Family Ties

One of my favorite family activities around this time of year is the family gathering together to watch Christmas movies. My favorite is White Christmas, the hubs’ is Elf, and the munchkin has a special love of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. We can watch the same videos year after year, and we love spending family time with these great films.

Over a year ago the hubs and I actually were extras in a Christmas movie which was filming near our house. We had a nice afternoon seeing how movies are made and following directions as part of a crowd of extras. When the movie was released on December 1 this year, I searched it out, eager to see if we made it into the film.

I hesitated to purchase the film, however, after I read the reviews of our cinematic debut. These are actual reviews for the movie. Seriously.

“You aren’t going to recognize anyone else in this movie unless you attended church with or went to school with the group of friends behind the production of this low-budget Christmas movie.”

“This movie was painful to get through.”

“[I]f you’re looking for family-friendly, you found it. Only the most puritan of minds would find fault with this well-intended film where every story in the movie gets a happy ending. In fact, the only thing offensive about it is the writing, acting, and production values, which are below the scale of a bad made-for-tv movie.”

“Santa plays more like a dirty old man than a kindly old elf.”

“That is time I can never get back…But please don’t waste your money or time on this lousy movie!”

“Looks like it was shot in a church basement with a camcorder. Awful.”

That last one is my personal favorite because we shot our scenes at a church, including some time in a church basement, although not with a camcorder.

Now, I know that these reviews do not speak to our performances as we sat motionless in the background. However, based on the reviews of our first foray into professional acting, I guess we don’t need to be holding our breath for Hollywood to come knocking. I suppose it is for the best, because I do not think the family canine, delicate princess that she is, would handle fame very well.

The hubs was apparently tuned into the family spirit of the season this week as well when he talked in his sleep. I was having trouble staying asleep one night this week, and got up to get a glass of water. As I was trying to quietly slip out of bed, the hubs suddenly sat up, and turned to me.

Hubs: Well, that’s just unacceptable.

Me: What?

Hubs: Well, your nephew. He chose an event that is three hours long! So, now we have to wait for three hours instead of knowing now.

This was a surprising statement because the hubs and I do not have a nephew.

Me: Oh? So what are you going to do?

Hubs: I guess try to go to sleep.

Me: That sounds good. Anything I can do to help?

Hubs: Yeah, tell your people not to do that!

Me (laughing at how serious he is): Ok, I’ll try, but I don’t think they’ll listen to me.

Hubs: Yeah, I figure.

Me: You figure what?

Hubs: Bunch of crazies.

Me (feeling a little concerned that he thinks “my people” are crazy): What do you mean?

The hubs then pulled the blanket up over his head for a second, then popped his head back out.

Hubs: Just try to control your people.

Me: Ok, I will.

Hubs: I love you.

Me (leaning over and kissing his cheek): I love you, too.

Hubs: I’m all thrown off now.

Me: Oh, you are? Do you want another kiss?

Hubs: Yes, please.

The hubs held up his cheek for another peck, then rolled over.

Hubs: Ok, well goodnight.

Me: Goodnight, buddy.

After this lengthy asleep exchange, I finally got to go get my water. I am not sure why the asleep-hubs thought that I had a nephew. However, if some day we do have a nephew, I’m sure we will include him in the family tradition of watching Christmas movies. Maybe we will even show him the movie that his favorite Aunt and Uncle were extras in…maybe.

Precipitation Problems

The munchkin loves snow. When he wakes up in the morning, we throw open the shades and he looks out, calling, “Snow! SNOW!” Then when we go and run errands he points to the mounds already piling up in the parking lots, saying, “BIG snow.”

The munchkin loves snow so much that he wants to go out and play in it. This takes about twenty minutes to get both of us bundled to the point where we can go out and play. However, as soon as we get out into the snow, he realizes he has made a horrible and cold mistake and cries to go back inside. As soon as we are inside he refuses to take off his boots and hurls his body against the door, yelling, “SNOW!!” This cycle is repeated until the hubs gets home from work and it is time for dinner.

Here is the munchkin crying after I brought him inside, after he cried because he wanted to be brought inside. This is the picture I'm going to show people who ask when we are going to have a second child...

