their individuality, talents, and the completeness each one contributes to the Cox Clan.

June 12, 2009

Bedtime Rituals

I don't know about anyone else, but for me bedtime is often the dreaded hour of the whole day! My kids often struggle when it's time to go to bed and STAY in bed. Even after our 30 minute ritual of stories, drinks, brushing teeth, prayers, and lots of hugs and kisses, there is ALWAYS something forgotten. Usually, it's something like, "Mom I forgot to tell you something!" Or Jalen's famous "Mom, I didn't give you hugs and kisses yet today!" (which that never happens because that is his favorite expression when he's in trouble! So I do hear that and receive hugs and kisses several times throughout the day) Although most nights this becomes frustrating when I'm tired and ready to be done, recently I have stopped to appreciate how sweet and cute they all are, even when it's way past their bedtime!

Jalen has always been my biggest challenge when it comes to bedtime and sleeping. It hasn't been until recently that he has consecutively slept through the night. Up until last month, he was getting up every night and climbing in bed with Alan and I. Sometimes 2 and 3 times in one night! But he is doing great right now. His funny routine at naptime is this:

Jalen: "Mom, will you lay by me?"

Me: "Ok, but just for a minute."

Jalen: "Will you scratch my back?"

So I would scratch his back. After a few days, it turned into this:

"Mom will you scratch my back?" Then he would roll over, "Will you tickle my tummy?"

So I would scratch his back and then tickle his tummy. A few days later it became this....

"Mom, will you scratch my back?" Then roll over, "Will you tickle my tummy?" Then roll back onto his stomach and ask, "Will you rub my head?" So I would scratch his back, tickle his tummy, and rub his neck and head!! Can you tell he is the baby of our family?? I can't believe I do this, but when it gets him to sleep, it's worth it!

Mason always has many treasures. It can be favorite books, a bouncy ball, marbles, rocks, his medal from T-ball, all kinds of different things. But whatever his treasure is at the moment, he keeps it very close, including bedtime. Sometimes, he will have several things either lined up on his bed or on the floor right by his bed. At bedtime, our biggest challenge is making sure Mason has all his treasures because he can't stay in bed unil he has found them all. He is also very particular in lining them up just so. Sometimes he has so much stuff in his bed, he hardly has room to move around! But he doesn't care, as long as he's got all his treasures! Mason has also discovered that bedtime is when he likes to talk with me. One night after a conversation, I got up to leave and he said "Mom, sit down! I'm not done talking!" He went on and talked for a few more minutes, nothing of real significance or importance but he was thoroughly enjoying the one-on-one time of just being able to say whatever was on his mind, having my full attention, with no one interrupting! These have become precious moments for us.

Madelyn has become so independent. After a full day of school, activities and play she is so exhausted but just doesn't want to give in...not until she's "ready for bed". Madelyn's routine that she accomplishes all on her own entails a nice long shower, hair all combed out, clothes picked out for the next day, teeth brushed, and then her favorite...to read. She has made very impressive strides this year with her reading. She will read at night for as long as she can hold out. I usually find Madelyn alseep and snoring on top of her bed, lights still on, with a book laying across her chest. Although it is helpful that she is so independent, part of me isn't ready to let go of the idea that she is not my little baby girl anymore.

So this has been a good moment of realization for me. When bedtime seems endless, I need a little reminder to myself that the time will come way too quickly when they don't want help with their prayers, an extra kiss and hug good night, or a visit about their day. They will continue to grow up way to fast and these precious moments will be only a memory.

June 2, 2009

Dance Girl Dance!

Madelyn experienced her first year in dance this past year. She enjoyed both ballet and jazz, of course jazz being her favorite! I think it was primarily because she danced to music from High School Musical 3! At her dance recital, she looked so adorable and really did an awesome job. She is definatey a natural and beautiful dancer. I was so proud of her and kept thinking to myself, I can't believe how much my baby girl is growing up!

Madelyn with her classmate, Sierra.

Madelyn with her teacher, Ms. Tiffany, who was an awesome teacher!