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.

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!

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!

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.

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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.

Cliff Hanger

I drive quite a distance to get to work and wile away the hours listening to books on CD that I get from the library. My favorite to listen to are mysteries. The librarians probably wondered over my eclectic checkout bag this morning: murder mysteries and the acclaimed Baby Learns Numbers with Elmo.

A few weeks ago I was listening to a murder mystery as I made the long trek to work. We were on the last disk, and I thought I knew who murdered the dashing young poet. Then, the hotel burned down and the character I thought was the killer died in the fire! I was thinking, “Oh man, plot twist!”

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Wow, what a nail biter!

Then the nice sounding British man reading the book on CD said, “Qwill wondered if Jamison really had been the murderer. Now he would never know for sure. (dramatic music) This concludes the reading of the book. All rights reserved.”

And then the disk ended! That was it! Who knows who the murderer was? I don’t! Good grief, talk about a cliff hanger…forever… For crying out loud.

Sometimes the hubs leaves me without all of the answers when he talks in his sleep, too. For example, a week and a half ago I was laying in bed making a mental grocery list when the hubs started talking in his sleep.

Hubs: Nah, that can’t be.

Me: Hmmm, what is it buddy?

Hubs: Just not right.

Me: Yeah, what isn’t right?

Hubs: What? No, not for you.

Me: Oh? What’s not for me?… Hubs? Why can’t I know?

But he did not say anything else.

I am not sure what wasn’t right, and I suppose I will never know. Life is filled with cliff hangers!

Personal Space

The dog is not very snuggly. Personal space if very important to her. On very rare occasions she will sit on the hubs’ lap so that they can “sing” to each other:

Making beautiful music.

However, most of the time she prefers to be by herself, snuggled up on a pile of warm laundry fresh from the dryer.

So nice and toasty!

So nice and toasty!

The hubs is not so generous with personal space when he is sleeping. He is, in fact, a bed-hog. He sprawls out, taking up almost all of the bed with his long arms and legs, occasionally striking out with an elbow to get even more space. The majority of the time I just live with it, resigned to my sliver of bed, and just scoot him over if his stretching threatens to knock me right out of the bed.

This past week I woke up because the hubs’ elbow was burrowed right into my armpit. I found myself on the EXTREME edge of the bed, with my poor behind hanging right off of the bed.

Me (pushing back on his elbow with one hand and his back with the other): Hey! Scoot over!

Hubs (not moving, because I am like a little fly pushing on him): What are you doing?!?

Me: Scoot over! My butt’s hanging off the bed because you’re taking up the whole thing!

Hubs:You have a cold butt? I just don’t know why you’re still awake…

So, did I mention that the hubs stayed asleep through all of this? Yes, the man did not wake up at all, even as I pushed him to try to scoot over. Suddenly, he scooted toward me. Now I was really afraid I would fall out of the bed!

Me (grabbing him to steady myself): Hey! I’m going to fall off the bed!

Hubs: There, there. It’s ok. It’s not that cold.

Then he patted my rear twice, pulled some blankets up on me, and didn’t say anything else. And I was left to wonder what on earth had just happened, and how was I to get him to actually scoot over.

I finally rolled him over so that I had more room. I love the hubs, but sometimes I think it would be easier if he was more like the dog: lots of personal space for both of us!