Here is the munchkin crying after I brought him inside, after he cried because he wanted to be brought inside. This is the picture I’m going to show people who ask when we are going to have a second child…

The munchkin’s hot/cold relationship with snow is not the only water problem in our home. The hubs’ sleep talking a few days ago involved precipitation as well.

I had a very bizarre dream recently. In my dream, the hubs was nonchalantly sitting next to me, pouring liquid into tiny glasses, then flinging it on me. This was one of those vivid dreams that seem like almost reality because it felt so real. At that moment, I really felt like water was sprinkling down onto me.

Flash forward to the next evening, the day after my weird dream. The hubs and I were headed out to a function and he turned to me and asked, “Do you remember me pouring water on you last night?”

I told him that I had dreamed that exact thing happening during the night, and would he please explain what he was talking about.

He explained that he, in a sort-of-awake-sort-of-asleep state, had reached over for his cup of water and grabbed it. He then raised his hand to his mouth to take a drink, but instead of the cup only his empty hand reached his face. In his still-asleep-ness he had dropped a full glass of water into the bed and did not even realize it! He said the water splashing all over in his lap woke him right up, and he quickly tried to clean it up, but not before I had gotten a little damp as well.

I have no idea how I stayed asleep through this whole escapade, but my subconscious must have known enough of what was going on to somehow incorporate it into my dream. I am hoping for a quieter week this week with less sleep talking or sleep drinking, but you know what they say: when it rains it pours!

Fear and Trembling

I hate scary movies. Really, honestly hate them. And haunted houses. Or haunted hay-rides, or really anything with “haunted” in the name. I do not like to be scared, even if I know it is all make-believe. Fear is just…scary!

It is not always even outside scary forces that make my heart race and palms sweaty. Sometimes it is my own thoughts that end up scaring me. For example, at church on Sundays we drop the munchkin off at his class, and are given a number that flashes on the screen in the service if he needs us. Whenever a number comes up in the service, I always think they mistyped it, and really it is us they are trying to contact. For example, our number is 6734 and sometimes 6834, or 7734, or 6733 come up on the screen. And then I work myself into a scared fit, convinced that the munchkin is in trouble, and I am not coming to him because the number is wrong.

Sometimes it is not even close to our number, yet my brain makes me freak out with fear that I am somehow missing out on my responsibility. The number could be 5487 and my fear convinces me that the childcare worker is dyslexic and has poor depth perception, and really meant to type 6734 and summon us.

I know I have a problem. I’m working on it.

The most fearless member of the family. Here she is, in a moment of extreme bravery, guarding the home for the ones she loves.

The most fearless member of the family. Here she is, in a moment of extreme bravery, guarding the home for the ones she loves.

Sometimes the hubs’ sleep talking scares me. I really only get truly frightened when he sits up or tries to get out of bed in his sleep. I worry that in his asleep state he will hurt himself or me.

This happened most recently a few weeks ago: I woke up to the hubs sitting up in bed, completely still. I asked if he was alright, scared he would try to get out of bed. He did not say anything, sat there for another minute, then rolled over as if nothing happened. It was a scary moment for the awake member of the family.

Just last week, though, the hubs was the one who was scared in his sleep. I woke up to him throwing his arms around wildly.

Me: What is it?

Hubs: There’s a bug!

Me, sort of concerned maybe there really was a bug: Really?!

Hubs, with more thrashing around: It’s a bug!

Me, realizing he was asleep: Yeah, well just get rid of it.

Hubs: Hate it. Hate that.

Me: Ok, me too.

Hubs: Bug. Gross.

He was quiet after that. I hope his experience with the bug in his sleep was not too frightening, because I know how awful it is to be scared!

Lost in Translation

The munchkin’s vocabulary has just exploded over the last two weeks. Almost every day he has a new word or two that he uses. Some of them I can clearly tell what he is trying to express. Some…not so much. Some are just downright awkward.

