Batwings and Broomsticks

So, there the hubs and I were, snuggled up in bed on a cool winter evening, when I heard a quiet flap-flap-flap. It sounded like the hubs was snoring gently. I thought that was a little weird, since he does not normally do that, but no problem. I heard it again, a gentle flap-flap-flap, and I wondered if I should try to roll him over if he was going to be like this all night.

I decided against disturbing him and was drifting off to sleep when all of the sudden the hubs jumped and yelled, “THAT’S A BAT!! There’s a bat in the room!!”

We did the only reasonable thing and pulled the covers up over our heads.

“A BAT!” I whispered to the hubs in our blanket tent. “Are you sure?”

We could still hear it flying around the room, even with the covers over our heads.

“That’s a bat,” the hubs said assuredly.

I was sort of freaking out, because bats are creepy.

(Now, here would be about the place where I would put a free stock photo from the internet of a bat. However, when I was trying to search for free bat images, our internet safety feature kept saying ADULT CONTENT and not letting me continue. First, I feel old, because we now have kids in our home able to use the internet and we need a filter. We are so old. Second, I have no idea what sort of adult content could come from searching “free bat pic” but apparently it’s a thing. Third, I cannot seem to locate the override password, and I’m not going to reset it just for a picture of a bat. Use your imagination, please. It was a huge, nasty, brown, winged, fanged bat.)

“Ok, well, we have to get out of here,” I said, making a plan. “We’ll just slip off on your side – HEY!”

I yelped because the covers were being pulled off of me and I was going to be exposed for the bat to attack, maim, and probably kill! As I was in the middle of explaining my genius plan to escape the bat, the hubs had moved out of the bed onto the floor, taking the covers with him and leaving me to fend for myself. I jumped out of bed and dove to join him under the blanket that was now on the floor. Then I shuffled after the hubs as he hustled to the door and out of the bedroom.

Once safely in the hallway with the door shut behind us and the bat locked in our bedroom we analyzed our position. A nasty, winged, most-likely-rabid beast had taken over our bedroom. My preference was to abandon the room completely and sleep on the couch for the rest of my life, but the hubs vetoed that idea.

He decided he would go in and conquer the beast, but he would need protection first. His coat was in the bedroom, but he had his hunting boots readily available. I went and grabbed him my coat, which is neon blue, shiny, and puffy. Perhaps the shiny neon would disorient the creature he was going to fight?

It was also quite small on him, but he zipped it all the way up and put the hood on, so that only his eyes were showing. Except of course for half of his forearms and an inch and a half of mid-drift that was exposed because it really was too small for him.

While he was putting on his shoes, I found the broom and stood ready to arm him.

So, there was the hubs, standing like a puffy, bright blue warrior, ready to go in and battle the bat.

As he took the broom and faced the door I uttered encouragement to spur on my brave protector, “Just PLEASE don’t let it out of the bedroom, ok??”

He slowly cracked open the bedroom door and peered in.

“I don’t see it,” he whispered back to me as I stood in the hallway.

Then, “AHH! There it is! It’s on my coat!”

This was followed by a swift whack from the broom, and the foe was defeated. I did not see any of this happen because I panicked when he yelled and ducked into the bathroom. But I am sure that he was just the most macho, amazing, puffy-blue man who has ever vanquished a bat.

(Of course, we would have preferred to shoo it outside to allow the bat to live, but since it had been in the house when the kids’ bedroom door was open and they were sleeping, we needed to test it in order to avoid painful rabies shots. Rest in peace, bat; we did not wish you ill, even though you scared us half to death.)

The next Monday the hubs took the bat to the health department since they will test them for free, and it came back negative for rabies. That meant we avoided shots and we were all thankful for that. The hubs was especially thankful he did not have to get rabies shots, since he hates shots so much that if I let him he would probably just choose to die from rabies instead of getting the shots.

After so much excitement, I half expected the hubs to have much to say in his sleep, but he did not talk at all that night. I would know, since I spent much of the night lying awake, imagining that I was hearing more flap-flap-flap around the ceiling. But thankfully, there were no more bats in the bedroom that evening, although it is good to know that the hubs can handle them like a pro.

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Men of Hollywood, It’s Not You, It’s Me

Over the last twelve months I was only sort of successful at meeting my 2017 resolutions.

  • Read a book every month – check.
  • Trim down my wardrobe to capsule size – some progress but still way too many sweaters.
  • Do a pull up at the gym – not even close.

Thankfully, 2017 is over, and it is time for a fresh start and fresh resolutions. This year I am resolving to give some things up, mainly impulse buying at Target, the Facebook app on my phone, and my relationship with famous attractive men.

