July 20, 2003

Journaling (and blogging) our history... Tonight I was asleep by 9pm but I awoke around 1 am to Serona coming into bed, finally waking up from our son's bed I suppose and then the contractions, heartburn, late night insomnia struck. I laid in bed for over an hour and then gave up and came into the living room.

I decided to journal to each of the kids. I spent one complete run through of Norah Jones' CD on the journal for my son and another complete run of the albulm for the baby's journal. I had just written our daughter on her birthday and decided I would try to sleep. No such luck, so I read some news, and decided to update you all on our week. I am still not feeling tired, but knowing tommorrow will be a fun day and I need to be in good spirits for her party I really hope I can fall asleep soon (As I am pretty grumpy) when I don't sleep. I guess I am ahead of the game as I already got nearly 4 hours uninterupted sleep (more than I get total some nights) before my little insomnia break and in reality the kids will be up in about 2- 21/2 hours anyway!

I really enjoy journaling to the kids and writing this blog. Some people are so good about scrapbooking and keeping either photo or video records of their kids lives and while I have managed to get my pictures taken and somewhat organized (sorry I never remember to send them out before they've changed so much again) and we have tried to take video of atleast the major events in their lives I am not talented in either area and they are struggles for me. I do not think I will ever be a "Creative Memories" guru like so many of the women out here. Atleast I took some pictures and maybe I can put a few in an albulm some day when I have time again and the kids are older (will that day ever come?) Yet I realize I am a very oral person, I love to talk, to write, to listen and to read. I love history and hearing people's stories, birth stories, college stories, love stories, any kind of story - so that is how I think I will pass our history on to our children - through words (some pictures) but mostly words.

When I was pregnant with our first padawan my mother bought me a journal to write to the baby, I will most likely finish that first journal's last page tommorrow after our daughter's 4th birthday party. I wrote alot in the beginning, when I was pregnant and had no other kids. Granted I was still busy (completing my MA in Communications, teaching public speaking at the college level, interning for the university's public affairs department and coaching the debate team - which still took up much of my life) but it was a different kind of busy and I always seemed to find time to write - about the excitments, challenges, fears and joys of pregnancy and upcoming motherhood.

I continued to fill those pages throughout the days of her early childhood, documenting some of her milestones in those pages as I saw them, not merely date and event, but the story of how it unfolded and I how I felt and how I thought she might have felt by what she was expressing or doing at the time. Through those pages I also shared my history, her father's history, some family hsitory and our dreams. I shared some of our decisions and why we made them even when they were so different from others (extended nursing, attachment parenting, cloth diapering, vegetarianism, selective vaccination, co-sleeping, sling wearing, non-seperation, no T.V, homeschooling and the list of our "weirdness" goes on) and the reasons behind them and the confidence that her father and I had that we were making the right choices for the family. I shared our faith and the importance of a relationship with Jesus Christ and how that informs so many other aspects of our lives. These are the sorts of things I fill their journals with, each of them individually and some day when the time is right I will pass these on to each of them and they will have a small record of our family's history, beliefs, values and choices. They will have a glimpse at their lives and how they were raised and why they were raised that way and they will know their story and mine. This is exciting to me and each time I start to write to one of them the pages unfold in a way I never anticipated.

Tonight I wrote to my son about how wonderful he is (of course) and about his language development and passion for artistic things, but I also wrote about how challenging his temperament can be for me when he goes through temper tantrums and talked about learning to communicate with one another. I was honest and open and loving and surprised even myself with what I wrote. I ended up writing a long piece on the joys and passion of reading and how important and wonderful it is and what a part of my life it is.

I started to write the baby inside me about the anticipation of her arrival and all our preperations and ended up writing about some of the ways we choose to parent and why and how much I love the early days of motherhood that so many people dread (the sleepless nights, the continuous neediness of a newborn) and why. I wrote about my mixed emotions about pregnancy (being ready for it to be over now and wanting to wait until she is readY). I wrote about motherhood and some of my approaches and feelings towards it and about siblings and preparing children to accept that a babies needs often have to come first.

I am always amazed at all the things that pour out of me when I start writing. Like tonight - you thought you were just going to read about our homeschool events of the past few days and instead you got so much more. Perhaps more than you bargained for or wanted, but there it is, you could always choose not to read. But I am glad that you are. I write this blog to share our stories, to share our days and our history with you and to keep a record of it for ourselves. Thanks for taking the time to read it.

Love and Peace,

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