For example, the munchkin loves to go down the slide at the playground, and he likes to try to say the word, “Slide.” However, he does not quite have the pronunciation down quite right, so what he says sounds exactly like the term one might call a donkey, or refer to a person’s rump. And this word is not considered a very nice word in society, although the munchkin does not yet know that. When we go to the playground the munchkin gets so excited, he runs towards the equipment yelling, “Slide! SLIDE!!” Of course, what he’s yelling doesn’t sound like, “slide,” but sounds like that other word. And I know that he means, “slide,” and he knows that he means, “slide,” but the other parents and children at the park are not so well informed. They stand there staring as my toddler scrambles up the steps of the playground, stands triumphantly on the top platform, and bellows a mild curse-word. We are working on it.

Like the munchkin and his slight pronunciation issue, the asleep hubs is not so great at pronunciation sometimes. The other night he started mumbling in his sleep, waking me up.

Me: What’s wrong?

Hubs: Slerpinscop…

Me: Hmm? You ok?

Hubs: Beecrews…sherish…

Me: Yeah, fine, go back to sleep.

The hubs was quiet after that and I am not sure what he was trying to say. Thankfully, both he and Rory normally are better at pronouncing their words!

The Apple and the Tree

“The apple doesn’t fall from the tree.” In other words, “You will inevitably turn into your parents.”

The munchkin has certainly exemplified this statement. He is just like his daddy already, in lots of ways. They both sneak snacks before dinner. They both like to be outside. They both dislike eating vegetables.

A few weeks ago we found out one more way the munchkin is like his daddy: he talks in his sleep. We were traveling, and the munchkin had missed his nap. When we finally got settled in the rental car, he fell asleep almost immediately. About 20 minutes down the road, we heard him thrashing around. Then he started babbling, too. However, he was still asleep. The munchkin was talking in his sleep. He kept it up for a few minutes, then finally went back to resting quietly.

Pics or it didn't happen.

Pics or it didn’t happen.

Talking away, complete with gestures.

Talking away, complete with gestures.

The munchkin has not talked in his sleep since then, so I think it was a one time thing because he was so tired.

The munchkin is not the only one who has talked in his sleep recently: the hubs has been talking too. Most recently, I woke up to him propped up on his elbow, mumbling.

Me: Hmm, you ok?

Hubs: It’s just everyone is panicking!

Me: What? Is everything ok?

Hubs: No! It’s just a mess, and they’re really upset.

Me: Really, who is?

Hubs: Yeah, it’s awful.

Me: Ok. Who is it?

Hubs: I mean, real panic.

Me: Oh, alright. Can I do anything?

Hubs: No, I don’t think so.

Me: Ok. I’m going back to sleep then, you should too.

Hubs: Yeah…maybe.

Then he did not say anything else. I’m not sure what was so upsetting in the hubs’ dreams, but I know it was not the fact that the munchkin is just like him. Even when asleep, the hubs loves that the munchkin is a lot like him, and I like it, too.

Not Helping

We all do it – try to make a situation better, but actually make it worse. And then the inevitable happens, whoever we are trying to help rolls their eyes and says, “Not helping!” I know I have used that phrase before too. I used it just today when the dog tried to help me put the munchkin down for a nap, but ended up getting herself stuck in the nursery and barked, waking up the munchkin. “Not, helping dog. Not. Helping.”

Sometimes I’m the one who’s very unhelpful, making life difficult for myself. When I take the munchkin to the grocery store, I tend to narrate our shopping trip, to try to build the munchkin’s vocabulary and social skills, saying things like, “Time to get some milk! Milk is white,” and other things like that. So this past week we were at the store, walking past a large display of backyard barbecue foods, and the bottom row was being stocked by a younger gentleman employee of the store.

As we walked by I continued my narration of the shopping trip for the munchkin, “Wow! Look at those BUNS!”

This made the hard working store employee jump, and look up with concern. I realized how this must have sounded to him, and tried to correct my mistake by loudly adding to the munchkin, “For eating! Hamburgers on! Brown buns! AHH, let’s go get toothpaste!”

Not helping, self. Not. Helping. Then I hustled away toward the toiletry aisle, cheeks burning, pride in smithereens on the tile floor. I am my own worst enemy.