That last one might surprise you, especially if you know me in all of my Midwestern-soccer-mom glory, but it’s true. You see, as much as I love my partner and appreciate him, he does occasionally do things that irritate me. Recently I have noticed that when he does those things my brain compares him to some of Hollywood’s leading men, and tries to convince me that they would never act this way. These thoughts just creep right into my head.

My brain says, “You know who would never take it for granted that he can go get a haircut whenever he wants with no kids tagging along and forget to tell me about the haircut so that dinner dries out in the oven? Chris Pratt, that’s who. Chris would never treat me like that.”

And other times my brain screams things like, “SHEMAR MOORE WOULD NEVER TURN UP HIS NOSE AT MY HOMEMADE DINNER AND MAKE HIMSELF TOAST INSTEAD!”

Or the thought comes to me, “Hmm, if I were married to Ryan Gosling I’m pretty sure I’d be getting a shoulder rub right now, instead of cleaning tile grout.”

This is ridiculous because I have no idea what these people are like in real life. When I was not paying attention, my brain cobbled together this idea that they would be so wonderful because I have seen them act that way in movies and smile on magazine covers. My impression of them is not reality.

Also, have you met people? Honestly, most of them are just ok. I have yet to meet a perfect person, or someone who is selfless all of the time. The idea that anyone, even those who seem perfect on the big screen, would appreciate me all of the time or behave exactly as I want them to is laughable.

Actually, it is more than laughable: it is dangerous. My favorite author, C.S. Lewis, said, “Envy is insatiable. The more you concede to it the more it will demand.”

Giving in to the desire to glance longingly at someone else’s life robs me of the ability to see the wonderful qualities of my own relationship. If I want to maintain a fulfilling relationship, I need to direct the bulk of my positive and appreciative feelings towards my partner, not pretend fantasy people.

So, next time I am in line at the grocery store and perusing the perfectly placed celebrity magazines, I need to not see the picture of a beardless Chris Evans and think, “I bet he would oil the squeaky hinges on the door to the garage without being reminded.”

Instead, I will do whatever it takes to starve this desire to compare what I have with other people, even if it means only reading Diabetes Prevention while standing in line at the grocery story instead of People!

Last night, the hubs was talking in his sleep and it was the perfect reminder of the hubs’ sweetness, and why I should stop fantasizing once and for all in 2018. I was lying in bed wondering if it would be socially acceptable to beg people to not send me thank-you notes for gifts I gave them this Christmas so that I could neglect writing any of my own. All of the sudden the hubs sat up and turned to face me.

Hubs: Hey! What’s going on?

Me: Nothing. Are you ok?

Hubs: Yeah. Just checking in.

Me: Ok. Love you.

Hubs: Yep. Love you.

Then he rolled over and did not say anything else. He had seemed pretty out of it, so I figured he was asleep. This morning I confirmed that he did not remember our conversation and was talking in his sleep. Either one, awake or asleep, would not have surprised me, though, because he is very good about checking to see how I am doing.

Does Justin Timberlake check on his wife even when he is sleeping? I don’t know. And in 2018, I am determined not to care.

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Photo Credit: Heather Huisman

The Wheels on the Bike Go Round and Round

The munchkin loves things with wheels – trains, cars, motorcycles, tractors, scooters, unicycles. They’re his favorite toys, and his favorite part of going to school this year was the drive there and back when he could see the trucks on the highway.

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Pairing this love of things-that-go and the hubs’ love of biking, we thought it would be easy to teach the munchkin how to ride a bike. Yeah…not so much.

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Getting the munchkin on a bike has been…a journey. He just freaks out anytime we try to put him on the bike or even bring it out of the garage. We have tried a normal bike with training wheels, bike without training wheels, balance bike, and letting him walk the bike around. No luck. The munchkin wants nothing to do with the bike.

I know he is not that old, so we are just taking a break from it since there is no pressure to ride a bike, but I do think it sort of bothers the hubs since he loves to bike so much. I am hoping that once bike racing season comes around again and we get to see the hubs in all of his racing glory the munchkin will feel inspired to at least get on his bike, but we will see.

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I was reminded of the hubs’ commitment to biking the other night when he was asleep. I was up late, trying to cram in a few more chapters of my book for book club the next morning. The hubs had rolled over to go to sleep some time ago.

All of the sudden, he started yelling.

Hubs: AAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!

I looked over at him in shock. He popped his head up, blinking his eyes.

Me: What in the world?!?

Hubs: I was in a bike race. It was the final sprint, and I gave it a giant final push.

Me: Wow. Well, it was certainly loud…

Hubs: Yeah, I know. It was so loud I woke myself up.

