Friday, June 06, 2008

Anna in her Chinese dress... stay tuned after the post to see Anna's newest thing: sculpting ducks!


Every now and again the kids go through a phase where one or both of them doesn’t want to take their nap. The phase usually begins with short or interrupted naps. It helps the kids’ case if we have some special day where finding time and place for a nap is out of the question. They’ll thrive right through that naptime as if to say, “See, I’m too big for naps…” But just wait until right before dinnertime when the meltdown begins! Sometimes they whine a little when we tell them, “Okay, go pick a book so that we can read it for your naptime.” Anna will say, “I don’t need a nap. I’m so awake and I just want to play.” The funny thing about those days is that as soon as she lies down, she’s out for the count for hours on end.

Here’s the thing… why does Anna need a nap? Why do we sleep? I mean, isn’t it weird as heck that you have gone completely unconscious for hours at a time every single day of your whole life? Can you imagine how much more productive we could be if we didn’t have to spend eight hours out of every day completely motionless with our eyes closed? What’s really weird though is this: Scientists have no idea why we sleep. I’m serious. Many theories abound, but when it comes down to it, no one really knows what sleep is all about and no one has a clue what dreams accomplish.

Back in the day researchers assumed that wakefulness was the natural state of the brain and that sleep gave the brain an opportunity to shut down. Now we know this to be untrue. The fact is, the brain is active whether we are asleep or awake. Most people believe that sleep is about rebuilding and restoring. The idea is that during the day we break down our body and deplete our stores of energy both physical and cognitive, and we need sleep to recharge. That may explain why growth hormone is secreted during sleep. Maybe the best clues to unlocking the mystery of sleep lie in what happens when we don’t get enough… we become irritable, uncoordinated and more prone to errors. We lose our creative edge and sharpness.

Some think sleep and dreaming are a way to process our problems… the idea there is that as we face difficult, demanding, confusing or emotionally taxing situations, our brain heats up. These folks believe that sleep and dreams allow us to cool off and decompress from the pressures of living. These are all great theories, but no one is totally sure exactly why we sleep. There are only two things I know for sure about sleep. One is this: I need it… everyday. I need to stop. I need to check out. I need to cool down, rebuild, restore and whatever else there may be. I simply have to take some time out of everyday, lie down, close my eyes and stop thinking.

The other thing I know for sure about sleep is this: God doesn’t need to. Psalm 121 says, “He who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, He who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.” He doesn’t need to chill out. He doesn’t need to rebuild His energy supplies. He doesn’t have to take some time to decompress from the problems and pressures of the day. He doesn’t get grumpy, He doesn’t make errors and He doesn’t lose His edge. Whatever the reason for sleep, it must lie somewhere in our overwhelming weakness, but this is for sure: God doesn’t need to. He’s not weak and He’s not sleepy.

Anna's Ducks:
Okay, so Anna started sculpting ducks with play doh which is pretty cool and all... I mean, they're good ducks, but then I noticed that there was more going on than meets the eye...

Look at the pictures and you'll see a mommy duck with a couple of baby ducks. She always makes them a family like that. Now look in the back, behind the ducks. I asked her what that was and she said it's a nest with the eggs for the next baby ducks who haven't yet hatched. See, she makes the mom, then she makes the nest and the eggs. Then, when it's time for the babies to "hatch," she takes each egg and makes the next baby duck. As in, both of those baby ducks were little play doh eggs a few seconds ago... I thought that was really cool.

1 comment:

Laura Ashley said...

Anna is quite the little artist! :o) I can't believe how much both the girls have grown. They are adorable. Congrats on your new addition. How exciting..they will make great big sisters!

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