Sometimes, albeit rarely, the hubs is the one who is unhelpful. Several weeks ago the munchkin got sick, and was getting up in the night, inconsolable. On one of these sick nights, I went to get him when he cried in the early hours of the morning and came back to the bedroom where I was bouncing him.

Hubs: Oh, he’s up?

Me: Yes, he just doesn’t feel very good.

Hubs: How about I get up and make a bottle for him?

Me: That would be really helpful, thanks.

But the hubs didn’t move, but just laid quietly, while I continued to bounce the baby.

Me: Buddy? Are you going to go make the bottle?


Me: Hey! You aren’t asleep! Aren’t you going to get up?



Not helping, hubs. Not. Helping.

By this time, however, the munchkin had fallen back to sleep being bounced, not actually that hungry after all. So, I maneuvered him back into his crib, where he slept until morning. In the morning when I confronted the hubs about promising to make a bottle and then not actually getting out of bed, he had no idea what I was talking about. He had been asleep for the whole conversation, and was not even aware that the munchkin had been up in the night.

When it comes to my life, sometimes sleep talking is just not helping.


There’s No Place Like Home

Well, we’re back to the blogosphere. Spring has come, the snow has melted, polar vortexes are a distant memory, and I have dug myself out from under a pile of moving boxes, curriculum development documents, and thesis research to resurrect the blog. Much has happened since last fall when I last posted. First, we moved into a house! A real house, with a garage, and a bedroom just for the munchkin, and more than one toilet, and it is wonderful.

Here we are at the new house shortly after moving in. If you haven't moved in the snow, you should try it.

Here we are at the new house shortly after moving in. If you haven’t moved in the snow, you should try it.

Second, the munchkin is doing well, and has grown considerably and walks and talks and does all sorts of things. However, as far as I know he has not yet taken after the hubs’ habit of sleep talking. Third, I graduated and have decided to never go back to school again…for now. Fourth, the dog remains exactly the same as always. It is nice to know that no matter what exciting changes go on in our lives, she stays a constant, just interested in sleeping in the sun.

The other constant in my life amidst the many changes is the hubs’ sleep talking. My little notebook is brimming with tales of his sleep talking, and I am happy to be back to blogging about them. However, I think the hubs’ sleep talking can wait one more week, and this week I should share my own sleep talking episode from a few days ago.

This is apparently how it went down, in the middle of the night:

Me: Really?….Oh, I see.

Hubs: Hmm? What’s up?

Me: No way!

Hubs: Honey? Are you asleep?


And at this point I was yelling. And I yelled so loudly that I actually woke myself up. The hubs was kind enough to tell me I had been talking in my sleep and that I should roll over and just be quiet the rest of the night. As far as I know, that’s exactly what I did.

I’m thinking this was a one time thing, though, and from now on I will have only stories of the hubs’ sleep talking. I hope so, at least – everything else has been changing, it would be a shame to change who is the sleep talker in the family!

Strike Four, You’re Out!

I have many fine qualities, but natural athletic ability is not chief among them. Actually, it is not really among them at all. When God was gifting me, athletic ability was left standing on the wall like a loser while various other things were chosen… much like I was left standing on the wall when my peers chose teams for softball in gym class. I am just not skilled. I was so bad that in gym class the teacher used to feel bad and “miscount” strikes when we played softball and give me four chances to swing. I was so bad that the kids didn’t even bother to move in, because the odds of me connecting ball and bat were practically zero. I was so bad that the pitcher (who I had a crush on) used to scoot way up and just sort of loft the ball at me, encouraging me to hit it. And I really haven’t gotten much better in the decade and a half since then.

My lack of athletic ability (and obvious emotional scars from softball failures) does not mean that I do not like to play with balls with the dog and the munchkin.


The munchkin loves balls so much that I made his play pen into a ball-pit. It’s awesome. I’m not sure who loves it more, him or me.

The dog prefers tennis balls. She keeps a secret stash of them behind the television cabinet.

The dog prefers tennis balls. She keeps a secret stash of them behind the television cabinet.