He rolled back over to go back to sleep.

Hubs: And, you’ll be happy to know that I won.

He was right, I was happy to know that he won. And I was even more happy to know that he got his sleep talking done before I fell asleep!

The Ups and Downs

I love roller coasters. I do not merely like them, I LOVE them. If I were to craft my perfect day it would definitely include a waffle covered in Nutella and strawberries, and roller coasters with no lines. My dad introduced me to roller coasters and was my first riding buddy. He says I am the only person he knows who does not scream on roller coasters, but giggles almost the entire time. I have never known him to put his hands in the air or scream, but when we go over a particularly large hill or upside down he will let out a, “woooAAAAHHHhh!”

The hubs likes roller coasters, too, and some of my favorite memories are of days spent in theme parks, riding together. He likes to put his hands in the air on rides, but I just cannot get behind that method of riding. I will cling tightly to the bar while giggling like a maniac, thank you very much.

Roller coasters have been on my mind today since last night his sleep talking took me on a bit of an emotional rollercoaster.

I had been asleep for some time when I woke up because the hubs was moving around. I turned over and saw that the he had pushed himself up onto his elbows.

Me: You ok?

Hubs: Yeah, yeah, nothing wrong.

That seemed like a reasonable response, so for a second I thought he was awake.

Hubs: It’s just really hard to see where to go, you know?

Well, guess he’s a sleep.

Me: Oh. Yeah, I guess so.

The hubs started smacking his arms together.

Hubs: Oh, man, both of my arms fell asleep.

Wait a minute, that is a normal reason to be up, maybe he is actually awake.

Me: I’m sorry. Is there anything I can do for you?

Hubs: Yeah, just try not to…TAKE OVER THE WORLD…can you do that?

Nope, he’s definitely asleep.

Me: Sure. Ok, I love you.

The hubs giggled.

Me: Goodnight.

Hubs: Yep. Goodnight.

Wow, what a roller coaster of emotions! Was the hubs awake, was he asleep, who knew? This was not as much fun as an actual roller coaster, but I have to admit that life with the hubs is never boring!

Resolved

As we turned the calendar page to January 2017, I made a few New Year’s resolutions. Most of them are pretty attainable, and I have even already made good progress on my resolution to read 12 books this year. One resolution, however, has not had such good success, and that is my brilliant idea that I should wake up before the rest of the family.

It just sounds like such a good idea: a chance to start the day off in peace and quiet, and to get some things done before the craziness begins. And there is all this research about productivity being highest in the morning, and stuff like that. When I made this resolution, however, I neglected to factor in the fact that in order to wake up bright eyed and bushy tailed early in the morning a person must get an adequate number of hours of sleep. This has just not been happening for me.

Take, for example, a night earlier this week. I had good intentions to get up early in the morning and went to bed at a reasonable time. Then I stared at the ceiling for awhile thinking about the merits of preschool versus homeschool versus no school, and how if I screw up this one decision it will probably be the first thing my son tells his therapist about his mother someday.

I know worrying is not helping anything, so I started my favorite white-noise app on my phone, and relaxed and started to drift off. Of course I refuse to pay for the upgraded version of the app that has no advertisements, so just as I was falling asleep a commercial for a very loud action movie interrupted the soothing ocean sounds, and I jolted awake to the terrifying sound of machine guns apparently in our bedroom.

Once my heart rate came back down to a normal range, I finally fell asleep. A few minutes later, teething baby girl woke up and needed a bottle and rocking before she’d fall back asleep. I wandered back to bed from the nursery and fell back asleep. It felt like I had just closed my eyes when the munchkin came into our room because he had woken up and was scared. I took him back to bed and prayed with him and tucked him back into bed.

I finally stumbled back to my own bed, tripping over a full laundry basket on the way. As I climbed back under the covers, the hubs threw his arm over to my side of the bed and started talking to me.

Hubs: You coming back now?

The hubs sounded sort of muffled and slurred, and I thought he was sleep talking.

Me: Are you awake?

Hubs: I am. I don’t think I was, but I am now.

Me: Are you sure?

Hubs: Yes, of course. Definitely.

He still sounded funny and like he was asleep, but I was ridiculously tired and did not say anything else.

Hubs: I love you.

I rolled over to turn off my alarm clock, acknowledging that there was no way I was getting up in just a few hours. I did not answer the hubs, because I really did think he was sleep talking.

Hubs: Hey, I love you!

Me: I love you, too. Please let me go to sleep.

