Friday, February 23, 2007

Sleep is a beautiful thing!

Posted by Mandy at 7:06 PM 2 comments Links to this post
I haven't posted on it but I've talked to several of you in person about my recent 'sleep training' with Carter. We've always been a no crying it out family, a family bed if the baby needs it family, and now, after almost 3 years of letting our boy get what he needed from us in the wee hours of the morning, we've decided it's time to put bedtime into the discipline spotlight. My theory is when it starts to hurt me more than it helps them.. it's time for a change! I can no longer sleep with my tossing, turning, rub all over mommy and daddy all night long, son. So, for the past week and a half each time he's gotten up I've put him back to his bed. I still don't do crying it out, I would, some nights, be in his room comforting him 12 or more times, in faith that eventually the point would be made: "You are not getting into the big bed." For the past two nights he's gone to bed without a fuss, stayed asleep ALL NIGHT LONG, and come to our bed for a cuddle around 6:30am. I woke up this morning feeling sooooo good! Clayton's comment was, "We get one sleeping through the night right before we bring another one home... we better enjoy this while it lasts!" Yeah... I plan to enjoy each and every night of it! I'll update you in a few days to see if he continues to sleep all night or if he has a relapse to 'test' me... I'm determined to 'win' this battle now though. We're all happier now.. a rested mommy is a much more fun mommy!

For a "reading my Bible" update:
Tonight I read Matthew 5:43-48. I'm reading in the Life Application Bible for those wondering. These verses struck me because of how simple they sound, yet how INCREDIBLY hard they are to follow... they almost leave me asking God, "Seriously? Are you really expecting this of me?"

"You have heard it said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more for than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as our heavenly Father is perfect."

The "Are not even the tax collectors doing that?" question really struck me. This is probably a huge reason Christians are looked at as hypocrites. We're supposed to love EVERYONE... treat EVERYONE well. That's a pretty tough rule to follow, at least for me. Not that I can imagine myself ever treating anyone poorly... but to go as far as to say I LOVE certain people just seems so... well... unrealistic. Just yesterday, Clayton read an article in the paper to me about a man that got sentenced to only 2yrs on prison and a fine to pay after killing someone while driving drunk and wreckless. This is the one (of many) fatality wrecks that Clayton has worked that had us both in tears... and to see this guy get off so light for taking a life burned me up. I definitely felt no love for this man... quite the opposite. So my question is this: How do we love those we hate? Is it action rather than feeling? Does God really expect us to FEEL love towards them.. or is it more about forgiveness, letting go of the past, or overlooking things that bother us? What do you think? I'm not sure what I think about this yet... it's something for me to ponder. I'd be interested in what you all have to say though.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Oh the fear

Posted by Mandy at 1:09 PM 4 comments Links to this post
At small group one night Clayton had to rush out to respond to a possible drunk driver. Bonnie nearly had a hear attack and she kept asking how I could stand seeing him put on all of that protective gear and rush out of the room without crying. (been seeing it for a few years now I guess? lol) The truth is I think I finally gave that fear over to God.. I had to! I couldn't sleep at all when he was working nights for almost the entire first year he got on the highway. I worried about EVERYTHING. Now, I have just one thing that strikes huge amounts of fear into me... and it just happened. Clayton is out now working overtime (that's my dedicated man! Working hard for his family!) and as I was sitting here reading everyone's blogs, I heard several sirens coming down the highway towards our house. I stopped reading and forced myself to look out of the window, praying they were not coming to my house. I prayed "Dear God PLEASE let them go past our road.. please let them go past our road.." and thank the Lord they did. There would be nothing worse than seeing police cars pull up at our house... it would mean just one thing and I don't even want to think about it. I actually had a pretty big contraction I was so unnerved by the experience. That's only happened once before in the almost two years we've lived here. I think it scared me a lot more the first time! So, I guess I do still have fear. I guess it's more of knowing the reality.

On a happier, (much happier) note concerning my big man.... He was at headquarters the other day and his Sgt. called him in to read an email from Main HQ in Little Rock... about Clayton! There are a few different overtime 'themes' they can work.. clayton mainly works DWI overtime. He has a passion for making the roads safe... for getting idiots off of them and hopefully changing their lives in the process and saving someone else's as well. Well, it seems they keep a record, in the entire state, of the ratio of DWI hours worked compared to number of drunks gotten.. and clayton is NUMBER ONE IN THE STATE! In the ENTIRE state police.. Clayton got the most drunks in the hours he's worked. I am beyond proud. :) There is this fantastic banquet they put on each year for the top guys... we're invited! Problem is.. it's in June.. our baby boy is due in June! Yikes! I hope it's early in the month! lol So I'm just so so proud of him... I could dedicate an entire post to my husband and what he means to me and how fantastic he is in all areas of life. God really blessed me with him... to say the absolute least. I love that I have a spouce that I absolutely respect, love, look up to, and trust with all of my heart. Even after almost 10 years together he STILL melts me... love is my most favorite thing!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Finally reading

Posted by Mandy at 3:04 PM 6 comments Links to this post
In small group we've been discussing what we do at home as a family to learn more or to praise God. I've been disappointed with myself each week when yet another week goes by and my efforts have been minimal at best. It hit me harder this week than ever. For the first time, in an extremely long time, I felt convicted about my lack of study of my Bible, and I became very aware that I was not only allowing myself to miss out on the closest relationship to God I could have, but I was taking that experience away from my children as well. So, today, I sat down and prayed and asked God to point me to something in the Bible that I would WANT to read. Something that would shake me up a bit.. get me excited about him again. After looking around for a bit I got to the book of Matthew. While I like it it's never been one that grabbed me and made me want to sit and read it, until today. We're all probably very familiar with a lot of Matthew... it's definitely a book I've heard preached from numerous times. I read this today though and plan to read it and discuss it with the kids this evening:

Matthew 5:6 "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled."