Unlike me, the hubs is good at sports. Right now he is on a golf kick, and he’s out swinging the club constantly. I think that getting out for a few holes must have been on his mind last night. I was sleeping soundly when I jumped awake because the hubs sat up and smacked my shoulder.

Me: What?!? What’s wrong?!?

Hubs: What on earth!?! Don’t you know about the foursome?

Me: Umm, no…

Hubs: Yeah, well I’m not playing without it, and you’re just… it’s just…

Me: What are you talking about?

Hubs: Oh, you don’t even know, do you! We need a foursome for nine holes.

Me: That’s fine, Buddy. Let’s not worry about it.

Hubs: You know what you are? An embarrassment. Yep, this is just horrible.

Surprisingly, I was not offended, because, when it comes to sports, this is nothing I didn’t already know…that, and I’m doing better at not getting upset when the hubs sleep talks

Me: Ok, I’m going back to sleep.

Hubs: Well, it’s just… I mean, GAH!

And then he threw his hands up in exasperation, sank back down, and did not say anything else.

Poor, asleep hubs. Thankfully, when he’s awake he normally has a foursome willing to play and can golf to his heart’s content. Now if only we could round up enough players for some friendly softball – I get four strikes, right?

Pass the Coffee

As you might have noticed, the blogging has been sporadic. Actually, to be more accurate, the blogging has been non-existent. I fully, and freely admit that it is not my fault – I blame the munchkin. Having a baby has been like having all of the responsibilities you had before the baby, and then adding in an incredibly needy cat to the mix. Not a whole lot of time for blogging…or sleeping.

photo(5)photo(1) photo(3)photo(4)photo photo(2)  Yesterday was the munchkin’s half birthday. I have been a parent for 6 whole months. Even after 6 months, I still have no idea what I’m doing. However I have learned one thing about parenting: if you aren’t tired, you’re probably doing it wrong.

House of Horrors

The munchkin loves to hold his Lamb Chop plush toy while being changed. I think it is because it is so soft, and has bright red hands and feet. He holds it and sucks on her ear while I change him. He was doing just that this afternoon, babbling away happily. I finished snapping his onesie and picked up Lamb Chop off of him, to make her dance on his tummy.

That was when I saw it. Sticking out of the munchkin’s mouth, covered in baby drool, was a big, fat, brown wooly caterpillar!

I screamed, grabbed it, and flung it on the floor. I tossed a nearby clean diaper over it and started smashing it as hard as I could. The munchkin thought this was pretty funny, but was not amused when I started washing out his mouth with a soft washcloth. I just could not imagine how a caterpillar had gotten into the munchkin’s mouth! We had gone to the park for lunch, but I had watched him the whole time!

After all of the commotion, I put the clean-mouthed baby on the floor to play while I examined the horrible bug. Would you believe it, when I took off the diaper covering the caterpillar, it wasn’t a caterpillar at all. It was Lamb Chop’s luscious eyelashes! Apparently the munchkin had sucked them right off her face!

Thankfully, they were still in one piece, so it was an easy job to sew them back on to her forehead. I wouldn’t want the munchkin’s favorite stuffed animal to be without her eyelashes, even if they did about give me a heart attack!

It's ok, munchkin. I still love "ewe"!

It’s ok, munchkin. I still love “ewe”!

The hubs had quite a scare today, too. Apparently in the early hours of the morning this morning, the hubs woke up when I sat on his legs and started talking to him.

Hubs: Hon, what are you doing?

Me (searching around the bed): Where’s the baby? I can’t find the baby!

Hubs: What?!? Did you bring him back after feeding him?

Then the hubs heard a rustle on the baby monitor, and realized that the munchkin was still in his crib.

Hubs: Hon, the baby’s still in bed.

Me: Oh.

Then, according to the hubs, I climbed over to my side of the bed and hurled myself down.

Hubs: Wow, you really scared me there. Did you have a bad dream, Babe?


Hubs: Babe? You still awake?

This morning, I had no idea what he was talking about when he mentioned my frantic search in the night for the munchkin. I am glad that both of us got our scary situations straightened out, and they weren’t near as bad as they seemed at first!