The next morning I asked the hubs about our conversation, and he had no idea what I was talking about. Not only did he sleep through this little chat we had, he did not even know that I had been up with the kids. I do not know if the hubs made any resolutions for 2017, but if he did and one of them is to be a deep sleeper and sleep talk, MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

As for the status of my resolution of getting so much done before everyone else in the house wakes up…I’ll try again in 2018.

What Not To Wear, New Baby Edition

I used to love the television show, “What Not To Wear.” It was a show where they would give unsuspecting fashion challenged people a makeover. I thought the hosts of the show, Stacy and Clinton, were so cool, and so witty, and so stylish. Frequently when a guest was a mom and dressed in comfortable but not very stylish clothes, Stacy and Clinton would talk to them about their clothing choices, and say things like, “Having kids is no excuse. It doesn’t take any longer to put on pants with buttons than sweat pants.”

Or, “It’s just as much effort to pick out a cute blouse as a t-shirt, so go for the blouse! You have no excuse.”

And the moms would come away from their week of shopping in New York and look so chic, and so much better than when they left, and there was not an oversized t-shirt or yoga pant in sight.

At the time I always thought, “Stacy and Clinton are so right. It doesn’t take any longer to put on nice clothes. If I ever become a mom, I’m not going to dress in sweatpants all the time.”

Now ten years removed from watching the show and in a totally different life position, I discovered something. Stacy and Clinton have no idea what they are talking about.

As it turns out, those precious seconds it takes to button up actual pants, they matter. Do you know how much trouble a high energy 3 year old can get into in 6 seconds? Today I left the fully clothed munchkin in the living room, walked to the changing table with the baby, and looked out the window to see that the munchkin had walked out of the house and was running around the yard, naked. In 6 seconds he stripped naked and ran out of the house. This is why I like to wear pants that don’t require buttoning or a belt. Oh man, I don’t even want to think about how far he could get if I had to button my pants and buckle a belt!

In addition, when Stacy and Clinton sent these newly made-over ladies home with admonitions to steer clear of baggy cotton t-shirts, they weren’t considering the laundry situation. Baby is quite the spitter, and today has gone through 5 onesies, 2 bibs, and 2 tiny pairs of baby pants. I tend to be collateral damage to all this spitting, and am currently on my fourth shirt in 7 hours. Now, if I had been following Stacy and Clinton’s guidelines, the laundry situation would be quite complicated, with the buttons, delicate wash cycles, dry-clean-only tags, and lay-flat-to-dry directions. Thankfully, yoga pants and t-shirts have no special cleaning instructions, so I’m really not too perturbed at all the wardrobe changes I have to go through in a day. But it does mean Clinton and Stacy were very wrong: picking nice clothes does take more effort, especially if they get dirty every 45 minutes.

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Baby girl is such a sweetheart, I do not mind her messiness. Photo credit: Huisman Photography

The sleep talking hubs does not seem to mind the current state of my wardrobe. Actually, since we brought baby home the hubs has not been “the sleep talking hubs,” as he has not done much sleep talking. I think he is just too tired, and I am probably tired enough that even if he has talked I slept right through it. But last night he did talk some.

I was lying in bed when I felt the hubs jump in his sleep. As if he were gently scolding someone, he said, “No, no, no!”

I asked who he was talking to, and he said, “Oh, no one.”

I was so tired I let it go at that, and went back to sleep.

I am not sure what the hubs was saying, “No,” to, but I do know what I would say no to: anyone, even Clinton or Stacy, who tried to pry my comfiest yoga pants away from me.

Pants with elastic waistbands FOREVER!

Waiting Game

We are anxiously anticipating the arrival of munchkin-the-sequel in a few weeks. She is supposed to make her debut in 3 weeks, but the munchkin was a whole two weeks late when he finally decided to show up, so I am not holding my breath that 2.0 will be here anytime soon.

Apparently the fact that the munchkin arrived 2 weeks after his due date is a bit of a medical anomaly. At one of my first visits to the doctor during this pregnancy the nurse who was updating my chart said, “Did you really go 42 weeks with your first baby? That can’t be right.”

Nope, it was right.

At this same visit the doctor asked, “Wow, you went 42 weeks with your first. Do you plan to do that again?”

At a later visit a nurse commented, “Hmm, 42 weeks…we don’t see that very often. Did you do that on purpose?”

More recently a different nurse was looking at my chart and said, “It says here that your first pregnancy you went 42 weeks. Can you tell me why you chose to do that?”

They give me way too much credit: I was not aware that I had that much control on when the munchkin showed up!

For now, we are patiently waiting for baby to show up. The hubs talked about waiting in his sleep last week, but I don’t think he was waiting for our baby girl. I was just starting to fall asleep when the hubs sat up and crossed his arms.