I've read this passage a million times in the past, but today it meant something to me. I've felt a distance between God and me for the past few years. The distance grew greater and greater when we had our struggle to become pregnant this time. Rather than drawing closer to God when I needed him most, I became angry and bitter at what he was "allowing" me to go through both physically and mentally. I refused to try to see the good in it... even though looking back, I can see it now. I spent a lot of time wishing I would just be "filled" with God, yet I had no desire to do anything to seek him out. I wanted to be joyful in Christ, but after reading this verse I realize that I just wasn't really "hungry" and "thirsty" for him. If I would've truly been looking to have my hunger and thirst for God satisfied, he would have done that for me. I was content to be heartbroken during that year, when I could have been much more joyful had I reached out to God for strength instead. (Why do I always do things the hard way?) A verse a few verses down also touched me:

Matthew 5:13 - "You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men."

I wonder how much value I was to God during my times of "long suffering." I still made good moral choices in life, I still tried to support those around me, but deep inside I was still lacking that God filled joy... and whether I tried my best to hide that or not, it had to effect many things around me. My goal is not to lose my "saltiness" again. That isn't always easy, but it's a good goal for me! We Christians should stand out, we should have that "flavor" that others lack and they see in us and they want it. If we're low and dull and easy to be defeated, no one will want whatever we have. I'm so thankful that God led me to this small group, that he has used as a tool to spark something in me that's been needing sparked for a long while. I feel so good right now. Just reading my Bible for a few short minutes has made such a difference in everything I'm thinking and feeling tonight. I pray that I can continue with this with determination each day from here on out.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Loving my kids again

Posted by Mandy at 2:21 PM 9 comments Links to this post

The 5th month must be the best month of pregnancy! I am finally feeling like "me" again. I can eat again (as of THIS week!), I can clean the house like I normally do, get laundry done, do Carter's school work with him, and play with the kids... this is the life! I'm not huge yet, but am comfortably pregnant. I finally look like I belong in the maternity clothes I've been wearing and, without being too graphic, my husband is feeling loved again. lol The best thing about all of this is I finally am able to be a really good mom again. I haven't had to drag myself off of the couch to "come look at this" or peel myself off of the bathroom floor to play Candyland in a few weeks. I can tell Madison and Carter are really enjoying having me back to normal. Feeling this good makes me so excited to be adding another child to the family. It's funny how the days that I'm sick and/or exhausted I get really freaked out that this baby is actually coming. I have the "I cannot do this" thought or "what have I done?", which is even worse. Suzanne and I have taken turns reminding each other that once the baby comes, we won't be pregnant anymore.. just tired. lol (which is far easier for me than being pg AND tired) And, there's always the fantasy that "this one might be a good sleeper." (ha ha) Then, on days like today, I am nothing but euphoric about this little boy coming. I have the superwoman complex... "I can do this! I can do anything!" The bad thing about feeling this good is that I'm already forgetting how hard the first 4 months of being pregnant were for me. (and this is my 'easy' pg) It makes me question whether or not I can really say this is the last. (Did I say that?) I know that Clayton is DONE with 3... so I just pray that this baby coming does trigger a "complete" feeling in me. I guess that no matter how many children you have, some women just will always want more. I think it's just hard to see your babies grow up and know that that's it. No more babies.. ever. That's a hard pill for me to swallow. I guess only time will tell how I will feel in the future. I imagine once the reality of HAVING 3 kids gets here, I might very well feel done having children! lol

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


Posted by Mandy at 1:26 PM 10 comments Links to this post
The ultrasound revealed a perfect little boy!! We are SO excited! I cried so much during the ultrasound that I really felt like I missed the entire thing. lol Especially when he started grabbing his face with his hands and turning his head towards them... just totally melted me! He's around 12oz right now, which is right on track. He measured 1 day away from my due date.. perfect! We weren't able to get the 4D done today. There was a misunderstanding at the front desk during scheduling... the ultrasound tech won't do a 4D until 25 weeks, and she only does them on Fridays because it's a 45 minute long ultrasound... had no idea. So we still have that to look forward to in about 5 weeks! :) I was so shocked when I saw boy parts... I had NO feeling either way but I was still stunned! lol I couldn't be happier.. Carter so needs a brother to rough house with.. it will be great for our family! And Suzanne and I have already discussed how cool it is that our baby boys will be the same age and surely the best of friends growing up! I went shopping as soon as I left the office and bought several baby boy outfits. I hung them in Carter's closet when we got home.. I cannot stop looking at them. I am as giddy as I could be! It's so cool to know that he's a boy! Now he just needs a name... I'm stuck on Samuel, but Clayton won't say it's a for sure name yet. He better decide soon.. I hate calling this baby "baby" or "he".. I like calling them by their names! As far as I go, all was well. I only gained 1 more pound.. putting me at 2 pounds above my prepregnancy weight. Doctor said that baby and I look great, definitely not malnourished, so he's not concerned. Glad he's okay with it... it worries me! I figure that eventually I'm going to go for that appt that I gain 8 pounds in 4 weeks and it'll put my fears at ease! lol

Saturday, February 03, 2007


Posted by Mandy at 1:25 PM 4 comments Links to this post
Sorry I've been absent from blogland... but we've all had the flu so I've been totally out of comission for the past 6 days. And yes.. we've ALL had it.. every single one of us in the Moss household! I just wanted to post a reminder that this Wednesday is our big ultrasound day! I am so so excited!! I'll post about it as soon as I can... complete with pics if my slow as Christmas dial-up will comply! Hope everyone else is healthy!

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