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!

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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.

View More: http://huismanphotography.pass.us/lucywynaldanewborn

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!

Oh, the Irony

We live on an idyllic wooded plot in the country, and because the hubs, munchkin, and dog are all here, I happen to think it is the best spot in the whole world. We can hike to a lake, see owls and deer in our backyard, and off of our road is a small family strawberry farm.

Sounds just ideal, doesn’t it? I’ll be honest – it is pretty fantastic. But every year something happens in the summer on the aforementioned small family strawberry farm which makes my skin crawl. And that thing is the open-picking season. Scores of moms in mini-vans descend on our quiet street, bringing their small children to whine in the hot sun while they “make memories” and pick berries for their Pinterest projects. And these moms drive like crazy people, some speeding recklessly down the pot-hole rutted back road and others going so slowly that when I get behind them I contemplate leaning out my window and picking berries while we drive down the road.

A few even get really confused and drive down our long driveway, even though there are a plethora of signs pointing to the strawberry farm, away from our house. And then they have the audacity to look shocked when they happen upon the munchkin and me eating Popsicles in the front yard at 7:30 am. This is our house – we’ll eat frozen treats whenever we want, thank you very much!

Yes, I know: having the road get a little more busy for two months of the year is a first world problem. I will be the first to admit that this is barely even a mild inconvenience. I bring it up only to get a laugh at my own expense. You see, as I drove along on our street the other day, grumbling about the soccer moms in their mini-vans driving like maniacs, I was, in fact, a soccer mom in a mini-van. That’s right, I drive a mini-van, and stay home with my kiddo. And last year I took him berry picking. Oh, the irony: I am one of them! And I didn’t even realize it. Basically, my annoyance is completely misplaced.

There was some additional misplaced anger at our house recently. We had been gone for much of the day, and the poor little dog had missed us, so I let her sleep in our room with us, instead of downstairs where she normally sleeps at night. I was sleeping just fine, until well after midnight the hubs shook me awake.

Me: Hmm, what’s up?

Hubs: You’re snoring so loudly! I can’t even sleep.

I don’t really snore very often, so I kind of wondered if maybe he was sleep talking.

Me: Really? Are you asleep?

Hubs: No! I can’t believe how loud you were, it woke me up! UGH!!!

He was very annoyed. All of the sudden it hit me that I heard the snoring, too.

Me: Wait, do you still hear it?

The hubs sat still.

Hubs: Yes! What is that?!?

Me: It’s the dog! You woke me up and can’t sleep because of the dog’s snoring!

And then I laughed for a really long time. I mean, really, I thought it was so funny. It wasn’t so funny for the dog, though, as she was banished from the room for the rest of the night. My trying to do a nice thing by letting her sleep with us meant that she was rudely kicked out of bed after sleeping peacefully for hours. Oh, the irony!

Sleep Talking Squabbles

The other night I had a very scary dream, and jolted awake – whimpering and heart thumping. I scooted closer to the hubs, and he drowsily turned over.

Hubs: You’re ok.

Now, I’m not sure why I reacted to this statement the way I did. Perhaps I was still scared from the dream, or perhaps I felt like he just wasn’t being empathetic enough, or maybe I’m just argumentative at 2 am. Regardless, I was not happy with this lackadaisical comforting from the hubs.

Me: You don’t know that! What if I’m not?

Hubs: What?

Me: What if I’m not ok? Maybe I’m not. You can’t know for sure. It’s just…rude!

Hubs: Hmm, yeah, maybe. It’s fine, though.

Me: That’s what you think!

Then I rolled back over and went back to sleep. (I’m really not a horrible person, I just felt very strongly at that moment. If I had been fully awake I hope I wouldn’t have reacted quite that way.)

The next morning as the hubs was getting ready for work I mentioned to him that I hated having scary dreams, like I had the night before.

Hubs: Yeah, well, you’re ok.

Me: Are you kidding me?!? That line didn’t work last night, and it isn’t going to work this morning either!

Hubs: What are you talking about?

Me: Last night. You know, you were not very comforting when I had that bad dream, and told me it was ok, so I told you it wasn’t ok, and to stop saying that! And you just did it again!

Hubs: Sweety, I have no idea what you’re talking about. I don’t remember waking up or you having a dream, or anything. Maybe you were sleep talking.

Me: Maybe I was sleep talking?? No, no – maybe YOU were sleep talking!

Hubs: Yeah, probably.

Then he turned back to finish brushing his teeth, unperturbed that asleep-him had gotten me so riled up. And, much as I hate to admit it sometimes, that is one of the great things about the hubs: I know that he really will make it ok. Even though it’s a pain when he says so.

There is Only One Right Answer

Sometimes when the hubs and I are conversing, questions come up. Very serious questions, like, “Do you like buttermilk ranch dressing, or just plain ranch dressing?”

Or, “Do you think if we pretended to be narcoleptic around the munchkin for the next few years we could convince him that we just fall asleep randomly? And how could we use this to our advantage?”

Most of the time when I ask the hubs a question there is not just one right answer and I really care about the hubs’ opinion. Like, “Do you think the dog would like it if I got her a sunhat?” Or, “Do you see anything wrong with having cookies for breakfast if they have a fruit or vegetable like pumpkin in them?”

But some questions that I pose to the hubs have only one right answer. Like, “Is that really what you’re wearing to the party?” Or, “Do you want to pick up pizza for dinner?”

In fact, just last night I posed a question to the sleep-talking hubs that definitely only had one right answer. I don’t think I had been asleep for very long, when I woke up to the hubs talking.

Hubs: You can say “hi,” if you want to.

Me: Hmm? What’s up, buddy?

Hubs: You can.

Me: Oh? Well, hi!

Hubs: Hi, sweetie!

Me (wondering who he’s calling “sweetie” in his sleep): Now, who are you talking to?

Hubs: My beautiful wife, of course.

Me: That’s right.

Then we both went back to sleeping quietly, and the asleep hubs did not talk again for the rest of the night. He definitely had the right answer that time!

Seat Lock

When I married the hubs, there was the normal blending of family traditions and idiosyncrasies. One thing his family does that I was not familiar with is “seat lock.” Seat lock is when a person leaves a place where they are sitting, if they yell, “seat lock,” then they get to sit there when they come back. If, say, they don’t know about seat lock because they’ve only been on three dates with a member of the family, they lose their comfortable spot on the couch and have to sit on the floor. Thankfully, it didn’t take me too long to figure out the rules, so I can now defend my comfy chair at family events.

Our little dog is the queen of “seat lock.” Mainly because she only has a few places she likes to sit, and she has made those places so covered with dog hair that no one would want to sit there unless armed with a jumbo lint roller.

The dog lounging in her favorite spot on the couch.

The dog lounging in her favorite spot on the couch.

I think it’s normal to be attached to a particular place, and claim it as your own. This last week I even talked to the hubs about this in my sleep. That’s right, I am the one sleep talking this time.

Apparently, the hubs woke up in the middle of the night to me yelling. He said that our conversation went like this:

Me: It’s my spot…. MY SPOTTTTT!!!!

Hubs: You’re ok, honey, just go back to sleep.

Me: You’re not listening to me. This is my spot!

Hubs: Yes, honey, you’re sleep talking. 

Me: It’s my spot, my spot, my spot!!!

I asked him what he did after all of this commotion, and he said, “I rolled over and went back to sleep as you continued to repeat ‘my spot,’ over and over…. There was no winning.”

Well, ok then. I guess he knew that I would definitely call “seat lock” on this spot that I apparently cared about so much!

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!