Me: Are you ok?

Hubs: Yep, just waiting for Thomas.

Me: Oh, ok. Do you think he’ll be long?

Hubs: Don’t worry about it honey.

Me: Alright. I’m going back to sleep then.

Then I rolled back over and went back to sleep. I’m not sure how long the hubs sat up, but I hope that whoever he thought was coming didn’t keep him waiting for too long!

Planes, Trains, and Vehicles for the Elderly

Recently the munchkin and I flew down to see my parents for the holidays. The munchkin does very well on planes, especially now that he is old enough to have his own seat. On our second flight of the day he happened to be seated right next to a lady who was obviously very nervous about the flight. I tried to keep him busy and distracted and not bothering her, since flying was already obviously not something she enjoyed. The munchkin did a great job during the flight, and his seat-mate seemed to calm down and be less distressed about flying.

And then we began the descent. As the plane nose dropped the munchkin threw his little fists in the air and yelled, “WE’RE GOING DOWN!”

At this outburst the passenger next to us became very agitated and began making the sign of the cross on herself; I assume she was praying something along the lines of that if we were in fact to go down that an excited toddler who would not stop kicking the seat in front of him would not be the last thing she saw. I hope she is able to fly again.

Shortly before we left for this eventful trip the asleep hubs was apparently also concerned with transportation. The hubs had a cold so he had gone to bed early while I was still up reading. All of the sudden he jumped in his sleep and started talking.

Hubs: The older people need the vehicle…or should they not?

Me: Hmm? What do you mean?

Hubs: Well, it just doesn’t make any sense. It’s a vehicle for older people.

Me: Oh, really? That’s different.

Hubs: Yeah, just not a good idea.

Me: Yeah, can you tell me about it?

Hubs: It isn’t important, I don’t think I need to tell you. It’s about the elderly.

Me: You said that, but I’m curious about it.

Hubs: I don’t want to tell you about it. I already told you that.

Me: You can’t tell me anything?

Hubs: Stop asking about it. Please stop!

Me: Ok, that’s fine.

Then he huffed and rolled over angrily, never waking up. I was sorry to upset him in his sleep, but I also couldn’t help giggling about how silly the conversation was. I guess both of my boys have very serious transportation concerns!

Sleepless Nights

The munchkin has started waking up in the middle of the night and coming to get me…Every. Single. Night. I am trying to remember that this is a phase, and someday I will miss his little voice asking me if he can give me a “mama-pat-pat” on my cheek, but this is very difficult to remember at 4 am.

It’s made even more difficult by the fact that the hubs does not wake up when the munchkin comes in the room or calls for me. The other day after the munchkin got up twice in the night, the hubs said, “It’s so great that the munchkin hasn’t gotten up in the night for two nights in a row!”

A few nights ago I was settling back in bed from taking the munchkin back to his bedroom in the wee hours of the morning, yet again, when the hubs sat up and started to talk to me in his sleep.

Hubs: Hey! What’s wrong? Is something wrong?

Me: No, I’m fine.

Hubs: Well, you just keep moving around. You’ve kept me awake for 40 minutes!

Me: Oh, really? Well, I’m sorry about that. If it’s so bothersome, you can go sleep somewhere else.

Hubs: No, I don’t need to go sleep somewhere else.

Me: Well, ok then. Goodnight. Love you.

And then the hubs laid back down and didn’t say anything else. The hubs can sleep not only through the munchkin talking, but also himself talking. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, I can’t sleep through either of them talking!

Interpreter Wanted

The munchkin knows the words for his colors, but does not always use them for the correct color. For example, this morning the munchkin cried and cried and cried that he wanted a green cup…all while I stood there offering him a green cup. Eventually I had him show me what he was referring to and he pointed to his orange cup in the cabinet. Once I handed it to him he cradled it, and glaring up at me said, “My green cup.”

Oy. Sometimes I wish I had an interpreter to tell me what the munchkin is trying to communicate. The other night I could have used an interpreter for what the hubs was talking about in his sleep. I hadn’t fallen asleep yet when the hubs started talking.

Hubs: Hey, they really need more than that. I mean, they need a lot more for sure.

Me: Oh, really? What do they need?

Hubs: Tubes. They need a lot more tubes.

Me: Yeah? How many more do you think?

Hubs: Probably 3 or 4, at least. There just aren’t enough.

Me: I see. And that will be enough?

Hubs: You, you’re making fun of me. I can tell.

Me: Oh, ok. I just don’t know what you’re talking about.

Hubs: Yeah, me neither.

And then he went back to sleeping quietly. I guess maybe everyone in this house could use an interpreter sometimes!